Start Mini Importation From China to Nigeria In 5 Steps

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Starting mini importation from China to Nigeria can be a lucrative business idea to grow your income. But knowing how to go about it can be daunting. A lot of questions may be going through your mind, like:

  • How can I start importing goods from China to Nigeria?
  • What can I import to Nigeria to make money?
  • Do I need free mini-importation training to get started?

The good part is that you don’t need a lot of training to start importing goods from China. 

In just five steps, this guide will explain the entire process of starting a mini-importation business from China to Nigeria. I’ll walk you through finding a good product to import and how to sell your imported products to the right buyers.

How Does a Mini Importation Business Work?

explanation of how mini importation works.

Mini importation business entails purchasing goods at a cheaper rate from big markets like the one we have in China and shipping them down to Nigeria. The next thing is distributing or reselling these products to the customers who need them.

Usually, in this business, there are different approaches to how marketing needs are met.

  • You must only import goods that your target audience is demanding, or else it will be a total waste
  • You don’t necessarily need so much capital or any capital to venture into this business if you first run a preorder before purchases are made.
  • Adopting bulk purchases such that profits are maximised effectively
  • Most importantly, avoid scammers since you’ll most likely be shopping from 1688.

How to Start Mini Importation From China to Nigeria in 5 Steps

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step process of mini-importing goods from China. We’ll also cover some great marketing strategies after this section.

Fully Understand Import Trade

We already mentioned the possibility of being scammed in the business or even overspending, which highlights how important it is to understand the importation business fully.

  • Where your significant expenses will be coming from, e.g. with goods clearance
  • How to identify your key suppliers 
  • Confirm you can translate Chinese to English using the Google Chrome translator
  • Confirmation that you’re not importing contraband or illegal products
  • Then, the duration of shipping your product(s) from China to Nigeria

In most cases, making your customers pay upfront for these goods before you start importing and delivering as promised is advisable. This especially is key to the sustenance of your business as you don’t want to over-promise and not deliver, and that is why the shipment duration ought to be confirmed.

Select a Niche for Products

Now, you don’t just go into the mini importation business to select random stuff online to resell. People need to know you for something, and that’s why choosing a niche first is essential. This will help you identify with a procurement officer or Chinese supplier in that same line of business.

Identify Hot Products in Your Niche

As stated earlier, you need to look at your environment/audience and discover their pain points. This is key to learning, selling and distributing products in your importation business. 

Here’s an example: if you leave in a school environment, there’s need to go for products students need more, like comfortable bag packs, sun shades, clothes, etc. If you’re in a rural environment, products like mosquito nets would go well for families.

Without bogus capital, you make six figures as profits if you discover and import products on demand.

Source for Products

If you want to start mini importation from China to Nigeria, the cheapest site to source products is the 1688 site. On the site, you can translate to English for easy readability. Upon product selection, carefully go through their customers’ reviews and product specifications. This would help you decide whether to go for the product from that particular vendor because, as they say; reviews don’t lie so as to avoid bad or fake products.

Order Products From Supplier

When you’re all set with your product selections, you can make payments to your supplier(s) for them to be shipped to you. Usually, it takes 30 days to ship from China to Nigeria, or you can go for delivery by air, which takes much fewer days to get to you. This delivery method is more expensive and suitable if your products are light.

100 + 8 Hot Selling Products in Nigeria
Most Profitable Items to Import From China to Nigeria

How the Goods Are Delivered From China

Your goods are delivered from China to Nigeria through direct supplier or logistics company dispatch. With the first option, you get direct updates through the tracking ID provided by the supplier shipping your product. On the other hand, some logistics companies can handle everything regarding the shipment of your goods and alert you once they arrive in Nigeria. 

What Do I Need to Start Mini Importation Business From China to Nigeria?

The materials you’d need to start a mini importation business from China to Nigeria are easy to find. They include;

You can start this business on pre-order terms, where your customers pay upfront while you order their goods and make them available. In a situation where you know what product is high in demand, you’ll need your capital to bring in that product in bulk so that they’re ready-to-buy products, hence the need for start-up capital.

How to Get Customers for Your Mini Importation Business

You need a marketing platform if you want to go big on the mini importation business, and this platform could be an online store or physical store(s).

The good thing is that you can run both stores with or without so much capital.

You can use your social media audience and followers to sell your products. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, and TikTok are online platforms where you can get customers and sell high-demand products.

You can partner with physical store owners who sell connecting products like yours or supply to malls instead.

