Life is full of surprises, as it is commonly said; change is constant. Several decades ago, when we talk about importation business, one must have millions of naira to start an importation business. But today the case is different as people sit in the comfort of their homes, in their underwears, order for products online, pay for them online and receive them right in their homes. In this article, I will be giving you a step by step guide on how to start mini importation in Nigeria or any other African country.
To be a mini importer, you don’t need to be a computer guru or internet marketing guru. All you need to start mini importation is the desire to succeed. Here, I will be giving you detailed, step by step guide on how to start mini importation in Nigeria or any other part of Africa.
What do I need to start Mini – Importation?
To start mini importation below are a few and simple steps you need to take
1. Get a Debit Card
When we talk about mini importation, we are actually talking about an importation that does not require you to buy very heavy items in a container as most importers do. Mini importation is easier as you can actually buy different items online, pay online and get your Items shipped to you at the comfort of your home. Since you will be transacting business with people online, it means you cannot see the suppliers one on one to pay cash to them, so what you need to do is get a debit card from your bank, it can be Master or Visa Card but I prefer Master card as it is easier to use online. GTBank’s master card is a good one. Another one is Stambic IBTC bank. I have been using GTBank’s master card until very recently when I found out that Stambic is cheaper when paying for goods on international sites.
If you already have a GTBank account or Stambic IBTC bank account, I guess you should have a master card, if not you should visit any branch of GTBank or Stambic IBTC bank to request for a master card but if you don’t have an account with any of the two banks you can walk into any branch of GTBank or Stambic IBTC banK to open an account and request for a master card, which should be ready within two weeks of opening the account. There are other banks you can use if you are in Nigeria but I will just stick to the first two above as I have been using them and have not experienced any problems with them.
Now, there are important steps you must take if you intend to use GTBank master card on the internet. I assume that you have already gotten your GTBank master card. Now using it on the internet will require you to take some steps and I will take them one step at a time.
• Apply for their Internet Banking either through GTBank website or you go straight to any of their branches nearest to you.
• Next, purchase their Token. This Token cost N3000 as at the time I got mine so I suggest you find out from your GTBank branch. It is used to generate code when making payment online. It is for security purposes anyways and it is a must.
• Login to your GTB Online Banking account and get an Activation Code
• Register your card on MasterCard website.
Then go ahead to register and activate your card on MasterCard website.
How to Get Your Activation Code This is so simple to do. All you have to do is log into your Internet Banking account, and generate the code. Please follow the steps below to get your Activation code: Once you’ve gotten your Internet Banking activated and gotten your Token, GTB must have sent you your internet banking login details, which comprises your Username and Password. Most times, your Username should be a part of your old account number.
First, head over to GTBank website at www.gtbank.com, locate their Internet Banking section by the right, click it and login with your login details.
Before now, you should have your Username and Password handy. It will be given to you after applying for the Internet Banking. After clicking Login, a small window will pop up. After loading, click Continue and the login page will appear.
So enter your login details to log in finally.
For the complete guide on how to get your activation code, contact with the email address at the end of this post.
Now, if you have successfully generated your code, it is time to start your mini importation business. But if you are using Stambic IBTC bank, you don’t need a code or token, all you need is get your master card, and go to your bank branch or any other branch and request for activation of internet banking on your account and you are good to go. You will receive a one-time pin from Stambic IBTC bank any time you want to make payment online, and with that pin, you can safely make payments online.
So let’s go over to the merchant site to start importing.
2. Sign up at Aliexpress
To import products from China, you have to register on Aliexpress site. The registration is free, so click on www.aliexpress.com
3. Search and Locate the Item you want to Buy
Aliexpress has thousands of products on their site ranging from
Computers & Networking
Auto Parts & Electronic
Home & Garden
Shoes & Accessories
Sports & Entertainment
Bags, Cases & Luggage
Jewelry & Watches
Health & Beauty
Toys & Hobbies
And much more…
But in this article, I will be using a wrist watch as an example.
Now, How do you Buy Goods from Aliexpress?
Since I have talked about getting your master card, and signing up with Aliexpress, I believe you have already done all that.
Now, go to www.aliexpress.com and log in with the email address and password you used when you signed up at Aliexpress.
Here I will use a particular watch brand, and that is Geneva watch. So go to the search area on the site, type in Geneva gold watches, in the search result click on the watch that appeals more to you, read every information about the watch, then verify the seller, at Aliexpress there are thousands of sellers but some of them cannot be trusted, so to be sure that the seller of the item you intend to buy can be trusted, you should read the feedbacks from other buyers.
Now, if the feedback rate is between 95 to 98% then that seller can be trusted, especially if you see a positive feedback of a buyer from Nigeria or any other African country. Another feedback you can trust is from UK or USA. These people are difficult to please, so if you get a good feedback from a buyer from the UK or the USA you should know that such sellers can be trusted with quality.
Another way to verify the seller is to check if the seller is a “gold” supplier or has Aliexpress verification badge.
The next thing to do after verifying that the seller can be trusted, chat with the seller or contact the seller using the contact form on the page.
When contacting the seller some of the questions you should ask are:
Is this item (the watch) still available for sale?
Can I have more than one color? (That is if you want to buy more than one).
Ask him for a discount especially if you want to buy more than one.
If after contacting the buyer you are satisfied with his response, you can go ahead to order your item by clicking on the buy now link to order for your wrist watch.
But before you make your payment be sure to find out from the buyer if you can pay through escrow, escrow is an online payment platform where your money is kept until you confirm receipt of your goods and satisfied with the order you received.
At Aliexpress escrow is powered by alipay.com. I strongly advise you use escrow and avoid using all other payment methods.
Let’s look at the payment methods on Aliexpress
Telegraphic transfer (TT)
After placing your order and paying for your goods through escrow. Your order will be shipped to you using your choice of shipping but because most of the shipping methods are very expensive, you can, choose free shipping and get your goods without paying a dime for shipping. Though the free shipping is always slow, as it takes about 60 – 90 days to get your goods shipped to you but if you are not in a hurry, to get your goods, you can make do with the free shipping but if in a hurry, there are other ways to get them shipped at a cheaper rate which I will be revealing to you in my e-book soon.
How to Sell your Imported Goods
Now that you have known how to import your items from Aliepress in China, you need to start your mini importation business as soon as possible, do not procrastinate. So, I want to assume that you have imported your items using this guide.
Now selling your products is a very important aspect of your business, as that is the only way you can make a profit since every business is intended to make a profit.
The first place is to start with your friends and family members.
Having said that, I strongly advise that you put back your profit into your business and go back to import more. You should pay your tithe if you are a Christian and put the rest back into your business, and import more goods as the more goods you buy the more money you make. It is also ideal for you to build your business strong before you start spending your profit.
This is all you need to start a mini importation business, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on Whatsapp – 08185741226, or call 08030648867.