How to Start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria: A 6 Step Guide (2024)

  • October 1, 2023

Mini importation business in Nigeria is a lucrative one that could make you millions of naira in a matter of months, as it requires low capital to start.

The amazing thing about the business is that all you need to get started is just your mobile phone, and you can run a successful mini importation business in Nigeria.

Although this business has been around for a long time making people lots of money, it gained more attention during the covid-19 pandemic, as people, especially young entrepreneurs, are cashing out millions over millions from the business.

Since then, the business has gained ground, as entrepreneurs, even students, have started venturing into the industry.

Having you here, I believe you too want to make some money from the business, and that’s why I have curated this post to show you from start to end exactly how to start a mini importation business in Nigeria and make a lot of money.

Are you ready to learn? Let’s get started then!

What is Mini Importation?

Mini importation is simply the importation of goods on a small scale from abroad.

As a business, mini importation involves buying and importing goods on a small scale from abroad directly from the manufacturer and/or supplier at an affordable rate and then reselling them for profit.

How Does Mini Importation Business Model Work in Nigeria?

mini importation business in Nigeria

Also known a mini importation from China to Nigeria or Mini Importation 1688, the mini importation business in Nigeria often deals with the buying of goods usually from China, via online B2B platforms like Alibaba and Aliexpress, then have the manufacturer or supplier deal with the shipping from China, while you deal with the clearing, forwarding, and pick up here in Nigeria, and then getting the products listed for sale.

This business works well in Nigeria as mainly, lots of fancy stuff are imported into the country by big companies after all. Mini importers gain an edge over big companies because they sell at high prices, and may not even promote the products.

Although when you think about the whole process involved, you may come to the conclusion that mini importation is hard and may cost a lot of money to start in Nigeria.

However, that’s not the case as even students can venture into the business as long as they have an Android phone. 

For the cost, you can start with about any amount, as you can get good products for cheap prices from those Chinese websites.

Read Also: How to Start A Dropshipping Business in Nigeria

How to Start Mini Importation Business in 2023: Step-By-Step Guide

Mini importation business in Nigeria
Credits: Istockphotos

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to start a mini importation business in Nigeria in 2023:

Step #1: Get Prepared

First of all, you need to do some quick but thorough research about the business, and how good it is in your area.

Meet with people already into the business, and carry out detailed research by finding out some things about the business including:

  • How do they get their goods delivered
  • Which clearing agent do they use
  • The best courier service
  • How they market their products
  • And where to start from.

Although you’ll get the best result if you can meet face to face with someone already successful with the business, the issue is they are very hard to find. An alternative way to do this is to join Facebook and/or WhatsApp groups about mini importation, and hopefully, you could find someone to connect with.

See Also: How to Start Exportation Business in Nigeria and Make Millions

Step #2: Get to Understand the Business and Pick a Niche

To start a mini importation business in Nigeria, you need to first understand some vital aspects of the business, and one of them is niche research.

Although some people start spreading across every niche in order to find a winning product. This is a very bad idea, especially for beginners. You’ll need to pick a niche or two maximum to start with.

In order to know the best one to go with, you’ll need to do a little market research. Find people already in the business whether online or offline and politely ask them what niche is currently performing with the mini importation business in Nigeria.

Step #3: Source for Products

After knowing the niche you want to start with, the next thing is to find the products to sell.

Of course, if you go on Alibaba or Aliexpress, you’ll find a lot of eye-catching products you can sell. However, the truth is that many won’t sell in Nigeria, and some may be too expensive.

While sourcing products, you need to keep the following in mind.

  • Make sure the product solves a problem
  • Make sure it is not too expensive 
  • Go with light weighted products to reduce shipping cost
  • Go with products with free shipping or a very low shipping fee
  • Make sure there’s already a proven market for the product.

Once all these requirements are met, you can proceed to the next step.

See Also: How to Start POS Business in Nigeria and Make 5K+ Daily

Step #4: Place an Order

After finding the best product to buy, the next thing is placing your order by paying product cost, and shipping fee.

While placing your order, ensure to pay attention to every detail on the page, as there are usually two ways your order could be fulfilled, and they include:

Free Shipping

This method of order fulfillment, or product delivery is the slowest yet most profitable, as you will not pay a dime for the shipping.

This method is usually offered by China manufacturers if you buy from Alibaba, and it may take three weeks or more for your product to arrive in Nigeria.

As a beginner, this is the best method to start with, as you can easily track the shipment with China and Hong Kong Post. Just make sure you add your phone number so that the post officials can call you when your product arrives.

— Express Delivery

This method of product delivery is the fastest and usually available if you order products from the US, as courier services that offer this type of order fulfillment include USP, DHL, and FedEx.

This method costs a lot, even more than the product cost sometimes. However, you’ll get your product within 2 to 5 days.

Also, this method doesn’t require the involvement of a clearing and forwarding agent, as you can claim your product for free at a nearby DHL, FedEx, or USP office.

Related: How to Make Up to 5K Daily on the Opay App

Step #5: Start Selling

After the order has been fulfilled and you get the product, the next thing is to start selling, and this is where the real work begins.

