Importation as can be guessed is the act of bringing in goods or services from another country into someone’s country with the aim of either making use of these goods and services or selling them for profit. The latter is usually the main reason why people import goods and services.
To some people, this business remains a mystery to them as they have not had someone to take them by the hand through all it takes to start the business, where to buy from, where to sell, and how much they are assured of making from the business.
In this article, we would take you through all the steps that are involved in buying such goods and services, importing them, getting them, selling them and cashing your money. But before we start, it is important that we buttress the numerous advantages of engaging in importation business and also some hitches that you might encounter in the course of importing goods and services.
Before we proceed, it is important that we let you know that you can start importation business with any amount you have.
Also, we advise that you read through this article before starting this business. In other words, do not read some portion of it and then start this business. This is because; the whole article makes up the business and you will find out that you need to know everything herein before starting the business.
What are the advantages of importation business?
Every sphere of human life is met with advantages and disadvantages as the world is not a bed of roses. Everything in life is full of risks and only those that take risk make it in life.
Importation business is not left out of this. Below are some of the advantages of importation business:
There are cheaper than buying from local markets: don’t get it twisted here! But the truth is that importing from other countries in bulk is cheaper than buying from local markets because of several factors. Taking Nigeria for example, buying electronic gadgets from our local market is way costlier than having it imported for you.
Some products that can be gotten for less than $15 in China can be sold in Nigeria for higher than $60.
You make lots of profit: Yes! You make lots of profit from importation business. For some products, you can make as much as 300% pure profit from the goods you import. This is why you need to start this business and make your own money with ease.
For example, you can get women’s necklace for as low as $8 and when imported, can be sold comfortably for $40 without having issues with customers.
You mustn’t have a shop or travel to the country before you can import: Yes! From the comfort of your room, you can start this business and make lots of money. Also, you do not need a shop to sell the products when you import them.
We will take you through all these in this article; all you need to do is to continue reading.
What are the possible disadvantages of importation business?
Below are some of the disadvantages of importation business:
Fraud: because it is done online, many people often fall victim of fraudsters because they either do not know, or are very curious. Some people get their credit cards hacked, and all their money withdrawn, some also get duped into sending so much to people who never send their goods.
Goods never reach their destination: this is another disadvantage of importation business as so many people do not get their goods. This is caused by either going for logistics companies that do not deliver to the person’s location, buying from fraudulent suppliers or just incompetence on the side of the logistic company.
Having discussed the advantages and disadvantages of importation business, let us now start the main business of the day.
How to choose products to import
As one of the disadvantages of importation business states, you may end up not finding someone to buy your product or might have low market size because the product you imported does not have any need or has little usage. In this section, we would tell you how to choose a product or products to import.
The niche of a product determines to a large extent the fate of the product when you finally import it. A market research for products that people will like to buy is the key to this. We all know that people especially women like buying wears, makeups, etc. and will kill to have it if they hear that it was imported.
Electronic gadgets and other technological gadgets are very cool and less competitive. You can buy them cheap from other countries and sell them at a very high cost (higher than the amount used to buy them obviously but not too outrageous).
Also, healthcare products have large market size due to the situation of things in most parts of the world.
Goods that are hard to find locally are also good and will sell fast when imported. Just look for goods that you know are not easily seen within your locality and order for them immediately. With little advertisement, you will find ready markets that cannot be easily saturated.
How do I find genuine suppliers?
At this point, you must have found products that you wish to import. The next thing is to find where you can buy them from. This is where so many people fear the most and their fear is as a result of the probability of getting a genuine supplier that will get their products delivered to them.
Obviously, you need to buy them online, and so we would be looking at trusted websites where you can buy the product that you must have chosen.
Below are some of genuine supplier websites that you can buy goods to import from:
Aliexpress.com: this is about the most trusted online supplier site where you can buy virtually everything you can think of. It is a Chinese company with great reputation and good security and as such, you should not worry about the security and privacy of your data.
There are few things I would like to tell you about Aliexpress.com so as to ensure your successful usage of the site.
