I have met several people, asking me about what the importation business is all about, they all want to know a thing or two about how the business works, so I think it’s a good idea to write on the frequently asked questions about the importation business. Most of the topics I discuss in this post are response to such questions, and I hope it would also answer newbies questions on what the importation business is all about.
WHO?: The “who?” question is always a funny one to answer, often, people ask me, who can venture into the importation business? Must the person be filthy rich, must he or she know somebody abroad, e.t.c, this questions are somewhat funny, but the clear cut answer to it is this; as long as you can read and write, as long as you can make use of the internet effectively, as long as you can promote your goods through the right channel, then no matter how old, young, poor or rich you are, you can venture into the mini importation business, in fact the issue of being rich is out of it, all you need is a little capital to kick start your business.
Capital: When people hear importation, the first thing that comes to mind is huge capital, this does not only discourage newbies from venturing into the business, it also makes the idea of importation business a very cumbersome one. However, mini importation business does not require a huge some on money. You can kick start a successful importation business with less than #20,000, and before you know it, you would be making double of your investment capital. In a clear cut manner, I would like to point out that, the importation business DOES NOT require a huge sum of capital. All you need is a proper guide with the right idea.
Goods: Just like any other business, before you start, you need to deliberate on what you would be selling; this is probably the first step in starting a successful business. The same method works for the importation business. You need to make an extensive research on what to sell. This is where problems set in for newbies, often they import flashy, expensive items with little prospect of making good sales, at the end of the day, they end up stocking goods that would hold up their investment capital. The importation business is a dynamic business; it deals with season, geographical location and budget. When deciding on what to buy, consideration must be given to how much people are willing to invest in buying your proposed goods, do they really need the product or it’s just for luxury, what is the age range of your targeted customer, their annual income e.t.c These and many other important data must be considered before placing order for your goods, it would be a poor business decision to order for baby diapers if you live in a student environment, on the other hand ordering for items such as flash drive, sneakers, e.t.c would count as a good business decision, because student need these items not just for luxury. 5 Items You can Buy Cheaply and Sell Fast in Nigeria
Promotion: Some years ago, I had to retrieve my MTN number, unfortunately for me, I didn’t know where their office was located in that town, so I had to ask around, and the office location was poorly described to me. I got to the so-called office area, but I couldn’t locate it, mainly because they had no bill board or sign post, since it’s MTN; an established brand, I was expecting a large bill board or banner to signify their presence, but I couldn’t find any, so I stood there for hours, until I was pointed in the right direction. The morale of my short story is this; if you don’t tell people you’re into a particular business, they would never assume you’re into it. As an importer, you must do all you can to promote your business, across all platform, through words of mouth, through business cards, through friends; all possible means. That’s when people will get to know you’re into the importation business. Promotion is crucial to making sales. The idea is to make as much noise about your business as you can, reason being that, it’s difficult to get people that would take you serious when you’re just starting out, which means an extra level of promotion is required to establish a brand for yourself, but once you’ve been able to put the word out there, you’re on your way to making huge profit on your business
Sales: The idea behind every business is a simple logic; buy cheaper sell a little bit higher than purchase rate, the difference between the purchase rate and selling rate is what makes the difference, which is popularly referred to as profit. Often, newbies in the importation business find it difficult to master the margin between the purchase and selling rate, the origin of this problem lies in the difference in purchase currency, negligence of shipping cost e.t.c. After ordering your goods from the store, no matter how cheap you buy, all expenses involved in getting the goods to Nigeria must be considered when deciding your selling price. It may be difficult in the beginning, but the earlier you get used to it, the higher your chances of making good income. The first step is to understand how to convert (accurately) from Nigeria currency to the currency of the country you’re importing from, taking note that the official exchange rate is never static, then you need to calculate the shipping cost and distribute it on the total number of items shipped, the shipping cost and purchase cost is equivalent to the total expenses for getting the goods into the country. Once you’re able to sort this out, you can then decided on what your profit margin would be, but before deciding on the price, it’s a good idea to do a mini survey on what the current price is in Nigeria, you don’t want to sell at an inflated rates, else it would be difficult to get a buyer. For every successful business, there is always a model of profit, basically there are two models; the huge profit model and numerous small profit model, these two models are what I made up on my own, but I would try to explain as much as I can. The huge profit model is such that; you inflate the price of your goods, beyond the average price, and promote the goods as much as you can, such that when you make a sale, you would earn a huge profit, from one single sale, however the downfall of this model is that, your chances of making a sale is very minimal, but when you do, it’s always a huge profit. The other model; numerous small profit model, it the most suitable model for mini importation business, and I would definitely advice a newbie to make use of this model, how this works is that; you create a small profit margin between the purchase price and selling price, making your selling price a little bit lower than the average selling price, this means that, your sales would be very high, however the profit margin is very low, hence you would be required to sell as much goods as you can before making a reasonable income. The benefit of numerous small profit model is that, your customer base would increase significantly, even with little promotion, everybody wants to buy something at a cheaper rate, so naturally they would want to buy from you because you’re selling at a cheaper rate compared to others, also it gives you the benefit of creating a list of loyal customers that you can always reach out to when you have new goods on arrival.
For newbies, I strictly suggest that you make use of the numerous small profit models, however, you can create a sub-list of rich customers within your loyal customers list, and sell to them at a price higher than the average price, but it’s important to ensure that they are actually loyal; else you might send them off.
Market: This has to do with where to buy your goods online, there are various websites where you can source cheap goods online, but few of this websites are trusted, and if proper care is not taken, a newbie might end up losing money rather than making profits. To start with, Aliexpress, is a popular website, but I once wrote a controversial post about Aliexpress and how they’re reaping off their customers, you can read more about it here, on the other hand, I shared with my readers how they can order goods from a Chinese website that sells at a very cheaper price; 1688.com, there are other websites too, but you need to test the integrity of then website before putting in your money. I know of a friend that does make purchase from EBay and Amazon, however, most of these products are either brand new or refurbished, the choice is always yours.
Internet: The importance of the internet to an importer cannot be overemphasized, it’s should literally be your office, where you make research and promote your goods, understanding the benefits of the internet and how it can be used in creating a brand for your business would go a long way in making you a successful importer. How to Promote Your Imported Goods Online For Maximum Profit
In conclusion, it’s important to follow a definitive guide, it becomes very easy when someone has gone ahead, and the person is willing to guide you through the process, if you’re ready to make huge money from this importation business, or you would love to enjoy a personal coaching class, I would advise that you buy my EBook or apply for a personal coaching class, where I would personally teach you the A, B and C’s of mini importation business, if you can’t afford the personal coaching, or your probably don’t see a need for it, you can as well buy the EBook and read through it, I would be ready to answer your questions and literally guide you through the process until you make your first profit.