Of course, it is easy to pick a niche, source for the best products, and have them shipped to your doorstep, but if you don’t make a sale, your money, time and effort is wasted.

There are many ways of selling products in Nigeria both online and offline. Just that they both involve marketing. Let’s see how!

How to Market Your Imported Products

Marketing your products is the best way to start selling, and the cool thing is that there are lots of ways you can do this.

1. Make Use of Social Media

Social media is the first and most effective way of marketing any type of product. There are millions of users on various social media platforms, and if your product is catchy, you’ll definitely get sales.

You can start with your own social media profile, join multiple Facebook groups, post your products, and start getting traction.

To get the most out of social media marketing it will be best to try running an ad for your product. In terms of ecommerce, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok ads do well and are likely to bring in lots of sales if done the right way.

Keep in mind that the success of this type of marketing depends on the type of product, and how good-looking it is on camera. Making videos of the products will also help.

2. Market Offline Through Word of Mouth

As a beginner, the best way to start marketing your product even before using social media is to pitch family, friends, neighbours, etc., about your product.

Show them your products and encourage them to buy. This works well for all types of products. If you can make sales this way, you’re likely to get more sales through social media.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is also a part of social media marketing that works well for mini importation business in Nigeria. Using this method, someone else with thousands of followers will post your product on their account.

This marketing strategy works like magic in Nigeria, although not everyone knows it. It is a little bit expensive but more likely to pay off than not. 

Imagine having a Nigerian celebrity post your fitness product on their page. Just take a time to think about the amount of likes it will get! A lot, right?

And with the “copy copy make me fine” mentality of most Nigerians, you make sales. After all, it is posted by their favorite celebrity which means it is good for them too.

4. List Your Products on Ecommerce Websites

Another method of marketing your imported product is to list it on ecommerce websites like Jiji, Konga, and even Jumia. There are lots of people on this platform looking for products to buy.

Step #6: Get the Product Delivered to Buyers

In some cases, especially when you sell your imported goods through social media, you would have to deliver the product to the buyer.

To achieve this, you can use some logistics companies in your area, or waybill the product directly to the customer by sending it to motor parks. Ensure that the cost of sending the products is sorted by the buyer.

Check Out: How to Start a Logistics Business in Nigeria

How Much Do You Need to Start a Mini Importation Business in Nigeria?

Mini importation from China to Nigeria could be very profitable, although what draws people back about the business is not having clue about the startup cost.

This is because when they hear the word “Importation” they know that they’ll be dealing with foreign currencies which may be a lot when converted.

The Nigerian Naira is weak against many foreign currencies, but that’s not the case with mini importation, as you can get products for cheap prices even less than N500 from China.

With that cleared, you can start mini importation business in Nigeria with less than 5,000 Naira. This money will cover the cost of the product, shipping fee, and even clearing and forwarding fee here in Nigeria. Although, you may need more if you want to start big.

See Also: 35 Businesses to Start with 50K in Nigeria and Make Millions

Is Mini Importation Business Profitable in Nigeria?

Yes, mini importation business is very profitable in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, if you’re serious about the business and get things right with little luck, you can become a millionaire in less than 6 months.

This business is very profitable because goods are very cheap in China, as that’s where they are often manufactured. So, you can buy a piece of jewelry for N700, sort the shipping, as well as clearing and forwarding fee for N1,300 making N2,000 in total, and sell it for N5,000 Naira in Nigeria keeping a profit of N3,000. Mind you, that’s just one product, imagine making hundreds of sales.

While you can make a lot of money from mini importation in Nigeria, some factors such as currency exchange, shipping fee, clearing and forwarding fee, loss of goods, etc., may affect the profitability of the business. So, have that at the back of your mind before starting.

See Also: How to Sell on Jumia and Make Money from Home

Mini Importation from China to Nigeria 2023 – FAQs

How do I become a mini importer?

To become a mini importer, you need to understand how the business works, have the capital to start, have an Android phone or laptop, find suppliers from abroad, get a clearing and forwarding agent, and join an online community to grow.

What can I import and sell in Nigeria?

Goods that you can import and sell in Nigeria include clothes, shoes, necklaces, wristwatches, home appliances, kitchen utensils, and so on.

What is the difference between dropshipping and mini importation?

Although they both work almost the same way, with mini importation, you’ll have to see and touch the products before selling, or delivering them to buyers, while dropshipping involves shipping products directly from the manufacturer to final consumers without having to see or touch them, as the seller (Dropshipper)

How to start mini importation with zero capital

To start mini importation without any money, you’ll need to find and advertise products as pre-orders. Once you find a buyer and he/she pays for the product, you can then use a portion of the money to buy and import the product from abroad and deliver it to the buyer, then you’ll keep the remaining money as profit.


Mini importation business is a very lucrative business that anybody can start even as a student, teacher, housewife, or graduate, and even if you have a standard just, you can make it a side hustle.

With this post on how to start mini importation business in Nigeria, I believe you’ve known how the business works, the cost of starting, and also how to drive sales.