Before now, you couldn’t start an import business if you didn‘t have a lot of capital. Under the traditional model, small businesses couldn’t buy directly from overseas manufacturers, and as a result, were unable to enjoy the low and favorable prices that only the big importers enjoyed.
Thankfully, all of that has changed. The internet has brought down the walls which used to restrict access to manufacturers located thousands of kilometers away.
Improvements in transportation and logistics now make it possible for small businesses with little capital to import smaller amounts of stock at low shipping costs. Finally, entrepreneurs and small businesses can enjoy the same low wholesale prices that the big importers have enjoyed for a very long time.
To join the new and growing league of small business men and women who can now import products at low wholesale prices directly from overseas suppliers and manufacturers, here’s all you need:
- A computer or mobile phone with access to the Internet;
- A valid email address;
- A valid and traceable home or office address in your country where the items you order will be shipped to; and
- A Debit/Credit card (same as an ATM card) to make payments.
Where to buy from?
China! Although there are other places to buy from like Europe and America, everybody knows that China is one of the lowest cost manufacturers in the whole world. Toys, home appliances, accessories, computers, laptops, mobile phones and even Apple’s iPads are made in China. In fact, many of the big brands that you know (like Apple, HP, Louis Vuitton etc) make their products through factories and contractors based in China.
How to Buy?
You don’t need to travel to China. From the comfort of your bedroom, you can order for any goods you want using a computer or mobile phone. After a couple of days, your order will be delivered to your address in Africa! It’s that easy! Here are the top eCommerce sites we recommend:
Aliexpress has become the leading destination for small scale importers looking to buy goods at wholesale prices from China. It is one of the subsidiaries of the Alibaba Group which dominates internet-based commerce in China and was recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the highest IPO of all time ($25 billion).
Every day, Alibaba’s portals handle more sales than its competitors (eBay and Amazon.com combined).
DHgate is a Business-to-Business (B2B) e-Commerce website connecting China-based small and medium sized businesses with buyers overseas. The website is a fast trading marketplace where users can order Chinese manufactured products directly through the site. The company has been in business since 2004 and is backed by investors KPCB, JAFCO and Warburg Pincus.