Articles

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...



customs broker - The Ins and Outs of Importing - What You Need to Know to Begin

by Chris Malta

Importing can provide your e-business with cutting-edge products at rock-bottom prices. But it's a very complicated process, and not one you want to go through alone. "Customs brokers and freight forwarders are your gateway into the world of international trade," explains Custom House Broker Don Hoffman, of EveryOnlineShoeStore.com. "They're the experts in getting the documentation and duty payments through Customs."

Getting Good Help
Since most freight forwarders employ brokers to handle any customs issues, you might start by contacting a forwarder as soon as you make the decision to import products into the U.S.

You can find a forwarder in the yellow pages or search engines, but doing so is like playing the lottery — you have no idea what you'll get. The real problem is sorting through third-party operations, posing as forwarders, who are really nothing more than middlemen, marking up your end costs. The safest way to find a reputable forwarder is through trade associations or publications.

A forwarder can help you calculate your costs up front to determine if you can be competitive with a product. Your manufacturer should be able to give you the tariff number for your product, which your broker will use to give you the local U.S. duty rate. You have ten days to pay once the goods have been cleared in the U.S.; but most companies pay within eight, to give themselves room, in case of processing errors.

Bond Options
When importing, you're required to buy a bond that acts as insurance with Customs, in the event you should default on duties — although the bond doesn't relieve you from legal repercussions should that happen.

Bond companies underwrite the value of the shipment plus the duty, with either a single entry or annual bond. If you only plan to import once or twice a year, the single entry bonds are more affordable. But if you're receiving goods on a regular basis, the cost of an annual bond may pay for itself. You need to make your determination based on the number of shipments you'll be bringing in.

A Paper Trail
Your manufacturer will send you certain papers:

  • a commercial invoice

  • a packing list

  • a detail sheet (depending on the type of product) that breaks down a product's components and the way they're manufactured, so Customs can determine the duty classification

  • an airway bill or bill of lading
You will need all these documents when you pay duties to Customs to prove what you owe. And as the importer, you're legally responsible for obtaining them.

Delivery Arrangements
Once you have your paperwork, let your forwarder know the goods are ready. They'll contact the supplier, process the shipping bill, and book the shipment on your behalf. Your forwarder should be able to price out your shipment in various ways to see which would be most cost-effective. Air shipping is often overlooked as being too pricy; but it doesn't require many of the minimums that ocean freight does, and there are far fewer incidental charges involved.

Worth the Trouble
Bringing commercial goods into the U.S. is an involved procedure, but don't let the intricacies scare you. With qualified assistance, it can be a very profitable undertaking. Says Hoffman, "It's labor-intensive — you have to follow through with everything.

The key is to get good help: they'll guide you through the process and ensure you're in ship-shape."

 
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...