Defining your market as a mini importer.

Defining your market as a mini importer

Defining your market is the beginning of successful mini importation business. You see, people who do well in mini importation understand that it all begins with clearly defining your market – the audience you wish to serve. It is this audience that determines the kind of products to sell and at what price. The ground rule to obey in mini importation is to never fall in love with any particular product. What you are interested in is a product that will give you maximum return on investment.

The right product is essentially a function of knowing the people you want to serve. A product that is right for one market may not be right for another. There is a product for mums and another for dads and yet another for single ladies and men. 

Who do I want to serve?

Defining your market requires that you ask the question: who exactly do I want to serve with the products I want to import? What kind of people are they? Are they rich and affluent or are they price sensitive? Rich and affluent people are only interested in quality and functionality. Once the quality and functionality are right, they can buy at almost any price. This is important even when trying to advertise on any social media platform like Facebook. We will come to this later.

When you focus on the poor, then you need to go for products that provide value at the best prices. The poor or lower-middle-class persons are extremely price-sensitive. None of these two markets is better than the other; it’s all about what you think you have the stomach for. 

Selling Online or Offline?

The market you wish to serve will also determine the means of reaching them. It is not all markets that can be served online. This is crucial.

Not all products can be sold online. For instance, products with very low margins cannot and you should not bother selling them online. TO successfully sell any product online, you need to be very clear about the costs associated with such a venture. I have seen many people trying to sell cheap products online. Without any investigation, I can almost guarantee that such people are either not profitable at all or barely surviving.

Be Clear About your Costs

In selling online, you need to be very clear about the cost of acquiring one customer. What do I mean by this? You need to know how much it costs you in advert spend to make one sale. If it costs you $5 to sell one product and the landing cost of the product is N2,000, then the new cost is N3,800. This is not where it ends. You also need to know the cost of delivery and what the VAT is on the product. I recommend and in fact, insist on charging VAT for every product you sell online. If you are doing business, then you should be a responsible citizen by collecting and remitting your taxes. If you are wondering how to do this, we can recommend some of the best hands for SMEs.

When you put into consideration the cost of delivery, which can be from N1,000 to N5,000 depending on where you are relative to the customer, then the new cost will be from N4,800 to N8,800. This is just your cost. You need to now determine the profit margin that makes sense to you.

Purchasing Power is King

The question to ask is: what kind of audience will be willing to pay this amount for this product? Note that the poor or lower middle class are extremely price-sensitive and so do not make buying decisions based on the features of a product. No matter how feature-rich a product is, if your target audience is poor, they will not buy.

We have seen beverage companies in Nigeria producing and repackaging their products for the poor. They know that as long as the milk is sold in big tins or packs, the poor will be left out.

If the poor want to buy a pair of shoes, what do you think his considerations will be? The answer is price. He is always interested in making a great bargain. A person who is this price-sensitive will definitely not pay N1,000 or more for delivery when he can walk to the closest market to buy.

The rich on the other hand will consider a delivery cost of N1,000 extremely fair. We have seen the rich or upper-middle-class persons pay N6,000 or more for delivery for a pair of shoes.

I have taken time to explain this because if you go into mini importation business without clearly defining your market, you will have a hard time making progress.

Wondering How to Start a Mini Importation Business?

If you don’t know how to begin, then visit our YouTube channel for videos. Here’s the link – Spreadit YouTube Channel. You can also simply visit our website –, go to How it Works to see the 10-minute video that puts you on the fast track to starting a mini importation business. You will learn how to search for products on Chinese websites and how to create your order. Everything can be done on your phone or laptop right at the comfort of your home or office.

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