shipping from china- three cargoe ships sailing from china

I have seen a situation where a person invested just N11,000 to bring in couples of foreign shoes into Lagos and made over N60,000 from selling them.

The funny thing is the guy didn’t market those shoes himself; he just took them to a few retailers and supplied directly to them below wholesale prices.

Of course, this experience is not just with one person but as many as I can’t even remember again and most of those dudes are now millionaires.

This is one of the benefits international trade brings to us.

Trading across countries allows nations to expand their market for goods and services that otherwise may not have been available to them.

This move opens up the domestic market for greater competition and competitive prices and this, of course, means more quality products at cheaper prices, higher demands and much more revenue.

It is worth pointing out that the basic nature of marketing does not change in international marketing.

But marketing outside the national boundaries poses special problems like dealing with multiple environments, managing operations in distant markets, optimizing businesses in more than one country, dealing with foreign nationals and et al.

Of course, unlike in domestic marketing, international sourcing requires operating simultaneously in more than one kind of environment, coordinating these operations and handling multiple currencies.

The demands are tough and the stakes are always high.

Luckily, mini importation makes international marketing easier, smoother and fun and perhaps is this why smart businesses are leveraging it.

In this article, you are going to learn exactly what mini importation is, how to spot the winning products to import, where to get the products, how to get them and of course, how to sell them easily like the dude above.

So, lets dive in…

What is mini importation?

mini importation-people offloading a ship

First, mini importation does not necessarily mean small importation.

What makes it “mini” is that you can start with any amount and you don’t need substantives experience or massive paper works to begin.

You don’t even need to be physically present at the point of purchase or negotiate anything with any shipping agency to get started.

All you require is the willingness to take the step, few domestic currency notes to test the water, an internet connection and of course, a good mini importation agency with proven experience in international logistics.

Mini importation is a business model where a seller in Nigeria, of course with internet connection buys goods cheaply from China or any other country and sells at higher prices in Nigeria.

The good thing about this business model is that it doesn’t discriminate on capital. You can always start with any amount of capital and then scale as your business grows.

But first, you would need winning products to scale easily. So, this brings us to important discourse.

Let’s go…

How to spot winning products in Nigeria for mini importation

Of course, to the discerning businesses, mini importation offers an opportunity to scale business revenue.

But the secret lies in spotting the winning products, and luckily, this is exactly what we would be learning here.

In a nutshell, a winning product is one that your target audience loves. You could call it “golden product” or whatever name that appeals to you.

But just one of those products or a handful of them is all it would take to make a statement and of course, to the discerning minds, the question now is; how can I spot winning products?

It is simple, let get started.

8 super tips to identifying winning products for mini importation

winning product for mini importation- cosmetics for mini importation

Mini importation is not rocket science.

The secret lies in picking the right products that would appeal to your target market. This appears simple on paper, but trust me in real life it doesn’t.

But how would you know the winning products to import?

It is simple.

Just providing sincere answers to these 8 questions could help you to see if a product can deliver on the results you need. If you are ready, here are the questions.

Is it mass-marketable?

One important question to ask before choosing the products to import is if they can be marketed to a large number of people.

For instance, clothing is not restricted to any segment of people, every home has at least one electrical device, over 85% of people above the age of 18 has a mobile device, an overwhelming number of young ladies cannot do without beauty products and a lot more scenarios.

Of course, it is this type of products you should be looking at.

Unlike niche products, the mass-marketable products appeal to a broader audience, have a larger market size and offer better opportunities for upward scaling.

Are the demands high?

It is possible for a product to have a mass-market but with relatively low demand and of course, for a mini importation business in Nigeria, this product is a NO-NO.

It is obvious you already know that low demand automatically means a low business activity for such product and I am sure this is not what you want.

So, it is always advisable that you understand how people are demanding for the product, especially within your target area and how the demand for the product changes with time before committing to that product.

Of course, it is very important you pay attention to these and luckily, this takes us to the next important question.

How are people searching for the product on Google?

Of course, understanding how people are searching for a product could help you to spot a winning product and thankfully, Google Trend can help you to do exactly that.

This is an online tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages over time.

It would help you to see how the searches for a product is trending over time and of course, this can help you to make an informed data-backed decision and luckily, it is free.

