Mar 17 2017

Import something from China. Anything


I got an email from China. Subject line:
“Laptop Chargers, $2US / unit, all makes and brands”

Anybody who has ever had to replace a laptop charger knows that it can cost anywhere up to R 500, with a fairly long waiting time. Imagine being able to pick them up for R 25…

The person who requires a laptop charger normally requires it URGENTLY. All one has to do is be in front of them at that moment, and they will buy it from you at once.

Here’s how I would create a business importing laptop chargers, in five steps, working on a startup budget of R 3000:

The Steps:

  1. I would post numerous Gumtree adverts to “test the waters”, advertising chargers I dont in fact have, but at the price I plan to charge. When sales requests come in, I would simply say “we’re out of stock, can we help you in a month and take your details?”. The point is to establish market demand.
  2. Buying the chargers at R 50/each (generous allowance included for shipping). Selling then at R 150. I love making up round numbers!
    I would buy 30 chargers (R 1500) of different makes, basing stock choices on what is most sold in SA, in order of popularity and also on the ‘research’ in step 1. I would probably use Alibaba or some such service that allows you to find trusted suppliers.
  3. While waiting for the stock, I would prepare a simple 1 page website with an order form and basic product range. The domain would be something like “” or some variation. The online order form will also auto-generate an invoice, and send it to the lead.
    Because I am lazy, I would pay someone to set all of that up for me. DesignMagic could do this for just R 1500, which includes the setup, design as well as the first six months in business!
  4. When the stock lands, I would begin aggressively posting on gumtree. I may also post on one of 100’s of free groups on FB.
  5. Assuming I am cheap and dont want to pay google to be on page one (although with a 300% mark-up, it would be easy to do so), I may spend an hour a week adding keyword rich text to the site. The guys at DesignMagic would also help with that.

And that’s all it takes

Setup time: 20 hours. Weekly maintenance & sales time: 5 hours.
The profit potential is reasonable. The first 30 sales covering all the startup fees. And 100 sales / month equates to R 10 000/month gross.

The laptop chargers idea is great, but the exact same thing can be done for any product.

What I love about any Chinesse importing business is that is can be started by anyone with a computer and a few hours hours.

The only risk? It’s made in China. However, many suppliers will allow you to purchase a single unit as a test, and that may be advisable. Using a site like Alibaba allows you to read user reviews and make a more informed decision.

Business Starting Cost: R 3000
Estimated Time Till First Sale: 1 Month
Income Type: Product Based
Business Location Required: No
Physical Salespeople Required: No
Employees Required: None
Monopoly Potential: Small

Grand Business Rating: 7 / 10