Trade Leads

Trade Lead Websites

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There are hundreds and hundreds of trade lead websites and as their name suggests, they provide international contacts online for companies seeking to do business in the import/export world.

They are often grouped together with either a geographical area, trade body or industry as the theme.

Trade lead directories are very different from the b2b online market place in that these leads are what are known as one-to-one (rather than one-to-many for the online trading sites). This takes the stress and hassle out of what is effectively an auction in the online market place. Whatever product you are looking to buy or sell, you can find a customer or supplier through the trade leads and do business with them directly, in your own time if the price is right.

Since the service they offer is quite simple and straightforward, most of the websites offering trade leads are free to list your product or to browse for trading partners, requiring only a simple registration process. This is a great way to make contact with a supplier or customer for a negligible cost although some of the sites do charge a commission as a percentage of the sale.

A number of premium sites do charge an annual fee or subscription. They claim that they have done a large part of the work of aggregating different trade leads to provide you with the ones that are most suited to your needs. They will also offer exclusivity, which means that the leads are not available elsewhere. With services like this it is worth taking a guest membership before joining so you can verify that they are offering the right sort of trade leads for your business.

Governments are very keen on establishing trade leads and it is always worthwhile checking out the trade commission or department of trade or import/export in a country you are considering doing business with. They may offer free guides to doing business with that country as well as a good place to start looking for the trade leads.

One of the important elements of a trade lead is that by definition, a company is offering to sell a particular product right now or in the immediate future. This is slightly different to the database of companies seeking to trade internationally. Called supplier directories, this is one of the fastest growing information resources in the world of international commerce. Without requiring that companies provide specific products for sale, a supplier directory presents the company and its products, it is up to the buyer to contact the company and develop a relationship without necessarily intending to buy a specific shipment.

One of the other key growth areas in trade leads is the presence of used goods and more importantly those resulting from forced sale due to bankruptcy or other types of legal intervention. These types of listings are also free and an excellent way to source cheap products from specialists in the business.

As a way to test the water as far as getting involved in import/export, online trade leads take some beating. For the most part, they are free and offer a risk-free window onto a potentially huge market.

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