When you import and export, mistakes can happen. How you recover--minimizing time delays and additional expenses--and learn from the mistakes is critical to your future success. Here are two real experiences--one export and the other import related - showing how creative thinking and playing to one's strengths can provide simple solutions to what could have become a costly disaster.
Read the entire article: Crisis Management: What to Do When Your Import/Export Goes Wrong
In a recent article I wrote, "The Mysterious Triangular Trade," we talked about what is a triangular trade. With parallel importing, it is a form of international trade that still exists and is oftentimes referred to as the "gray market." Here, I define what parallel importing is, provide an example of parallel importing and touch on the lawfulness of parallel importations.
Read the entire article: What is Parallel Importing?
During the course of more than a hundred interviews over the years, media reporters repeatedly ask me: What's stopping small business owners and entrepreneurs from going global? Is it really that hard? It boils down to six basic, simple reasons. Here they are. Each of these is based on years of experience working in the field of importing and exporting.
In this article, I address a reader's question: "What percentage of a product has to be manufactured in the United States for it to legally carry the label "Made in USA?"
Read more ... What Constitutes a "Made in USA" Product?
Got a new product idea that will wow the world? What are you waiting for? Your first step when developing and pricing a new product for overseas should be to check if there is a similar product already on the market and what it is priced at. If there is a similar product, see how your idea can be differentiated and use the competing product's price point as a starting point for yours. Here's what it takes to bring a product to market and price it fairly.
Let me first paint the picture, which many of you who are sourcing products from overseas will relate to. It goes like this ...
Everyone knows how vital it is to collect payments on overseas deals. The same goes for making timely payments to overseas suppliers. There is a catalog of secrets on international trade finance that only those in the trenches know about--such as how a letter of credit can boost profitability for your business. Here, I curate several articles I have authored over the years on how to make or accept international payments. Refer to them as often as you like and on an as-needed basis.
When deciding where to concentrate your sales efforts, a range of motivations comes into play. You might choose a market that intrigues you or offers a challenge, and then consider products that you might want to sell there. You will be visiting this market frequently and getting to know its people intimately, so, just as you should pick a product that will delight you for years to come, you should plan on importing/exporting to/from a country that delights and fascinates you.
Here are other considerations to take into account.
You've landed a sale overseas. Now you need to get paid. One easy option for payment is PayPal, an online payment service. Every account type that PayPal offers allows you to accept and make international payments. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it? Are you signed up? If not, you must have a few reservations. Let's examine why establishing a PayPal account can be a good thing while working in the import/export industry. (Full disclosure: I do not work for PayPal, nor do I have any vested interests in the organization.)
Our new digital world gives small businesses, including those with even the simplest import/export strategy, a chance to do business with the world. But to outwit your competitor, retool your product, realign your service offering or readjust your attitude, for example, it takes times and the crafting of a perfect plan. The article below will help you get it done.
Pallets, a flat transport structure that holds and supports goods in a sturdy fashion while being lifted by a forklift or other jacking device, are a big part of international shipping. When you are ready to ship globally, you must decide: Do you need to palletize your freight? What kind of pallet should be used--new or used, wood or plastic? These are just a few of the questions I posed to John Shawyer, director and owner of the UK-based Associated Pallets Ltd. (http://www.associated-pallets.co.uk/). Below is what transpired from our interview.