Importing Goods from an Overseas Market for your Online Store

The best way to get quality products at an affordable price for your online store is simply to import them from abroad. But importing from abroad isn’t all that simple and there are many issues that need to be worked out before you’re able to do that successfully. In particular, there are several logistical issues that need to be discussed when you’re shipping goods from overseas to your location. Let’s look at some of them.

The problem with many overseas vendors is that they never make the products until and unless you have placed an order well in advance. It is also necessary to make a down payment along with the order. No overseas manufacturer carries much inventory – they produce as soon as the order comes through. In most cases the lead times will be 3 months or more. So you will have to order early and be patient till you get the goods.

Importing Goods: Most overseas suppliers expect a sizeable initial order to be made; otherwise they don’t even bother manufacturing the product. Each manufacturer will require you to make a certain minimum order. Now, this minimum order is quite huge. That’s why it is important to check the samples and conducting a feasibility study on whether the product has any demand in your country before placing an order.

Importing Goods: Important Notes

All overseas manufacturers expect to be paid by a wire transfer. This can be quite risky if you’re dealing with someone for the first time, as there are a number of scammers in the import/export business. Many sites such as have escrow services where they hold the payment till the orders have been delivered. Perhaps this is something you can make use of.

A major issue with overseas manufacturers is a complete lack of quality control. You cannot expect your first order to be of a high quality, but as you get to know the overseas supplier, you will be able to impose your expectations on them for future orders.

Language is a big issue for importing goods because there are many suppliers in Asia who do not speak English well. The best way to deal with them is to communicate in the written form. Most vendors have no trouble understanding written English – it is the orders given to them verbally that they find hard to understand.

The next step is the shipping. How do you plan to get the goods shipped to your location? There are two ways to do this – by air or sea. Whichever of the two options you choose, you should be sure to ask for the following documents from the vendor before the items get shipped.

  • A Commercial Invoice
  • A Packing List
  • A Detail Sheet
  • Bill of Landing

The difference between shipping by air and shipping by sea is that shipping by air is far more expensive. But shipping by sea is a huge headache, and often not worth the trouble or the savings made on it. However, when shipping a large cargo, you will have no choice but to ship by sea. But if you’re shipping by sea it is important to hire a reputable customs agent, otherwise the situation might get too complicated for you to handle all by yourself.

Finally, look for the best suppliers for importing goods overseas by identifying the best business partnership opportunities on We have made it easy for you to find business partners abroad from any overseas country. Do have a look around the site.

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