Importing Years 2001 – 2003
I was always looking for an adventure and new things that I could do, which I would find enjoyable and also make a few dollars while doing so. Importing electronic goods interested me, and I could see my self-doing this while I was in college.
It was a bit daunting, as I had never done anything like this and didn’t know exactly where to start, but thanks to the Internet, I searched for “electronic good suppliers” and one of the sites that came up was alibaba.com, which I fell in love with, I could find anything I want on alibaba.com, it was amazing.
I registered and contacted few suppliers for Bluetooth headsets, USB sticks, and couple of other electronic items. After emails backwards and forwards, I shortlist the items that I wanted. Now all of these supplies wanted some sort of minimum order quantities, which was way out of my budget. So to keep my volume low, I approached them, asking them to send me few of their products as samples, which I paid a slightly higher rate, but was still profitable, after I worked out my sums. Some declined the offer, and some accepted it, (they thought I was a large electronic distributorJ in UK, looking for new products).
To fund this project I had saved up my weekly grant money till I had enough to my first stock of goods. Again being naïve on how to send the money, I went on a goose chase between banks figuring out how to transfer money to China, thank god someone told me about Western Union, which I still use till today to send money aboard at times when I need to.
My first batch of delivery came after couple of weeks, which I was over the moon with, it was Bluetooth headsets, and USB sticks. The USB hard drives went like hot cakes, I practically sold one to every single student in my college, family, friends, you name it. I had no problem selling USB, shortly I ordered some more. The Bluetooth headsets were a bit slow to go, but after a few advertisements in the local newspaper, and selling on eBay (this is how I became familiar with eBay), my stock was steadily getting out of the door, and I was making a decent part time income as student.
As my dad was in the aviation business in East Africa, I always wanted to be a pilot and fly a plane, with my business income I started to take flying lessons, and completed my PPL (private pilot licence), I later changed my ambition to become a pilot and build my career on this, instead I wanted to build my own business, and be successful in that.