The first step is to look for the market before the product. The mistakes most people make is to look for a product to sell before the market to sell the product. Let us assume that for now, you are at the demand, market research stage. Let us assume that you have already found a market and demand for hair extensions, phones, accessories, women wares just to mention a few.
Here are a few tips
Before now, small business owners have to go to big importers and buy goods. However, technology has made life easier, with a smartphone and laptop, small business owners can now directly make orders from manufacturers and suppliers in China. If your intention is to import in large quantities, visit www.alibaba.com, this is an e-commerce platform that connects Chinese manufacturers and suppliers with foreign buyers around the world. You can browse the products you are interested in using your budget, product specifications, cities and so on. The good news is that you can communicate directly with them, get a quotation for free or even chat with them on WhatsApp.
Alibaba.com has an English version and all listed manufacturers and suppliers on this platform are verified. Now, most of the manufacturers and suppliers have limited quantity order but they are nice to allow you to order for a sample for a small fee or free. There are various ways to make the payment for orders, such as bank transfer, the manufacturers or suppliers will state the preferred mode of payment in the invoice.
The images below further illustrates how one can bypass big importers and buy directly from China.
Delivery by ship takes approximately 2 months and it is cheaper compared to other forms of shipping. Delivery by Air is more expensive and takes approximately 24–72 hours. Shipping by postal service is an option, but remember, except you are shipping to other parts of the world like Europe, where the postal service is more efficient.
If you need a recommendation, you can contact this number 08083631468, he is the founder and CEO of Olureg4 Logistics, his company handles logistics services from China to any part of the world. The company Lagos office is at Lagos Trade Fair Complex.
If you are seeking other business opportunities in China, you can join the Africa Business Chamber of Commerce, China. They help facilitates trade and business between China and countries in Africa. Visit https://afbizcham.org/
No Access to Huge Capital But You would Like To Import In Smaller Quantity? No problem
There are a few people without access to buy in large quantities from foreign manufacturers and suppliers due to low capital. Of course, you can still do mini importation and make a little profit margin. Below are a few steps.
Sites to order from?
Don’t worry about getting scammed, the mentioned sites above have a buyer protection scheme in place to make sure that you do not get scammed.
‘This mechanism, also known as ‘Escrow’, is the same role the banks have played in the import business and international trade for a long time. The way ‘escrow’ or buyer protection works is simple. Rather than pay the seller directly, Aliexpress, DHgate, and iPmart withhold your payment until you receive the products you ordered and confirm that they are not fake/damaged.’
Most of the sites mentioned above offer free shipping but shipping may take up to 2 weeks. In addition, there are different shipping offers on the e-commerce platforms mentioned above.
I wish you all a remarkable success in all your endeavors.
About The Author
Adetunji Bolorunduro has expertise in Business Strategy, Business Development and Chinese Investments in Africa. He writes regularly for Richtopia, Opera News, Africa Business Chamber of Commerce among others.
In addition, he is a co-founder of China Link Education (www.china-link-edu.com) and AfricaCv.com