How Nigerians Can Make Money Importing Product From China?

How To Start an Importation Business in Nigeria-Lagos

There are waves of people out there who genuinely seek to get into the importing business. They however have two major hindrances, which is:
- Startup Capital and
- Where to set up their shop

These set of people already know how to convince people to buy their product. They however ask themselves this question: “How can I lay my hands on $6500 in order to order my first consignment?”

If you truly believe this is the major factor that has hindered you from establishing your importing business, to be frank with you- I must sincerely tell you that there is more to it than just solving the above problem.

What then are the other challenges?

Other challenges you need to solve include:

- Product you need to sell?
- How to ensure you are not scammed
- The way to carry out your research

Before diving into the question in the previous paragraph, I will start with the first question:

How To Get a Start Up Capital To Fund Your Importing Business?

According to, some of the ways people can source for finance include:

- Personal savings
- Friends and relatives
- Bank and Credit Union
- Venture Capital Firms: these are firms that help expanding companies grow in exchange for equity or partial ownership.

N/B: Venture capitalist firms are not interested in funding business models that are focused on the importing business.

As for friends and relatives you can ask them to offer you start up capital.

However, don’t borrow money from them- reason being that a default can lead to enmity and break in cherished relationship.

If you desire to go use the bank and credit union route- ensure you prepare a sound business plan as this would send a signal to lender that you are prepared and organized.

Most banks would request for collateral before you receive loan from them.

Is this then the end of the road for your importing business?

The answer is no, because the answer lies in your ability to target high profit low cost product.
Before I talk about how to find your perfect product which requires you do a thorough research. I want to explain how you can go about setting up your shop to maximize profit.

Where to Set Up Your Shop for Your Business

I have discovered that several people who desire to own a business are scared of committing their time because they have an ingrained fear that their business needs a rented shop-Which can cut deep into an already empty pocket.

If this is your dilemma-then you have no problem-reason being that there are lots of sites online where you can list your products for free.

For Nigerians who desire to set up their own physical shop, but have been hindered due to insufficient capital to rent one, I recommend you set up the shop on

Setting up the shop is like a walk in the park. It doesn’t require you to have the most of skills and the best part of it is that it can be done for free. All it takes is a little of your time so that you can create an awesome product description.

Once this is done, you are good to go.

For non-Nigerian- Amazon, e-bays and Etsy are great sites to list your products, especially if you are looking to target multiple countries.

Now you know that getting the money to set up a shop doesn’t need to cost you much-I am sure that your confidence to start up your own online importation has gotten a boost.

What it Takes to Earn Money From Importation?

To avoid a situation where you lose your hard earned money, perhaps from borrowed fund that can make you lose your collateral; it is important you aim to:

- Get a good product
- Get A good supplier
- Leverage other Sales Channel Finding a Good Product

There are two major ways to find a good product. They are mainly:

1) Use of Guts
2) Use of research

Use of Guts

You need to understand that finding a good product should be your number one target –without which you will end up having thousands of dollar worth of worthless goods lying in your basement, garage or wherever you decide to stock your goods for onward sale to buyers.

For example, when I decided to start my importation business, I did a little consultation with a friend, and decided that speaking openers would be a good product to get into the country.

Moving forward, I checked out the cost implication and resolved this wasn’t going to be a good order, because, its cost price was on a high side, compared to its non-speaking alternative. As a result of my finding I discarded the idea. Now, this doesn’t mean that this particular product may not be appreciated and actually bought in my region. My guts just told me that this product may become a failure in the market place.

This however, should not be the ultimate deciding factor i.e your guts, because there are further research which you can also do to determine if that particular product is actually a lucrative one.
A person who adopts the guts route could order a sample from Alibaba, post the images on , Amazon or E-bay or any other specific site as the case may be.

He or she could then write a post on forums, or blogs to promote the goods. After which the person could see if the post has done relatively well by the amount of sales made. If sales are not forthcoming, the individual can then pull a plug on the product.

This method as you can see, wastes a lot of time that would have been spent ordering the right product from the start if one had adopted the research method.

Use of Research

This is a more scientific method of finding a good product. By using this method you are sure to reduce your risk threshold.

In using research, ensure you take not of the following:

1. Counterfeit product: Counterfeit products are the fake of an actual brand name. An example is importing a product such as Apple phone covers-a product not produced by apple but named after Apple.

This kind of product may bring you tons of cash, but it can lead to tarnished reputation which may take forever to correct. So instead of starting your business on such foundation, its best you go the legal path.

Wondering, what products are legal to import into your country? Check out the following links:

2. Bulky Goods: While bulky goods may have a large profit margin, these goods are sure to eat into your profit, because shipping is usually charged according to weight and size of item.
Hence when doing your research, ensure you check the item size. This will go a long way in reducing your shipping cost.

3. Illegal goods: They are related to counterfeit goods but not the same-to explain further; illegal goods are goods which may be genuinely be produced by the actual brand but isn’t accepted into a country or place. Some illegal products include guns and bombs. They may also include restricted items that require special authority for you to get them into your country.

Having taking note of the following: The next step is how to find that perfect product to sell.

How To Find a Profitable Product

Of all the research process, I consider finding a profitable product of utmost importance-without which your importing business is doomed to fail.

You might have gotten every other thing right but if this is done wrong, it can be likened to a man going to confront an irate mob with his bare hands. Such a man has decided to sign his death warrant.

Before diving into a step by step method on how you can find profitable products, you need to understand that common items which you can buy in your every day store are not considered profitable products. Products which fall under this category include towels, tissues, spoon e.t.c

Has Doubt Set In.?

