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overseas suppliers - Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overseas

by Chris Malta

There are many effective product sourcing methods for your E-Biz. If you're limiting yourself to one or two, you're missing out on some tremendous opportunities to grow your business and increase your revenue. Importing is one extremely profitable avenue many retailers fail to employ.

Often, importing enables you to reduce acquisition costs, and allows you to offer products that don't yet have U.S. distribution. Enthuses Richard Geasey, of the Australian Trade Commission (www.AusTrade.gov.au), "You can find niche products that address unmet needs here in the States."

Importing Support
There are different resources for facilitating the importing process, and each one plays a different role:

  • An agent is a company that accepts delivery of imported goods on your behalf. They deal with Customs, pay duties, and pass those items on to you without ever taking ownership of them. If you import large volumes of product on a regular basis, an agent can help alleviate that workload.


  • A distributor receives goods from the manufacturer. They offer credit terms, stocking, order-taking, shipping, etc. You need credit to work with a distributor.


  • Fulfillment centers also receive goods and offer stocking and shipping options. They don't, however, offer credit terms.
When you're starting out in importing, it's wise to use an agent.

If you're unclear on how your items are going to be classified, how much they're going to cost, or what potential issues may arise, an agent can help guide you through that process. Says Geasey, "In the future, as you feel more comfortable, you can take on those responsibilities and become an importer yourself."

Think Big
Since your landing costs are a significant portion of your expenses, you make your best profits when you import in larger volumes. The more items you combine into one shipment, the more you can spread your shipping costs over those additional items. This lets you keep end costs down for consumers. You want to avoid importing small quantities unless the items are of high value and can be shipped in small packages, such as fine watches or pens.

The Potential is There
While importing isn't necessarily for beginners, once you've established your business and know what you're doing, it can be a terrific expansion tool. Many overseas companies are looking to do business in the U.S., and many of them engage eCommerce sites using drop shipping or light bulk (low minimum order) wholesaling. It's a great channel to find new, unique products and get fantastic savings you can pass on to your customers.

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...