Are you considering starting a mini importation business in Cameroon in 2022?
Do you want to make tons of money without much stress doing mini importation business online in Cameroon from the comfort of your home using your Android phone or laptop?
Are you employed but still looking for a side hustle that can boost your monthly income and you think mini importation can help?
Looking for free mini importation training in Cameroon???
Maybe you have joined many mini importation WhatsApp groups with a hope of acquiring this highly relevant knowledge but didn’t succeed or couldn’t afford the fee charged by the Cameroonian mini importation gurus for their masterclass??? or maybe you are already a sub mini importer in Cameroon but wants to learn how to buy directly from the manufacturers in China.
If you fit in to any of the categories mentioned above, then cheers, you are finally at the right place.
In this a-z of mini importation guide for Cameroonians, I will to take you step by step on the process of starting a mini importation business in Cameroon. This mini importation guide is completely free.
So at the end of this article, you will be able to successfully buy products online and ship to Cameroon from the comfort of your home.
Gone are the days when importers had to travel abroad to buy goods to sell in Cameroon.
They will spend tons of money to pay flight from Cameroon to Nigeria,China,Gabon and other places just to buy goods in person and still pay for the goods to be transported to Cameroon.
Nowadays you don’t need to do that.
You can simply order goods online at cheap prices and get them shipped to Cameroon from the comfort of your home. So the money you would have spent on transportation can be used to buy more goods.
In this article, you will learn how to import your first batch of products with very little capital and how to market them “sharp sharp” online.
So are you ready for this life changing lesson??? Ok let’s get started!
Before delving in to the main topic, let me first of all begin by explaining what mini importation is all about for the benefit of Cameroonians who are hearing about it for the first time.
Mini importation stems from the term IMPORTATION, which can be defined as an act or instance of bringing in goods into Cameroon from other countries with the aim of selling them in Cameroon and making good profits.
There are two types of importations which include MINI AND MACRO importation.
Macro importation is what most Cameroonians are aware of, hence when somebody says my brother or sister is an importer, the mental image that first comes to our mind, is a business man with tons of cash who often import a container load of goods from USA, China, Turkey, Germany, UAE and other countries to sell in Cameroon at whole sale.
…but what most Cameroonians don’t know is that importation can also be done in a small scale and we call this type of importation, MINI IMPORTATION.
Mini importation practically involves buying products in small quantities from other countries to sell in Cameroon with the aim of making good profits.
You can buy (in small scale) items like hair extensions, clothes, shoes, bags, wrist watches, wigs, kiddies stuff, kitchen utensils, household gadgets, electronics etc at cheap prices and sell in Cameroon at huge prices thereby making more than 200% profit.
Yes, you can also describe mini importation as the 200% profit business.
So importation is importation whether it be MINI or MACRO… and no matter the type you choose to engage in, you are sure of making 200% profit as you would be buying directly from the manufacturers abroad at very cheap prices.
From the above definition you can see that anyone in Cameroon can be an importer.
You don’t need to go to a professional school or acquire license from the government to start mini importation in Cameroon. And apart from custom duty (which is included in the cost of shipping), you won’t be expected to pay any other tax to the government as a mini importer.
In mini importation, majority of the work (including custom clearance) is done by the shipping companies and you (the mini importer) after ordering your products from the manufacturers, just need to pay the shipping fee to collect your =goods when they arrive Cameroon and start marketing online or offline. Yes! this is just what the mini importation business is all about.
As you can see, importation is not just a game for the dons and millionaires or a business for the genius or logistics experts.
So don’t let anyone deceive you that you need tons of cash to become an importer in Cameroon OR need to obtain an authorization from the government in order to start importing products to sell. It is a calculated attempt to keep you where you have always been that is why no one ever told you this truth. If only you knew this 3 years ago, I promise you, you would have transcended to the next level all along.
But somebody may likely want to ask, IS MINI IMPORTATION STILL RELEVANT IN CAMEROON IN 2022???
The simple answer is YES!
There are tons of reasons why many Cameroonians are now increasingly engaging in mini importation business in 2022. Some of the reasons include;
- The desire to make 200% profit stress-free
Somebody may likely say that “i have been buying products from Douala and making good profit, why should i waste money by trying to import products to sell in Cameroon.
You can easily make more than 200% profit if you engage in mini importation.
So if you are a retailer in Cameroon and really want to make profit stress-free or increase your profit margin easily, then mini importation would be a great boost to your business.
Most retailers in Cameroon often go to Douala to buy products in whole sale from the macro importers but end up struggling to make even a 300frs profit from the products… and this is because some selfish MACRO importers in Douala do buy products at very cheap prices (per piece) from China, Turkey, Germany, USA and other countries…but sell the products to the buy and sellams (retailers) in Cameroon at prices that makes it very difficult for them to make a huge amount of profit.
In fact in Cameroon most business transactions appear like tug of war between the sellers and the buyers as most sellers often spend huge amount of time trying to persuade buyers to purchase a product a particular price (last price) in order to make little profit. This explains why the Cameroon markets are very noisy.
The Macro importers in Douala set their prices without wondering how the buy and sellams will make their own profit…and since most retailers in Cameroon are not aware of the mini importation business, they just need to dance to the tunes of the MACRO importers and keep engaging in a tug of war with their customers.
In Cameroon, its very common to see business people fall out with their customers after a tough bargain. Some will end up insulting their customers or make statement like, YOU THINK SAY I TIF THIS PRODUCTS??? as they get angry over the low offer that customers make for their products.
Listen my bro or sis!!!
When you engage in mini importation, you will get items at very cheap prices directly from the manufacturers abroad and set moderate prices for your items thereby making 200% profit without headache. At the end of your business transactions, your customers would be happy and you, happier. This will cause them to to keep ordering products from you. MORE CUSTOMERS=MORE MONEY.
- Mini importation gives you the opportunity to become a monopolist.
In Cameroon its very common to hear people who want to start a retailing business say that they are looking for a unique hot selling product to sell.
If you are a successful business man in Cameroon, somebody who wants to start a business in Cameroon may have approached you asking GRAND SOEUR/FRERE NA WHICH KIND THING WAY I FIT START SELLAM WAY E NO TOO COMMON BUT E DI SELL FAST????
The truth is that if you are not an importer, you can’t get a unique product to sell in Cameroon as most retailers in Cameroon buy from the same MACRO importers in Douala and the MACRO importers determine what is sold in our markets as they are the ones who source and import products in to Cameroon. This explains why everything that is sold in our markets looks similar…cuz they are all buying from MR X,Y and Z in Douala.
Starting a mini importation business in Cameroon, gives you the privilege to carve out a niche for yourself as you would be able to select and import unique hot selling products that you can easily sell in Cameroon and at a good price since you don’t have any/many competitor(s).
Other retailers would be like, “WHERE IS THIS GIRL/BOY getting these charmy products and she’s even selling them at affordable prices. NO BE JUJU BE THIS??? LOL
Except they go Gambe house, dem no go ever know where you di buy your products.
As a mini importer, you will be able to handpicked unique hot selling products at extremely cheap prices from China, Turkey, USA etc and this will give you the privilege to sell the products stress free with 200% profit since you bought them at peanut prices directly from the companies …and still sell your goods faster than the retailers sourcing products from the MACRO importers in Douala.
Carving out a niche for yourself is one of the fastest way to easily increase your profits with little to no extra effort.
- Mini Importation is relevant as it also serves as a starting point for every Macro importer i.e. you can’t just start a huge scale importation business…by importing a full container load of a particular product(s).
As a wise importer, you begin by importing samples (few pieces of the items and this is mini importation).
Why do you need to import samples???
* To check the quality of the products and determine how much profit you can make
* To determine if you would be able to sell the products (let me explain this below) or check the salability of items (TO TEST THE PRODUCTS IN THE CAMEROON MARKET).
Before engaging in large scale importation in a particular product, you need to test samples of the product in the Cameroon market.