To get started with Google Trend, just head to the tool, enter the name of the product you want to import, select Nigeria as a country and then choose your target city, hit the Enter the key and it is all done.

Grab a bottle of coke and watch the magic. You can always use the Compare button to compare the performance of multiple products across time.

{insert Google trend image}

Is it a bestseller on top online stores in Nigeria?

Nigerians don’t spend a considerable amount of time on Amazon, so I wouldn’t be advising you to check for the best-selling products on Amazon to identify winning products.

Of course, this is a sound strategy, especially for businesses targeting the American market.

Rather, check out for the best-selling products on top Nigerian online stores.

If the products you want to import are selling fast on those platforms, definitely, they are winning products.

Go for them.

Are the number of retailers large?

If the answer to this question is yes, then you have a winning product. Of course, one major problem with having a large number of retailers is that the competition in the market would be very stiff.

But how would cut through the competition to sell all your goods?

It is simple.

Identify how much the wholesale prices for the products are going for and then propose to supply the products directly to the retailers at more affordable prices. The truth is no business savvy person would turn down this offer.

Aside from offering them a higher profit margin, it would also eliminate the logistical cost of getting those products to their shops.

It is affordable?

Of course, this is very important.

It is necessary that you understand properly the final cost of getting the products down to the country. Now compare this cost with the current market prices for the products you intend to import.

This would provide enough insight to make an informed decision.

If the final cost of importing the goods is lower than the current market prices, of course, the product would be a winner.

Invest in them, but make sure the products are of high quality.

Does the season support the product?

If the answer is no, then forget the product.

I am not going to dwell much on this, because I believe you already know that seasonal changes can affect the demand for certain products.

So, it is important you understand the seasonal trend of a product before getting them into the country. Avoid the temptation of just importing anything even you have the money to throw around.

There is always better uses for them.

How are people engaging with the product on Facebook?

Of course, with over 1 billion people on Facebook, chances are that most of your customers would be on Facebook.

So, leverage the platform to identify the products that appeal to them.

Make a list of the top brands in your niche and then head to their Facebook pages. Locate the “Info and Ads” section to see the active ads they are running.

Pay attention to the best performing ads and with lots of engagements.

Pull a notepad and write down the names of those products. Of course, don’t forget to thank me later.

Those products are potential winners.

A final thought on spotting winning products

Of course, it is super tempting to add some random products into your shopping list, but you have to understand that the secret to succeeding in this line of business is stocking only the top-performing products.

Following our 8 super tips would inch you closer to finding the best products for your mini importation business in Nigeria.

And of course, we always advise people to look towards China when sourcing for products for mini importation and our reasons are simple.

Why you should consider buying from China

buying from china- Chinese port of Ningbo
Chinese port of Ningbo

There are probably over 101 countries to source goods for your mini importation business from, but what makes buying from China the right business decision?

Export growth has been a major component supporting China’s rapid economic expansion and over 30 years, the Chinese economy has been growing rapidly with growth rates averaging 6%.

This is very commendable.

Global economies of scale apply when single-country markets are not large enough to allow competitors to achieve optimum scale.

In these situations, firms try to achieve efficiencies through coordination of procurement activities across the world.

Of course, this is necessary to remain competitive.

In an era where almost every consumer is frantically searching for higher quality commodities at lesser prices, sourcing from China offers raw opportunities to firms to offer superior products at more affordable prices.

This is a recipe for sustained business growth, larger customers’ base and superior profitability.

And of course, everyone wants this.

So, in this section, I am going to walk you through why smart businesses in Nigeria are utilizing China for their sourcing needs.

8 super reasons to import from China

buy from china-gwadar port in china
Chinese port of Gwadar

Perhaps, you are not aware that out of the 6000 Wal-Mart suppliers, 5,000 are located in China. Every year, the company spends billions of dollar sourcing products from China.

Of course, just like Wal-Mart, a lot of global brands depend on China for most of their procurement needs.

But what is driving this mad rush for Chinese goods?

Let find out…

China is the world’s leading trading nation

In 2013, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest trading nation and for about 6 years now, they have maintained the position consistently.

Their annual trade in goods passed the $4 trillion mark for the first time in 2013.

The official records show that in 2013, Chinese export rose 7.9% to $2.2 trillion while imports rose 7.3% to $1.9 trillion.

