Trade Leads
 

Importing


Importing goods into your country for sale at profit

Your success as an importer will be much more likely if you develop:

  1) A sound understanding of your country's market strengths and weaknesses
  2) An appreciation of what is being produced in different parts of the world

Why? Because your understanding of these will guide your choice of goods.


Choice of goods for importing
The goods you decide to import will probably fall into one of the following categories, and you can use this list as a starting point in your search:
  • They aren't available in your country
  • Seasonability - they are only available at certain times of the year
  • Variety - only a limited range may be available
  • Cost - they are cheaper to produce abroad
  • Perception of quality of certain goods from certain places e.g. French champagne
  • Exchange rates make it financially sound to import them
A thorough understanding of the market for importing
So what should you do and where should you go to develop this understanding?
  • Internet and market research
  • Attend trade shows
  • Consult embassy trade departments
  • Market yourself to foreign manufacturers
  • Travel abroad on fact finding missions
Distribution
You can receive your goods by air, sea, rail or road. The choice will depend upon factors such as distance, the type of goods, cost, speed and safety.

You may need to deal with freight forwarders & transportation companies, negotiate contracts, prepare for delivery, sort out delivery problems - a whole range of issues. So be prepared.

Rules and regulations for importing goods
This will vary from country to country. It is up to you to make sure you are aware of all the necessary regulations, taxes, duties and documentation needed to import goods into your country.

What else?
Finance - learn all about the Letter of Credit

So take me through the main steps I'll need to take to import products
  • Perform market research to identify gaps in the market, potential for profit, competition etc.
  • Contact foreign embassy trade departments - ask for advice on country specific processes and to establish any contacts
  • Identify the product you wish to import and potential suppliers of the product
  • If selling the product on, identify potential buyers in your country
  • Contact your government departments for help/advice on necessary documentations and legalities
  • Ensure the product is ready for importing, that it meets all regulations
  • Arrange finance
  • Negotiate costs and terms
  • Decide upon distribution method and organise shipment of the product