Benefits of Starting Mini Importation From China to Nigeria

Out of the numerous benefits that come with starting mini importation from China to Nigeria, the most essential three are these;

Affordable Products

The Chinese market is probably the only place you’d find very affordable and quality products to import. This is, in fact, very good for anyone starting the importation business in Nigeria as it helps you to sell at your rate comfortably and still beat the market rate of your location with that particular product.

The Perfect Side Hustle

As a mini importer who is clear about the customer base, the goods and the supplier, you can comfortably combine this with a 9-5 job.

Aside from importing goods from China to Nigeria, you can grow an active community of people who want to learn how it’s done and make money off it.

Then, when you’ve understood how the business works fully, you can start outsourcing your duties and navigate to other businesses

High Profits

The mini importation business tends to yield high profits, as much as six figures. The equivalent value you make as profits is relative to the kind of goods you sell, but there’s more to the 6-figures.

Your marketing strategy is essential as it would make you grow your visibility and customer base and, eventually, sell out more.

What Can I Import From China to Nigeria?

If you’re looking for what product to import from China to Nigeria, the focus should be on what’s trendy and what people use often.

  • Hair extensions and accessories
  • False nails and lashes
  • Mobile phones, screens and accessories
  • Clothes and underwears
  • Packaging materials
  • Jewelries and the likes
  • Computers and their accessories
  • Footwears and bags
  • Baby items

The Best China Mini Importation Sites

Aside from the 1688 site, there are other Chinese websites where you can make purchases at low rates compared to buying from other countries. These sites come with their own regulations and shopping terms so it’s advisable to have a clear understanding on how they operate first. Some of them include;

Alibaba wholesale online shopping platform that’s majorly focused on business needs and purchases. Therefore, the platform connects these businesses with Chinese manufacturers

1688 is the cheapest Chinese wholesale site where retailers and small businesses majorly buy their products from

Taobao is another site where products are sold at very cheap rates but solely to Chinese consumers. This is a site you can explore if you have a Chinese friend who’s willing to shop and ship to you.

JD Global is equally a Chinese wholesale store but in this case, operates on their own rather than the usual onboarding of different sellers on the site. This makes them contain the amount of damages or common supplier-customer problems plus logistics is super fast from their end. 

The popular AliExpress is where individuals visit on a day-to-day basis to purchase goods. As a mini-importer, you can go through this site too to select your goods and then ship them down to Nigeria.

Chinavision is suitable for purchasing electronics as they sell at reasonable rates and do well with overall customer service and distribution.

How to Start Mini Importation With Zero Capital

Starting mini importation with zero capital is very much possible; however, you need to have built trust with your customers, which is where preorder comes in. Preorder sales allow customers pay you upfront with details of what product(s) they want you to import on their behalf.

  • Provide testimonials of a few customers who you’ve successfully purchased their products and delivered to them
  • Clearly communicate when you’ll be importing your goods from China
  • Encourage your audience who’d like a few things to engage and state their needs on time. (This would equally help you see what’s mostly in demand)
  • Make sure to give them a definite time on when they’ll receive their goods based on your calculations from previous experience
  • Purchase quality products through a good supplier so they can happily refer others to you. And you know referrals are equally dependent on good customer service.
  • Then, ask your customers for more reviews to add to your credibility and social proof


Once you’ve mastered mini importation from China to Nigeria, you can start looking at expanding your business. One way to do this is to start offering pre-order services. This involves posting images from your suppliers on your social media accounts so your customers can order them in advance. You can check out our article on how this works. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Import to Nigeria to Make Money?

Products you can ship from China to Nigeria to make money include; Phone accessories, including phone pouches, human hair and hair care products, packaging materials for brands and sportswear, including jerseys and boots.

What Documents Do I Need to Import Goods From China?

For starters, you may not necessarily have to go through the hassles of providing legal documents before buying and importing products from China. You will need your ID card for identification purposes upon pick up and your tracking ID.

What Sells Most in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, the ladies’ products sell more simply because it’s never enough. These products range from skin care products, hair care products, jewelry and cosmetics, lashes and nails, to body enhancement products. Another hot-selling product in Nigeria is gaming products. These are items that never go out of trend and have the probability to make more enormous profits.

How Much Is 1KG From China to Nigeria?

Currently, a 1kg size of your goods will cost approximately 6,000 NGN ($5.6) depending on the dollar rate in Nigeria today, which keeps fluctuating. In most cases, it’s advisable to split the delivery rate amongst your customers so that it’s cheaper to them and doesn’t come in like a burden to you.

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