How to Make Money Dropshipping in Nigeria in 2020 (Simple Guide)

I hear people saying dropshipping is such an easy business to start on the internet and make money instantly.

That’s not very true about the second part.

It’s a lucrative business, but there are so many lies about it.

Dropshipping isn’t all that easy too.

Make money dropshipping in Nigeria

And I’m sorry to break your heart (if I did), but that’s the plain truth right there.

It’s relatively easy to start and the good thing is: you don’t need to have a lot of money to get your business online and running (depending on what platform you choose to sell on).

What is dropshipping?

How does it work?

And how can you make money from the business?

Having the right answers to these questions puts you on the right track for success.

What is Dropshipping?

It’s a form of business online where you create a store, add products, prices, product descriptions, and other details.

Your visitors are able to place orders but you’re not in control of delivery or inventory.

When a visitor places an order, the order is redirected to a supplier’s website (with the customer’s details) and the goods are shipped straight to the customer.

Clearly, you won’t have the goods stored up in your house.

It’s far away in China or the USA.

But your customers will know nothing about this and there will be no indication the goods were shipped from a third-party supplier.

Dropshipping works like this:

💡 Customer places an order for a product on your online store

💡 The order is redirected to the supplier’s website

💡 Supplier ships product to customer

💡 You make your profit

When a buyer orders from your website, you transfer the order to the supplier’s site and the shipment is made to the customer’s address supplied.

Before you start your voyage into dropshipping in Nigeria, here are two dropshipping-related terms you should know about:

  • Blind Dropshipping
  • Free Plus Shipping

Blind Dropshipping

Blind Dropshipping is a system where you work closely with your supplier to make sure the buyer doesn’t know the goods are from a different supplier and not from you.

Before you begin dropshipping products by a supplier, ask to know if the supplier accepts dropshipping.

If he doesn’t, then he’s not the right guy to work with.

You don’t want your customers seeing a different label on the shipped product other than yours.

Free Plus Shipping

Free plus shipping is the shipment of goods worth the cost of nothing but shipping fees.

You should avoid selling goods in this category as the bulk of them are trash products and counterfeit.

In the long run, products listed for Free Plus Shipping could ruin your business.

That said, dropshipping has it’s good and bad sides (and you need to know them before moving forward).

Good Sides to Dropshipping

Here are some of the good things about dropshipping you stand to benefit:

You Make More Money

Dropshipping can make you good money if you do it the right way.

While that’s something to smile about, a lot could go wrong with your business, and a lot could go right too.

You just need to know the right products, put customers first, and work with the best suppliers.

You Can Work from Anywhere

You don’t need a plot of land or a physical office to start dropshipping.

It’s an online business, plus, you’ll need an internet connection and some funds to purchase necessary dropshipping tools online.

It Requires Low Capital

Dropshipping is done online, you’ll need some cash to purchase a start your online store, and purchase dropshipping tools.

A little financial capital on your end is needed to at least register a domain name, purchase an E-commerce premium theme, subscribe to a payment gateway, and pay up for cool plugins.

It’s Easy to Start Up

Dropshipping is relatively easy to start up.

What’s not easy is to make it big. Just like most businesses, starting is easy, but growing is where the work is.

There’s Less Work Needed

Thanks to software developers, easy tools have been developed to make the process simple and fast.

On your end, the work is less.

Shipping products isn’t your call and you’re not all eyes on the products before they get to your customer’s doorstep.

Bad Sides to Dropshipping

Here are some bad sides to dropshipping you should keep at a corner of your heart:

Possible Frequent Low Margins

What’s the point in starting a business or selling a product without having to make reasonable profit off it?

This scenario is common with every business.

But if it gets too common with your dropshipping enterprise, you could run out of business.

It’s a regular case scenario but you can avoid it by conducting a little research on products to see the winning ones.

Shipping Costs Varies

This happens when you work with a number of suppliers. You’re bound to come to terms with the variation in shipping costs.

This can cripple your earnings and give you reasons to quit.

Uncertainty in Product Quality

Since you’re not in charge of shipping and the customers gets products they ordered without your inspection, products can arrive in the quality that’s not consistent with what was ordered.

And this is always a windfall.

You’re 100% Liable for Damages

Bad things happen, especially when a customer doesn’t get the ordered product after waiting for months.

