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How to Start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria



Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

Due to the fact that Nigeria is still underdeveloped. Nigeria still depends solely on the importation of goods to survive when it comes to food, clothing, electronics, and even petroleum products. This is one of the main reasons why starting a mini importation business today can be a lucrative business in Nigeria.

In today’s article, we will be explaining everything you need to know about starting a mini importation business in Nigeria, what I call the a – z of mini importation. In this article, we will be looking extensively to know if a mini-importation business is profitable, the cost or the capital needed in starting the business, the requirements, and how to start a profitable mini-importation business.

Let us face the fact, not all of us will be farmers nor will we be exporters of farm products. Some of us are meant to start a mini importation business where we can sell products to the local market and make profits massively. However, it is important you know the kind of products you want to be selling as a mini importer and where you want to be importing your products from.

Is Mini Importation Business Profitable?

Mini importation business is a profitable business in Nigeria due to the fact that Nigeria is unable to produce important products its citizens need. For example, Nigeria produces cotton but it does not manufacture clothes. For this reason, it only exports raw materials and allows import for the enabling of finished goods to be accessed.

Another example is petroleum products. Nigeria produces crude oil but it cannot refine its crude oil into petrol and other petroleum products. For this reason, Nigeria exports its crude oil to enable the import of finished petroleum products. Today, you can become a millionaire by importing different products into the country and making money. Check out how to start a filling station business in Nigeria.

Cost of Starting Mini Importation Business

Many Nigerians really interested in the mini importation business want to know how much it will really cost to start the business in Nigeria. Do you know that with a small capital of #50,000, you can start your own mini-importation business in Nigeria? I bet you do not know.

However, it does not apply to all products you want to import. This capital is only applicable to importers that want to import fashion products into Nigeria.

Requirements to Start a Mini Importation Business

There are three major requirements, tools or equipment needed to start a lucrative importation business in Nigeria. 

1. Capital

You need capital. This capital will be used to buy the products you want to import into Nigeria. Capital can also cover the purchase of a laptop and internet subscription for the business.

2. Internet Subscription

You need an internet subscription to be able to visit international e-commerce stores to be able to make orders and pay online. 

3. A Phone or Laptop

You do not necessarily need to use a laptop to begin a mini importation business in Nigeria. You can use a phone as long as the phone is internet enabled. But if you can afford to buy a laptop you can go ahead to buy one. Read our article on how to make money with your phone in Nigeria if you are thinking about making money with your phone too.

Types of Imported Products

There are majorly two types of products in the mini importation business anywhere in the world. We have hot products and evergreen products.

A. Hot Products

 Hot products are products that are only sold in its season. If you sell a hot product in Nigeria when it is not in its season you will make losses. I often recommend people to go into the sales of hot products if they only want to do a mini importation business for a short while.

This means that you just want to do the business to make fast profits and you are out of it. An example of this is when you decide to import umbrellas into Nigeria during the rainy season. This move during this time makes umbrellas a hot product because people need umbrellas during the rainy season.

For this reason, you will be able to sell all the umbrellas imported fast either selling them at a wholesale or retail level.

B. Evergreen Products

Evergreen products are products you can sell anytime, any season in Nigeria and you can still make profits from it. The only thing is that the profits might not be as fast as that of the sales of hot products. Evergreen products are best for people that want to do a mini importation business for a long time, unlike the sales of hot products that are for beginners.

How to Start Mini Importation Business in Nigeria

If you are thinking of starting a profitable mini importation business in Nigeria here are the steps to follow.

1. Get the Required Capital

I would have written you doing proper findings as the first step to starting this business but there is no need because we have covered that earlier in the article. So capital is the first thing you need to sort out first before any other thing in this business.

Capital is the lifeline of every mini-importation business in Nigeria. The type of product, quality, and quantity will determine the capital needed to start your mini-importation business in Nigeria. The country you are importing goods from also plays a role.

For example, it is cheaper to import goods from China than any other country in the world. Importing goods from countries like the USA is quite expensive, that is why cars imported from the USA are very expensive.

Another question many Nigerians ask is if you can start a mini importation business in Nigeria with zero capital. Well, in as much as I wish this is possible it is not. You need capital to start this business. Check out how to get funding for your business in Nigeria.

2. Choose Products to Sell

After getting the capital needed to start your mini-importation business in Nigeria, the next step will be choosing the products you want to import into Nigeria to sell. There are different products you can import and sell in Nigeria. The most popular goods are:

1. Clothing

2. Shoes

3. Jewelry

4. Baby items

5. Auto spare parts

6. Soaps or cosmetics

7. Building materials

From experience, I will advise you to go for products you are familiar with and can easily sell or go for products you have done detailed findings on. I will also advise you to go for quality products to create a standard for both you and the goods you sell.

3. Register the Importation Business

Registration with all necessary regulatory bodies in Nigeria is important especially if you plan on running your mini importation business for a long time. If you are going into it for a short time you might not really need to register your mini importation business.

For all checks and balances, you need to register your mini port business with The CAC – Corporate Affairs Commission. If you are importing foods or drugs you need to register your product with the NAFDAC – National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control. Read our guide on how to register your business name in Nigeria.

4. Locate an Online Seller

There are many online sellers in the world. Some are based in China, the USA, Japan, the UK, and others. Many of these sellers have e-commerce stores. All you have to do is visit these sites to shop for goods by buying in large quantities and get the goods imported to Nigeria.

The most popular online shopping websites to shop for and import products are:





You can other your products from these websites above. They are all based in China. To other from these websites, you need to first convert the cost of the goods from yen to naira before paying.

5. Order Products from Online Store

You need to pay for your products after selectively choosing them on the e-commerce store. You can use your naira MasterCard to pay as long as it can be used for online banking. If the debit card you are using cannot be used for online banking it is best you go to your bank to get a debit card suitable for this alone. 

Check out how to shop online safely in Nigeria for more details on payment and how not to lose your money.

6. Get the Products Shipped

After paying for your products you need to choose a clearing agency to import your products from China or any other country to Nigeria. If you do not have too much money to pay before delivery you can simply pay after the products are delivered to your doorstep. The cost of importation is relatively expensive.

However, the weight of your goods determines how much you will be charged for importation to Nigeria. After all these, products take 14 to 21 days to arrive in Nigeria.

7. Start Selling your Imported Products

It is important for you not to wait for products to arrive before you start advertising your products and creating a customer base so that when products arrive at your doorstep you can start selling them immediately. Depending on your kind of products you can sell to sellers (wholesalers) or simply sell as a retailer to customers.


Mini importation business is a lucrative business in Nigeria on all sides. You just have to choose wisely the products you want to sell to the Nigerian market. Foreign exchange also plays a vital role in the prices or cost of products in the mini importation business in Nigeria.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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