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How to Start a Lucrative Cosmetics Business in Nigeria

If you are looking for good information on how to start a lucrative cosmetics business, you are on the right page. Indeed, looking good is a good business. Selling cosmetics products in Nigeria is very lucrative, and the people who engage in this kind of business make good money. 

No doubt, the beauty industry in Nigeria is growing rapidly. The beauty industry is among the few industries that I’m always interested in studying and following up on. Not only because I have one or two businesses in the industry, but It’s also about my obsession as a businessman who is always on the lookout for the top-performing industries in the country. 

The cosmetics industry globally generates an estimated yearly turnover of like $400billion. Talking Nigeria’s cosmetics and personal care industry, it’s about $3billion in value, and it keeps growing every year.  There is always a gap for new players to come into the market because of market diversity and how the demographics are constantly changing. The increase in the number of cosmetics and product users can be traced to the influence of having access to the Internet on the young population and wanting to follow the trends in the Western nations.

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to look at the market size before entering and playing in it. Do the numbers make sense enough? What are the money-making opportunities for business-minded people? How does the market grow? Who are the leading players? Is the market well dominated? What are the available opportunities for the new players? Finding correct answers to this will enable you to determine if the market is worth playing in or not. 

Everybody wants to look good. No one wants to feel bad. This explains why people apply lotions on their skin, cream on their hair, and use deodorant and perfume to smell pleasant. So long as there are consumers and they can afford to buy the cosmetics products, the business will always be profitable. 

How much do you need to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria?

The cost of setting up the business depends on how you want to be selling your products, and the kinds of products you want to be selling. If you want to be selling cosmetics products online in Nigeria, you can start the business with as low as N60, 000. And it’s possible to be making 40% to 60% in profit margin. The more you’re reinvesting your profits back into the business, the bigger your capital base and the more money you make. 

Starting with this amount means you won’t be selling many kinds of products.  You can choose between personal care and beauty products. Women buy more beauty products than men. Men mostly buy personal care products, still, women buy more than them. This tells you that about 70% of your customers are women. 

If you want to be selling in a physical shop, you will definitely need more than N60, 000. The cost of starting this way depends on how much inventory you plan to carry. To be realistic, you can manage to start with N600, 000 as a retailer. But for wholesaling, you will need more than this for the business to bring good returns for you. You will stock more products and sell them in bucks to a good number of retailers to make a decent income. 

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Things have really changed. People are becoming more comfortable day by day buying things on the Internet. This implies as you are selling in a physical shop, you will also have an online presence for customers to make orders for your products. Using Instagram and Jiji to display your products to the world will bring sales. 

What are the cosmetics products to sell in Nigeria?

Categorically, there are about seven groups of cosmetics products. Here they are: decorative cosmetics, oral care, skin care, hair care, perfume, body care and sun care. Under these groups you will the cosmetics products listed below:

  • Hair cream.
  • Shampoo.
  • Body lotion.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Mouthwash.
  • Deodorant.
  • Powder.
  • Deodorant.
  • Hair oil.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Body oil.
  • Foot wash.
  • Cleansing milk.
  • Body soap.
  • Body wash.
  • Body scrub.
  • Brushes.
  • Toner 
  • Makeup cleansing milk
  • Facial cleansing oil.
  • Mask and scrub
  • Shower gel.
  • Lipstick.
  • Foundation.
  • Aftershave.
  • Hair dye.
  • Lip gloss.
  • Hair spray.

Where to buy cosmetics products to resell in Nigeria?

There are two main ways to buy cosmetics products in Nigeria: you can import the products online and you can buy from markets, distributors, and cosmetics companies in Nigeria.

Lagos is not Nigeria’s commercial centre for nothing. It houses some of the biggest markets in Nigeria. Lagos Island Market, and Trade Fair Market are the markets you can buy cosmetics products from in Nigeria. If you are not familiar with the importation of products into the country, start by buying from markets, distributors, and companies in Nigeria first, and you can import later on. 

What are the skills you need to start the business?

To put it in clear words: you need knowledge of health and beauty products. It’s a must to have. Above other skills. Then, selling skills, communication skills, and accountability skills–as needed in most other businesses. 

Another thing to take note of is the expiry dates of your stocks. Turnover not only matters here, you have to sell your product as quickly as you can so that you won’t end up throwing them out because they are almost expired or have expired. 

Step by step guide on how to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria

Step 1: Decide on the kinds of products you want to sell

In the large pool of cosmetics products, to record success on time and make good profits, it’s required that one should carve a niche for himself/herself in the market. Nothing is bad in selling all products at the beginning to understand the market. Deciding and picking the kinds of products to sell makes one familiar with some kinds of products first before the others. 