Should the product arrive late or damaged, you take all the blame and you might bear an eternal loss of customer trustworthiness.

Delivery Takes too Long

What do you tell customers when delivery is taking too long or when they have to wait 60 days to get something they ordered?

There are a few ways to handle this.

One of the smart ways is to sell products that are worth waiting for and are not easily found or replaceable.

Why Most Dropshippers Fail?

Dropshippers fail for many reasons.

A lot of people rush into dropshipping without even understanding the basic concepts of it.

They just want to get rich quick and you know how it all ends?

In total failure.

Dropshipping is a business and the earlier you treat it as one, the better.

Here are some of the common reasons people who get into the dropshipping business don’t really make much off it:

Focus is on Money the Whole Time

Many dropshippers fail because they want to make quick money overnight from dropshipping.

Money is a reason you’re starting the business.

True.

But don’t focus on money entirely.

Your focus should be on adding value to your business and ensuring customer satisfaction.

The money will come eventually but putting your mind there the whole time will make you too lazy to think outside the box.

Poor Dropshipping Store Design

If you’re going to make your store look just like every other store, then you’re not different by much.

Not putting enough effort into how your store looks can cripple your business.

If you’re up for the business, you need to look professional with your store.

Dropshippers make this mistake and they do this out of the passion to make quick money.

Don’t rush it.

Zero Motivation to Work

If you’re not passionate, you’ll stop halfway. This is a cause of failure and many has fallen to this cause.

Lack of motivation is the culprit here. And you’ll need to be passionate to keep pushing on.

One of many things leading to exhaustion is trading a product you’re not passionate about or love to trade.

It’s also very easy to quit when a lot of customers are requesting a refund, which could shrink your motivation.

Working with the Wrong Information

Information is power, and there’s a chance many dropshippers have no idea of dropshipping tools which were designed to ease the process.

Getting hold of the wrong information or no information at all can keep you at a spot for a very long time.

Following the Crowd

What works for a particular dropshipper might not work for others.

It’s pretty natural and they call it fortune.

This mistake is made usually at the point of picking a niche to settle in.

Just because everyone’s selling every kind of product doesn’t mean you should.

Just because every other dropshipper is adopting a type of product copy and pricing doesn’t mean you should too.

Trading Products that Should be Avoided

There are a couple of products you should avoid selling if you don’t want to have frequent bad days in the business.

(I’ll list them right here later)

But selling them is risky for business especially as you’re not the guy anchoring inventories.

This risk has driven many to zooming off the business.

No Promotion Strategy

Customers won’t come to your website overnight.

You have to burry in some work for them to come.

But many drop shippers fail to do this.

A total lack of digital intelligence is one reason this happens.

Make use of all the most expensive tools and tweak your design all the way, without promotion, it’s going to simply be a pretty E-Commerce store.

$0 revenue…

$0 profit…

… for as long as your store exists without a promotion strategy.

Choosing the Wrong Platform to Build Store

Picking the wrong platform remains a reason drop shippers fall off the track.

A platform like Shopify will not tolerate negligence when you fail to renew your monthly plan, but they deliver a more excellent service and everything is made super easy.

So it depends.

If you don’t have the budget to purchase a professional E-Commerce package from Shopify, then stick to the cheap WordPress E-Commerce plugin.

Without further ado, how can you make money in Nigeria from Dropshipping?

Here are 10 steps to making money from Dropshipping in Nigeria today:

  • Have a Clear Head
  • Choose Product Niche
  • Choose a Dropshipping Platform
  • Choose a Selling Platform
  • Clear Out Payment Barriers
  • Get in Touch with Good Suppliers
  • Conduct Product Research
  • Checkout Other Dropshipping Stores
  • Promote Your Business
  • Focus on Creating a Brand

1. Have a Clear Head

Dropshipping is like every other business.

You don’t get rich quick overnight from it.

You need to put in a lot of work.

It’s easy to start and because of this, the market is highly competitive now.

So you need a winning strategy to survive.

If you take out some time to read success stories of big-time dropshippers, you’ll discover none of them made it OVERNIGHT.

You might get a few sales in your first week, but don’t expect very much at all.

When a child is born, he starts crawling before walking.

From walking, he runs.

These stages aren’t an all-in-one piece.