Of course, Chinese understands the business of buying and selling more than the average nations.

Chinese goods are the cheapest

The good thing about this is that you can resell the products to people at below-market prices and still cash out very big, and of course, you can still bargain the prices offered to you in China.

When compared to other countries, the cost of labour in China is relatively cheaper and this is partly responsible for the low cost of their products and of course, Chinese exports enjoy zero per cent value-added tax.

So, these make China a hot zone.

Leveraging this helps firms to buy more than they would have bought if they had imported from other countries using the same amount of capital.

The high-profit margin from Chinese products

Of course, you already know why this is so.

The low cost of Chinese products and the relatively low shipping prices help businesses to cash out with superior profitability.

Nobody wants to miss out.

Chinese products are world-class

Today, a lot of quarters refer to China as the “factory of the world”

Industrial production does not take place in isolation, but rather relies on networks of suppliers, component manufacturers, distributors, government agencies and customers who are all involved in the process of production through competition and cooperation.

Of course, these and Chinese massive technology make China the largest “depositary” of world-class products.

China is a contract manufacturer

Of course, you would agree with me that building a new factory, importing and installing the machinery, hiring and training staffs, maintaining a functional production line year-in and year-out is never an easy task.

Perhaps, you don’t know that some of the products in Nigeria are actually manufactured in China and branded with the company’s identity and then shipped to Nigeria.

Of course, China runs this business model for firms that lack the capital, human resources and the technical know-how to maintain and manage their production line.

China has the world’s largest number of contract manufacturers and a lot of top global brands are actively leveraging this to control cost.

The good news is that you don’t even need to have millions in your bank accounts to get started, you can always start with any reasonable amount.

Thankfully, this guide can help you whenever you are ready to get started.

Shipping from China is easier

Of course, shipping from China is a lot easier than people think, especially if you are using a mini importation agency to handle the freights.

The good thing about using them is that you don’t have to deal with the stress of handling lots of paper works, the annoying immigration officers, the soul-crushing queue at shipping offices, the epic rush for forex and of course, the clearing at the home port.

All these are taken care of by them at ridiculously low prices and some would even deliver to your location.

On average, it costs about $8.5 to ship 1kg of any product safely to Nigeria from China and about N500 to clear the product in Lagos.

I am sure, this is fair enough.

A final thought on why you should buy from China

AliExpress has over 150M buyers from 220+ countries and a daily visitor of over 20 million people. Of course, this a clear indication of the level of global trust on Chinese made products.

The truth is a lot of people and firms are leveraging China to solve their sourcing needs, achieve efficiency, scale business growth and attain super profitability.

And of course, it won’t hurt doing the same.

But make sure that you understand your target market first and the type of products that appeal to them. Get started with the amount of capital you have, no matter how little.

Of course, don’t forget to use a mini importation agency, it would save you a lot of stress and money.

How to start a mini importation business in Nigeria

how to start mini importation- a cartoon load of imported products

Of course, the rise of digital technology across the world has made starting a mini importation business in Nigeria as simpler as ever.

But before I would walk you through how to get started with this in Nigeria, I would love to point out a few things on how mini importation from China works.

Usually, there are two options when buying from China.

Buying from Chinese websites

Of course, this is the simplest way to import from China. All you have to do here is to go to any of these Chinese websites 1688.comtaobao.comAlibaba.comjd.compinduoduo.com and search for the products you want to import.

However, placing the orders, making the payments, packaging the goods from the different suppliers together and shipping to Nigeria could be quite impossible for a buyer importing from Nigeria.

So, this is where a mini importation agency comes in.

They would take your order and make the purchases in your name, make the payment using their Chinese bankers, gather each of the orders from the different suppliers and ship them together to Nigeria.

The agency would also monitor the consignment throughout transit to ensure nothing goes wrong and clear them immediately the consignment gets to the home port.

If you stay outside Lagos, they would deliver to your doorstep using a local courier.

Fortunately, Hugo Diamond charges only 5% for this service.

This means that if you buy goods worth N10, 000 from China, you would be charged only N500 as commission.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the stress it would save you.

Sourcing directly from manufacturers

The good thing about sourcing directly from Chinese manufacturers is that you can request for the products to be manufactured according to your specifications.