Firstly, you will need to register and login to the site, and then find the product you wish to buy. It is advised that when the list of suppliers show up for the product you wish to order, you should look for suppliers that have TRADE ASSURANCE logo on their profile. Having this logo means that the said supplier have been verified by Aliexpress.com and certified.
Also, each supplier has reputation, and as such you should buy from suppliers with high reputation.
For the method of payment for Aliexpress.com, you can make use of ALIPAY (a payment processing platform developed by the company) and so, make sure the said supplier accepts ALIPAY for you to be on a safer side. This doesn’t mean you cannot buy from other suppliers who do not accept ALIPAY anyway.
iPmart.com: this is a Malaysian online retail company that was launched in 2001 from where you can find goods that you can import. As in Aliexpress.com, you will have to register with the site, and then shop for goods. Any chosen good is automatically placed in your cart and you can checkout whenever you are done.
Also, make sure you look at the reputation of any supplier from which you wish to buy from.
Amazon.com: just recently, the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos was named the richest man on earth. His online store has grown so much that almost everyone knows about it. You can also import goods from Amazon and get them shipped to you.
All you need to do is to visit amazon.com, register as usual and start shopping and as with others, make sure that you check the reputation of the supplier you wish to buy from to avoid being duped or falling into the hands of fraudsters.
Ebay.com: this is yet another well-known and reputable online store where you can buy virtually everything that you can think of. On Ebay.com, goods are also auctioned and this makes it possible for someone to buy goods at even more cheaper prices at certain times of the year.
You are also assured of safety and security when making use of the platform.
Newegg Inc. is a leading online retailer site that has more than 10.5 million products that can be bought from virtually every part of the world. For them, the quality of service is their keyword and as such, security and privacy is assured.
Other sites where you can import goods from include:
How do I pay for the shopped products?
At this point, you must have added so many products to your cart and it is time to pay for them. There are several ways through which you can pay for these goods, some of which are costlier than the other.
Dollar account: In Nigeria for instance, you can open a dollar account with your local bank and then make use of it to pay for such goods. This method is used by many who do not know alternative ways to pay for these goods and this method is very expensive as these banks charge so much per transaction. I don’t advise anyone to make use of this method.
If you decide to make use of this method, visit your bank and inquire about how to go about opening one.
Payoneer.com:Payoneer.com is an online platform that is used to receive payments online for freelancers and others. In other words, it is meant to be used for receiving money from people outside your country. The people who make use of this process are freelancers and some of them withdraw from it at will with their card.
These freelancers also sell their funds to others who have a Payoneer.com account and wish to use it for other internet businesses. You can find people, who have Payoneer funds to sell, buy them and make use of them in paying for the goods you wish to buy.
To open an account, just head over to www.payoneer.com
and click on the signup button. You will be asked to input your shipping and postal address and other details. You are advised to provide your correct details as an ATM card will be sent to your address within 14 working days.
To find more about how to make use of Payoneer, head over to their website and read their FAQ. It is also advised that you should have valid national ID card before opening an account as you will be required to verify your identity the first time you receive payment.
PayPal: PayPal is another medium through which you can pay for goods and services online. Some countries have restrictions on this and so, what most importers do is to use VPN to create foreign accounts and then, get funds into it.
It is advised that before you plan to open any country’s PayPal account, especially USA account, you find more about how to manage it. This is to avoid being flagged and you can lose your money. There are also people that create such accounts and you can contact them for it. These people can be found on Facebook groups, pages and on popular social media forums.
To register for PayPal, head over to their site and complete the registration process. it is important that you know that sometimes, they will require you to supply your debit card details as a measure to prove whether or not the account is yours and also to verify your identity.
How do I ship the purchased items to my destination?
In purchasing goods online, you should make sure the goods you add to your cart have free shipping option to your country of residence. This is to enable it get to you. You cannot purchase a good that will end up not being delivered to you.
