“Life is not a bed of roses”, this is a popular quote that pops into conversations about hard work. This quote is the major reason most people work as hard as possible to make ends meet. Hence, the need to make extra income sets in.

Online trading has been in existence for several years but was not in vogue like it is now. This business has several aspects but I will focus on mini importation. Mini importation entails a lot of organizing, planning, calculation, risks, profits and losses. Before placing an order for any product, the product must be available for sale. A seller must also have a target consumer (online and/or offline). The price of every product displayed for sale must be well accounted for to avoid going into debt. This means the total cost price to order the product will determine the sale’s price. The demands of customers also determine the number of goods to be ordered, this is to avoid procuring loss at the end of the day. That’s why you see some goods tagged “pre-order”. This means they are only available on order.


Goods ordered online are from wholesales stores, most of which are outside the country. It takes some days, usually, 3-5 days for these goods to be purchased, packaged and sent to the ordering country. After placing these goods in the cargo, it will take seven to fourteen days for it to arrive at its destination (Nigeria, in this instance). This is not the end of the journey, it’s just starting.

Once these goods get to Nigeria, they are cleared and stored up in the company’s warehouse. The owner of the goods is notified of its arrival and will pay for clearance at every stage; starting from the procuring store, sorting and packaging of the goods to local shipping fee, international shipping fee and custom’s clearance fee. All these costs should have been added to the goods selling price like I earlier said, to avoid loss. After getting your goods, you will sort, check the quality, repackage, and get it ready for dispatch.


Now to last part: getting it to your customers. This part is where you know if all your hard work paid off. What do I mean by this? Most customers saw the products online, not physically. They would have built an expectation in their minds about what the goods should look like. Any slight difference in this would result in rejection that may ruin the brand’s name. Another downside is when you discover later that you sold the product lesser than its worth. The only consolation here is if you bought an extra product, then you can sell that at the right price.

Above is a highlight of what we the “pre-order” people go through. No business is easy; it needs hard work, dedication and determination. Some days you make a profit and other days you don’t. But once you know life is not a bed of roses, you rise every time you fall.

 Written by Wemimo Igboroodowo.

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