Mini Importation Business in Nigeria: How to Start ?


When you think of importation businesses, you imagine multi-million dollar industries. You drool at Guess and Givenchy. You picture silk and spices loaded in caravans. However, that’s not all it’s like importing goods to Nigeria. You can purchase anything you lay your eyes on from other countries at minimal costs and still make a profit. Only this time, technology is with you. Here’s what you’ll need to do to start a mini importation business in Nigeria:

1. Find Your Niche

Once you have the capital, you can buy anything from batteries to bedsheets in bulk for your consumers. This can be based on the availability of a particular product that isn’t generally manufactured in Nigeria but has high demand – for instance, mini umbrellas.

The price of a product can also push sales as a product that requires much cost and effort to build in Nigeria can be manufactured and sold for a much cheaper price in a country such as China. Start with a small category and expand slowly.

You might be also interested to read: How to Start a Catering Business in Nigeria

2. Purchase from Source

Suppliers are available in volumes, but finding a reliable one with easy access from Nigeria can be a headache. As you are starting out small, you can look into online retail markets with a high number of followers and reviews such as Amazon, Alibaba, AliExpress, and DHgate and sell them in your country at a higher price. Some measures you may need to take are:

  • Receiving a pro forma stating the seller’s quote on the product
  • Creating a credit letter at your bank
  • Verification of the goods being shipped
  • Receiving documents from seller
  • Collecting your goods.

3. Making Payments

Purchasing and shipping goods come with a few costs. The process can be completed easily with the help of the internet and a debit card, but when things get rough, it’s better to opt for a retainer. Here are some more equipment for which you might need to expand your budget:

  • Laptop/ Computer/ Mobile Phone
  • Internet access
  • Office Supplies
  • Postage
  • Travel expenses

You can add other supplies such as a printer or a copier and office furniture. If you want a physical location for your store, you will need to increase your capital by multi fold for the additional cost for store furniture, employees, and electricity. You will also need an email address too, but that comes free.

4. Marketing and Selling

Your trade channel starts from a manufacturer/exporter and ends at a retailer or consumer. An importation business allows you to be the only one or one of many middlemen. To market your products, you will need a huge network, marketing skills, and advertisement, and that comes after proper planning and targeting.

When approaching virtual selling, you can build your own website, social media page, and register yourself at an online marketplace such as Jumia or Konga. When it comes to selling, create an appropriate structure for your pricing as you have the cost of labour and materials, office, shipping, and overhead costs. You don’t want to shoo your customers with a high price tag.


That’s just about all you need to know to start a mini importation business in Nigeria. One thing you should keep in mind is that if you don’t have a nick for marketing or selling and cannot delegate the processes, your chances of pulling off a successful importation business in Nigeria are slim. Then again, if you have the commitment, go for it. Do what you love!