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After I posted my article last week about stories of people who went from rags to riches and became successful through sheer hard work, persistence and determination, I got a call from one Ken a 29 year old who owns a laptop depot and wholesale distributorship in Uyo, Nigeria. His company makes millions of naira every month buying and marketing cheap laptops imported from China at very low prices.
Ken who is a graduate of University of Uyo told me about how he started his laptop business during his NYSC year with N28,000 which he saved from his monthly allowance. He asked us to publish his story as a way of encouraging Nigerian youths to work hard and never give up.
Ken’s story is a very inspiring one which shows that anybody who is determined to become a success in this life will surely make it no matter their background, financial situation and whatever hardships and challenges they may be facing.
You must read this story if you are interested in going into the business of importing laptops, phones, clothes, jewellery and many other cheap items with little capital or you just want to buy a cheap laptop or other items like electronics, clothes etc for your personal use or as a gift for family and friends. I’m happy to share Ken’s story with you this week and would love to hear what you think about it at the end. Here is the story, in his own words:
My name is Kenneth Chukwunweike Odili. I am from Enugu but I live in Uyo. I come from a very poor family and it was a struggle growing up. I am the first of six children and my parents were very poor. My father was a primary school teacher and my mother sold second hand clothes at the market.
My father had to supplement his teaching with carrying blocks at construction sites so as to be able to raise the money for our school fees. Sometimes when we are on holidays, my brothers and I would join him at the sites all in a bid to support the family.
I struggled through my university days and finally graduated and proceeded on NYSC in Kwara state. During my youth service, a friend of mine named Jackson who knew of my family history and dire financial situation told me how his brother sometimes ordered for some mini laptops (notebooks) and phones from China and sold them at huge profits in Nigeria.
He told me that I could buy a brand new laptop for between N15,000 to N25,000 and sell same for N35,000 or more. At that time, a non-China laptop of same features was selling for N60,000 in most computer stores.
I was very interested in the business so I pressed him for more information. He said that his brother orders for the laptops through the Internet and that he learnt how to do it from an e-book which he bought online.
At that time I was still a novice in computer and internet browsing. Although I had an email address, I hardly ever checked it and I didn’t even know what an e-book was. (For those who don’t know, an e-book is a kind of electronic book. It is not a physical book but is a book that you can download as a soft copy from the internet and read on a computer or phone. To get the paper copy you need to print it out).
After Jackson explained everything to me, I realised that all that was needed for me to start importing and marketing these laptops was to buy the e-book and follow the instructions in it on how to order for the laptops and pay online.
I decided that I will start by ordering one laptop for starters and imagined that if I can sell that first one, I will be able to make good profit and order for another one with less risk. In fact I realized that if I can sell just two of the laptops, I will have gotten back my initial capital and still have enough left to order for another laptop.
I estimated that the capital I needed to start with was:
The total money amounted to N28,000. Luckily, at that time I had N31,000 which I had been managing to save from my monthly allowance. This was the only money I had in the whole world at that time and to me what I was about to do was a very big risk because if the business did not work, I would lose all my life savings which I had planned to use to support my parents and start off my life after youth service.
Before I ordered for my first laptop, I was worried about three major things:
Very many things went through my mind as I pondered these questions for several days trying to decide if I really wanted to take the risk and go ahead with the business or not. Just so that you will better understand my mindset at that time, I will break down each question below:
If it did not arrive, it meant that I would lose all my money which would have been a devastating setback but based on assurances from my friend Jackson, I decided to take the risk and today I’m glad I did because the first laptop I ordered using the instructions in the e-book was delivered to the office where I was doing my service. It arrived through DHL and took 11 days from when I placed the order online.
This was a major concern for me because it is a Chinese product and I’ve heard some people say that Chinese products do not last. Notwithstanding, I believed in the products and decided to take a chance. Now having been in the business for about two years, I can say that the products are really good quality for the price which they sell. Most of them last more than a year before developing any kind of complaint or fault and the most common is usually battery problem (in some products either it gets very hot or loses power quickly). Such problems are not common and can easily be fixed by letting the laptop rest after long hours of usage or in extreme cases buying new batteries.
In fact I have one which I bought about 17 months ago and it’s still functioning very well. I’ve not even changed the battery once. I also noticed that as the technology improves, the quality of the laptops and mini devices are now better. How long they will last also depends on how well the owner takes care of them for example, when charging, once the battery is full it is wise to remove it from the charging and use the batteries until they are running out then you can charge again and remove when full. This will ensure longer life for the batteries so always remember to tell this to your customers.
This was another major concern for me, but I kept telling myself that the worst that could happen if people did not buy was that I would keep the laptop and convert it for my personal use. This was another reason why I really wanted to get the e-book which my friend recommended. I knew that even if the business failed and I could not sell the laptop then all would not be totally lost because I could easily convert the unsold laptop for my personal use.
