Last updated on June 21st, 2019
The idea of dropshipping in Nigeria is a great idea, only if you know how to run it successfully. However, the reason I captioned this title as “How to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria” is because it’s a whole lot different scenario when it comes to Nigeria.
Starting a drop shipping business in Nigeria means you have to think of the payment gateway for your business. Also, you need to know how to deal with suppliers and have your products shipped faster.
What kinds of products should you dropship? And if you’re thinking of dropshipping internationally, then you should be aware whether or not you have to pay tax or register your company.
Lastly, you need to understand if are you going to pay a customs tax on all the product you’re drop shipping in Nigeria especially if you’ll be importing them.
These and more, are the reason I made the title “how to dropship in Nigeria”, because of the economy uniqueness and some rules and regulations guiding e-commerce business in the country.
So you probably need to sit tight and enjoy the ride as I do justice to this in the best way I can. If you are not subscribed to this blog, please do, to get more of this and join our new community on Facebook.
Ok! So what’s drop shipping all about and how does it work?
In the simplest form dropshipping is selling products without buying or having them.
This is how it works; after you’ve created an online store and added your product to it. When I mean product I mean pictures and descriptions of the product.
This is because you don’t have to have product stock in physical. And after this, once you made your sales, all you have to do is contact your third-party supplier (owner of the product) by sending your customer address and paying the supplier from the initial money paid to you by your customer.
The supplier in turn, make the shipment to your customer. While you and your customer returned home happy.
However, if you are going to be using AliExpress to source for products, you don’t need to contact the seller. All you simply need to do is go ahead and pay for the products and fill your customers’ details on AliExpress as the buyer.
Without questions asked the seller on AliExpress will have the product packaged, processed and shipped to your customer without them knowing it’s from AliExpress.
How to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria with 5 easy steps?
Before we start let me quickly answer some of the frequent questions commonly asked about drop shipping in Nigeria.
- Do you need to pay tax dropshipping with AliExpress in Nigeria? The answer is NO! Paying of Tax are for residents in the US.
- Will you pay tax duty on products shipped to Nigeria? Still NO! Whatever amount you are to pay on a product will be clearly written on your supplier website. The shipping cost covers the tax duty.
- Do you need to register your company as an e-commerce business? The answer is NO and YES! When starting, you don’t necessarily need to register just to save the cost. But when your business starts booming and growing momentum then you should consider registering your business.
In addition to this, some payment gateway might require you to have your business register before you can start making use of their services. A good example is Paystack.
That’s that about that. So let’s look at the steps on how to start a successful dropshipping business in Nigeria.
- Choose a Product to Sell
- Find a Reliable Supplier
- Choose a Selling platform.
- Market your business.
- Start making money.
Step 1: Choose a product to Sell
The first step to this is choosing the product you want to sell. Many people are often tempted to start selling anything they can think of. You should have this at the back of your mind that drop shipping is a business.
And like every other business, you need to do thorough research and a business strategy on how to be profitable in your business. One of the ways you can do this is by looking for winning products to sell.
Another thing you should have in mind while choosing your product is that you can’t just start selling any product you see. Try as much as possible to check the demand over-time for such products through the use of Google Trend.
It has to be on the market trend. That is, demand for it must be relatively high or at least very stable and the competition for it should be minimal.
You don’t necessarily have to have tons of products on your website to be successful in this business model. Your emphasis should be on hot products around a particular niche.
Having a niche store is also good. This will allow you to easily Up-sell and Cross-sell customers with similar or necessity products.
When I mean niche, what I simply mean, is having your store around particular kinds of products. A good example of a niche store is a store around wireless devices.
Here’s an article on how to choose a niche product for your drop shipping store.
Step 2: Find a Reliable Supplier
The place of suppliers cannot be over-emphasized in dropshipping business. This is because they are the owners of the products you’re selling. So, it’s safe to say the quality of your supplier determines the success of your business. Trust me without a reliable supplier there won’t be a product for you to dropship. So you might as well take them seriously.
One of the ways to spot good supplier on AliExpress is by checking their seller rate. You wouldn’t want to go for a seller below a 90% score.
Most likely, AliExpress is this the best options for anyone interested in dropshipping from Nigeria. Except you have a reliable manufacturer or seller in Nigeria that’s willing to work with you.
In this case, all you’ll have to do is promote their products send orders to them, and they will be the one to handle the logistic within Nigeria.
Other than that, AliExpress is your best guess!
Products on AliExpress are relatively cheap giving you profit scalability on your business. The good thing is over 80% of drop shipper use AliExpress so this might be your best choice in Nigeria.
However, using AliExpress also comes with its own challenges! Which of course is the issue of AliExpress long shipping time.