Now in actual sense these items may appear profitable because they meet the following criteria:

- Less bulky
- Have a healthy price margin
- Not counterfeit/illegal

But you need to understand that these products aren’t going to be profitable since:

- They are so common and
- There are lots of competitors

What Then is a Profitable Product?

A profitable product is one which is:

- Small and Light

- A specific niche product: This product is not something like your common towel or necklace-not even something like the “clock necklace”. It should be something like a “Silver Owl Pendant Clock Necklace”

- Sells to Customers for $9.99-$200: Now you need to understand that profit can be made under and over this range. But there is a huge risk involved.

The Risk

Items over these range require lots of capital hence it’s not advisable you go for this kind of product (this doesn’t mean am 100% right). Secondly, these items may lead to huge loss in situation where the consumer demands a refund.

For item under this range, it is tougher to create sizable revenue, especially if the volume of demand is low. Secondly, most product under this category, are usually run by big importers; hence you are sure to face strong competition.

- A good Profit Margin: These are products that are sold at close to twice the price. These products provide for healthy profit margin since shipping cost has to be put into consideration.

- Steady Stream of Buyers
You need to ensure that the product you order can be sold all year round. It’s advisable you don’t sink your money into items which are seasonal as you will end up not selling your product till that point in time.

Having mentioned factors you should put into consideration if you decide to order a products-listed below are products you shouldn’t dabble into:

- Products sold by big supermarket chain

- Big time Sellers: These are the guys who already sell thousands of units on a platform.

However, you can still go this route with a product if you can find alternative platforms where you can offer them.

- Avoid Counterfeit Items: You sure might be wondering why the emphasis, it’s because if you fail to adhere to this advice, you may end up getting your finger burnt.

The Research Proper: How to Find a Good Product

To start your research you would need the following websites:
- Alibaba
- Amazon
- E-bay
- Jumia

In order to come up with an idea you would use, you could:

- View random objects around you in order to see if any of the items listed could later become potential success. The next thing is for you to list them down e.g talking openers, led light bulbs, flower vases, fruit blenders,

- Think up trending items-you can use Google Trends to do this research.
- Think Crime protection- Items like video cam, could be useful in areas that are crime prone.
- View items randomly on e-bay/Amazon/Jumia—this could stimulate an idea of a potential product you could do more research on.

Once you’ve gotten a list of potential products idea-you should run it through the FEATURES you shouldn’t put into consideration. If any of them fails to meet the requirement-you should discard. For those that pass the test, you should list them down.

If you’ve forgotten the features, here they are again:

- Cheap to ship- size and weight is taken into consideration
- Not too fragile
- Can be bought throughout the year—avoid seasonal items
- Not contraband/illegal
- Low refund rate

After this process, now is the time to find good suppliers

How to Find Good Suppliers and What to Do Next

- Visit Alibaba
How To Choose Genuine Supplier on Alibaba

To find quality suppliers, click on Alibaba and key in your item with the appropriate filters (suppliers) not (products). Make sure you also select Gold Suppliers-as this would help save you tons of time and money you could lose to scammers, then try to drill down the suppliers to ten people

- Contact Them

Once you’ve drawn up a list of potential suppliers, the next step is for you to mail them.

N/B Don’t use your personal mail or you would end up being inundated with spam mails.
All you need to do is for you to send a generic one-these guys are looking to do business so they would most likely contact you.

In the your mail you are to create, ensure you demand for their price and Minimum Order Quantity i.e MOQ

- Determine Which Suppliers You Would Work With.

When you have been sent a couple of replies, you can then compare the price and payment terms-Check out for the best price. Once you’ve had a sufficient number, basically 3-5 suppliers-you can then make sure they meet the following requirement:

-Ability to pay through PayPal or Escrow: If at this point they suggest that the transaction cannot be carried through an Escrow or PayPal platform –you had better take a leave no matter how cheap the price you are offered.


It’s because their account has most likely been banned.

- Order Your Samples

Once you’ve been able to nail the suppliers you want to work with-the next step is for you to make your sample order. This is usually done through e-mail. In the mail you are to send, tell them the address you want the product delivered to and the cost you’re willing to pay. The payment should be done through PayPal or an escrow account.

If you decide to use any other, you risk being scammed of your hard earned money as there is no financial protection for such transaction.

n/b when you are taking delivery of your samples, make sure the samples are sent via DHL, EMS, UPS, FEDEx and TNT. Also know that the shipping price may range from $25-45 and the delivery takes between 7-20 days.
Once you’ve taken delivery of your sample, the next step is for you to test the product.

How To Test Your Product in The Market Place.

To test your sample in the market place, all you need do is to upload an image of the sample alongside a written description on the target site.

Your product description should be written properly such that the keywords people are going to use to find your products are included.

If your product is an alternative- you can spend a little money on advertisement in order to expose your product to a larger audience.

Now You’ve Tested the Sample, What Next?

If the sample sells, you could order more, but if the sample doesn’t sell or the sale is not as you anticipated-there are a couple of things you should do.

- Determine if the slow sell is as a result of improper search optimization-if so do proper optimization

- Diversify you product placement- this helps gives your product more exposure.
If you’ve done this and you’re not seeing much progress, then you had better go to the drawing board and pick another product.

By doing this, you would certainly cut your loss than going all the way to make bulk orders only to end up having you basement filled with unsold items.

Sorry to have forgotten, once you’ve gotten the product-you’ll need to send the product through post. All you need do is send the package through a reputable body.


When you use a reputable organization to deliver your product, you are sure to increase your positive feedback. And more positive feedback is proportional to more sales; since people look forward to buying from people who they consider to be trust worthy.



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