But today when I see the way that people are rushing the laptops and booking for new ones and placing orders I just laugh at myself because if I had known that people would be rushing for the laptops, I would not have bothered myself worrying about whether they’ll buy or not.
Having pondered the above three questions for many days, I finally asked my friend to connect me with his brother so that I could speak with him on phone to alleviate my fears. When I spoke with him, the brother assured me that there was no need to worry that he had been importing laptops and phones from the website for some months and that the products are very good.
He told me that when you order through the website mentioned in the e-book, you are dealing directly with the manufacturers in China so it is also easy to complain to them through the website and even complain to the website owners in case there is a problem. He said everything is explained very well in great detail in the e-book and that all I really needed to do was buy the e-book and read it and I will be on my way to riches.
When I asked him if he could forward the e-book to me, he said that he was not permitted to do so because when you buy the e-book, you are not supposed to share it with other people or you will be breaking the terms of the author so I just had to buy my own copy. (If you are interested in buying the ebook then click on the red Buy Now button at the end of this article. You can pay through ATM online or through the bank. For how to pay for the book, please click here.)
After the conversation, in my mind I wondered that if the business was so good and profitable for his brother, why was my friend not also doing it? When I asked him, he surprised me by saying that he was saving his allowance so as to get some capital to start and that his brother said that he will also support him and show him how to order.
And so, based on the conversation with my friend’s brother I was now able to make up my mind to go ahead and take the risk. That decision is the best decision I have ever made in my life because it is what has turned me into a millionaire today.
The next day my friend and I went to a cybercafé with my ATM card. According to my friend’s brother, I could buy the e-book with any ATM card from any Nigerian bank or I could pay through the bank (using VoguePay).
My friend showed me how to pay for the e-book and immediately after payment, we were able to download it. To my surprise and delight, it was a very detailed 54 page manual with a lot of pictures that explained the step by step process of using the site to order for cheap laptops in Nigeria and many other items like electronics, phones, clothes, shoes, toys, jewelry, watches etc. The e-book, written by a well respected author also explained how to know the good China manufacturers and what to look out for when buying in terms of specs and features. There was also a bonus e-book that talked about ordering used and new items cheaply from other countries like UK, USA etc
The first laptop I ordered was a mini-laptop which cost N21,000. Even though I was a computer novice, I was able to easily use the website to order it without the help of my friend because the e-book was very easy to understand and follow. The laptop arrived through DHL after 11 days of placing the order.
When I showed it to my office colleagues and told them the price I was selling, I was shocked at their response because I did not anticipate such a thing. They did not understand how I could be asking N40,000 for something that sells for N60,000 in the market. Someone even asked me if I was sure that it was not stolen. After convincing them that it was genuine and real, right there and then to my greatest surprise my boss made me an offer of N37,000. I agreed after some haggling and he paid me right on the spot.
I was stunned because like magic I had made N16,000 profit just like that. That same day, two other people in my office requested for laptops and one other asked for a tablet and phone and they deposited N48,000 in total as part payment for the items. After work I rushed back to the café and ordered for the items using the money they deposited. This time I did not use my office address but I used my house address. It took 10 days to arrive all in good condition and I took them to the office the day after they arrived and was paid the balance.
So far, I discovered that I had made a total of N60,000 profit from selling 4 mini laptops, one tablet and one smart phone all within the space of about 10 days. I had also gotten back my initial investment and still had capital to buy more laptops aside from the profit I had made. Everything happened so fast and I was dumbfounded because suddenly I realized that my life had changed forever. During the five months that was left of my service, I was able to sell 63 mini-laptops (notebooks), 24 tablets and 19 smart phones. I also sold a couple of jewellery, weavons, wigs, small devices, toys and baby items which I had also imported. By the time I passed out, I had made N2,357,000 (Two million, three hundred and fifty seven thousand naira) in profits.
Despite the luck I had with my first sales at the beginning, it has not always been rosy and along the line I have encountered many challenges but with determination and the Grace of God, I was able to push through and today I am a success. Do not be afraid of starting small. Most of the world’s self made millionaires and billionaires all started very small. Do not shy away from humble beginnings.
If you do not know much about laptops and their common features, look for ways to learn maybe from friends, family or acquaintances. Visit computer stores and find out the price of similar products to give you an idea of the outside market value of what you are selling. Get familiar with the terminology of the business.
Dress neatly with clean clothes when visiting offices. Buy a good deodorant like Sure and make sure you always smell fresh even if you trekked to the place. Always make sure that your mouth smells fresh and don’t smoke or drink before visiting any office or meeting with a prospective buyer. If need be, lick vicks lemon or any other mint sweet.