And one of the ways you can assess the level of demand of a particular product, is by running Facebook ad for the product and see how people will react. If many people are asking how they can get the product, then you know the product is saleable or there’s demand for the product.
Running Facebook ads for product testing will cost you 10k. Some people may find this expensive but just 10k will prevent you from spending hundreds of thousands on products that will get stuck in your hand.
Start small by doing mini importation and scale up the business if you notice the demand for the product is high.
So hear me and hear me very well, you that is listening to me now, you can become an importer in the next 7 days.
I’m sure at this juncture you are almost scratching off your wig and wondering how much it would cost you to start engaging in mini importation business in Cameroon.
I bet you probably think you need to have hundreds of thousand to start mini importation business in Cameroon. Trust me, that’s not the case anymore. Starting an importation business in Cameroon does not cost lots of money.
You’ll be surprised that with as low as 50,000frs CFA you can become a mini importer and start making 6 figures within few months doing mini importation in Cameroon. Yes!, You just need to be educated about this business and go about it the right way and in this free guide, you’ll learn how to start mini importation business in Cameroon. And most importantly what’s required to be successful at it.
Another thing I must tell you is that this is NOT a get rich quick scheme like MMM where you put in 50,000 frs CFA and expect 800,000 frs CFA the next week.
Of course you can easily become a millionaire doing mini importation but this won’t happen overnight OR without you doing any work. Its a gradual process and requires hard work.
So, if you’re the type who is lazy and looking for a get rich quick opportunity, please stop reading, close the window now and go continue with what you were doing.
This is a REAL business guys. A business that can take you from zero to being a hero if you put in to practice the information in this article.
Ok without any further delay, let’s get down to business.
Fasten your seat belt and adjust your seat properly for the real deal.
How to Import products from China to Cameroon
Like i mentioned earlier, in this article I’m going to focus on how to import products from China to Cameroon.
You probably might be scratching your head right now and thinking why China? Well, China is the number one source for hot and fast selling products around the world.
On the contrary, most Cameroonians think products from China are always inferior (low grade or doesn’t last long).
Seriously, that’s very far from the truth.
Please look around you’ll bet 80% of the product around you are either manufactured or assembled in China. Your flat screen, phones, generator, freezers even the popular Apple products are all coupled in China.
The fake Chinese products that have flooded Cameroon markets today were imported by selfish Macro importers who specifically buy very low grade products from China and easily ship them to Cameroon since the country has an ineffective/corrupt quality control (QC) department.
The China mini importation websites that I’m going to recommend you buy products from, contains 90% quality products hence you won’t buy low grade products…and in addition to that, the china sites for mini importation, have a review feature which enables customers to leave their feedbacks about the products on the sites. By reading the feedbacks from previous customers, you can determine the quality of the products.
If a product has low ratings or previous buyers are complaining about a product, then its not a good product to import as you will also receive a similar complain from your customers.
As a credible mini importer, its always important that you strike a balance between quality and price. Don’t buy and import a particular product just because its cheap and you think would be able to make 800% profit.
Of course if you import low quality products that you bought at extremely cheap prices, you would be able to sell them at give away prices in Cameroon…but one thing you should be aware of is that you won’t be successful in business as you will find it difficult to build a customer base.
Listen to this!
The success of a business lies in your customer base. How large is your customer base???
A customer can simply be defined as somebody who regularly buy stuffs from you…and the primary thing that will gain you customers, is the quality of your products.
If your products are not of good quality, no matter how nice you treat your customers (even if you like give people food when they come to your shop), they will not order products from you the second time and many will end up returning your items for a refund and if you refuse to collect, the business transaction will end in the police.
So to avoid any headache in business and easily build a huge customer base, I strongly recommend you buy strictly from the mini importation websites that I’m going to recommend in this article.
You will not only buy quality products from the mini importation websites but also at very cheap prices.
Requirement For Starting A Profitable Mini Importation Business in Cameroon.
Just like any other business, the mini importation business has its own requirements…but thank God the requirements are very basics.
Below are the basic requirements…
1) A personal computer (PC) or mobile phone.
Like i mentioned earlier, in this article, I’m going to show you how to market any product effectively using internet marketing hence you will need a laptop or a smart phone in order to engage in internet marketing.
2) Fast internet Network – Modern, Mifi etc.
Nowadays internet connection in Cameroon is very fast so this will not be a barrier to anybody who wish to start a mini importation business in Cameroon.
MTN arguably offers the fastest and reliable internet connection in Cameroon.
Nexttel 3G which was formerly my first choice, has recently become epileptic…going on and off like Eneo electricity.
3) A valid email address.
You will will need a valid and accessible email address which you will use to create an account on the china mini importation websites that you are going to be buying products from Cameroon.
It’s nothing difficult, if you can create your Facebook account then you should be able to create one with those too.
Once you are done with the registration, you can start browsing around the mini importation websites and check for products you can buy and resell in Cameroon.
With an email address, you will also be able to receive notification from the China shipping companies and eCommerce websites regarding the state of your shipment.
4) Credit Card & PayPal account
You will need a credit card which you are going to be using to issue payment on the mini importation websites and also issue payment to your shipping agent (freight forwarder) and procurement agent in China.
You will also need a PayPal account to buy products from the China mini importation websites and to issue payments to shipping agents. Some suppliers and shipping agents accept payment via PayPal only. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can easily create one on the PayPal Cameroon website.
It should be noted that some manufacturers receive payment via Western Union. To pay via Western Union, you just need to send money to the companies and send proof of payment.
5) Alipay account…
Some China mini importation website (like 1688.com) accept payment via Alipay.
For those of you who don’t know, Alipay is like the Chinese version of PayPal.
I will write an article on how to create an Alipay account in Cameroon.
6) Some few cash to get started (as little as 50,000frs and above).
Just like any other legit business, mini importation business requires a capital.
Like i mentioned earlier, you can start mini importation with as little as 50k and still get a good quantity of items to sell in Cameroon. I’m going to show you how.
7) Translation Apps
The reason you need to download a translation App, is to translate the default Chinese language on the China mini importation websites to English.
It should be noted that some China mini importation website are solely in Chinese hence without translation Apps, you won’t be able to order products from the website since you don’t understand Chinese.
If you have a smartphone, i recommend you download the Google translate App from the Google Play Store. The Google Translate App will automatically translate the Chinese language on the site to English.
If what you have is a laptop, i recommend you download the Google Chrome translation extension. If you need step by step instruction on how to do this, WhatsApp me.
8) Facebook or Instagram Account (For internet/digital marketing).
Like i mentioned earlier, the strategy that almost every business man can use to make tons of sales effortlessly is via internet marketing (Facebook and Instagram ads to be precise).
For those of you who don’t know, Digital marketing means using digital channels and platform like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, YouTube and so on, to advertise your business to a targeted audience to simply get more visibility, sales and paying customers.
Nowadays, internet marketing is extremely profitable and cost effective.
An online seller can easily sell 10 times what a shop owner will sell in a day as their target customers are not only limited to the people living close to their shop but people located in any part of their city/country and the world at large. This means you can showcase your products to millions of potential customers per day and stand a chance to make hundreds of thousands per day.
And to be able to do internet marketing, you will need a Facebook and Instagram account as well as YouTube account.
How the China Mini importation business works in Cameroon
Mini importers in Cameroon simply buy products at very cheap prices from the China mini importation websites (Alibaba, Taobao, 1688, Aliexpress etc) from the comfort of their homes using their computer or smartphones.
Their purchased products get shipped to their shipping agent in China who then forward the shipments to their head office in Cameroon, where the mini importers can then pick up their items.
Most of the China shipping agents include custom clearance fee in their shipping fee to ensure that when the goods arrive Cameroon, you just need to go to their head office (warehouse) and pick up your shipment without going through the hassle of clearing your goods with the customs.
Somebody may likely want to ask, HOW MUCH DO THE SHIPING AGENTS CHARGE AS SHIPPING FEE???