This is when questions like; will your customer be able to pay before they receive their products in Nigeria? Or will they be able to wait over 30 days before they receive their package, will begin to pop up in your mind.
Then you’ll begin to wonder, is all hope gone for dropshipping in Nigeria?
Nah! You can always sell to international markets or delve in Mini importation business.
Step 3: Choose a selling platform
Now, this part is very important, because it determines how your website is going to look to your customers. And you know professionalism breeds reputation. For this I’m going to list two platforms for building your store. They include:
- WordPress and
WordPress – Here you need to get a domain name. That is, the name of your website, and get a web hosting account to host your web store.
Your web host determines how your web data is saved online. This is practically like a house for your website while the domain name is like an address to that house.
After your domain name and your hosting account are ready, you can then install e-commerce software (WooCommece plugin) on your website after you’ve must have installed WordPress from your Cpanel.
This can be done through one-click installation. And after that, you can start tweaking the website to your taste.
Here, you will literally create your dropshipping website yourself but no coding is involved and it’s nothing you can’t do.
Here’s the most important part, after everything is set up, you then need to get this Dropshipping Plugin (AliDropship). Without the plugin, you can’t run your dropshipping business effectively.
Better still, if you can’t create the website yourself, or you don’t have enough time probably because of your work, you can easily order a ready-made dropshipping store from AliDropship.
This is a perfectly customize dropshipping store with hots products that are ready to start selling. No work is required from your side when you ordered the custom dropshipping store. You can read the full review here.
Shopify – Shopify is a self-hosted platform and a website builder that allows you to easily build a website under a few minutes. You can create a store under 30 minutes and start selling any kinds of products you want to.
This is one of the best platforms for dropshipping if you are a newbie or even a professional. It allows you to focus on your business by branding and marketing your products while they manage your store for you.
The good thing is they offer a 14days trial. You can set-up your store in a day and start marketing immediately for the first week.
With this, it’s possible to make profits within the 14days and pay your subscription even before the trial expires.
But then, just because I said so, doesn’t mean you can!
I will recommend Shopify for those with no experience with WordPress as Shopify is relatively easy compared to WordPress but more expensive.
Step 4: Market your business
Obviously, without marketing, nobody is going to visit your store. You can’t just sit down and expect customers to come and buy from your store.
You have to take it to them. The best place to market your product is through Facebook and Google Merchant.
You can do this by creating a Facebook fan page after your domain name and create a Facebook business account to run your Facebook advert.
When running your Facebook ad, choose one of your cheapest products to drive traffic to store. Or use this method called Free Plus Shipping Model.
Once they make their first purchase they will naturally come back.
Other means is by collecting their emails upon sign-ups and send marketing emails on new products or discount offers on existing products.
Instagram ads and Instagram influencer do a good job in marketing dropshipping products too, you can as well check them out.
Step 5: Start making money
Like I mention earlier, to make the work easier, there is a dropshipping plugin called “The AliDropship plugin”. This plugin is specifically designed for dropshipping.
What it does is that it helps you to import product descriptions, photos, etc from your supplier website to your store.
This can be done with just a click and when a product is sold on your store, it automatically sends the customer details to your supplier. The only thing left for you to do is to pay the supplier.
After that, the supplier then ships the product to your customer address without questions asked and your customer won’t know the product is from a third party.
Drop shipping has proven to be a good residual stream of income when done the right way and following the proper channel.
The Issue of Payment Gateway
The payment gateway is still the greatest hindrance to several online businesses in Nigeria. However, in the case of dropshipping there are few ways around that. They include:
- Paypal and
PayPal – this platform is the most widely accepted payment gateways but unfortunately it’s not visible in Nigeria. However, there has been a way around that. Which I’m sure few people are currently aware of.
If you’re not, I have a PayPal report on how to set up your PayPal account that receives payment in Nigeria. Although it’s going to cost you a fee, a tiny fee in that matter… You can check the price here!
Alternatively, you can use…
Paystack – this platform accepts payment by default only in Nigeria. But if you want to receive payment internationally, you need to create an account with them and have your business registered with CAC and also have a corporate bank account in your business name.
After this, you can then send them a request for receiving international payment. If everything goes well, you can start receiving payments within 24 hours.
If you enjoy this post, let me know what you think in the comment section and do well to share with this with your friends and family.
Also, join our new group on Facebook (eComNaija)… for more future interaction and online business opportunities!
PS: This post was initially published in 2017 and was recently updated, so don’t be confused with the comment dates below. Please join the comment section and let me know what you think.
Want to Learn More?
- The Cost of Starting a Dropshipping Business
- How to start an online store in Nigeria – step by step tutorial guide
- How to create a drop shipping website with WordPress
- Why dropshipping with AliExpress shipping time shouldn’t affect your business
- How to automate your drop shipping business with WordPress.
- AliDropship Review