You should also have an identity card just in case someone asks for it. If you are a student, use your school identity card. If you are a worker, use your work ID; if you don’t have a school or work ID you can even use any other identity card from anywhere else, church, clubs/associations, mosque, anywhere will do. You can even use your drivers’ license or voters card. Just make sure you have a means of identifying yourself to others. You do not need to show it everytime you talk to people or go to offices. If you are not asked for it, no need to show it. But if you are asked, make sure you have one ready.
Brainstorm ideas to market your laptops and any other products. Find ways to show your prospect why they should buy your products. Plan your approach before hand and practice what to say when you are telling people about the product. Focus on the cheap price and the fact that the product has similar features and is nearly as durable as those selling for higher prices in the markets.
Look for otherways to spread the word about the goods you have on sale. You don’t have to do something expensive or elaborate. In my case, I printed a single page that contains my name and phone number duplicated many times. I cut them into small pieces like labels and stick them to the laptop carton or cover whenever I supply (don’t stick it directly on the laptop unless it can easily be peeled off).
Even if you have a lot of cash, you must first test the business to make sure that it is right for you. Start by ordering one or two products. When you are fully convinced that you are getting what you want then you can invest more. As you grow and begin to expand, consider hiring marketers on commission.
Start with close associates, family members, friends, work colleagues, religious brethren, clubs and associations that you are a member of. Send text messages, emails or whatsapp messages to all your contacts informing them of available products. Write it on your facebook wall. Announce it in social media groups. Plan visits to private offices, banks, government offices, schools, universities and other places you can think of. Whenever I visit an office, there is always a high level of interest in my cheap laptops so you don’t have to worry about being rejected.
Make sure that you keep track of your profits and income both when you are just starting out and as you grow. Have a separate bank account for your business. This should be different from your personal account.
At the beginning, your first target should be to get back your initial capital. Once you have this, put all subsequent initial profits back into the business to increase your capital up to a higher level. If you are able to buy up to 10 items at once you will be able to negotiate discounts with the manufacturer so try to grow your capital to the point where you are able to buy in bulk so that you can get the additional discounts.
Do not be too greedy. It is not compulsory to sell at double the price you bought it. As you go along, you will discover that the lower the price you sell, the faster you can sell them off. In fact this is what I now do in my wholesale business. I sell very cheap to other resellers so I end up making about N5,000 profit per laptop but the good thing is that my customers now buy more because they are able to sell it and still make up to N10,000 profit or more. In fact sometimes I now get orders for as much as 100 laptops at once. And because I’m buying in large quantities from the manufacturers, I get massive discounts and reduced prices.
Although it is rare but occassionally, you will receive various complaints and requests for support. Most times, the issues are things you can easily take care of like installing things like antivirus etc. Always make sure that you are available to listen and assist anybody that buys from you. This will encourage them to tell others about you with confidence knowing that if they need any support or if anything goes wrong, they can always count on your help.
Believe in yourself and if you are religious, believe in your God. Thank your God in advance for making you successful. When the profits start coming in, donate a percentage to your religious body to be used in support of the work of your God. Be charitable too and give to the less privileged.
As mentioned earlier, the minimum amount needed to start this business is N28,000 (twenty eight thousand naira). Here is the breakdown again:
When you have the money and you are ready to start, the first thing to do is to buy the e-book. I would have given you the link to my own copy here but it is not permitted by the author so it means that anybody who needs the e-book has to buy their own copy. If you are interested in buying the ebook then click on the red BUY NOW button at the end of this article. Or use the links below:
Even if you have a lot of money to spend, I suggest that you start with one or two mini-laptops or other products which you believe you can easily sell off. The reason for my suggestion is so that you can try it out first and see if the product is as good as you expected and if the business is right for you. If after your first order you are able to sell off the items and you like the profits that you made, you can then go ahead to order more in greater quantity.
While waiting for the products to arrive, make a list of possible people you can market to and places you can visit. As soon as it arrives, don’t be afraid to tell people about it. Tell everybody you can think of that you have fine quality products for sale at very cheap prices and if possible show them the ones you already have for sale. Visit offices with one of the laptops and show it to them.
Don’t be shy about this. The most important aspect of this business is being able to sell your laptops fast. The low price of the laptop already gives you a big edge over the more expensive ones sold in stores so as long as you can show the product to them to let them know its of good quality, they will be falling all over you to buy.
So my friends, that is my story. As you can see, being a mini importer has changed my life and can change yours too. If you will like to get the e-book I talked about so that you can start ordering for your laptops and other products, then click Buy Now at the end of this article, or click the link below:
His name is Kenneth Chuks Odili and he is presently living in Uyo but from Enugu. During his youth service, he made N2.3 Million Naira through the importation of very cheap brand new laptops which he ordered from China through the Internet and sold here in Nigeria for almost double the price that he bought them.
Ken learned how to import brand new laptops and electronics from China using an e-book which he bought on the internet. Here we will explain to you how you can also buy that e-book.
The e-book contains:
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