The China based Cameroonian Shipping agents do ship items to Cameroon by air and by sea (container shipping).
For the air freight option, they do charge per kg and for shipping by container(sea freight), they do charge per CBM (cubic metre is a space in a container occupied by your shipment).
Most shipping agents will ship items via the air freight option if the quantity of the shipment is small and for the huge shipments, they will use the sea transportation option (if you can afford a CBM).
The shipping by air option is very fast as it takes less than 2 weeks for shipments to arrive Cameroon from China. However the price per KG charged by the shipping agents for air shipments range from 7000frs to 10000frs per KG which many mini importers consider very high. So if you want your shipping agent to ship goods which weighs 10kg, you will need to pay at least 100k (which includes custom clearance fee).
So if you are importing heavy items, where 1 Piece of the item is 1kg and above, you may end up paying 100k just to import 10 items. You can see that the shipping fee has already eaten about 5% of your profit.
Unless you intend to import light weight items, i don’t recommend you use the air freight option even though its supper fast.
If the quantity and weight of your shipment is high, we highly recommend you ship via the sea option (shipping by container) where you will be charged per CBM. Mind you 1 CBM takes about 333 KG of goods and you will be charged 300,000frs to 324,000frs per CBM. And if the item you wish to ship contains battery, you will be expected to pay a slightly higher fee per CBM.
As a mini importer with a small capital, you must be scratching your head right now and wondering how to reduce your shipping fee.
If the pieces of the items you intend to import weigh more than 1 kg, then obviously you will spend lots on money on shipping if you choose the air freight option.
The best thing to do in in order to reduce your shipping fee as a mini importer with a small budget, is by collaborating with other mini importers in Cameroon so that you guys can jointly buy a CBM.
With 10,00O frs each, 30 mini importers in Cameroon can jointly buy a CBM and ship their goods from China to Cameroon without spending too much money on shipping.
Somebody may likely want to ask, how do i find other mini importers in Cameroon who may be interested in this initiative???
By running a Facebook ads you will be able to get 29 people who will gladly pay their own quota of the CBM cost.
Just create a mini importation WhatsApp group and launch a targeted Facebook ad campaign with a goal to get people to join the mini importation WhatsApp group. Within 2 days you will have the 29 people.
If you are willing to join my own mini importation WhatsApp group let me know.
After the the 300k has been raised, you guys will choose 1 trust worthy person in the group who will be the procurement agent (to order goods on everyone’s behalf).
Other group members just need to submit their list of items and money to the person, who will then purchase the goods on their behalf.
The procurement agent will need to get the warehouse address of a shipping agent in China and use the address to order products from the mini importation websites.
When the products get delivered to the warehouse of the shipping agent in China, they will consolidate the shipments (pack everything in one box or CBM) and ship to their warehouse in Cameroon.
Once the goods arrive Cameroon, the shipping agent will notify the procurement agent of the group that the goods has arrived at their warehouse.
The procurement agent will have to go to their warehouse with the 300,000k to pay the shipping fee for the CBM and collect the goods, distribute the goods to the group members.
This is the same strategy that most mini importation gurus use in their mini importation pre-order WhatsApp groups.
NOTE: Most shipping agents in China (freight forwarders) always include custom clearance fee in their shipping fee hence the procurement agent shouldn’t ask for custom clearance fee from group members.
Mind you, it takes 30 to 70 days maximum for sea fright shipments to arrive Cameroon from China and less than two weeks for the air freight option.
Lastly, Listen carefully!!!
When doing mini importation please avoid using the direct express shipping methods offered by the China ecommerce websites (eg Alibaba direct shipping to Cameroon).
When searching for products on the China eCommerce websites, one thing you will easily notice, is that the shipping fee of the items are extremely high. That shouldn’t scare you.
The shipping fee displayed on the China eCommerce websites are that of expensive shipping companies like TNT,DHL,UPS or EMS etc.
Don’t let the China mini importation sites to ship your goods to Cameroon using those shipping methods as they will quickly eat out your profit. Always use a third party China based Cameroonian shipping agents as their shipping rates are very affordable. I will list some of the reputable shipping agents in China and their contacts in this articles.
*** Why you need a Procurement agent when doing mini importation from China to Cameroon.
For those of you who don’t know, a procurement agent (also known as a buying agent) in Mini importation business, is someone (a China buying agent) who orders products from the China eCommerce websites on your behalf and get them shipped to your shipping agent…and you will have to pay them for their service.
That may sound like an easy thing to do as you may be thinking like, why do i need to hire a procurement agent to buy stuffs for me when i have been successfully ordering stuffs online from Amazon, Ebay, Walmatt and other eCommerce websites from Cameroon???
Now the primary reason that will compel you to use the China buying agents is because you don’t understand Chinese and to buy products from websites like 1688,Taobao,JD etc you need them to help with procuring your products and then ensure quality of the products since they can understand the content of the site and also effectively communicate with the sellers (manufacturers).
Secondly some China eCommerce websites (1688,Taobao) accept payment via Alipay and unless you have a Cameroon passport, you can’t create an Alipay account in Cameroon. In this case, buying via the procurement agents would be the only option.
Nowadays there are lots of China buying agents but the best to patronize are the ones who also offer freight forwarding service.
Most shipping agents in China who also serve as procurement (buying agents) provide the following services (in addition to their freight forwarding service)….
*** Sourcing service
The China buying agents will help you select hot selling products if you don’t know what to import.
*** Quality Control service
The buying agents who also serves as shipping agents (Freight forwarders) can check the quality of the products before shipping. And if the quality of the purchased items are bad, they can also help you to return it back to the suppliers for you to get a refund.
Without the help of a buying agent, you won’t be able to check the quality of items hence you have no choice but to pray that the quality of items turns out to be of high quality as described by the manufacturers.
Aside quality control, some China buying agents have been in the business for a very long time and due to that, they know all the reputable manufacturers and ways of detecting scam.
*** Label service
The China buying agents can get the manufacturers in China to private label your items or personalized/customize the products by putting your logo on the items and the packaging. However some manufacturers may charge you a little fee for this service
*** Purchasing service
The China procurement (buying) agents will purchase items from the China mini importation websites using their warehouse address.
*** Consolidation shipping service
The China buying agents that also serve as shipping agents, can help you buy items from various China eCommerce websites (Alibaba, Aliexpress, Taobao, 1688 etc) and when the items arrive at their warehouse in China, they will pack all the items in a single box and ship to you by sea or air freight.
A consolidation service would be very relevant to your mini importation business, if you would be sourcing products from multiple China mini importation sites. But if you would be ordering products from one source, then this service won’t be relevant to you.
The buying agents who also serves as shipping agents (Freight forwarders) have a warehouse where they can store your goods for a certain number of days or months till you are ready to ship the goods from China to Cameroon. Some shipping agents can store your goods in their warehouse for up to 90 days for free…and after that time frame, you will be charged a small storage fee per day.
Warehousing service gives Cameroonians who have run out of cash, extra time to look for money to cover their shipping cost.
*** Buying agents can look for shipping agents who offer warehousing service.
A shipping agent that doesn’t offer warehousing service, will urged you to pay your shipping fee as soon as your goods arrive their warehouse and if you can’t pay the shipping fee, they reserve the right to discard or return your goods back to the manufacturers.
**** Low shipping rates
Buying agents can look for shipping agents in China that can offer you the cheapest shipping rates.
Professional customs clearance service
China buying agents can help you find shipping agents that take care of custom clearance. This is very important in that when goods arrive Cameroon, you won’t go through the stressful custom clearance procedures and risk getting exploited by unscrupulous custom officials in Cameroon.
No matter where you plan to order products (from Alibaba or Taobao 1688) you can find an agent to help you start if you do not know how to start to import from China to Cameroon.
Wondering how the procurement service works…
Its pretty simple.
