Sell your imported goods
One of the questions I receive from people just starting out in the importation business is “How do I sell my imported goods really quick?” … and it’s a really good question. Which is the best online platform to sell off my goods – Jumia, Konga or my own online store? I will try to answer this question in this post by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each platform.
This is going to be a really long post, so, you should brace yourself.
Firstly, I will like to point out that there is no one single as the best way to sell your imported goods in Nigeria. The best way to go about this depend on yourself and some other things. Let’s quickly take a look at them:
Your Level of Experience
This is by far the most important thing to consider when deciding on how best to sell your goods off quickly. If you are totally new to the importation business, haven’t sold anything in the past and have very little knowledge about the business. I highly recommend you start with Jumia and Konga first.
If we consider having your own online store on the other hand, you really have to know what you are doing to be successful. Having your own online store is not as simple. It’s not just enough to open an online store and wait for the money to start rolling in, far from it.
You have to know how to build your online store (Ok, maybe you can get a web designer to do this for you) and exactly how to promote (Probably you can contract an expert to also do this), but you definitely know how much you will be spending getting these things done. And if you want to do it yourself, there’s no shortcut, you must have adequate knowledge about those things.
Sure, there are some little things you must learn to start selling your imported goods on Jumia and Konga, but it’s far easier compared to owning your own online store.
On Konga and Jumia, you can start with just a single product listing and learn along the way as you add more and more products. You will definitely make sales and make money as long as you follow the basic principles.
However, I would place Jumia in second place, right after Konga if we are just looking at your level of experience. In some ways Konga is easier to operate on as there are less rules to follow compared to Jumia.
By this, I mean the amount of money you are willing to invest in importing your goods and market it. If you have less money to play with, just stick to Konga and Jumia. As I said earlier, you can put up a listing for just one product on these two platforms and be up and running, making sales the same day.
With your own online store, you really can’t do this.
Your own e-commerce store will require a lot of money which is a step further into your pocket. You will have to invest thousands of Naira designing and setting up your store, and also buy a range of products to sell as well. You obviously can’t start an online store with a single product.
So, if you have little money to play with, Selling on Konga and Jumia will be your best bet.
Your Long Term Plans
What are your plans? Are you taking the business as full time or you are just looking at earning extra money each month? This is an important question to ask because most people enter the importation business just to make extra cash to offset some bills at the end of the month.
For those who are just running the business as a side hustle, selling on third party platforms like Jumia and Konga will be the perfect decision.
However, for people that has some serious long-term plans and take the business as main hustle, using all three platforms to maximize their profit is the way to go. This means starting with either Jumia or Konga or both at the same time and then expanding to own their own online store.
You won’t only reach more customers but also diversifies your risk. You definitely can’t go wrong with the three platforms.
If you have a paid employment and just taking the importation business as a side hustle, you have to choose a platform that is less time consuming.
Some people start creating an online store not realizing how much time they will have to put into it before even getting a single sale. This surely is not for people with a full-time job. Maybe you can outsource most of the task, but do you have that budget?
Selling on Konga and Jumia is relatively easy to do. You just list your products and wait for the order to come in, then you package your goods and take to a drop-off location which you can easily send someone. The goods get delivered, then you receive your money. Gbam! End of story
So, those are the 4 important things to consider when deciding on which platform to sell your goods.
At the end of it all, you should end up selling on all 3 platforms provided you are running the business on a full-time basis, except you are just running it by the side.
Now, having said this. Let’s take a look at each. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of each and also share my opinion on each.
Konga is one of the two biggest e-commerce sites in Nigeria. The company was recently purchased by ZInox group owned by Mr. Leo-Stan Ekeh. Over the years, the Konga marketplace which was launched in 2014 has proved to be a real money maker for product and store owners
What I like most about Konga is that, you can start selling so quickly and see results almost immediately. No other marketplace offers an ease-of-entry for newbies in Nigeria like Konga.
There are however some downsides…
Konga is a very competitive marketplace in Nigeria. On Konga, you will find tens of sellers selling almost the same product.
Konga itself is huge but still, if you sell a product on Konga, there’s a set market size for it and in most cases, you can only take a certain percentage of it.
Though Konga’s commission is relatively low compared to Jumia, but most sellers still complain. They feel the commission in on the high side and they feel ripped-off.
Konga’s price is relatively low. This, added to the high level of competition means Konga is a cut-throat marketplace where price is the no. 1 driving factor in the buying decision
Despite all these negatives, I still consider Konga to be a very good opportunity for new importers who are just starting in the business. It’s easy to get started and you can learn valuable lessons that you can apply to other platforms.
Or to be more precise – Jumia Seller Center. Anyone can register and open a free seller’s account and start listing their products. In some ways, it’s easier than Konga.
Jumia offers more mileage. I really don’t know how Jumia does it but their marketing seems to be more effective than Konga. Based on personal experience, I sell more on Jumia than Konga.
While Jumia might be a better platform to sell your goods, there are however some downsides too…
Selection of Goods
When it comes to selling goods on Jumia, there seems to be some certain rules governing what you can sell. Branded items that are not original are not allowed. So, if you have been thinking of importing some Nike branded shoes and sell on Jumia, you need to reconsider. Jumia will reject your listing
There are stricter rules to follow on Jumia compared to Konga. These rules are actually meant to sanitize the system as Jumia always strive to maintain a quality standard, but this is always at the detriment of sellers.
Jumia’s commission rates is quite on the high side compared to Konga, and this make products price a bit high on the platform.
Summing it up, despite the drawbacks, Jumia is a really good platform to sell your imported goods. And I mean really quick.
YOUR OWN ONLINE STORE
Build and own your online store and be on your way to making millions. Probably, you have been hearing that from some self-styled guru and you think it sounds too good to be through. Well! Let me bust your bubble, It’s actually true.
You can build your own money spinning, multi-million-naira e-commerce site. This is a way to go for those taking the importation business serious and have a long-term vision for it.
Here are the reasons why I like online store:
Fully in Control
No more Jumia and Konga rules! You are the boss here and you are in total control of your own store. You control the shipping, the stock, the payment and every other thing. No one can ban your account for not following their rules.
You have no Direct Competition
You are free from competing with several other sellers of the same product if you are selling on your own platform.
You have Unlimited Growth Potential
With your own e-commerce store, the sky is your limit. You can become as big as you desire. You do your own paid advertisement, you can do free promotions, do joint ventures and so on. If you really work hard, your online store can make you a financial boss.
There are many more advantages of owning your own store, and despite this, it doesn’t mean that there are no disadvantages.
The capital investment running your own online store is on the high side. You will have to invest a lot of money buying goods, setting up your website and doing advertisement. In most cases, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of naira if not millions depending on your level of transaction.
Owning an online store is not a get rich quick scheme. To gain traction, you have to spend a lot of money on aggressive marketing and it will take time to manifest. You can’t operate an online store on a part-time basis, you have to be fully dedicated.
Different things to Master
To run an online store, you must have knowledge in the following, Social Media Marketing, SEO, Advertising, Email Marketing, Promotion, Blogging and many more. If you don’t about this, that means you would have to outsource to experts which means you would have to spend more money.
That’s my answer to anyone who is looking for the best platform to sell his imported goods. I hope have given enough insight into the 3 platforms. The final decision rests on you though. You choose what you are most comfortable with.