This Post Contain ABC to Mini Importation Business in Nigeria in full details, How to begin your startup Importation Business in Nigeria, I went out of the way to include Phone numbers, Contacts of shipping agents, and other Nigerians abroad who are in this same sector so that your quest to Mini Importation Business in Nigeria will be a successful one
About This Post!
I welcome all Ideas and other questions using my comment box, feel free to ask me, to source all this information is not easy, I could have made an ebook out of this post however I am offering it free in the light of the present-day economic situation to assist other Nigerians, I hope all my efforts worth it
Introduction to Mini Importation Business in Nigeria
Prior to this era importation business is perhaps seen as the business for the rich guys. during those days you need up to millions for you to successfully import anything into the country. But since the advent of the internet, anyone can now go into this highly profitable business right from the comfort of his or her home without traveling.
In this post you are going to learn from zero to hero, everything you need to start your mini importation business in Nigeria and how to sell your products using popular e-commerce websites such as Jumia and Konga, So are you Ready?
Six (6) Powerful Keys to building a Successful Mini Importation Business
In this lesson, we are going to consider 6 powerful keys you need to build a successful import business arsenal:
- Ensure you have a specific target Audience or Market. Yes let there be a section of people willing to buy your products do not import anything which you don’t know how or who will need it
- Before you think of importing any product: always have a marketing plan on how to reach your target audience.
- Do thorough research on the product before you even think of buying it.
- Make sure the product you wish to buy meets the needs of a target set of people (your target market).
- From my experience, buy products that solve the pressing needs of the majority of people, not those that add to the luxury.
- Start small, grow big. Never buy more than what your marketing plan can take, it is very risky.
Once you have all this in mind, then you can now start to think of building your own Mini Importation business empire in Nigeria or Africa
Nowadays, mini importation business in Nigeria has gone online. You make your orders through the Internet. Whether you want it shipped through the sea, air, or land, the clearing systems are already structured. This means you can do this as a side hustle business while still retaining your present pay job without worries
Basic Tools You need to Start Mini Importation Business In Nigeria;
As a binner into Mini importation, you don’t need to have anyone abroad or know any Customs officer, agent/forwarder. The essential things you need to start this business from home are:
- Mobile Phone or Laptop/Desktop Computer
- Internet connection
- An ATM card (Mastercard or Visa)
- Startup capital (N10,000 – N50,000 or even more)
- Email address
- Facebook account
- Secured source to get the product online
- Reliable courier service
- Your marketing strategy.
Like I Promise you earlier, I am not going to withhold any information from you, in this post, you are going to learn more about the last three because they are exactly what discourages beginners from indulging into this business
Getting Started on Mini Importation Business in Nigeria
As a beginner, it is not going to fell very easy to know what to import online, please pay more attention to this section, I know why am hinting on it, anyone can import but since this is a business we are talking about here, wouldn’t you be interested to find out items and products which are fast selling, lucrative and gives you more Return on investment?
As a Starter you should know which products are hot in demands and the one in low demand, this will help you to import hot selling products and sell the faster without keeping it with you for longer period of time
Hot (High Demand) Vs Low In Demand Products
When it comes to the eCommerce business, the type of product you import will go a long way to determine the number of orders you get daily, and your profit. Am sure you don’t just want to import products and stock them in your house/office without getting a reasonable number of orders daily.
A lot of people have opted out of this business because they were getting it wrong in this area. Of course, there are hot(high-demand) products and low-demand products. First, let us talk about low-demand products.
Low Demand Products
I call these “wrong products” not because they are forbidden by the government but because they are the wrong products if we should consider the economy, standard of living, the need it satisfies, and competition. For instance, you know that there are bigger companies that import Apple iPhones into the country in larger quantities and still sell at reasonable prices.
If you still go ahead to import quantities of such a product, this means you are directly competing with these big players, meaning you are not going to last long in the market and again this same Apple iPhone is a high-end smartphone.
if we should consider the standard/cost of living and the Nigerian economy, only a small chunk of people would be able to afford it thereby killing your chances of selling your product when faced with stricter competition.
Anyone can now order an iPhone online and a larger percentage of people already know the price, they will rather patronize other sellers if your price is above the market threshold (price) and here is where competitors come in, you can never compete with those that buy large quantities of such products, and the product itself does not satisfy a pressing need since there are other phones that have the same features and perform similar functions, at cheaper prices
Examples of Low Demand Products.
