1688 is a B2B wholesale platform in China, similar to Alibaba but targeted specifically at the Chinese market.
It’s not as well-known outside of China, as it’s primarily in Chinese and caters to domestic businesses.
⬛Here’s A Breakdown Of 1688:
Focus: Wholesale products directly from manufacturers and suppliers, at significantly lower prices than retail.
Products: A massive variety, from clothing and electronics to furniture and home goods.
Language: Primarily in Chinese, with limited English translation available.
Target audience: Chinese businesses and entrepreneurs looking to source products in bulk.
While 1688 isn’t directly accessible to most international buyers, it can still be a valuable resource for finding manufacturers and suppliers if you’re willing to put in the extra effort. Some things to keep in mind:
Language barrier: You’ll likely need to use a translation tool like Google Translate to navigate the platform.
Minimum order quantities (MOQs): Many suppliers on 1688 have minimum order quantities, which can be high for individual buyers.
Payment and shipping: You’ll need to arrange your own payment and shipping with the supplier.
If you’re interested in exploring 1688, here are some tips:
Find a sourcing agent who can help you navigate the platform and communicate with suppliers.
Use a translation tool to understand product descriptions and communicate with suppliers.
Start with small orders to test the waters before committing to larger purchases.
Importing products from 1688 to Nigeria and building a successful business requires careful planning and consideration. Here’s a roadmap to help you get started:
Market Research and Product Selection:
Identify a niche: Analyze local markets and identify products with high demand but limited domestic supply. Think electronics, fashion accessories, homeware, or anything trendy and profitable.
Competitor analysis: Research existing businesses importing similar products and understand their pricing and marketing strategies.
Product research: Find specific items on 1688 that match your chosen niche, considering quality, minimum order quantities (MOQs), and profit margins.
Preparation and Logistics:
Sourcing Agent: Consider partnering with a reliable sourcing agent in China who can help navigate 1688, translate communication, and negotiate with suppliers.
Registration and Licenses: Register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission and obtain necessary licenses like import permits from the Nigerian Customs Service.
Payment methods: Open a domiciliary account for international transactions and research secure payment methods acceptable to Chinese suppliers.
Shipping and Customs: Familiarize yourself with shipping options like air freight or sea cargo, and understand import duties and customs clearance procedures.
Building Your Business:
Marketing and Sales: Develop a solid marketing strategy to reach your target audience. Utilize online platforms like social media, e-commerce websites, and classifieds advertising.
Pricing and Profitability: Calculate your total costs, including product price, shipping, customs fees, and marketing, to set competitive prices that ensure profit.
Customer service: Prioritize excellent customer service to build trust and brand loyalty. Offer clear communication, timely delivery, and efficient after-sales support.
Start small and scale gradually. Begin with small trial orders to test the market and adjust your approach before investing heavily.
Build relationships with reliable suppliers for consistent quality and favorable terms.
Stay updated on import regulations and customs policies to avoid delays and complications.
Consider attending import-export business training to enhance your knowledge and skills.
Remember, success in the import business requires dedication, hard work, and constant learning.
If you follow these steps and adapting based on your local market and niche, you can increase your chances of starting a profitable and sustainable business using 1688 as your sourcing platform. Unless your village people dey follow you. Good luck.