mini importation mentoring chuks amobi

Mini Importation from China – Beginner to Expert Part 2

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Chuks Amobi

If your body is doing you “I want to import goods from China to Nigeria” or “Kai, my friends are doing mini importation from China, I want to start my own” then this article is for you.

If your friends refuse to teach you how you can start importing goods from China just like them, this article is also for you.

On the other hand, if you have had interests in mini importation but cannot afford the online mini importation masterclass or those training, then this article is just for you.

This is going to be a long read. Get your pen and paper to write some things down. This article is exclusively for people who have no idea about importing from China to Nigeria or any other African country. At the end of this article, you should be able to know the following;

  • Why import from
  • The beginner how to do product research on 1688 or how to Image search on 1688
  • The basic 1688 supplier research
  • How to copy links from for procurement.
  • The best format to copy links from 1688 including the product information before sending to your procurement agent.
  • How to understand 1688 local express delivery

If you would need a reliable procurement agent to work with after downloading this series, we can guarantee to give you the best. Talk to Chuks on WhatsApp – 07082111555.

This article is a continuation of the series we started here – Mini Importation Masterclass 101 Beginner to Expert

Why import from


The Chinese B2B platform 1688 offers you and me the flexibility to start importation on a lower scale unlike its international version, Alibaba.

With, you can import as little as 1 piece – 3 pieces of goods down to Nigeria. Since we don’t have to order 50 pieces or even 500 pieces, 1688 becomes a better option for mini importation.

Point to note; browsing website needs to be done only by using the Google Chrome browser. This is because the website is entirely on Chinese characters. For you to at least search for goods to buy, you must translate them from Chinese to English.

PS: You may expect all pages to be translated into English but you will be satisfied with the ones that are translated.

Want to talk to Chuks about procurement & shipping? Talk to me on WhatsApp - +2347082111555

So get your Chrome browser ready. If you are using an Android phone, update yours from the Play Store or download a fresh one. The same thing goes for iOS users.

If you’re using a laptop, download the Chrome browser from

PS: At the time of this guide, 1688 has no English version nor available on the Google Play Store / App Store. To download the 1688 mobile app which is entirely in Chinese, kindly visit the website and click on the header as shown in the image below.

download 1688 app

Final note: The 1688 app cannot be translated same way you translate the website. Everything is on Chinese.

I will be using screenshots from mobile phone rather than the ones taken with computer. This will help carry everyone along. So whatever images you see, is exactly what you will see on your screen.

PS: You must not register on 1688 in order to import from China. You can import anything without the stress of creating an account. In a case where some products redirect you to Taobao login page, just find other supplier that sells the same product.

Just read along…

The beginner product research


1688 website homepage

The first thing we do is to open your Chrome browser. You should have it now. The next thing is to search what we want to buy.

We can begin searching for products either in two ways.

  • Text field searching or
  • Picture search.

Text field Searching

search goods 1688 freightya

Enter what you wish to search in that circled textbox eg. Men’s sneakers, women’s gown etc

Here, you search for products exactly the same way you search for information on Google or even the same way you come across this article.

How to search goods on 1688

  1. Identify what goods or product you wish to look out for on – it could be handbag, trouser, shoes, headphones, smartwatch etc
  2. Type them in the textbox
  3. Hit Enter on your phone’s keyboard.
  4. Click on any of the results of your choice and start comparing prices, materials, seller’s reputation etc.

1688 Picture Search

For your own best experience, 1688 picture search works best using a computer, Tablet or 1688 mobile app. If you already have pictures of things in mind to search on, then us picture search is perfect.

PS: In few cases, you may not find what you really searched depending on your image. The best pictures to use are usually product images from other online stores and Instagram.

How to use 1688 Picture Search

  1. I assume that you already downloaded the 1688 mobile app
  2. Open the app
  3. Tap on the camera icon
  4. Then follow the prompt to locate the picture you want to search on 1688
  5. Click on any of the results of your choice and start comparing prices, materials, seller’s reputation etc.

The basic 1688 supplier research

Finding more about your prospective supplier is an edge for a better deal. But you have to also have in mind that checking out for supplier’s evaluation, years in business, business type may not be enough to label them trusted or untrusted.

You have to try them out first after filtering most of them out. It is safer seen than a mere judgement. I learnt most people are being advised to run away from suppliers that are just 1 year on 1688 and also those with few trust and supply badges.

Well…that may be a good approach.

How to copy links from for procurement

Let’s assume that you have searched products and finally settled with few selected ones to buy. The next step is how to pay for them and ship them to your shipping company.

PS: When shopping on 1688, Alibaba or any other Chinese platform for your mini importation business, you need

  • A shipping company that will ship your item from China to Nigeria
  • A Yuan exchanger that can pay your suppliers in Chinese currency. No ATM card nor bank transfer.
  • Patience – 2 – 3 weeks for your items to arrive Nigeria
  • You will pay for for shipping and clearing based on the weight of your items

Copying links is simply a way of telling your procurement agent which product you really want to buy. Once an agent clicks on your link, it will direct him or her to the item of your choice. You don’t need to send pictures.

The best format to copy links from 1688 including the product information before sending to your procurement agent.

  1. Open your Chrome browser
  2. Follow any of the steps on how to search for products
  3. Let’s assume you are on a product page as seen in the image above.
  4. Make sure that your translator is working
  5. Scroll down a bit to Specification- Please select specification as circled below
  6. Click on it
  7. As you can see in the image below, the colours and sizes are shown.
  8. Note the colour and size that you need. Don’t assume any colour, copy as seen in this picture.

Formatting your 1688 links before sending to a procurement agent.

I will use the colours and size as shown in the previous image. Before that, download a note app from Plat Store or App store.

  1. Click on the address bar as shown in the image above.
  2. Copy it
  3. Open your note app, paste the link there
  4. Next, add the colour, size and quantity.
  5. If you have more than 1 link, number it

Here’s the 1688 sample link

  1. red 2pcs, Black 1pc; Total: 3
  2. 3 S, 2 M, 1XXL
    Army Green: 4XL, 1M; Total: 11

You can use any of the samples depending on what product you’re buying. Don’t assume colors or size. Follow the available ones on specification.

How to understand 1688 local express fee

If you take a look at the previous image, you should see something like Express fee in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province ¥3.00.

That’s an estimate of what you will pay supplier to deliver your goods.

If you wish to use us as your procurement agent, we will serve you better – WhatsApp Chuks – 07082111555 or click here to learn more.

If you have enjoyed the articles, please leave us a comment below.


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