2. Choose a Product Niche

People are tempted to start selling a lot of products at the same time when they start dropshipping.

The idea here is to sell stuff you know you can write about and market without getting bored.

If you go general and sell everything you find attractive on E-Commerce platforms like AliExpress, just make sure you have a bunch of people somewhere willing to buy anything.

You’ll need to stay really motivated in the long run to write about these products while you promote them.

My recommendation?

Sell products you like, products you know about, and products you’ve used for several years – at least you have enough experience with them.

To not run at loss, here are some products you should avoid selling as a drop shipper in Nigeria:

➡️ Wristwatches

Wristwatches, especially the ones on the Free Plus Shipping space should be avoided.

Mostly, they’re counterfeit products and your customers won’t smile at you for selling them counterfeit stuff.

That wasn’t too harsh, was it?

Wristwatches are also very fragile.

Your customers might end up receiving a broken piece of watch or one that’s totally damaged.

It’s risky and stressful to start processing customer refund requests. Trust me.

➡️ Cosmetics

You didn’t make them and so you’re not sure if they contain some form of ingredients that would react negatively on the customer’s face.

Should this happen, you’ll play victim to serious legal issue from the customer (most of the time).

➡️ Electronics Devices With Batteries

This niche is usually very profitable, but the risk comes in when the delivered tech device has faults.

What would you say to your client then?

Electronics with batteries like cell phones and laptops should be avoided if you wish to curb unwanted and unpleasant situations.

➡️ Fragile Products

For the obvious reason, these products can easily be damaged before they get to their final destination.

If you want to go on with selling products of the fragile nature, make sure your supplier is adopting a safer method to box and secure the products to your customer.

➡️ Common Products

Shipping takes a lot of time, sometimes from 12 to 60 days.

What happens if the customer decides to get the same product somewhere within the State or the City in these waiting days?

So it remains a reason to sell products that can’t be found everywhere and anywhere very easily.

They’ll wait for it even if it takes forever.

➡️ Sized Products

Sometimes customers get a shirt, shoe, or some other product in a different size from the one they ordered.

Maybe they got it in the same size as reflected on your website, but the Asian sizing thingy would make it so much unfair that the product becomes too small or too large.

To avoid problems with sizing where a customer is requesting a return, it’s best to not sell products with sizes on them.

3. Choose a Dropshipping Platform

There are a number of platforms to dropship from and the most common are eBay, Amazon, and AliExpress.

In Nigeria, I highly recommend AliExpress.

More than 90% of the dropshippers in Nigeria work on this platform.

So, it’s likely the best on the list for West Africans.

AliExpress is owned by the AliBaba Group.

It’s different from AliBaba, but they’re owned by the same company (the AliBaba Group).

So on the AliExpress platform is where you get suppliers and they’re mostly Asian suppliers there.

You’ll get lucky to find a bunch of very understanding suppliers that won’t stress the hell out of you and ignore your messages when you start asking questions.

4. Choose a Selling Platform

Two of the most famous selling platforms are:

💡 Shopify
💡 WordPress

Shopify is more expensive but you get everything you want with it.

On Shopify, plugins are pre-installed and the plugins are more awesome.

It’s more professional but the downside is: you loose your website the month you fail to renew your plan.

All of your website, photos, and data = Gone.

Again, Shopify has some policies you follow when setting up your platform.

This means your store isn’t entirely yours for that uniquely different design you got in mind.

On WordPress, you can set up your store using Woocommerce plugin and you’re good to go.

I can’t spot any pressing downside here with WordPress E-Commerce platform aside the need to pay upfront yearly.

It’s less expensive and you get to design your dropshipping store whichever way you want.

After setting up your store, you should:

  • Use a Premium Theme
  • Use Connection Plugins

Use a Premium Theme

A premium theme will cost you money for sure, but it definitely will make your online store stand out from the crowd.

With a premium theme, you have more chances at earning the trust of potential clients who visit your store.

And this is a step towards building your brand.

Use Connection Plugins

Connection plugins help you take orders from your online store to AliExpress.

These plugins are very helpful in taking the customer’s orders from your website to AliExpress with the customer’s information.

For example, the AliDropship plugin which works with a self hosted WordPress and Woocommerce store, is one of other plugins launched to make your dropshipping experience a success.