Below are the procedures you need to follow in order to buy from the China eCommerce websites using the China buying agents…
1) Visit the website of one of the China procurement agents (either Yoybuy or CNXTRANS)
2) Register and Sign up for an account
3) Copy the link of the products you wish to procure from 1688.com, JD.com or Taobao.com etc
4) Paste link in the provided section on your chosen procurement website.
5) Fill out other details & Make your payment
6) After sending money to your Procurement agent, they will buy the desired item and send you a tracking number so that you can track your products till they arrive at the warehouse of your shipping agent.
Most procurement agent will ensure that your name and contact details are written on your package to ease identification when they arrive at the warehouse of your shipping agent.
So that is what the procurement service is all about.
However, like i mentioned earlier, the main reason why you may need the services of the China buying agents is because you don’t understand Chinese since some of the China eCommerce websites are in Chinese and you don’t want to use the translation app.
NOTE: If you intend to order products from Alibaba, Aliexpress, DHgate and other English China eCommerce websites, you don’t need a buying agent.
Below are my top 4 favorite China procurement agents that also serves as shipping agents….
I) JFI Express
JFI Express (AKA Joe Cargo) is a popular Cameroonian owned China based shipping company which also help Cameroonians to buy items in China and ship to Cameroon
JFI Express has office (warehouse) in Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, Buea and Bamenda, which makes it easy for their clients to collect their goods when it arrives Cameroon.
The company recently published a list of top 5 products that anyone who wish to start a mini importation business in Cameroon should buy. We believe these are the top 5 products that most Cameroonians involve in mini importation often import from China to Cameroon via JFI Express.
The post reads as follows…
Based on our experiences in the import industry, we have chosen 05 products that you can buy this year to start your business:
1 – Hair Extension
2 – The Slimming Tea
3 – Cosmetic Products
4 – Vehicle Trackers
5 – Fat Burner
JFI express can help you buy the above items and ship to Cameroon. I will provide details about their shipping fee later.
If you wish to use the procurement service of JFI Express (Joe Cargo) you just need to copy links of your desired product(s) from the China eCommerce websites.
Send the links to JFI express and money (including their procurement fee).
The shipping agent will then buy the product(s) and get it shipped to their warehouse in China. As simple as ABC.
CNXtrans is a popular China based procurement and freight forwarding company which helps to importers around the world to buy and ship products from China.
They will help you buy products on 1688, Taoboa, JD, Kongfz and other China eCommerce websites that you can’t buy directly from due to one issue or the other.
CNXtrans procurement service is highly sought after by importers due to their free warehousing and consolidation service.
Visit CNXtrans.com to learn more about their service.
YOYBUY will help you buy from the Chinese eCommerce websites and also help solve the Alipay payment barrier.
One thing which makes their service stand out is their 90 days warehousing service.
So if you can’t pay the shipping fee after they have purchased your desired items, they can store your goods in their warehouse for up to 90 days for free while you look for means to get the shipping fee.
IV) Mini importation pre-order WhatsApp group.
Another way a mini importation beginner in Cameroon can easily buy goods from China in a small scale, is by joining the Mini importation pre-order WhatsApp group for Cameroonians.
For those of you who don’t, Mini importation pre-order WhatsApp groups are WhatsApp groups created by the importation gurus in Cameroon with an aim of helping the importation beginners to order their first batch of products from China or get their feet wet.
The importation gurus often list hot selling products in their WhatsApp groups and collect money (including the shipping fee) from the group members who are interested in the products.
Once the group members have issued payment to the importation gurus, they will use the funds to purchase the goods from China on their behalf and get it shipped to Cameroon.
The importation gurus will also ensure that all the group members receive their goods irrespective of the town they are located in Cameroon.
The importation gurus often update group members about the progress of their shipments till they eventually arrive Cameroon from China.
However it should be noted that the prices of the items advertised by the mini importation gurus in their importation WhatsApp groups are often 2 times higher than the prices of items on the China eCommerce websites but still low enough for you to sell at 3 times the prices. This is normal thing as its one of the ways that the importation gurus make profit from their procurement service.
The mini importation WhatsApp group also serves as a platform where mini importers in Cameroon come together to jointly raise funds to buy a CBM in a container and use it to ship their goods to Cameroon from China without spending lots of money on Sea freight shipping as compared to the per KG air freight shipping. For this reason, its important that every mini importer in Cameroon join a mini importation WhatsApp group even if you can buy products by yourself.
Somebody may likely want to ask, which procurement service option is the best for the Cameroonian mini importation beginners???
All of them are reliable to use.
But best most reliable and easy option (in my opinion) is the Mini importation WhatsApp groups.
I was introduced in to mini importation by a Nigerian lady by name; Mrs Amaka Amiugo.
After completing her training, i joined her preorder WhatsApp group, where i was able to place an order for my first batch of China imports (Night Wears).
I later summoned courage to order 50 pieces of hair extensions directly from China using the procurement service of YOYBUY and a shipping agent.
I chose YOYBUY because they offer 90 days free storage and free repackage & consolidation service. It should be noted that YOYBUY also serve as freight forwarding (shipping) agent but i decided use my own shipping agent because they take care of custom clearance.
Of course procurement service is extra cost aside product cost and shipping cost but it will eliminate headaches for just a little fee. And since you are buying cheap you are still going to make 200% profit stress-free.
However, if you are bent on taking full control over your mini importation business and don’t want the procurement agents in China to eat the small crumbs off your profit, there is a way you can bypass the procurement agents and buy directly from the manufacturers (companies) in China; which is what i have started doing.
Regarding the language barrier on the China mini importation websites, I use a translation app to translate the websites to English and the messages of the Chinese suppliers when communicating with them…and i have also succeeded to create my Alipay account which makes it easy for me to shop on 1688.com.
HOW TO GET HOT SELLING PRODUCTS TO IMPORT FROM CHINA AND SELL IN CAMEROON (PRODUCT RESEARCH)
Now that you know how the mini importation business works in Cameroon and you are fully convinced that you have what it takes to start a mini importation business in Cameroon, you are probably wondering which product to import.
And because you probably love Cigarette or are enthusiastic about skincare, you might be thinking that Electronic cigarette or cosmetics might be good product(s) to import and sell in Cameroon.
You don’t import a product just because it is beautiful or because you like it. Rather, you buy a product because there is a market or a demand for it.
So what kind of products does smart mini importers in Cameroon like us buy???
*** We buy products that solve a problem
*** Products that make life easier
*** Products that people demand and not products we wish to sell.
*** Products that we have what it takes to market
I always tell everyone who wants to start an ecommerce business to first identify and choose a profitable niche or a market to focus on. Of course you can sell anything BUT then, you shouldn’t be selling just anything. What you must do is sell what people want.
We take advantage of the masses ends means and bring in products that will meet their ends means.
As time goes on I will be telling you how you are going to search and know the fastest selling products that you will make a reasonable amount of profits from without much stress.
Talking about the possibility of losing your money to fake goods when ordering products from China, you will be thought how you are going to go about to avoid buying fake products online. And you will equally be thought How To avoid being scammed by China manufacturers.
***Provide solutions to problems
Imports products that provide solution to a common problem.
Are many people in your city suffering from Stretchmarks, then Stretchmarks products would sell fast in your city as its a solution to many people problem.
Now, how do you find Problems people are having so you look for solution (import products) for them?
I will give you 3 means to find problems people are having.
NOTE: You shouldn’t hastily start importing a particular product from China in huge scale simply because a friend is making lots of profit from the business.
One important question that you should ask yourself before you start importing a particular product, is, DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MARKET THIS PRODUCT???
Sometimes the products we call hot selling products, are simply products that “someone” can effectively market.
For example beard growth oil could be a highly sought after product in Cameroon…but if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t make lots of sales.
So when somebody tells you that a particular product is selling fast in Cameroon, ask the person what strategy he or she is using to market the product. If you can adopt that same marketing strategy, then you will also be able to make tons of sales like the person.
Customers will not start coming to your house like the wise men after importing products from China. You need to be able to market your imports.