Let me give some examples of low-demand products to import so you can fully understand my point. Some examples of low demand products are:
- Laptop computers
- Adult’s clothes
- High-end phones
- Household equipment
- Kitchen utensils
- Adult shoes
And other things one can easily walk into a nearby store and get,
in fact, what is the purpose of importing products people can easily walk into any store and get immediately. I will only advise you to import these products if you already bargain with some persons selling these in their physical store and they have agreed for you to supply them.
How To Discover Hot (HIGH DEMAND) Products
For you to know what products to import, such products have to satisfy these criteria.
- The product must be able to solve a particular problem or address a pressing need people are willing to pay for.
- It must not be the one you can easily walk into any nearby store to get.
- It should target a vast majority of people, not just a few.
- Rarely seen product or uncommon products
- Lightweight products i.e. products that are not heavy. Because you will not want to spend too much money on shipping, knowing fully well that shipping fee is determined by the weight of the goods being shipped.
So these are the criteria for knowing what product to buy and what not to buy, ensure the product you want to import solve human immediate personal life problems.
30 Fast Selling Hot Products You Can Import From China
To show my sincere desire to help you, I will show you 30 hot products you can choose from. I sell some of these products as well and I make cool money on a daily basis. To be sincere with you, showing you these is like revealing my wealth empire; nobody will ever do this for you, I hope you value it.
- Handy Stitch
- Slimming Tea
- Tyre inflator
- Hair Growth
- Back Pain Reliever
- HD vision
- Waist trainer
- Car Fuel Saver
- Digital Therapy Machine
- Stretch mark remover cream
- Pink lips
- Delay Ejaculation Oil
- Car Tracker
- Fat burner
- Big Vision
- Toothpaste dispenser
- Car Auto Scanner
- Enlargement Pump
- Teeth whitening kit
- Car scratch remover
- Anti-snore belt
- Body Odor Spray
- Mosquito repellant
- Power Belt
- Dark Spot Remover
- Beard oil
- Mouth Odor Spray
- Hearing Aid
Where to Source for your Product Online
After you have discovered some hot selling products from your research, its time to know where to find them to import it so you can start selling to cash out, this leads us to no other place than China
China is the largest producer in the world and its products are extremely cheap.
China is the main market where everyone purchases products at a very cheap rate.
You can buy virtually anything from china ranging from clothes to personal products to health products. There are so many online sites today where Nigerians can buy items cheaply from china and have them delivered to their houses.
However, not everyone believes in online purchases because of bad experiences some of them have had. The belief is always that everything online is a scam. do you share such sentiment?
However, the belief, it is not always the case when rules are followed to the latter; one can actually avoid being scammed by buying from trusted sites and following the rules of the site. I personally advise that you buy from sites having Escrow service.
What is an Escrow? you might want to ask. Don’t worry you can get the meaning in any good dictionary or better still just relax you will know what it means in the next few sentences so let’s continue
Best Websites to Buy your Goods from
There are many international shopping websites you can use to import your products, some of which are:
- AliExpress – www.aliexpress.com
- Dhgate – www.dhgate.com
- Alibaba – www.alibaba.com
- Pmart – www.ipmart.com
- 1688 – www.1688.com
Among the e-commerce portal listed above, I prefer 1688.com but we’ll start with AliExpress
One good way most Chinese sites now secure your money is called Escrow. It is based on the principle of a third party company, in this case, the owners of the site, holding on to the buyer’s money until the buyer receives the item in his own country and confirms that it is exactly what he ordered for, only then and when will the money be released to the seller. So you see, with Escrow you are covered
You can buy almost anything on this site: laptops, phones/accessories, clothes, shoes, and many more. Just search for the product you want and click on the “buy now“. Their products are very cheap, good and reliable
Steps to Place Order on AliExpress.com
AliExpress is the most popular global consumer marketplace in the world. It is more popular than any other consumer marketplace in the world, be it Amazon or eBay. It was launched in April 2010. It is a global retail marketplace targeted at consumers worldwide.
The platform enables consumers from around the world to buy directly from wholesalers and manufacturers in China and to have access to a wide variety of products at competitive prices.