Of course, you can request to have your business name, logo or any of your trademarks on the products. The good thing is that it won’t even cost much.

The only problem with sourcing from manufacturers is that it takes more time to get the goods ready than when you are buying directly from Chinese websites.

The truth is this is not actually a problem. Of course, unless you fail to plan your supply chain management very well,

But using a good China sourcing agent would help you to stay on top of your game, they would find the best manufacturer that suits your needs, negotiate for best prices, monitor production for the quality, package and then ship safely to Nigeria.

Luckily, this is not expensive, Hugo Diamond charges only 6% as commission.

Now, how do you get started?

Of course, there are couples of agencies in Nigeria that handle procurements from China, but you could leverage Hugo Diamond for all your procurement needs.

We help businesses to buy cheaply from China and ship to Nigeria with ease. We are built on relationships, results and recommendations.

And of course, our records speak for us.

So, in this guide, I would walk you through how to use Hugo Diamond to start your mini importation business in Nigeria.

Let get started.

First, sign up

Go to www.hugodiamond.com to create a mini importation account.

Provide a username, your full name, email, password and phone number to complete the registration form. Check the box to accept the terms of service and then click on the Register button to complete the registration.

It is that simple.

Pick the goods you want to import

If you are interested in buying from Chinese online stores, then head to any of these websites 1688.comtaobao.comAlibaba.comjd.compinduoduo.com to pick the goods you want to import.

Create an account on the websites before browsing through the goods, now copy the link to all the products you want to import and then log into your Hugo Diamond’s dashboard.

But if you are interested in buying customized products or sourcing directly from the manufacturers, then ignore this step and head straight to the next step.

Place your order

On your dashboard click on the New Order button and fill the order form correctly.

If you are buying from any of our partners’ website, then drop the products’ links you copied from the Chinese online stores and fill all the fields correctly.

But if you are not, then give us a description of the goods you want to import.

Submit the order form when you are satisfied with your orders.  We would process the order and then send you the order quotation in your dashboard. You can always view it by clicking on the View Details button.

Make your payment

Use any of the provided account numbers to make payment into our Nigerian bank account, then upload the payment screenshot or teller in the dashboard.

Once we confirm payment, our Chinese office would start working on your orders immediately.

Of course, it is that simple.

A final thought on getting started with mini importation using Hugo Diamond

At Hugo Diamond, we have simplified the process of importing from China.

With just couples of clicks, we have made it possible for people and businesses to import anything into Nigeria from China with ease in a matter of weeks.

In the last 1 year, we have helped over 1300 happy clients to execute impactful procurement solutions and our portfolio keeps growing consistently.

Of course, we are good at what do.

You can learn more about us, our pricing, our exchange rate, the shipping rate and lots more other by checking out our frequently asked questions.

How to promote your mini importation business in Nigeria?

promote mini importation business- an image of a lady with mega phone

Perhaps, a lot of people would agree that one of the most challenging tasks for most businesses in Nigeria, including a mini importation business, especially the new ones is promoting to the right customers.

In an era where consumers are bombarded with a lot of advertising noise every day getting the attention of the right people could be quite difficult.

But in this case, how would cut through the noise to get your message across?

Of course, it is simple.

Thankfully, this article has compiled 5 ways you can promote your offline store to your potential customers for free while this article would show you exactly how smart businesses in Lagos are leveraging guerrilla marketing to drive massive awareness.

Of course, with over 3 billion active social media users spending an average of 142 minutes per day on social networks and messaging, leveraging social networks could be a sure way to unveil limitless opportunities.

Thankfully, this article has compiled 5 social media networks you should consider for your business.

You might want to check out these 3 articles, of course, they would get you started.

It’s time to get started with mini importation

Of course, today, you don’t have to be in China to start an importation business. The good thing is you can even start with any amount you have, no matter how little.

At Hugo Diamond, we combine people, experience and technology to deliver uniquely inspired solutions that help people to buy from China with ease and ship safely to Nigeria, right to their door-steps.

We have executed solutions that drive results.

You can sign up anytime to get started with mini importation business in Nigeria and of course, in the meantime, don’t forget to use the share button below.

You might be helping a soul.

Seeking to get started with mini importation business in Nigeria? Then SIGN UP NOW

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