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Competition in worlds largest electronic marketplace is fierce! If you have to buy products from a middleman, you may find that your prices are not workable at all. What to do? Since most of consumers products are imported any way, you may consider outsourcing your product from a foreign country. Today, thanks to globalization importing products are no longer as difficult as it used to be! If you are trying to buy a labor-intensive product, best places are probably China which is hottest at this time, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh and some other Asian countries. If you are looking for medium quality electronics and computer parts, your options are China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, etc. For high-end designer products Italy, Germany and France are your best bet. For intellectual property related products, Russia and other Eastern European countries are still a paradise. There is a good chance of finding a supplier through online B2B portals. If you are looking for a supplier from China you may try www.alibaba.com and www.globalsources.com. Two of largest trade leads aggregators on Internet. For products from India you may try searching database of both www.indiamart.com and www.trade-india.com. For products from Russia and other CIS countries www.rusbiz.com is a great option.
Here are steps you must take in order to import products successfully:
Locate several suppliers either through online resources or by contacting Trade Commissions of respective countries.
Contact suppliers and see if they are in a position to deliver right product. Make sure that suppliers are not your direct competitors. Many foreign suppliers are actively selling products through eBay.
If you find their price and quality of product are acceptable get several samples. It is very important to give them an exact copy of product you are looking for. Without a prototype you might end up getting something far different than you expected.
Work out your cost, which include buying cost, packaging, shipping, insurance, customs duty, excise duty if any, financing and handling charges, etc. You may also incur other expenses depending on products and your location.
Check out your supplier. If possible make a trip to visit supplier. Ask for references. Contact their bankers if necessary. Importing requires absolute due diligence.
Check with a logistics consultant about shipping and exporting rules of country.
Contact a customs broker to verify latest duty and other regulations related to importing of this particular product.
Dont forget to consider product life cycle, shipping time, seasonality of product and other characteristics specific to your product.
Importantly, do your homework! You can sure make money by importing and selling goods on eBay. Thousands are already doing this. But, key to success relies on your entrepreneurial spirit, due preparation, sound judgment and hard work. If you think you are ready, go for it!
Nowshade Kabir, is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of Rusbiz.com a Global B2B Exchange with solutions to create e-catalog, Web store, business process management and other features to run a business online. You can read various articles written by Nowshade Kabir at http://ezine.rusbiz.com .