I must really confess, you are doing a very good job here. I enjoy reading your blog and I always find your articles helpful.
I mostly sell dummy flowers and dummy flowers compositions which I source from the local market (Idumota market precisely) which is actually doing well. But looking at the prices on Alibaba, I see there’s a big opportunity for making massive profit importing the goods myself.
My question is, how do I start? How do I get the goods delivered to me? Will I have to use sea freight shipping for this kind of product or there is another method of shipping I can use. Not to forget that I don’t want to be scammed too.
Your advice will surely come in handy and will be really appreciated
Thanks for your email and questions. I’m happy to hear you are doing great in your business. Congrats!
If you can make money by re-selling the stock bought from the local market, imagine what the profit will be if you start importing from China directly. That is definitely a whole new world of opportunity you are opening up for yourself. However, there are some things you need to know about the whole importing process.
Firstly, you have series of options if you want to start importing from China. You can buy from Aliexpress, 1688 or Alibaba. In your case Alibaba is your best option.
Secondly, you have to make sure you have enough buying power if you want to start buying from Alibaba, because there is a minimum order quantity (MOQ) Alibaba suppliers will require you buy before they can transact with you. This might be more than the quantity you are buying from the local market.
For products like dummy flowers, buying directly from manufacturers will mean you have to buy 500 identical flowers if the supplier’s MOQ is 500. However, this can be negotiated. It all depends on how you are able to negotiate with your supplier to lower the MOQ so as to enable you order for different varieties of flowers.
First step you want to take is to find suppliers on Alibaba. Once you are able to find 3-5 promising ones, contact them through email or Alibaba’s trade manager. Introduce yourself and ask questions about the following:
- Detailed questions about the product (I believe you have adequate knowledge about the product)
- Price per unit
- Availability of samples
- The payment options that are available
- The shipping options (In this case, I will suggest you use a Nigerian freight forwarder)
- Can the company do OEM, that is can your logo be put on the product if you desire
- How long will it take to produce the product?
Note that the MOQ and price can be negotiated. You must know that the more you buy, the more power you have to negotiate. But you should be able to get 10% off the price, you don’t have to be a great negotiator to achieve that.
If you are happy with what the supplier is offering, order for sample that will be sent to you through courier and inspect carefully. Samples are usually free, you only have to cover the shipping fee. If you are satisfied with the quality of the sample, you can negotiate the order terms and place your order.
For your kind of product, quality is paramount and you shouldn’t compromise.
For shipping, I will advise you to use a Nigerian freight forwarding company. They will take care of everything concerning shipping of the product, custom clearance and all. You can collect your goods from their Nigerian office here. I will recommend chrisvicmall.com (Note: I’m not affiliated to the company. Make sure you do your due diligence before doing business with them.
For payment and other tips, kindly check my detailed post about sourcing product on Alibaba.
Make sure you buy a couple of pallets of goods to make the product worthwhile. Dummy flowers are quite cheap and bulky. You don’t have to buy a container full though, you might grow the business to that level one day.
Remember when working with a new supplier, making a large is a risk. So, you should start small.
Hope this helps Oluwatoyin
Ps: Have any question concerning importation business? Kindly send me a private message on this site. register on the site and click on my name to take you to my profile where you will see the option of sending me a private message.