It is my go-to place whenever I wish to buy anything from China and it is one of the safest consumer market places so far due to the presence of ESCROW – which means that when you pay for a product on the website, the money is kept with a third party till the product is delivered to you and you’ve received it in good condition
1. Visit www.aliexpress.com
2. Create an account and click on sign-in and enter the email address/password you used during registration
3. Browse through the categories to find the products you need:
Browse through the categories to look for new ideas in the case where you have none. So you go through each category and subcategory to search for new ideas if you don’t already have one. But in the case you already know what you want to order for, all you need to simply do is go to the top of the page, look for the search box, and type in whatever phrase you are searching for (e.g. rechargeable hair clipper) and the page will come up with results of all the listings on the website that contain such product.
4. Read the product details and specifications:
Ensure you check the specifications, details, and reviews to see if it matches your expectation If you are satisfied with the product details, then you can then add it to your wish list before adding it to the cart, so you can receive updates about the product in your email especially regarding discount and offers.
5. Input the Quantity and Click on Buy Now:
Input the quantity you want and click on the buy now. At the point of payment, click on Cancel Payment so you can have a chat with the supplier, so as to negotiate the price before making your payment. This is a secret I use and I want you to do the same so you can buy cheaper than what the seller displayed like the price.
6. Contact merchant:
Now that you are very sure that the product is exactly what you want and you are interested in buying, you will have to contact the seller before making payment, you can use the chat button if the seller is online or you can send him a direct message if he is not online (that is offline).
7. Specify Your Delivery Method:
Before you make a payment, specify your delivery method to the merchant, whether you want them to ship via the post office, courier of your choice, or if you want them to send to a proxy or third party logistic address in Guangzhou China who will do the shipping for you. If you want to use the logistics company to ship your product to Nigeria,( Recommended) tell your supplier to deduct the shipping fee to Nigeria from the total product price before you make a payment on AliExpress.
8. Checkout and Pay
Checkout once you have contacted the merchant and you both have reached an agreement, you can now go ahead and make payment for the product. At this point you will be directed to the page where you will provide your payment information such as payment method and details, if you select a card, you will be asked to provide your ATM debit card details so that the amount of the order can be deducted from your bank account. At this point, make sure you provide the correct details.
When you contact the supplier, ensure you ask lot of questions, including negotiating the price of the product especially when you are buying in bulk, so below are some questions to ask him, though you can add more to it if you wish.
Questions you can ask your Product supplier:
- Is this product still available for purchase?
- Can I get a discount on this product?
- Can you ship to Guangzhou, China?
- Do you offer free shipping to Guangzhou?
- How long will it take you to ship this product to Guangzhou if I order for it?
And some other questions you might want to ask, please take note that it is important for you to ask as many questions as you can especially the ones I listed above before you proceed to make payment.
Take note that when you message a merchant and such merchant doesn’t respond within 48 hours on a working day then you are advised to look for another merchant because if he cannot respond to your message within this time frame, what is the guarantee that he will respond to your order when you place it. So communication is important and it can go far as getting you a good bargain with the merchant if you master the bargaining skill.
How to Get the Best Prices and Identify Credible Sellers
To get the best price for a product, ensure you compare prices with other suppliers selling the same product and also note the following in other to identify a credible seller.
- Seller’s rating (do not buy products from suppliers whose ratings fall below 95%)
- Buyer’s reviews/feedback (Check what other buyers are saying about the product)
NOTE – Ensure you pay on AliExpress’s website so you can be covered by the ESCROW payment system. By now you should know what that means. Do not pay directly to the seller’s account else you are on your own
How to Make Payments for your Products
1. Naira Credit/Debit ATM Card – When it comes to online transactions. Zenith, Gtbank and Access Bank are leading banks I can recommend
GTBank and Access Bank are the best banks to go to, this is because they have the cheapest exchange rate in Nigeria. GTBank’s monthly limit for online transactions is $1000 while that of Access Bank is $100 (I actually prefer GTBank because they have a higher limit).
If you don’t have an account with any of these two banks, you can simply walk into any of their nearest branches and request for a Savings Account form. MasterCard/Visa ATM debit card will come with the Savings Account you opened with them, this will only take few business(working) days.
Paying for goods on AliExpress is quite easy. With your Naira ATM card, you can transact from the comfort of your home without operating a domiciliary account.