Some business men in Cameroon often return home daily with more than 150,000frs of profit after moving from place to place shouting and hawking their items….and they are able to hawk their products stress free because its what they have been doing for a long time hence they don’t find that stressful.
Looking at their profit margin, its very tempting for one to venture in a similar line of business hoping to make same profit without digging to know their marketing strategy.
If you get in to their line of business when you lack the skill to market products, you may end up feeling frustrated as you won’t be able to make even 1 quarter of their profit.
In business, you don’t solely rely on people’s advice. Make your own decision after you have done your own research about a particular line of business.
If you are a complete novice in business, you may be biting your nails right now and wondering how you will go about the marketing of your imported products.
Don’t worry, in this article i will introduce you to internet marketing (Facebook & Instagram marketing) which is currently the most cost effective marketing strategy that can enable you to sell whatever product.
With internet marketing, you can make tons of sales from the comfort of your home.
Still wondering what to import???
Here are some niches you should consider as someone who is just starting mini importation in Cameroon when sourcing products from China.
Those are very lucrative niches you can find hot in demand products in easily
And it is important you don’t just choose any niche. But a niche with lots of audience, a niche with lots of people who need what you want to sell.
Based on my experience as a mini importer in Cameroon, i have noticed that kids stuff, hair extensions(wigs), handbags, Cosmetics, clothes and products that solve problems sell fast in Cameroon.
Another way you can know the hot selling products to import from China, is by finding out what other mini importers are buying…and the people who can give you this information are the shipping agents.
For those of you who don’t know, shipping agents are cargo companies in China that helps mini importers to ship their goods from China to Cameroon.
Since they are involve with the shipping, they know what the Cameroon importers are buying from China.
Due on their experience in the business, they can even reveal to you the common products that other people involve in the mini importation business do import in to Cameroon from China.
For instance JFI Express recently published a post on their Facebook page in which they reveal the top 5 products that Cameroon based mini importers often buy from China and ship to Cameroon using their shipping service. The products include;
1 – Hair Extension
2 – The Slimming Tea
3 – Cosmetic Products
4 – Vehicle Trackers
5 – Fat Burner
You can contact other China shipping agents or visit their offices in Douala and tell them that you want to start a mini importation business but don’t know which product to buy. They will also reveal products that Cameroon mini importers frequently buy and ship to Cameroon using their shipping service.
Proper research is very important in mini importation. If you fail to do your product research, you may end up importing products that may get stuck in your hand.
One last thing you should take in to consideration before importing your first batch of products from China, is the weight of the items. Like i mentioned earlier, the shipping agents in China do charge per KG for air freight and their shipping fee per KG range from 7000frs to 9000frs.
So if you intend to import items which are heavy, it will cost you lots of money to ship to Cameroon except you intend to use the sea freight option (where you will be charged per CBM).
Summarily when sourcing products from China, you want to make sure you…
*** Don’t buy products that are heavy
Because if you buy such products you are going to spend more on shipping such products
you also don’t want to buy products that are bulky i.e BIG products
You don’t want to invest in such products.
*** Don’t buy products that provide temporary solutions
Sometime ago, I sold a product called, hair fibre. It just helps covers bald head and broken edges. But, I had lots of returns so I had to stop selling it.
So, you want to sell products that provide permanent solutions.
Don’t want to buy expensive products
Because it’s going to reduce your profit margin. So, it’s better for you to stay within the range of one to ten dollars.
Anything above ten (10) dollars I advise that you shouldn’t buy such a product. Unless you’re in the luxury or health or security Niche or have lots of money to spend.
And lastly, you also;
Don’t buy products directly from a supplier you found on Facebook as it would be hard for you to assess the quality of the goods and there’s a high probability of getting scammed.
Buy directly from the reputable China eCommerce website with a review and escrow feature; where you can check the feedback of other buyers to determine if a product you intend to buy is a quality product or low grade. Secondly the credible China eCommerce websites have buyer protection features which prevents customers from getting scammed.
Ok now that you have a Niche and you’ve identified a hot in demand product, you may be wondering where & how you can buy quality products at cheap prices.
Top 5 China Mini importation website that you should buy from…
Like i told you earlier, the mini importation business in Cameroon is all about ordering products at cheap prices from the china eCommerce websites and selling the products in Cameroon at an affordable price that will give you a 200% profit.
Below are top China eCommerce websites where most mini importers in Cameroon get products at cheap prices.
Alibaba is a China-based B2B marketplace site where most Chinese manufacturers (companies) showcase their products to millions of potential customers around the world.
It should be noted that about 55% of the importers in every country of the world (including USA) get their products from Alibaba.
Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and friends, today, Alibaba has become a world market place for manufacturers around the world.
You can get products at extremely cheap prices at Alibabba since you are buying directly from the manufacturers (companies).
1688 is a popular China marketplace for mini importation dominated by Chinese manufacturers.
You can get products from the site at extremely cheap prices. So if you want to get products from China at the cheapest prices, then you should source products from this site.
However most Cameroonians find it difficult to buy from the site because its solely in Chinese and secondly you will need an Alipay account to be able to issue payment on the site.
For those of you who don’t know, Alipay is the China version of PayPal.
Without a passport, it would be impossible to create an Alipay account from Cameroon.
The best way for the Cameroonian mini importers to buy from 1688 is by using the China buying agents (procurement agent).
Simply Google 1688 buying agents and you will get lots of them.
Taoboa is also popular China marketplace where Cameroonians involve in mini importation business often buy products at very cheap prices.
However just like 1688.com, most Cameroonians find it difficult to buy from the site because its solely in Chinese too.
To eliminate any head ache, we recommend you use the China buying agents to order products on Taobao. I have already listed the benefits of using a buying agent to get products on 1688 and Taobao.
Products are sold by Chinese manufacturers at JD at cheap prices but the website is also in Chinese which presents a language barrier to the first time mini importers in Cameroon.
If you are bent on sourcing products from JD.com, i strongly recommend you use the China buying agents.
DHgate is also a popular marketplace for Cameroon mini importers…but i don’t advice the mini importers in Cameroon (especially the mini importation beginners in Cameroon with a small budget) to source products from the site because items are slightly expensive on DHgate as compared to the prices of products at 1688, Taobao and Alibaba.
So unless you intend to sell your products to customers in USA, UK, Germany and other countries where the purchasing power of customers are high, I don’t recommend you use DHgate….especially if you wish to make 200% profit from your mini importation business in Cameroon.
However just like Alibaba, English is the default language on DHgate, which makes buying on the marketplace very easy for the English speaking Cameroonians.
Aliexpress is arguably the most popular marketplace for the dropshippers…but not a good site for the mini importers in Cameroon to source products.
Just like DHgate, items are slightly expensive on Aliexpress as compared to the prices of products at 1688, Taobao and Alibaba.
However the content of the site is in English which makes sourcing products easy.
Aliexpress also has a customer review feature which makes it easy for customers to spot fake products and good ones as well as trust worthy suppliers.
Somebody may likely want to ask, which market place (website) is good for the mini importation beginners to source products from???
Alibaba is the best and my favorite website for buying products.
Aside the cheap prices of items, Alibaba team has implemented a strict buyer protection policy like their trade assurance feature, which protects buyers from being scammed and to ensure that they don’t buy fake or low grade products from the site.
So at Alibaba, you are sure of getting very cheap but high quality products that you can easily sell in Cameroon and make more than 200% profit.
So in this article, i will focus on Alibaba on buying products on Alibaba.
How to Pay for your Products on Alibaba and other China eCommerce sites from Cameroon
In the past years, this used to be the hindrance of venturing into mini importation business. This is because there were no easy means of paying… it was always a long procedure.
But thanks to the internet everything is now made easy. Back in your house in Cameroon, you can make payment for products in China or anywhere around the world. It’s as easy as that.
There are several channels through which you can pay for your products, but they differ with suppliers. Some suppliers allow Mastercard or Visa card payment, some PayPal or Alipay.
Some companies on Alibaba accept payment via Western Union and Money Gram.
