Based on my experience so far as the country logistics manager of Mimi Logistics (Mimilogs Nigeria) and from my previous work experience as logistics officer with several other shipping companies, I want to speak on certain mistakes young enterpreneurs, especially Nigerians make in this latest survival trend called mini importation business that every Nigerian youth is jumping into for survival, and if you don’t want to waste your little savings trying to start a fruitless importation business, then you need to relax and read through the expository article below:
Before you start to import any product into Nigeria as a business, please have a sales and marketing strategy. I keep telling people this. It seems most Nigerian youths jumping into importation business now just wake up and start to import just anything they see in China thinking they will become the next Billionaire Aliko Dangote like that, or maybe they attended the wrong importation business class that misinformed them on how to succeed in importation business.
The most annoying part of it is that, when experienced importation business experts make out my time to do a detailed importation class for Nigerians, most will not attend the class because they will want it to come as a free training or at a penny, while some will prefer to be cutting corners by learning with their hard earned money they waste importing non-sellable products from China...and some prefer attending poorly cooked importation classes organized by uninformed importation business coach wannabes telling them that they can start importation business with 20,000naira and make 500,000naira in one month, how? It could have been possible some years back when the importation business wasn’t saturated but not now that the market is oversaturated due to high youth unemployment rate in Nigeria since 2015.
As a young entrepreneur trying to succeed in the importation business sector, the number one key to a successful importation business is 'market research'; you need to make thorough research about fastest and hottest selling product at the time you want to import, followed by marketing and sales strategy to reach the right buyers of that hot-selling product, because if you don’t have good marketing and sales strategy, even if you import the hottest selling products, you won’t be able to sell them because people won’t patronize you.
As I am typing this, we have millions of naira tied down by people who imported things they don't even know how to sell, so they abandoned their imported products with us after we have wasted so much money shipping these goods for them from China to Nigeria. Some just hear about mini importation business and how people are making millions from it, and without any research or attending an importation class organized by a seasoned successful importer or player, and boom they rush and use their last savings to buy things without any backup plans of how to pay for the shipping from China to Nigeria, so when the goods arrives Nigeria, they start to scratch their head, and some abandon their goods with shipping agents because they don’t have any other money to pay for shipping.
As funny as it may sound to you, some don't even know that there is anything like shipping and custom fees....they thought once they pay the Chinese merchant in China the cost to order the product in china, it will be brought to them in Nigeria or their home country for free....so when you tell them that they need to pay for shipping and custom when it gets to Nigeria, they scream. I have encountered a good number of people in this category.
Honestly speaking, all those quack importation training classes I see their advert online that claim they will train people on how to become a millionaire through mini importation business for 2000naira, 5000naira are causing more harm than good in Nigeria because they teach Nigerians nonsense, and they end up wasting their meager savings on fake, substandard Chinese products that are not supposed to be in existence.
And for those who go to 1688 scouting for products of 0.4 RMB, 1 RMB, etc and you buy 5pcs of it at 5 RMB and then pay local freight of 10 RMB and also pay for shipping from China to Nigeria, listen to me, you are wasting your time and money, no importer has ever became rich doing that.
Those successful traders and importers you see in big markets in Nigeria like Onitsha Main Market, Balogun market, Trade Fair, Alaba, Ladipo, Computer Village, Lagos Island market, etc that inspired you into making an entry into importation business don’t import like this.
In case you are wondering where they source their goods, I am sorry to inform you that they are buying from the same place you are buying in China, but the difference is that they don’t go and buy 3pcs of 100 different products, from panties to bra to boxers to jeans, to cooking pot, kettle, fan, table, shoe, bag, bedsheet, cap, toys, etc, they focus on one particular product, and they buy that one or two products in very large quantity and they ship it by sea and wait for it to arrive to save shipping cost and that is why their products are cheap and still they make lots of profit and you will be wondering why people in the market are selling cheaper than you, the secret is focus on one or two products you have researched and buy them in very large quantity so that the supplier in China can give you wholesale discount price instead of buying 2pcs, 5pcs of different products from 100 sellers, it is a waste of time and resources, you won’t make profit like that as an importer.
You need to start thinking about building your own brand…that is where the money is, I will stop here for now. Feel free to ask me questions on my personal WhatsApp page or follow Mimilogs Nigeria on social media platforms (@mimilogisticsng, I will organize a detailed importation business training soon for serious minded importers who want to become millionaires through importation.
To order anything on 1688, taobao, alibaba, etc in English using Mimilogs simplified Android Mobile App, CLICK HERE
To deliver goods or parcels to your buyers in any part of Nigeria using Mimilogs Android App CLICK HERE
Frank N. Anok,
Country Logisitcs Manager,
Mimi Logistics (Mimilogs Nigeria)