Importing Basics – What You Need To Know To Get Started

You’re Already Importing — Why Not Get the Benefits?
Everyone knows there are great deals to be found overseas — items that can be picked up for a fraction of the cost. But what you may not have considered is that almost everything you’re buying domestically has already been imported. You’re just paying a mark-up cost to whomever did the actual importing for you. For retail newcomers, there’s nothing wrong with that. But for the established businessperson, importing directly…
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You’re Already Importing — Why Not Get the Benefits?
Everyone knows there are great deals to be found overseas — items that can be picked up for a fraction of the cost. But what you may not have considered is that almost everything you’re buying domestically has already been imported. You’re just paying a mark-up cost to whomever did the actual importing for you. For retail newcomers, there’s nothing wrong with that. But for the established businessperson, importing directly can save a lot of money.

3 Things to Consider When Importing:
1. Your wholesale cost isn’t what you pay for an item.
Your wholesale cost is the cumulative total for getting that item to your house, ready to be shipped to your customers. You may be paying fifty cents a vase, but after you pay a Customs broker, import duties, various fees, freight, consolidation, and insurance expenses, your actual cost of goods may be $2.25 each. Look at all your costs before you jump on a deal — anything you forget will come out of your profit margin.

2. You’ll have to allow significant lead time when placing overseas orders.
It can sometimes be two or three months, or even longer, from the time you place your order to the time you receive the goods. Problems with Customs can delay your orders even further. The costs of air freight may be as much as ten times higher than the costs of shipping, but air freight is significantly faster and less risky. You have to know when you need your wares and decide which way is going to best serve your needs.

3. You need look at the legal aspects.
There are numerous government forms to fill out and a great many regulations regarding your imports. You are responsible for ensuring that what you bring into this country complies with safety codes and all other applicable laws.

How Do I Get Started?
If you’ve never done this before, your best bet is probably to start with a Customs broker. Says Kelby Woodward, of http://TradeInnovations.com, “The Customs broker really helps you through the whole process. They make sure that all your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed, and that you’ve considered all the different things factors to accurately estimate your product’s landing costs.” A Customs broker can assist you in finding a trustworthy freight forwarder to advise you on the best way to ship your products and book their passage for you.

Additionally, a Customs broker will walk you through the regulations and legalities, insuring you’re properly declared, you’ve paid the correct duties, and you aren’t dealing with gray market wares. If your goods get tied up in Customs, your broker can help expedite the process of getting them through. Kelby states, “Expert advice in the beginning is very important. As you develop your expertise, then you can start taking over some of these processes yourself and save even more money.”

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