Considering Importing? Here's What You Need to Know

Importing has become a big business over the past few decades, and the growth of the internet and connectivity has made it easier than ever for businesses to connect across national borders. But how do you take advantage of these new connections and what do you need to do to start importing products for your business, either due to lower costs or unique market opportunities?

Here's a quick look at how to get started with importing.

  • Consider a management company. Importing can be a confusing process, so working with a seasoned professional makes the process go that much more easily. Expect to pay a retainer fee for hard-to-sell items or commission percentage to this company in exchange for their services, typically around 10% for a commission basis.

  • Watch your currencies. Because currencies shift in value against each other, it's not uncommon to see a product that would have cost $10 USD last week suddenly skyrocket up to $15 USD or drop to $5 USD. Keep an eye on the currency exchange rate for the country you're planning on importing from. Bonus: Buy when the exchange rate is right to improve profits.

  • How does it work? You'll need to get a pro forma invoice from the exporter, negotiate your price, open a letter of credit at your financial institution, verify shipment of the merchandise, receive documentation from the exporter, see the merchandise through customs and then collect it once it's finished going through customs.

  • Want to start small? Consider an exchange website like Ali Baba online to find some initial products and make a few small investments to see how the process works out. This allows you to get a better feel for the overall process without becoming overwhelmed by unexpected surprises, requests for additional paperwork or similar administrative issues that may arise in the process.

Though it may seem like a complex process, importing is done by thousands of businesses across the country on a daily basis. Fortunately, you don't need to go it alone in figuring out how to get started. AccountRely employs a number of business professionals to help our clients through a wide range of business issues, including importing practices. Please feel free to contact us today to get connected to the best possible business professional for your company's import needs.

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Importing has become a big business over the past few decades, and the growth of the internet and connectivity has made it easier than ever for businesses to connect across national borders. But how do you take advantage of these new connections and what do you need to do to start importing products for your business, either due to lower costs or unique market opportunities?

Here's a quick look at how to get started with importing.

  • Consider a management company. Importing can be a confusing process, so working with a seasoned professional makes the process go that much more easily. Expect to pay a retainer fee for hard-to-sell items or commission percentage to this company in exchange for their services, typically around 10% for a commission basis.

  • Watch your currencies. Because currencies shift in value against each other, it's not uncommon to see a product that would have cost $10 USD last week suddenly skyrocket up to $15 USD or drop to $5 USD. Keep an eye on the currency exchange rate for the country you're planning on importing from. Bonus: Buy when the exchange rate is right to improve profits.

  • How does it work? You'll need to get a pro forma invoice from the exporter, negotiate your price, open a letter of credit at your financial institution, verify shipment of the merchandise, receive documentation from the exporter, see the merchandise through customs and then collect it once it's finished going through customs.

  • Want to start small? Consider an exchange website like Ali Baba online to find some initial products and make a few small investments to see how the process works out. This allows you to get a better feel for the overall process without becoming overwhelmed by unexpected surprises, requests for additional paperwork or similar administrative issues that may arise in the process.

Though it may seem like a complex process, importing is done by thousands of businesses across the country on a daily basis. Fortunately, you don't need to go it alone in figuring out how to get started. AccountRely employs a number of business professionals to help our clients through a wide range of business issues, including importing practices. Please feel free to contact us today to get connected to the best possible business professional for your company's import needs.

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