For example, if you are in Nigeria and you wish to buy an item and get it shipped to you, search for goods that have free shipping services down to Nigeria and add to cart. This can be found by refining your search results till you see those that allow free shipping to Nigeria.
Once you find them, provide the address that you want the goods to be shipped to, choose the delivery option and then proceed to checkout. Note that shipping fees might be applied to some products.
If you do not want to buy from Amazon, there are also ways through which you can ship items down to your country. There are logistic companies that you can make use of. We would discuss some of them here:
Shoptomydoor.com:this is an American logistics company located in Houston, USA. They help ship goods for people down to their location from USA. All you need to do is to head over to their site, register with them and they will provide you a USA address that you are to make use of whenever you want to provide shipping address on any USA online retail site.
With this address, the goods will be delivered to them in USA and then, you will be required to provide your true shipping address on their site where they will deliver them to. Once you make payments for their service, your goods will be shipped directly to your country and their country agent will get the goods delivered to your doorstep.
Valuehandlers.com: this is another useful and very effective logistics company that allows you shop in a number of countries and get your goods delivered to you in Nigeria. They work in a similar way with other logistic companies i.e. they give you a unique shipping address for any country you wish to import goods from, notify you once they receive the goods and then once you pay for their service, they ship your goods down to you.
On ValueHandlers.com, you can ship items from China, India, USA, France, Egypt, Germany, Malaysia, UK, and Canada down to Nigeria.
Chrisvicmall.com:this is another logistic company that can help ship goods down to your destination from foreign countries. With Chrisvicmall.com, you can import from tmall.com, aliexpress.com, taobao.com, etc.
Just like the fore mentioned duo, you will be provided with a valid unique shipping address in any country that you wish to import from, and then once you pay for the service, the goods are shipped down to your country and delivered to you.
It is also important to note that these logistic companies charge depending on the weight of the goods in question (in KG) and also based on your location. Their fees vary from company to company and so, you should make sure you compare the fees before choosing anyone.
Other logistic companies that you can make use of include:
St. Patrick Logistics
How do I then sell the imported goods?
At this point, you have the goods you purchased delivered to you and you are in possession of it. The next thing is how to get these goods sold to your customers, and making money off them.
Ways through which you can sell your goods:
Local shopping sites:
There are several ways through which you can sell your goods and they could be through local shopping sites. In Nigeria for example, you can register on online malls like jumia.com.ng, konga.com, yudala.com, etc. For people from other countries, you can find local sites in your country and sign up with them as a merchant.
Internet advertisements: this is another effective way of selling the imported goods. You can run adverts on certain social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and then get contacted by your potential customers.
You can include your contact details from where the customer can contact you, design landing pages where customers can be taken to and possibly make payments for your goods.
If the customer is not living close to you, you can make use of local courier service companies to send the goods to him or her and get paid. This will not only save you some time, but also make sure you sell more goods and also, save you some stress.
In Nigeria for example, there are local courier service companies that you can use for this.
Some of them include kos.ng, giglogistics.ng, epsng.net, etc. Just visit any of their sites, find out more about how they work and start working with them.
People from other countries can as well search the internet for local courier services that operate within their country.
Sell to local retailers: you can sell these imported goods to local retailers at a high price. That is, take the goods to retailers or wholesalers around you; sell to them at high prices. This is the easiest way of selling your imported goods as they will do majority of the work.
You can find someone in a local market that sells the goods you bought, negotiate with the man and sell your imported products to him. You might even tell him to sell the goods on your behalf and obviously promise him a percentage of the money realized.
You can also tell him the price you sell them and then let him add his own price to it at will.
Open up a shop: Yes! You can also open up a shop for your imported goods and sell them yourself. You must not be the one to sell the goods, you can employ someone to do that for you and just monitor the business. This way, you make more profit from the goods.
I strongly believe that we have done justice to importation business. It is now left for you to start this business and make lots of money for yourself.
Do you have any question regarding any part of this piece? Feel free to let us know through the comment section below. We would love to hear from you and would love to see you succeed in this business.