When talking about International Business, a question may arise: what does a global procurement officer from a large technology firm in Kansas and a hobbyist selling gloves from Brazil have in common?
They’re both importers, in which they take goods from a foreign country and bring them into the United States. Importers can range in size, scope and specialty. But they all share the same potential pitfalls and can all lose money if they do it wrong.
There are two main ways to import: directly and though third parties. The intermediary may be called a trading company, importer, buyer’s representative, agent or a host of other titles.
There are many strong points to using an intermediary:
They usually know what they’re doing, if they are reputable.
They understand the exporting country’s language, culture and business practices.
Intermediaries can avoid complications.
Intermediaries may do much business with factories you’re interested in. Hence, they may have larger buying power and receive better service.
They may be able to offer you one-stop shopping (freight, customs, arranging payment, perhaps even quality control).
They often have relationships with factories, so they can find suppliers that they know and trust with greater ease.
If they are good, they should save you time.
For more on international marketing and international business, visit www.partnersinternational.com
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