If you’ll work with Shopify, checkout Oberlo connection plugin. It makes it easy to transfer orders from your store to the supplier’s, and to add products to your store.

5. Clear Out Payment Barriers

Receiving payment in Nigeria is usually one of the most regular of all challenges online.

If your website is up and running, you should work with Paystack.

Your business has to be registered and some other testimonials will be required to get your account activated to receive payments especially from other countries.

If you’re going to ship to Nigerian clients alone, you shouldn’t worry much about this.

Two other options are Stripe and PayPal.

You can make these two work, but you have to be a US resident to do this without stress.

PayPal is your biggest shot and to receive payments using PayPal in Nigeria WAS a challenge.

Click here to learn how to create a PayPal account that receives and sends money in Nigeria.

6. Get in Touch With Good Suppliers

Don’t work with suppliers on AliExpress that sell at the cheapest rate.

Take a look at seller rate, and compare prices with other suppliers.

Work with suppliers who sell products that aren’t perishable, who sell WOW products, and whose products aren’t available in every single grocery shop on the street.

7. Conduct Product Research

Research is needed to see what products are selling on demand and to see what competitor is at the top of the business chain.

You can do this manually or through the use of tools like Niche Scraper, and The Sell Trend.

These tools aren’t free, and they cost a lot of money for a starter in Nigeria.

Want to go manual? It’s free. And nearly all you have to do is Look out for winning products.

Winning products?

Winning products are products that are winning or having the most demand in a particular niche.

They’re hot products, and people buy them regularly.

To identify them, check for these 5 attributes:

💡 Good Profit Margins

If you spot a quality product that has the capability of yielding profit in no small way, don’t let it go.

💡 Solves a Specific Problem

Evergreen products solve problems.

If you find a product that likely solves a problem and is relevant to a community, it definitely is a winning product.

💡 Has a Wow Factor

A “Wow Factor” means it has so much goodies enough to keep you in awe.

If you can be wowed by a product in your niche, don’t let it go.

It definitely settles for the winning product category.

💡 Not Commonly Found Anywhere Else

This is very important.

These kinds of products make customers humble enough to wait for weeks or months.

Why?

Because they can’t get it anywhere else but from your online store.

And so they’re left with an option to just wait.

Products in this category are winning products and clients can barely get them anywhere else.

💡 Makes Life Easier

A product that makes life easy and is durable is a winning product.

You should consider lifting more of this kind to your online store.

8. Checkout Other Dropshipping Stores

To get a feel of what a professional store looks like, you should try visiting some of the top selling stores in your product niche.

Also browse the internet for perfect examples of a dropshipping store from either AliExpress, Amazon or eBay.

You need to know what a dropshipping store looks like before building one.

This way, you’ll know what and what not to do.

9. Promote Your Business

There’s every need to invest some money and time promoting your dropshipping E-Commerce website and your products.

When it comes down to promoting products, you should focus on a maximum of three products first.

If your store is studded with tens of products, pick just a few to promote first.

There are basically two ways to promote your store and products, and here they are:

Here are 10 ways to promote your e-commerce store and increase sales:

Start a Blog

Content is King and to drive more traffic, start a blog on your E-Commerce website.

The presence of a blog makes the other options below this one possible and more effective.

A blog is another way to make some extra money off your dropshipping website.

To incorporate a blog, learn how content creation works and how your content development can become a super powerful marketing strategy, checkout this article.

Blogging might become a huge part of your marketing campaign as a dropshipper in the long run, which is why you should pick a product niche you’re passionate about.

Starting a blog can also earn you money from adverts and other sources, especially if you’re good at creating content.

Playing to the SEO Beat

With an effective digital marketing strategy, you’ll be at the top of Google search for a lot of queries related to your product niche.

This means more traffic, more sales, and more money.

You need to learn what SEO means, and how it’s done.

Utilize the power of search engine optimization to drive crazy traffic to your E-Commerce website.

As pleasant as it sounds, it’s not that easy.

(Even for experts)

Another option is to hire an expert in the field.

Click here to learn all you need to know about SEO.

Comment on Bigger Niche-related Blogs

By visiting similar niche blogs and commenting on them insightfully, you can send some visitors to your store.

They won’t come at once, and your comments should contribute to the article on the bigger website/blog.

