10 Tips For New Importers In The US: Making Trade More Manageable!
Are you looking to start an importing business? Do you need more clarity on how it works? Then this is the right place. When it comes to sourcing products to sell, importing seems like a viable option in terms of cost, quality and other aspects. A nation usually imports goods or services that their local industries do not produce as efficiently and cheaply as a foreign nation.
But one must understand the fact that when you are entering unknown waters when it comes to import/export. And the only way to familiarize yourself with the new setting is by learning more about it. In this article, take a look at the 9 best tips for new importers in the US who are starting out their careers in international trade.
1. Understanding your requirements
Initially, identifying which products to import will be your biggest challenges. But with the use of the internet you can easily access various suppliers around the globe and the prices they offer for the products in that country. Once you know what to import it is very easy to make contact with the suppliers.
As a fresher, the first thing that you should start with is qualitative market research that leads you to know what kind of products lack quality in your local market and what is cheaper in another nation compared to yours.
2. Understanding your audience
Why businesses fail is because they stick to the traditional approach of marketing. It is essential to switch to modern ways to interact with customers. A main trait new businesses lack is they start the business with the things they think customers like. Instead, what is important is that you know what customers actually want. Will they profit from purchasing your products than someone else’s? When you’ve found the answers to these basic questions it is time to start.
3. Supplier search
Selecting a suitable supplier who gives good product quality at cheap rates is not a tough task as you might think. The process has become very manageable thanks to the internet. You can select from a variety of vendors, communicate with them and maintain healthy contacts through the internet itself. Once your supplier hunt has ended its time for the next big thing to do.
4. Learn about the CBP
When you are planning to import into the US, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the CBP or Customs & Border Protection. They are the federal law enforcement agency that ensures that no illegal trade happened to or from the country. Hence, every importer or exporter needs to comply with their rules and regulations. If you are serious about trading, then understanding the law and its specifics is vital to your success.
5. Do you need an import license
Some products require you to have an import license. The CBP will not allow any goods to enter into the country if the shipper doesn’t have the required import license. Evidence of right to make an entry is another facet of importing that you must take into consideration. Make sure that you talk with your customhouse broker on the legal part of things, and what all things are required from your part.
When importing goods into your country, you should have all the documents before the products reach your country. A commercial invoice should include the name of the US port of import, contact information about the vendor, supplier & buyer, product name, manufacturing dates, the number of items, and the price list. The documents will be reviewed by the CBP at the time of entry. Any discrepancy between the goods and their documents can force the government authority to stop the goods from entering into the US.
7. Maintaining inventory/warehouse
Most businesses go down due to improper management of demand vs supply ratio. Safety stock must always be kept in the inventory so as to avoid crises during times of heavy demand. Also, sometimes there might arise unavoidable delays in the shipment of goods.
Also, importers must familiarize themselves with different inventory storage options like FTZs or bonded warehouses. Both provide storage services for the importer and the choice between two must be determined based on the requirements of the importer.
8. Understanding the risks in importing
There are various risks associated with importing than buying locally. You must be aware of such possibilities while importing. It includes quality and delivery issues, such as the distance between you and the supplier could be large, due to which you cannot afford to return and replace the goods in time. Sometimes you might also have to accept inferior quality goods as you cannot bear the return cost.
Most of such risks can be avoided by choosing the right supplier and a reliable freight forwarding service provider.
9. Learn to deal with exchange rate fluctuations
Currency rates are subject to fluctuations. The price of the US dollar might increase or decrease. You must be well aware of all the price variations that take place on a daily basis. The markets may go up or down and you should be bold enough to work with such risks and challenges. The rates could move in your favor and sometimes against you. To deal with this always ask your supplier to quote the rates in US dollars.
10. Are the items legal to import into the United States?
Before you spend time and agree on all the rates and shipping charges, make sure that your country legally allows the import of such products. There are a number of restrictions on items you can import into the US. These might include certain chemicals or medicines and could even restrict imports from certain countries. You might need approval from the US customs before importing particular products.