Is importing right for your business?

Importing can be the right call for your business if one discovers the ideal product with a good supplier. Often one can import from another country at a lower cost and possibly even higher quality thus lowering the costs to your business. That way it is also possible to add a new line of merchandise not yet available in the country. Sourcing from overseas comes with its own risks and could potentially cost you more should anything go wrong.

The definition of an import is any product or service brought into one country from another country in a legitimate fashion, typically for use in trade. Imported products or services are provided to domestic consumers by overseas producers. An import in the receiving country is an export to the sending country. Imports, along with exports, form the basis of international trade. Importing of products normally requires involvement of the Customs authorities in both the country of import and the country of export.

Ways to lower your risks when importing:

  • Learn all you can about the country you are sourcing from, particularly their business environment. That way you are less likely of having things go wrong.
  • Really get to know the product supplier and how they do business. Check out their customer service and quality control
  • Have a letter of agreement which clearly sets out the terms for delivery and payments etc.

Use imports to work for you and your business. Trade between countries has been going on for centuries. Importing is an ideal way to introduce new products to a country but be aware of the risks involved. With this knowledge you will be able to identify the proper supplier, negotiate a good deal and use importing to grow your business.


(By: Tracy Venter)


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