Start a YouTube Channel

Another very brilliant tip is to start a free YouTube channel, and upload videos.

YouTube and Google work together, and so you can pull in massive traffic from Google’s video search to your YouTube videos with time.

You can make review videos, informational videos, upload them and leave a link to the product on your E-Commerce website.

For example if your aim is to push the sales of an Ear Plug on your dropshipping E-Commerce website, make a video that teaches people how to use it, why it’s different, and why they really need it.

Consider making more review and comparison videos too.

People want to know what other people have to say about a product.

They also want to clear their doubts as to what product is best to purchase.

Utilize Social Media

Without paying for adverts, utilizing the power of social media would benefit you in the long run.

You need to learn how it works and how to manipulate the social media algorithms (not technically) to your favour.

Checkout this article to boost your social media marketing prowess.

Several dropshipping websites today totally depend on the traffic from social media. Interestingly, social media accounts for more than 40% of traffic on a lot of dropshipping E-Commerce stores.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one part of digital marketing.

The downside of this strategy is that you need to have some traffic first.

It’s effective to keep visitors and make them revisit your website whenever you drop something new.

To run an effective email marketing campaign, install some of the best Email marketing plugins. My top 6 are:

  • MailPoet
  • Icegram Newsletter
  • MailChimp
  • Drip Email Marketing
  • Mailster
  • MailOptin

Going Viral on Forums

If you’re promoting a particular product, be active on niche-related forums.

If you get too active, you can have a host of product fancies running off to your website to see what you’ve got in stock.

Go YouTube Ads

Have you ever seen advertisements on YouTube videos?

They usually pop in when you stream videos live on YouTube.

Those are YouTube Ads, and you can get your business products in front of people just like that when you pay YouTube to run Ad campaigns for you.

Give an Instagram Boost

There’s an option on Instagram to boost every single post you upload on the platform.

It doesn’t cost very much and it’s just as cheap as Facebook Ads.

You can start with at least N500 for a post.

(Want to make money on Instagram in Nigeria? Click here)

Run Google Ads

Google Ads are what you see on most blogs and forums.

You plan them, and pay for them.

They’re very effective and if you want to go on with paid advertising, you can start with a little budget with Google.

Try Facebook Ads

It won’t cost you very much, but you’ll need a tiny budget.

For as low as N500, you can start getting hundreds of fresh views on your product from Facebook Ads which could lead to sales.

Checkout Twitter Ads

Ads on Twitter are pretty expensive I must say.

But you can try them out to push your business to the next level.

Retweets work like crazy on twitter.

Who knows how many retweets you could get on a single Ad?

Work with Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers have a large following on social media (5K and above).

You can rapport with them to share your product on their page for a fee.

10. Focus on Creating a Brand

Instead of focusing on creating wealth and spamming Facebook groups with frequent posts, focus on making your business a brand.

To do this, submit your dropshipping E-Commerce website to business listings on the internet.

Add your business to Google My Business and other trusted business directories.

You can make use of a premium logo for your website, and a professionally written copy of what your business is about.

Don’t forget to pay attention to customer service.

Be polite, understanding, and don’t keep users waiting when they need to know about something.

How to Make Money Dropshipping in Nigeria (Wrap Up)

Indeed you can make a lot of money from dropshipping.

I’m sure by now you know it’s not a day’s job.

With a combo of these promotion strategies and branding hacks, you can make a fortune off your dropshipping venture.

If you think dropshipping isn’t for you, it’s for anyone who really wants to make a load of money online.

And the time to start it is now.

If you started already, it’s time to make the big changes.

You just need to work a little harder to cause a change in the industry and make your business thrive.

How to Make Money Dropshipping in Nigeria (Summary)

In summary, here are the 10 steps to making money from Dropshipping in Nigeria:

  • Have a Clear Head
  • Choose Product Niche
  • Choose a Dropshipping Platform
  • Choose a Selling Platform
  • Clear Out Payment Barriers
  • Get in Touch with Good Suppliers
  • Conduct Product Research
  • Checkout Other Dropshipping Stores
  • Promote Your Business
  • Focus on Creating a Brand

What do you think about dropshipping in Nigeria and how are you going about starting yours?

Let me know about your dropshipping journey, challenges, and tendencies below in the comment section.