Importing goods from overseas for your business can be a good idea because you have access to high-quality items, something you might not get locally. However, importing is more challenging than you might think. You will need to look at various things before ordering the items from abroad. Therefore, answer the following questions before you import.
Do you have a market for the items you are importing?
Before you get items from overseas for resale, consider if there is a demand in the market. Checking demand is very important to ensure you are not stuck with the items in your warehouse. Therefore, evaluate the local market and identify your customers. See if you will be able to sell the items once they arrive. If you are manufacturing another product using the shipped goods, consider if there is a market for the end product. Check the level of demand and predict the fluctuations before stocking the raw materials in your warehouse. It is also vital to evaluate competition in the market. What are your competitors selling? Can you make something unique from what is in the market?
Is importing cost-effective?
Knowing the costs and all the charges you must pay to import the items from overseas is crucial. Such include custom levies and duties, transportation and insurance costs, finance, costs for services like international customs brokerage and freight forwarding, GST, and more. Check the clearance tariff you will use to know how much you must pay for customs duties. After calculating the cost, evaluate whether importing is the most cost-effective choice. It will also require you to evaluate the cost of getting the materials locally to determine the best option.
Another vital thing you must also learn is the customs requirements for importing such items. A business advisor or customs broker can help you calculate the costs to ensure you know every cost you will incur during the importation. They will also help you handle the customs entry declaration paperwork for clearance.
Are you able to legally import into your country?
Before anything else, check if the regulations allow you to import the items into your country. Countries restrict various items like chemicals, medicines, and others. So, get consent from the entity that deals with importation to know what you should or should not import. Some rules apply to every item, and you must know these rules before importing.
Do you know the risks?
Even if importing is the best choice for you, you must also know there are risks. The risks of importing include the difficulty of checking and controlling the progress of your order when the distance is large and delays when it takes longer than you expected. It would help if you also scrutinize your suppliers to ensure they are genuine. Items get lost during delivery. They could get damaged or stolen, which is out of your control. So, know the risks and come up with solutions if something happens to your goods.
Can your business afford to import?
After calculating the costs, evaluate if your business can afford to import the items. Ensure you have enough finances to import and extra for handling unpredicted costs. Importing requires a lot of money because of the shipping costs and the large number of items you have to import. Another reason why it is expensive is that the supplier will most likely ask for a down payment before they can forward the items. Some can take months, so you cannot invest or access the money for something else before the order arrives. Therefore, ensure you have enough to keep your business going while waiting for the order.
Do you have a supplier you can rely on?
Even if importing is expensive, picking a cheap supplier is not the best idea. We cannot insist that getting a reliable and well-reputed supplier is paramount. Get someone who will not disappear once they get your down payment. Ensure they can deliver on time and have access to high-quality products. You must also confirm that the supplier will deliver the specific items and inform you in case of delays or other issues. Ask for references and consider visiting their site if possible. Since you may be dealing with a supplier with a different language and culture, ensure there will be no misunderstandings or miscommunications.
We hope that this information was helpful. So, before you order an item from overseas, it is important to evaluate the things mentioned above to ensure the safety of your items and money. Importing is challenging and expensive. Therefore, take time to evaluate things and ensure it is the right choice before ordering. Use the help of a customs broker and freight forwarder to ensure the goods get to you without any issues.