About Fraud or Getting Scammed
You might want to ask, what if you’ve paid and you never receive your products? Or you pay, and the product is different from the description in the websites?
Well, all these are normal questions.
These websites (especially Alibaba) have some measures in protecting their customers. You can call it “buyers protection” or also known as “Escrow”.
The Escrow or buyer’s protection is a security procedure put in place by the mini importation websites to protects both buyers and sellers.
This is how it works.
Once you’ve purchased the products you want to ship, instead of paying straight to the sellers’ account, the mini importation websites withhold the money.
The money will only be released to the sellers once you have received and confirmed the product to be what you ordered.
In rare cases when your product happens to be different from what you order there is “Dispute form” that you can fill, and your money will be reimbursed.
Mind you, I’m not saying its 100% risk-free but it’s unlikely for situations like this to arise.
3 Things you should do before buying products from Alibaba to completely eliminate any possibilitu of getting scammed or buying low grade products.
*** Always read reviews left by previous buyers.
What are other buyers saying about a product you wish to order???
Does the product have a low rating??
If people are saying that the product is a low grade product or it takes a long time for the manufacturer to ship products then you shouldn’t buy the product. Worse of it all, if people are complaining that they haven’t received their order, you shouldn’t buy from the seller.
*** Check Trade assurance
Trade Assurance is Alibaba’s order protection service-providing a safe online environment for global trade between suppliers and buyers.
*** Is the company supplier verified???
*** How many yrs has a company on Alibaba been in business???
*** Check response time – it indicates that a company will quickly respond to your queries
*** Do a company offer samples???
Top 5 China based Cameroonian shipping agents for mini importation
Like i mentioned earlier, to run a successful mini importation business in Cameroon, its very important that you use the service of the freight forwarders (shipping agents in China) to ship your items to Cameroon.
Aside their low shipping rates, another reason why you will need the service of the China freight forwarders (shipping agents) is because some China eCommerce website (like 1688, JD, Toaboa, Kongfz and others) don’t ship items to Cameroon and other African countries.
To buy from those websites, you will need a shipping agent in China who will receive your goods from the manufacturers and forward it to your address in Cameroon.
So when you have a good seller or supplier in China, but they can’t help you with shipping from China to Cameroon, or the shipping cost is too high to be affordable, the China based Cameroonian shipping agents can help you solve these shipping problems perfectly.
Wondering how it works???
You can have your seller or supplier deliver your goods to the shipping agent’s warehouse address in China, and when the goods arrive at their warehouse, they will take care of the consolidation and transportation for you.
NOTE: The direct shipping from the China eCommerce websites via (TNT,DHL,UPS, FEDEX, EMS etc) can eat out a large chunk of your profit and this isn’t good especially if you are starting with a little capital.
From the screenshot below you can see that even though the jacket cost just 565frs per piece on Alibaba, the cost of shipping a piece to Cameroon is 20000frs, which is too high for a mini importer.
So whether the quantity of your order is not very big or big, we always advice Cameroonian mini importers to get their orders shipped from China to Cameroon using the Air Freight or Sea Freight option offered by the China shipping agents (freight forwarders).
Below is a list of popular China based Cameroonian shipping agents (companies) that will ship your items to Cameroon at affordable shipping fees.
1) JFI express
Like i mentioned earlier, JFI Express (Joe Cargo) is a popular China based Cameroonian shipping company that helps to receive goods from the China suppliers and ship to Cameroon.
JFI Express ships items from China to Cameroon by air freight and Sea freight.
For the Sea Freight (container shipping option), they charge 315,000frs per Cubic meter.
Like i mentioned earlier, a cubic metre (CBM) can take about 333kg of goods hence its the cheapest means to ship large quantity of goods or heavy items.
It takes 60 days for goods shipped via JFI Express Sea Freight to arrive.
For the Air Freight shipments they do charge 9000frs per KG and it takes less than two weeks for goods to arrive. This option is good for shipping light weight items like hair extensions, cosmetics etc. For example a piece of wig weigh just 0.200 grams (and 5 would weigh 1kg). This indicates that 7000frs would be the cost of shipping 5 hair extensions to Cameroon from China with JFI Express.
JFI express has its offices in Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, Buea and Bamenda, which makes it easy for their clients to collect their goods. Once your goods arrive Cameroon, you will be notified to come pick up your goods at their nearest office or you can opt for home delivery for extra fee. You will be expected to pay the shipping cost before collecting your imports…and custom clearance fee is included in the shipping cost.
If you are interested in using JFI Express freight forwarding service, you just need to get their warehouse address in China and use it as your shipping address when sourcing products on the China mini importation websites. When the items gets shipped to their warehouse in, Guangzhou, China, they will pack and ship it to Cameroon by air freight or sea freight.
When your goods arrive Cameroon, JFI Express will send you a notification to inform you to come and pick up your goods. You will be expected to pay the shipping fee before collecting the goods.
2) Majestic Cargo
Majestic Cargo is also a popular China based shipping agents that has helped lots of mini importers in Cameroon to ship goods from China to Cameroon.
Majestic cargo can also arrange pickup of your goods from suppliers in China, consolidate and transport your goods to Cameroon. Majestic cargo also offer procurement services (serve as buying agent).
Just like other shipping agents, Majestic Cargo do charge shipping fee per KG for the Air Freight shipments and per cubic metre (CBM) for the Sea Freight shipments.
Like i mentioned earlier, Cubic metre is the space occupied by a shipment in a container.
Majestic Cargo and other China shipping agents sell spaces in their container in CBM and a CBM in a container can take a large quantity of goods (about 333kg) and their price per CBM range from 300k to 350k.
The head office (warehouse) of Majestic Cargo in Cameroon is located at Feu Rouge Bessengue, Douala, Cameroon.
To get their price per KG by air or price per CBM by sea, WhatsApp me.
To ship your goods from China to Cameroon via Majestic cargo, you just need to get the address of their warehouse in China and use it to procure items or simply send their warehouse address to your supplier(s) (including your contacts). When your goods arrive at their warehouse, they will notify you that your shipment has arrived at their warehouse and they will make arrangements for it to be delivered to Cameroon
When your shipment arrives Cameroon, you just need to go to their head office at Feu Rouge Bessengue, Douala to pay your shipping cost (which includes custom duty) and pick up the good.
It takes about 45 to 60 days maximum for Majestic Cargo to transport your goods from China to Cameroon by Sea and less than two weeks by Air freight.
3) TRIF CARGO
TRIF Cargo is a reliable and transparent Cameroonian owned shipping company that ships goods from China, USA, France, Turkey and Dubai to Cameroon hence it’s an all in one solution for mini importers who want to import products from various countries.
For China shipments, TRIF Cargo charges 7000frs per KG for Air freight shipments and 315,000 frs per CBM for the sea freight shipment. Their head office is located at Douala akwa opposite orca supermarket/palm tree city in front of Total station.
Custom duty is included in their shipping charges… so when your goods arrive Cameroon from China, you just need to go to their office (warehouse) in Cameroon to pay the shipping cost of your goods and collect it.
If you need TRIF cargo charges for the other countries, WhatsApp me.
4) Choice Logistics
Choice Logistics is a pioneer China based freight forwarding company which helps to ship goods from China to dozens of African countries (including Cameroon).
Choice Logistics charge 9300frs per KG for air freight shipments and 295,800frs per CBM for sea freight shipment.
If you intend to ship products with batteries, it will cost you a little more.
They charge 324,000frs per CBM to ship products with batteries (like phones, laptops, Bluetooth speakers). Custom duties is included in their shipping charges and you will have to pay your shipping charges at their head office in Cameroon before collecting your goods.
Choice Logistics has an App which makes it very easy for their clients to use their service (track their goods).
You can install Choice logistics App from the Google Play Store.
5) Djemba CARGO
Djemba Cargo is another Cameroonian owned China logistics company that has helped lots of mini importers to ship their goods to Cameroon.