Before the recent CBN policy, most Banks allowed their Naira ATM card to be used for international transactions, but the reverse is the case right now. Inability to break this barrier has made a lot of people to quit importation business.
But I have good news for you; I discovered the three payment methods you can use to make payment easily and securely.
2. Virtual Card – You can easily create a virtual card with your name and fund the card with your Naira ATM card. The virtual card works exactly like your physical card, the only difference is you don’t have a plastic card to use at a physical location/terminal but you can use it for online transactions. There are many companies that offer the services of creating virtual cards, one of them is GetBarter, creating a virtual card is free, visit https://barter.flutterwave.com/, and follow the procedures on their website.
How to Ship Your Products to Nigeria
After you’ve made payment on AliExpress, the next thing is to ship your product down to Nigeria. One of the common mistakes people make when it comes to mini importation business is that they tell the supplier to ship directly to Nigeria, what happens when you do this is that you pay more for shipment of the goods than the actual cost of the product itself and you will have to wait for a long period of time before getting your product. A smart importer like me will not use this method because only little profit will be left.
See an illustration: A product of $15.45 cost $85 to ship within 9-18 days. That’s over 5 times the cost of the product
Don’t be scared! There is a way forward – the secret to shipping at a very low price is by using a logistics company to ship your product from China to Nigeria. An example of such logistics company is Base 1 logistics
To use Base 1 Logistics, follow the steps below:
1. Contact logistic company on Whatsapp/Wechat, and tell them you want to start using their company to ship your goods.
Note – ask for the Posting Details (Contact Name, China Address & Phone No), save the details and send to your supplier anytime you want to ship your product.
2. Send Base 1 posting details to your supplier on AliExpress and tell him to ship to the address. Also, tell your supplier to write Base1 Posting Details, Your Full Name & Phone No on the cartoon for identification purposes
3. Chat with logistic company and inform them you are expecting a package from your supplier. Specify the delivery method you want (Express or Cargo Shipping).
It is as simple as that; you will only pay for shipping when your package gets to Nigeria. Once your package arrives Nigeria.
Logistics Companies you can Use to Ship your Products from China:
- Base 1 Logistics
- Chrisvicmall Logistics
- NonnyKings Logistics
- St. Patrick International Logistics
- Cj logistics
- ANYI – NATURE Logistics
- Happy Time Logistics
- Nsibor Express and Cargo Shipping
- Royal Gate
- Nze 1 Logistics
Search for any of them online to get more contact information.
To ship your product to Nigeria, this company charges $8/kg for express delivery and $4.5/kg for cargo delivery. Express delivery takes 24 – 48hours while cargo delivery takes 7days to deliver to Nigeria.
If you want to use this logistics company, you would have to tell your supplier to ship your goods to the office address in Guangzhou China. Once your products have been delivered, they will help you to ship it down to Nigeria. With this method, you will be able to make between 100% to 700% profit from your imported goods.
You can either go to their office in Lagos to pick it up or tell them to send to your address (the latter attracts a fee, depending on the weight of your package and your location).
NOTE- To avoid delay or loss of parcel, ensure you adhere strictly to the procedures above.
Wares on 1688.com are relatively cheaper than that of AliExpress. I’ve gotten stuff from both, though Aliexpress is good when you are buying for personal usage and 1688 is perfect for business purpose and bulk buying. 1688 may be treated later
Conclusion; I am sure this is the best full post on how to start mini importation business in Nigeria, am also going to include how you can sell your products in Nigeria, if you find this post very useful share it to among your friends lets this not go to waste
How to Market & Sell your Imported Products in Nigeria
Another challenge most people face is selling their imported products, of-course this is the most important part of it because if you get goods at cheaper rates and you can’t sell it you will also end up becoming broke.
Now how do you sell your products very fast? The simple answer is to sell your products where people are already spending money to buy similar or the same products, some of these places are Facebook, Instagram, Jumia, Konga, and Dealdey. In other to do this, if your plan is to import 500 pieces of a particular product, just import 20pcs at first and see how fast you can sell it on these Platforms.
If you are able to sell very fast, then you can go ahead and import it in large quantities. This is all about testing! Make sure you test so that you won’t end up importing goods in large quantities and you later realize that people are not interested in it or it is not selling very fast.
