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Where do I start(Import/Export business)?

yusiyeyusiye subscriber Posts: 3 Member
edited May 2013 in Business Planning
I was recently talking to my friend about start a import/export business. I`d like to pick a book or something to start get an overview on the subject. Where should I start?


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    elisaelisa subscriber Posts: 1
    Check out this article on entrepreneur.com.Its an article
    on How to Start an Import/Export Business. It is
    a pretty lengthy article and pretty interesting from what I
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabu ... nessideas/
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    Nick25Nick25 subscriber Posts: 0
    It may also help to take a look at Import businesses for sale and Export businesses for sale to give you an idea what types of products are getting imported/exported. This is a good way to start your decision-making process.
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    ElvinJamesElvinJames subscriber Posts: 0
    Great information. Thanks for sharing post.
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    boberwinboberwin subscriber Posts: 0
    I`m the university guy who run the free www.Export-U.com  website. We just started it about a year ago with a little seed money from the Commerce Department. Eight webinars are now active, with 3 more due this Summer.
    We`re always looking for good suggestions on how the improve the site and on topics you`d like us to cover.
    boberwin6/9/2009 4:08 PM
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    customshqcustomshq subscriber Posts: 0
    Think about subscribing to ImportGenius.com. Best way to identify suppliers and find out where other importers buy their goods overseas.
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    SandyLSandyL subscriber Posts: 0
    It seems like a trend to use online marketing websites to expand your business these days. My experience tells me this site http://export-to-china.com is a reliable source to help you boost your export in China. Excellent services, serious buyers, rapid business growth and a bright future!
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    GillVanGillVan subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    When starting out you will definitely want to reduce your shipping cost. If you are shipping large weight LTL is a good way to reduce these cost. FSB has an informative guide on how it all works http://fitsmallbusiness.com/ltl-freight-shipping/
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    Gregory101Gregory101 subscriber Posts: 51 Bronze Level Member
    I have some experience with operating an export/import business and can answer some of your questions. The first thing you should do is research tariffs for your home country. While it may seem like "you are basically just flipping stuff for double their value", it may not be the case once you take into account tariffs and shipping costs. Also, you may be referring to the retailer markup, as an importer you will be selling to retailers (unless you plan on having your own retail operations) so your margin will need to leave room for them to make a profit.

    As an importer you will be exposed to a fair deal of risk, primarily inventory (especially when dealing with food items with short expiration dates). Risk can be minimized by taking orders and having customers pay you ahead of time, but that's obviously an ideal scenario. If you're just starting out, you'll find it extremely difficult to get customers to part with their money prior to seeing the products (until trust is developed). To get volume discounts + minimize your shipping costs, as well as cancelled orders from clients, you'll often find yourself sitting on excess goods which you may have trouble selling. Initially you may not be able to afford a warehouse, and running this type of business out of your home can be extremely inconvenient.

    You do not need to have your business registered in the USA, since you can purchase directly from the distributors/wholesalers and have the products shipped to South America. Depending on what it is that you're importing you will need an import license - and these can be costly (I would inquire with your local government to see what type of licenses you may need). Now keep in mind that there may be various restrictions for certain type of products. One example is an exclusive import agreement that some brands may have with local/regional importers in your area. In such cases you will only be able to purchase those products from those exclusive importers (which defeats the whole point of what you're trying to do).

    Companies that produce goods typically deal directly with wholesalers/distributors, who then sell their products to retailers. You can find out the the contacts by going to the brands directly, they'll be able to provide you with a list.

    This is a difficult and very costly business to operate, despite its fairly simple business model. You'll have to build and maintain relationships with many customers in your local area. The logistics can be tough, especially if you have to deal with corrupt customs personnel in a third world country. Also, there is no lack of competition in most countries, so large companies with massive warehouses will be able to get large volume discounts, leading to low prices that you may not be able to compete against.

    Start small by securing deals with local retailers and keep costs low by working out of your home and using your own vehicle for delivery. This will allow you to get your feet wet and hopefully built up some cash for future expansion.
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    YourRetailCoachYourRetailCoach subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member

    To start an import/export business you have to know the market, select the best business, open a letter of credit at your bank, See merchandise through customs and collect the stock.

    YRC is a Management Consulting Company, especially for the B-C Sector. Our expertise lies into designing of Standard Operating Procedures, Franchise Development, Strategy & Operations services, Process Audits & Training. 
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    SimonaSimona subscriber Posts: 4 Member
    Hello, if you want to Export/Import any products to/from China, feel free to contact me at: simona@opportunityguide.cn
    I work for a consulting company in Shanghai, which helps foreigners to set up companies in China, export or import products and many other kinds of business issues.
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    AllenJoyAllenJoy subscriber Posts: 7 Member
    Hi,you can choose China as your cargo supply country,where being recognized as the world’s leading manufacturing center.
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