You can get their contacts on their Facebook page.
Contact them to find out about their price per KG and price per CBM.
If its affordable, you can get their warehouse address in China and use it to procure products on the recommended China eCommerce websites.
It should be noted that the top 5 China shipping companies are managed by Cameroonians who can better communicate with you or understand your issue.
All of them have offices in Cameroon as well as active customer service numbers which you can call to get more info about their service OR why not visit their office to talk with them one on one.
Things you need to do before choosing a Shipping agent in China
Before sending your goods to the warehouse of the shipping agents in China, the first thing you need to do, is to find out the total weight of your shipment. This will enable you to know the amount of money you will pay as shipping fee when your goods arrive Cameroon.
Don’t hurriedly start buying products on Alibaba and getting them shipped to a particular shipping agent in China without first checking the weight of the items and the shipping rates of the shipping agents.
For example if you want to import 5 shirts from China to Cameroon, the first thing you need to do, is to find out the weight of a piece of the shirt. If 1 shirt weighs 0.200grams, then the total weight of the 5 shirts would be 1kg.
After you have determine the total weight of the 5 shirts, the next thing you need to do, is to find out how much a shipping company charge per KG for air freight.
Like i mentioned earlier, the shipping fee for air freight range from 7000frs to 9000frs per KG.
For instance, TRIF Cargo charges 7000frs per KG (shipping fee includes custom duty).
If you use TRIF Cargo, it will cost you 7000frs CFA to ship the 5 shirts to Cameroon (and the shipping fee includes customs duty).
The shipping fee is paid when collecting the items at their head office in Douala.
Some inexperienced mini importers in Cameroon don’t bother to check the weight of the items they intend to import. Once they get the warehouse address of the China shipping agents, they just start buying products from the China eCommerce websites and getting them shipped to the warehouse of the shipping agents.
When the goods arrive Cameroon and the shipping agents tell them that the total weight of their goods is 100kg and above….and reveal the total amount they are expected to pay before collecting their goods, they become very shocked.
SIR ARE YOU SAYING I NEED TO PAY 70,000 frs as shipping cost for the 7 items i bought???
Yes they are right.
Listen! the main reason why some wise importers like us don’t import certain hot selling items is due to their weight. Unless you can afford a CBM, its not advisable to import heavy/bulky items.
Like i mentioned earlier, the sea freight option (shipping by container) is the cheapest shipping option. But the shipping companies only ship goods to Cameroon by sea, if you can afford a CBM and a CBM may cost you 300000frs and more.
I also mentioned earlier that the cheapest means to ship items to Cameroon is by teaming up with other fellow mini importers to buy a CBM in a container.
You guys can contribute money to buy a space in a container (CBM) and use it to ship your goods to Cameroon.
NOTE: If you can’t buy a CBM, they won’t ship your goods to Cameroon by sea….they will only use the air freight option (in which you will be charged per KG).
Lastly, after you have determined the weight and shipping cost, the next thing you need to do is to find out the time it will take for your goods to arrive Cameroon.
For the air freight shipment, it will take 7 to 14 days and for sea freight, it will take 30 to 60 days for items to arrive.
Time frame is very important especially if you intend to import products to sell in a particular season. For example if you buy Christmas products in November and opt for the sea freight option, the goods may arrive after December and it will only take the grace of God to sell Christmas items in January. So the goods will get stuck in your hands till next December.
Summarily before choosing a shipping agent in China, find out 3 things….
*** The total weight of the items you intend to buy (import from China)
*** The Shipping fee per KG charged by the shipping company (for air freight shipments)
*** The Shipping fee per Cubic metre (CBM) charged by the shipping company (for Sea freight shipments).
*** The time it will take for goods to arrive.
If you visit the Facebook pages of the China shipping agents, you will see lots of comments of mini importers who are trying to find out the cost per KG and per CBM charged by the shipping companies.
It’s always important that you do your research or else you may end up abandoning your goods at the office of the shipping agents in Cameroon, when the goods arrive Cameroon.
How Much Capital Do you need to Start a Mini importation business
As you must have noticed in this article, there are two sub-categories of mini importation which include Micro mini importation and the Macro mini importation.
Micro mini importation business, is a type of mini importation whereby an importer, imports 5 to 20 pieces of a particular product (especially light weight items) to sell in Cameroon.
You can start micro mini importation business with as little as 50,000frs.
Cameroonians involved in micro mini importation often get the goods shipped to Cameroon by air freight; where they are charged per KG.
With 50,000frs you can buy 20 pieces of a cheap light weight items
NOTE: When doing Micro mini importation, the key feature you should take in to consideration when sourcing products, is the weight of the items… and the total weight of the products shouldn’t be more than 4kg or else your shipping cost will be very high.
Nevertheless, you already know how much you will be charged per KG so you can better manage your capital.
On the other hand, Macro mini importation involves the importation of a large quantity of goods.
For instance instead of importing 20 pieces of clothes to sell in Cameroon (as the micro mini importers do), the macro mini importers in Cameroon import bales of clothes (not Okrika) to sell in Cameroon.
And because the quantity of their goods is plenty and oftentimes weighs more than 200KG, the macro mini importers often get their goods shipped from China to Cameroon via the sea freight option (shipping by container) where they are charged per CBM.
Like i mentioned earlier, the cost of a CBM in a container range from 290,000 to 320,000frs CFA….but its still the cheapest means to ship goods to Cameroon.
Some people often ask how large is a CBM & what quantity of goods can it take???
The huge box in the photo below, will occupy a CBM in a container. Just imagine the quantity of goods you can ship to Cameroon in such a box. Huge right??? Yes! we are talking about huge quantity of cheap hot selling products that you can sell at 4 times their cost price in Cameroon.
If you wish to start a Macro mini importation business in Cameroon, you will need at least 500,000frs. Let me break it down before you scratch off your wig.
300,000frs would be used to pay for your CBM and 200,000frs.
One interesting thing about mini importation is that, you would be required to pay the cost of shipping in cash at the office of the shipping agents in Douala or other parts of Cameroon.
So once you receive a notification from the office of your shipping agent in Cameroon that your goods has arrived, you just need to go to their office and pay your shipping fee (CBM or per KG charge) and collect your goods.
At this juncture some people may likely want to ask, which type of mini importation do you suggest we engage in???
It depends on the size of your budget, if you have a little budget, the micro mini importation would be good for you (especially if you are a student, housewife etc who wish to start petit business).
But the macro mini importation is the best option for a person who wish to start a mini importation business in Cameroon. Its far more profitable than the micro type.
So if you intend to request for Capital from your husband, parents, relations, boy friend, sugar daddy/mummy etc to start a mini importation business in Cameroon, don’t ask for 50,000frs, ask for at least 500,000 frs CFA. This way you will start a mini importation business in a grand style.
And if they are skeptical about the mini importation business or don’t think its a feasible business idea, simply send them a link to this article.
But i always advice people who wish to start a mini importation business to begin by doing micro importation of a particular product(s) and if they notice that demand is high, they can then do macro mini importation of the products.
How Market Your Products Online in Cameroon and make money
This is by far the most important aspect of the mini importation business.
Its one thing to successfully order your product and it’s another thing to successfully market them. Nobody is going to know about your products unless you market them.
And mind you, I don’t mean you literally start walking the street to market your products. You just have to be creative and updated.
Nowadays there are several stress-free ways you can choose to market your products…they include:
*** Brick and mortar retail (you can set up a shop in a strategic location in town or in the market to sell your products)
*** Word of mouth (Tell somebody to tell somebody that you have started a mini importation business)
*** Referrals; since you will be selling hot OnDemand products sourced directly from China, there’s a high probability that your products will command attention in the market and enable you to gain customers via referrals from satisfied customers. So as a mini importer expect to receive strange calls.
*** Handbills or flyers publicity
*** Local Ads. e.g. Magazine, newspaper, Radio announcements
*** Internet marketing etc.
Like i mentioned earlier, in this article, we are going to focus on internet market (AKA digital marketing), which is the most cost effective and productive 21st century marketing strategy that almost everybody can use to market any product or service stress free.