Places & Sites to Sell your Products
Promote it on Facebook & Instangram:
This is the first place you should utilize in creating awareness, there are a lot of people on Facebook more than 4 Billion users, Social media is the second home of an average Nigerian
To utilize the power of Facebook in Marketing your Goods please create a Facebook page and run adverts, it’s easy and cheap, with this method you can reach out to millions of Nigerians at a go and you won’t spend much running Facebook Ads if you do not know how to run Facebook adverts, I had written an in-depth with explanatory images on how to run effective Facebook ads. Of course, you can get it here, it is very affordable
Steps to Start Selling your Products on Facebook Instagram
Selling on Facebook/Instagram is quite easy, see the model below:
- Create a business page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/create)
- List your product and be consistent in posting your products with great contents using hashtags
- Run an advert (https://www.facebook.com/powereditor)
- Deliver to customers
Note – This is just a brief; you can contact me to get full details on how to advertise on Facebook targeting the right audience without spending so much money. ( Almost every beginner spends a lot of money running adverts but my e-book will teach you how to avoid this mistakes!)
Why do you need to run Ads on Facebook and Instagram?
This is the best place to sell your imported products and make 8x profit.
Facebook/Instagram is a great resource; you can reach millions of people with just a click and drive tons of buyers to your sales page which in turn leads to whopping cash. The selling price of a product on Facebook/Instagram is higher than the selling price on the e-commerce platform (Konga, Jumia, and Dealdey).
How to Deliver Your Products to the Buyers Across Nigeria
If you want to use Facebook/Instagram to market your product, you will need a courier company to deliver your goods to your customers nationwide; most of them have branches in all states; they will help you to deliver your product to the buyer, collect the money and pay into your account. Some of them even go as far as coming down to your address to pick up the package and deliver it to your customers. Do you see how easy this can be
Courier Companies you can use to deliver your customers orders
There are lots of Courier Companies you can use; popular ones include:
- 1. KOS (http://www.kos.ng)
- 2. CedarExpress (http://www.cedarexpressng.com)
- 3. EDS (https://www.eds.com.ng)
- 4. Ace (http://www.ace.ng)
If you would like to use either of the courier companies among the ones I listed above, head over to their website and contact their account officer.
How to Partner with Jumia and Konga to Sell Your Products Free
Note: other common and effective ways you advertise your products are WhatsApp status, send the ads to your friends to help u post to their WhatsApp status, and also list your product on Jiji. I got a free advert on Jiji two days ago and sales are rolling in well from there
How to Set Up a Seller Account On Konga
Most people do not know this secret. The beauty of partnering with them is that they market your product for you, some of these companies handle the delivery for you as well and these are credible eCommerce websites that people spend hundreds of thousands every day to buy things from. All they want from you is quality products at a relatively cheap price, cheap enough to make a good profit, and also good enough to entice customers the more. You don’t have to stress yourself
looking for whom to buy your product or spending money on adverts. So all you have to do is give them your products or create your own store on their website, sit back and watch your emails filled up with order notifications.
In other to register with these companies follow the instructions below:
Konga is one of the largest e-commerce stores in Nigeria, Konga has over 50million buyers. In other to sell on Konga, go to: http://shq.konga.com, click on register now and read the full instructions on the site in order to get started
How to Set Up a Seller Account On Jumia
Jumia is the largest store in Nigeria with about 200millions buyers in Africa.
To start selling on Jumia, visit https://www.jumia.com.ng/marketplace-vendor and fill the form sequentially.
How to Fulfill Orders & Deliver Your Products to Customers Across the Nation
Once someone places an order for any of the available products you listed on your store (KONGA or Jumia for instance), you will receive a notification via e-mail/SMS. To deliver the order to the customer, do the following:
- Login to your portal
- Print out the order invoice
- Package the product (the packaging depends on the product size; I use an envelope to deliver most of my orders)
- Drop off the product at Konga‟s drops off-center closest to you and Konga will help you deliver it to the buyer irrespective of the location. (You can as well self- fulfill the order if the buyer’s address is close to you).
Note the following:
The procedures listed above also apply to orders placed on Jumia.
