How to start importing London used phones to sell in Nigeria

by Ibrahim Agunpopo
129 views 2 minutes read

Phones are a hot commodity here in Nigeria, and there’s a massive opportunity to bring in used devices from mature markets like the UK. With the right connections and sales strategy, you can build a highly profitable business importing pre-owned London Used phones from Britain and selling them locally. This guide will teach you the tricks of capitalizing on this multi-billion naira industry.

How to start importing London used phones to sell in Nigeria
How to start importing London used phones to sell in Nigeria

Demand for Affordable Smartphones is Exploding Across Nigeria

As our country’s youthful population continues to grow, so does appetite for modern mobile devices. Latest estimates show there are over 5 million new smartphone users added every year here. Unfortunately, brand new iPhones and Samsung models remain out of reach for the everyday Nigerian due to cost.

This is why dealers of fairly-used foreign phones make good money. Millions of people are shopping for quality London Used phones from top brands that balance affordability with good specifications. For an investment of N150k – N200k, this business presents potential profits running into millions of naira yearly.

How to Import London Used Phones from Credible Suppliers in UK

To start, you need to find trustworthy contacts supplying used devices in UK cities like London and Manchester. Plenty of shops there refurbish traded-in or insurance claim phones in bulk. Building relationships with such dealers allows negotiating shipment of container loads of carefully vetted devices for local sale here.

Focus on popular models not older than 2 years from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi and Infinix. Screen for physical condition, battery health and clean IMEI status. Once you’ve contracted reputable suppliers, you can get phones with light use retailing for around £100 in UK for just £25 – £35 per unit. Stack up 500 or more good condition devices, and you’re ready for huge profits locally.

Identifying and Partnering With Reliable Used Phone Suppliers in the UK

The key starting point for this business is finding and building trusted relationships with refurbished smartphone exporters based in the UK. Some great places to start your search include:

  • Online Business Directories: Check listings on sites like Yell.com and Google Maps to find established phone refurbishing companies located in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other big cities. Look for sizeable suppliers with warehouse capabilities and solid refurbishing competencies.
  • Trade Shows: Attend mobile phone wholesale and export trade exhibitions like the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to network with and vet potential suppliers in person. Quality used device exporters frequently attend such events to connect with international buyers.
  • Online Marketplaces: Major B2B trading sites like Alibaba.com have dedicated sections for used/refurbished phone wholesalers based in the UK looking for international shipment deals. Proactively filter and shortlist options.
  • Referrals: Get recommendations for reliable contacts from other established used phone importers in Nigeria. This can help narrow options to reputable players.

Once you’ve identified and shortlisted a few suitable suppliers, conduct thorough due diligence before placing any orders. Have clarity on factors like:

  • Years in business and refurbishing capability
  • Types of phones sourced: trade-ins, lease returns, insurance claims etc.
  • Refurbishing standards and quality assurance provided
  • Export packing standards to avoid device damage
  • Shipping options: DAP, CIF etc. and lead times
  • Payment terms: LC, wire transfer etc.

Top suppliers will readily share documents addressing such criteria during discussions. Visit their facilities in-person if you can for further assessment.

Smooth Customs Clearance Into Nigeria Without Breaking The Bank

Navigating Nigerian Customs can eat into your profits if you don’t come prepared. Work closely with a seasoned clearing agent to handle your import paperwork. Ensure to properly classify your used phone shipments using applicable HS codes to avoid inflated duty payments. Upon arrival at the Port, get your agent to calculate accurate Customs duty owed based on actual market value.

Settle all legitimate tariffs and port handling fees promptly to collect your container. The entire clearing processes may cost between N150k to N250k depending on shipment size. With the right agent, you can land over N5 million worth of London used phones in Lagos paying just 10% import duties legally.

Key Equipment and Shop Investments

To operate your used phone import business professionally, some upfront equipment purchases and shop rental costs are involved:

  • Device Testing/Repair Tool Kit: budget approximately ₦50,000 for essential gadgets like chargers, functioning test SIM cards, soldering equipment, precision screwdrivers and pry tools. These allow you to accurately test, clean up and conduct minor repairs on devices.
  • Display and Storage Furniture: Used phones require organized storage plus attractive display counters at your shop front attracting walk-in buyers. Budget ₦100,000 to ₦150,000 for secure display cabinets, drawer units, racks and shelving. Go for a mix of new and fairly used sets in good condition.
  • Shop Rental: You need a decent retail space in a location with high pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Sizeable shops may cost ₦300,000 per year for a 3-year lease. Splitting costs with a partner dealing in related goods like laptops is recommended at start.
  • Licenses & Misc.: business registration, local government retail permit, signage etc. will cost about ₦50,000 – ₦80,000.

So with roughly ₦500,000 – ₦600,000 funding, you can comfortably equip and set up shop for retail operations. Consider starting from a cheaper makeshift location or leverage online sales channels first. Then re-invest profits later into a well-located branded shop stocked with sufficient devices and tools for serving walk-in and online patrons.

Key Strategies for Growing Your Used Phone Business in Nigeria

  1. Build relationships with phone accessory sellers to resell items like phone cases, headphones and power banks to customers, earning you extra income.
  2. Offer professional phone unlocking, flashing and jailbreaking services at competitive rates to attract customers from competitors. Publicize this differentiation.
  3. Partner with a trustworthy UK used phone parts supplier to source affordable quality screens, batteries and other parts to offer cost-effective repairs on devices locally.
  4. Invest in basic branding – business cards, T-shirts, car stickers and social media assets. This strengthens market visibility and perception of your professionalism.
  5. Incentivize customers paying cash instead of installments by offering 5-10% purchase discounts. This improves cash flow forsmoother business operations.
  6. Keep up with smartphone technology changes and buy tools for competently handling repairs on emerging phone models. This capability expansion retains existing customers.
  7. Offer buyers referral incentive programs to accelerate word-of-mouth marketing. This amplifies your sales reach cost-effectively.
  8. Explore and undertake basic phone refurbishing training to enhance profits by upgrading moderately damaged trade-in devices sourced locally.

We hope these additional tips help you establish an even more thriving and long-lasting used phone importation enterprise right here in Nigeria!

Setup is Cost-Effective, Capitalize on This Business Now!

Compared to importing brand new phones, reselling used devices from UK requires lower startup capital. No need for dedicated shops or warehouses initially. Leverage online marketplaces like Jumia or Jiji and classifieds platforms alongside social media to push sales. Funds of approximately N1 million to N2 million can position you for monthly revenues of N500k and beyond.

So there you have it! A profitable London used phone importation business here in Nigeria is very feasible following the guidelines above. Master bulk procurement, efficient Customs clearance and compelling local sales techniques to cash out big long-term.

Image Credits: All images on this website are sources from Getty Images, Pexels and Unsplash.

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