In fact if you have a Facebook and Instagram account and have been posting things on your news feed and in the Facebook groups, then you already have what it takes to market your products online.
Like i said earlier, I rarely do offline marketing….I prefer doing everything on the internet.
With internet marketing I’ve been able to generate millions of sale selling importation products here in Cameroon.
So how can you market your products on the internet?
This alone on its own it’s a full lesson for another day. But for now, the one easiest you can easily grab is Facebook marketing.
Below are some of the easy strategies that i have been using to market my products on the internet.
1) Facebook Groups
The easiest way that you (almost anyone) can market their products online and for free, is by posting images of your products in the Facebook groups.
Nowadays there are tons of Cameroonian Facebook groups with more than 20,000 group members.
Join those Facebook groups and start posting photos of your products in the groups.
Don’t flood the groups with images of your products in a desperate attempt to get customers.
2 posts per day is enough and try to use different images and add a brief description of your products if you can.
To quickly get customers via Facebook group posting, its advisable to join groups that have your target customers. For example if you are selling Kitchen blender and other kitchenware, it would be advisable to join Facebook groups about Cameroon Food Recipe.
Another way you can make your Facebook group marketing more profitable, is by paying the Admins of the Facebook groups to PIN your posts in the groups.
It should be noted that when an Admin PINs your post, it will always appear as the top posts in the group so that majority of the group members can see it.
With a little amount of money, you can get the Admins to pin your posts for a specific timeframe agreed by both parties. Some can agree to pin your post for 2 months for just 15k.
2) Facebook Marketplace
Its funny that many internet entrepreneurs are still not aware of the existence of Facebook marketplace even though their peers are making thousands per day from the platform.
As the name suggest, Facebook Marketplace is an open exchange platform on Facebook where users can buy and sell both new and used items to other users.
It was created by Facebook to enable sellers to easily connect with buyers in Cameroon.
On the Facebook marketplace you will find tons of items already listed by “sharp” mini importers in Cameroon.
Thousands of Cameroonians visit the Facebook marketplace per day and this makes it possible for sellers on the platform to easily make lots of sales.
With so many businesses in Cameroon already listing their products on the Facebook Marketplace, now is the best time for any business to get involved before it gets saturated.
Anyone in Nigeria can list an item on Facebook Marketplace as far as the product is in compliance with the Facebook Commerce Policies.
You don’t need to create a separate Marketplace account to begin—you’re able to acquire your first customer with your personal or business account.
To access the Facebook marketplace, just simply tap on the marketplace icon….and create your first product listing, tap on the Marketplace icon. If you need more info on this, WhatsApp me.
With 66% of home based Cameroonian Facebook users socializing with their accounts daily, it is almost impossible to find another channel where it’s so easy for potential customers to discover your products in Cameroon and beyond.
3) Paying for sponsored posts in the Facebook pages
Another way you can advertise your products online is by paying for sponsored posts on the popular Facebook & Instagram pages with 10,000 likes (followers) and above.
Contact the Admins of the pages (especially the relevant ones) and tell them that you will like to advertise your products to their audience….and make an offer. If they accept your offer, you will be required to send your advertising materials so that they can publish on their page.
Try to reach out to pages that are relevant to your niche. For example you won’t get lots of customers if you advertise nail accessories on a Football Facebook page.
One Facebook page you can easily find Sponsored posts is on Mimi Mefo Facebook page.
Use the same technique on Instagram.
4) Facebook Advertisement (Facebook post boosting)
Another reliable strategy you can use to get tons of customers on Facebook & Instagram is by running Facebook & Instagram advertisement campaigns (popularly known as Facebook boosting).
Even though this option is not free, many Cameroonian internet entrepreneurs are actively using it to get customers cuz its very effective.
One reason why Facebook Ads is very effective is because with Facebook ads you can get Facebook to show your products to a specific target audience who will likely be interested in your products.
So when you launch a Facebook ads for Kitchen blender, Facebook will show your Ad (sponsored posts) only to Cameroon based Facebook users who have shown interest in blenders and other kitchen utensils.
However for you to be able to target your specific audience, you will need to learn about Facebook advertisement.
With 5000frs you can buy a Facebook advertisement course from me and make tons of sales via Facebook Ads like a pro.
5) YouTube Influencers (YouTube Marketing)
Another social media marketing technique that you can use to market your products online (that many Cameroonians are not aware of), is by using the YouTube influencers.
You can pay a YouTuber to Vlog about your business and expose your products to his or her subscribers (followers).
Nowadays video contents are much more engaging than text posts and images hence your YouTube marketing campaign will surely fetch you lots of customers.
6) Google Ads
Another effective marketing strategy that the tech savvy mini importers can use to expose their products to potential customers is by running Google Ads.
When you run a Google Ads campaign, Google will show your ads to search engine users who google search terms which match the name of your products or related keywords.
For example when you launch a Google Ad campaign for blenders, Google will make your ad to appear as the first listing when somebody in Cameroon search for “where to buy blenders in Cameroon” and other relevant keywords.
Google Ads can fetch you tons of customers since your ad is shown to relevant audience.
However just like Facebook Ads, to be able to market your products effectively via Google Ads, you need to learn about Facebook marketing. I can also equip you with this skill for a little token.
A summary of the Mini Importation Business
1) Carry out product research to get a cheap product that you can easily sell in Cameroon and male 200% profit. I already gave you the qualities of a hot selling product.
2) Find a reliable shipping agent in China whose shipping rates are affordable and get their warehouse address. Like i told you before, the third party China shipping agents (freight forwarders) will ship your goods to Cameroon at very low shipping rates as compared to the direct shipping via DHL,EMS,FEDEX…proposed by the mini importation websites.
3) Buy products from the mini importation sites using the address of your chosen shipping agent in China…after placing your order, your goods would be shipped out to your shipping agent and tracking number provided to enable you to know when the goods has been delivered to your shipping agent.
Make sure that the seller (manufacturer) writes your name on your package so that when it arrives at the warehouse of your shipping agent in China, they can easily identify it.
4) When the tracking number provided by the seller (manufacturer) indicates that the package has been delivered to the warehouse of your shipping agent, contact your shipping agent to let them know that your package has arrived at their warehouse in China for them to confirm receipt.
5) After they have confirmed receipt, you just need to wait for 30 to 60 days for the package to arrive Cameroon if shipped by sea freight OR less than 2 weeks for the package to arrive Cameroon if shipped by air freight. Your shipping agent will update you with the progress of your shipment till it eventually arrives at their office in Cameroon and ready for pick up.
6) When your package arrives Cameroon and is ready for pick up, your shipping agent will call you or send you a text message to urge you to come to their office and collect your package.
When you receive the message or call, you just need to go to their office and pay the shipping cost…and collect your goods and start marketing. As easy as ABC.
So this is what the mini importation business in Cameroon is all about.
Mini importation business is a lucrative business, but just like any other business, you should have it at the back of your mind that every business has its own ups and downs.
One of the issues you may faced as a mini importer is customers complaining about receiving a product with a particular issue….but that shouldn’t discourage you. When you receive such complains its advisable to apologize to the customer and send a replacement.
By so doing, you won’t lose a customer and still won’t lose money since your profit margin per sale is very high.
However since you are buying products from Alibaba and other credible mini importation sites, you will rarely receive complains from your customers.
Aside complains, its very important that you treat your customers like your bosses and indeed they are your bosses as most of your customers will be getting products from you in whole sale. Don’t joke with such customers.
Ok we have come to the end of this article about how to import products from China in Cameroon.
However I will keep updating this article to make it more comprehensive and up-to-date with the trends in the mini importation business in Cameroon.
If you have any question related this article, leave a comment below or WhatsApp me if you need a quick response to your query.
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I wish you success as you engage in this life changing mini importation business in Cameroon.