For orders placed on Konga or other E-commerce sites, all you need is to package the product and drop it off at any of their distribution agents offices nearest to you
(Once you set up an account with any of these e-commerce companies, you would be requested to download the NEW SELLER GUIDE MATERIALS. The material talks about all you need to know about their services)
1. Use a Lagos address during registration to get your store approved
2. Make use of Jumia’s warehouse (also known as JumiaFirst).
To do this, transfer your imported product to Jumia’s warehouse in Lagos, login to your Jumia store and list your products. Once you have a new order, Jumia will pick up the product, help you to deliver to your customer and pay into your account.
Click here to read the full information:
https://vendorhub.jumia.com.ng/2016/07/08/jumia-first . This is very easy; they will do the hard work for you while you pocket the money. You can also make use of this option if you are engaged with other businesses. To use JumiaFirst, send an email to [email protected] and request for the JumiaFirst service.
NOTE – Konga also warehouse product for their sellers, if you warehouse your product with them, you won’t need to drop-off product anytime you have an order. Since they already have your products, they will help you to deliver to your customers and pay into your account. To make use of Konga’s Warehouse (also known as Fulfillment by Konga – FBK), send an email to [email protected] or call 08094605555
NOTE – Knowing fully well that you can make 8x profit using Facebook/Instagram alone, that doesn’t mean you should neglect Jumia, Konga, and Jiji. To get more orders and make more money on a daily basis, make use of all the platforms and even any more sites.
How to Become a Successful Importer?
In all sincerity, the competition is a little bit fierce, but there are ways around it, it’s advisable to browse through all these e-commerce websites, and keenly observe which of the products on their platform is doing well,
Conduct a price survey, compare the price of the item on Jumia, Konga and any other e-commerce website with the price tag from where you will be importing your goods, the purpose of this survey is to search for items that you can ship in at a relatively cheap price in contrast to what other sellers are selling, this allows you to carefully decide on what to ship.
It’s strictly not advisable to import trademark items with the intention of selling on Facebook, or on ecommerce websites, because most times, the return on investment would be zero, often established companies like Samsung, HP, etc. relate directly with ecommerce companies, hence they deliver their products at a reasonable price.
It’s advisable to think along the line of what an average man would use on a daily basis, something not too expensive, very unique, meets people’s needs and solves some peculiar problems.
This is a comprehensive guide on how you can start mini importation business in Nigeria on your won, arming yourself with this information i do not think there is anything you can not achieve, as i cover virtually every angle from buying the products online to selling and delivery it to your final consumers
All I need from you is an appreciation of Sharing this post to reach other people who might need it and maybe patronizing me by buying my Facebook product marketing e-book
I can also set up an e-commerce website where you can sell your products directly and use any of the courier services to deliver it, this will help you stand out from the crowd and improve your business here are my reasons
While is great to run ads on Facebook and social media to sell your Goos however once you stop running this Ads business declines what if you have a system that will retain this traffic for future use, maybe when next you have a product arrival, you do not need to spend so much running ads
This is where a website comes into play, with you having a brand website which will not cost much, each time you have a set of products, discounts and flash sales, all the clients who patronized your previous products on your website ( Directed by Facebook ads) will receive automatic notifications on their Mobile phones!
Trust me if you are serious and wants to carbe out your own source of income through mini importation business you need a good website to outrank other competitions lets assume in future facebook band your account or jumia changes thir system of operation, if you had creatd a website in ess than 6 months you must have build your audience and email list to reach your customers directly without any third party
I can do that for you plus help you out in managing it just contact me for me
There is doubt that you’d definitely start making money immediately if you follow all the training modules and principles learned.
Is Mini importation business lucrative?
Yes it’s very lucrative Let me This is an example of how my friend earned some cash
He bought 64gig around #450 and sold for 4000 each. He sold over 200 pieces.
Do the maths
At least u can’t get this kind of flash drive from Igbo shop across the road or in Sabo market
So even if you are getting common products, let it have some added uniqueness. It sells better. With a smartphone and internet access, you don’t have a reason to be broke.
How much can I Use to start Mini Importation Business
Well you do not need to empty your account to start up a mini importation business in Nigeria, with less than 30,000 Naira you can comfortably start but that will be your testing phase
For real business you should use between 50 – 100k to buy large quantities and shipments of such products, all these depend on the cost of the item you item to buy
Njoku Ikechukwu (Engr.), a seasoned Entrepreneur in Mini Importation and Exportation of high demands products, you can contact me via WhatsApp for more advance and intense guidance if you need further assistance