You can decide to be selling hair care products at the beginning. Hair products cannot be pushed back in the back because people demand them. 

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Another thing to take into consideration when choosing what to sell is how passionate you are about the products. There is a need to have passion for the products you sell. This will make you enthusiastic about marketing, and selling them to customers. When you are passionate about a product, it will push you to learn enough about it, and share useful information with people.

Women buy cosmetics products more than men. 70% of the market product buyers are not a joke to any serious business-minded person. Sell what appeals to women and make good money in the market. 

If you have big capital to start with, I mean you really have huge money to invest into the inventory, you can be all big and sell everything that’s moving in the market. That is after you have done your research properly. 

Step 2: Get a business plan

The cosmetics business is a serious business on the continent of Africa. You cannot afford to invest in a business without giving it a guide and direction. The need to have a business plan for your business is evident. A business plan gives you clarity about your goals. From selling, marketing, and finance to operations, it serves as a roadmap to business success. 

You cannot articulate your business strategies without having a business plan. The record shows that 73% of the fastest-growing businesses have business plans. And they grow 30% faster than those who don’t. 

Recording success in selling cosmetics products either online or offline or both requires you to have a business plan in place. Selling fast-moving products is not enough, you must define the direction you are going into. 

What deters most aspiring entrepreneurs from having a business plan is they think since they don’t know how to prepare one, there is no other way around it. No. This is not true. You can hire an expert to do the job for you and deliver the result. I can help you to craft a business plan at a very affordable rate. Click here to chat with me on WhatsApp or send a mail to the email address on the contact page. 

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Step 3: Get your capital ready

You need financial capital to start a cosmetics business in Nigeria. Financial capital is money, credit, and other forms of funding that you use to build your business. Your capital goes into the inventory that kick-starts the business and keeps it running. You stock goods, rent shop, arrange your products and possibly hire staff with money. 

If you want to be selling cosmetics products on the Internet in Nigeria, you can start N50, 000 should get you started. There is no maximum amount of money to invest in this business. If you are selling in a shop and online together, as you know, you will need to pay rent and some other recurring bills. You can manage to start with like N600, 000. Don’t forget that the more the capital, the more the profit margin. 

Step 3: Rent a shop/store in a good location

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Retailing, and wholesaling cosmetics products in Nigeria requires one to have a shop in a good location that is easily accessible to people.  The location of the small or medium business plays a good role in bringing in customers to buy products/services. They will not likely enter a shop if they don’t notice it exists.  

You can rent a shop for your business in a busy market or location. The rent rates vary. Definitely, shop rents in busy markets are higher than the ones outside. You have to also do your findings properly so that you won’t end up overspending on rents and be left with no money to stock products.  

Renting a shop in a good location and doing your findings properly will put you on the path of business in selling cosmetics products in Nigeria. Let’s move to the next step.

Step 4: Stock your products

Finally, after you have taken the aforementioned steps, you can now prepare a cosmetics product list and head to the market to buy. In Lagos, you can buy cosmetics products at Balogun Market, Trade Fair Market, and Mushin Market. Buy at any of those that sell at good rates. You can get good prices at Balogun Market and Trade Fair. These two markets house a large number of cosmetics distributors, importers, and wholesalers in Nigeria. 

You need to create sections for your products and name them for proper arrangement. Build or buy shelves. It will help you to know on time when you are running out of stock. Doing the books and records will be easy because you can easily glance at any section at a distance. 

 Furthermore, well sectioned and arranged shops appear beautiful and welcoming to the visitors and customers. It’s a beauty business you are into and your business place must be beautiful. 

Wrapping things up

Amazingly, we have to the end of the post. Now, you have all the necessary information about how to start selling cosmetics products in Nigeria and make money. No doubt, the cosmetics product business is a good business to venture into in Nigeria. Start taking action with this information now. The cosmetics industry is expecting you to come in. Are you ready?

Do you have questions or suggestions or contributions or contrary opinions to make? Leave them in the comment tab below. I can’t wait to hear from you. If you need any assistance about how to start any business anywhere in Nigeria and Africa, I’m just a click away. Reach out to me by sending an email. Very urgent? Chat me on WhatsApp.

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Usman Atanda
My name is Usman Atanda - the man behind I'm a serial hustler from Lagos, Nigeria. Here at, I cover topics such as Business Ideas, Side Hustle Tips, Business Tips, Side Hustle Ideas and much more. My ultimate goal is to make the building legitimate and lucrative small businesses and side hustle to be achievable.

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