IMPORT-EXPORT is a great way to make money from a business that will never be out of fashion. International trading exists since the ancient times, (just think of Marco Polo) simply because one country produces or has a supply of some commodity or goods that another demands but doesn't have. International trading is becoming more and more rewarding as there has never been so much movement of goods around the world as there is now, also because our society seems to shift towards one-world modes of thought.
Our time is probably the best and easiest of all for business people engaged in importing and exporting, and this is partly due to advanced technologies that help buyers and sellers to connect quickly and with very little expenses, and at the same time move goods quickly as never before.
The best part of it is that you can enter this world even WITHOUT CAPITAL and there are basically two ways to accomplish this, being either operating as an import-export agent or as an importer or exporter who buys and sells goods in his/her own name and account.
Definitely the easiest way to set up in this business is as a commission agent either selling goods abroad on behalf of one or more manufacturers in one country or importing goods for buyers who seek supplies from abroad, or even both if you have the capability to do so. To act as an agent you don't need any capital to buy any goods, but you merely act as a middleman between the two parties involved: the supplier and the buyer. Of course you need to set up a legal contract (Agency Agreement) with the company you act as agent for, that safeguards you from being cut off once the buyer and the seller will have known each other. The best way to do this is to have a contract where your commission will be paid to you for both direct and indirect orders that will arrive to your principal from the country or area you have decided to operate as agent for a certain amount of time that is usually never less than one year. Another tip is to have such contract automatically renewable if there is no contract cancellation notice between the parties, let's say 60 days before its expiry date. Also a good idea would be to write a clause that should any court action be needed, this would have to be in the agent's country, but not many are willing to accept this. Finally, the less clauses you write in the agency agreement the best it is for you in case of discrepancies should anything happen between you and your principle, providing that at the end of the contract you write a phrase such as the following: "For all matters not written in this agreement will be valid those set up by the International Chamber of Commerce of........................ that regulates contracts between principles and agents".
If you wish to import from Third World developing countries, this guide might be very useful to you.
TRADE INTERNATIONALLY WITHOUT YOUR OWN CAPITAL
One of the best kept secrets of importers-exporters is that there is one unique possibility to import & export in your own name and account but without having any capital. How can this be done?
The trick is all in a bank document called "Transferable Letter of Credit".
Let's start by saying that when you import big quantities of goods, you are not going to risk your money by paying someone in advance of receiving the merchandise, and the same applies to the seller but the opposite way round. They are not shipping goods without any guarantee and then wait for the buyer's payment to arrive later. Of course not. So, what comes into help between the parties is a so called Letter of Credit that has an expiry date on it, that the buyer in one country opens in favour of a seller in another country. This is usually done through reliable trustworthy banks. Letters of Credit usually have very strict rules and terms that both parties must comply with, if they are to avoid penalties payable to the opposite part if they are not respected, especially regarding the date of delivery.
Basically, the buyer's bank releases the money to the seller's bank only after the goods have been shipped and arrived in the buyer's country at custom's warehouses. This way the buyer will only be able to take possession of the goods once his bank releases full payment to the seller's bank. Therefore, once received the bank's documents that payment has been released to the supplier, and the import duties (if any) have been paid, the buyer or his Customs & Shipping Agent can take possession of the goods that are now cleared from the Customs. The above can only be done if you have sufficient capital to trade.
However, the same can be done WITHOUT CAPITAL especially when big quantities of commodities such as: wheat, sugar, coffee, iron, chemicals, etc. are involved. These are products without any label or brand on them and what counts is the quality, price and availability and capability to supply other countries requesting them.
Now let's go to the specific "trick" to trade the above, but without you having any of your money involved in it.
Let's say you have found a good source of supply abroad and a buyer in your country is keen to have such product but is unable to locate the same or may be not at the competitive price you can offer, in such case you can ask the buyer to import through you, providing he opens a "Transferable Letter of Credit" in your favour, so that you can "transfer" it to the seller/exporter in another country. Of course you can do this providing you can be sure that all deadlines can be respected and executed as you can agree in the contract. This way, the buyer in your country will never know the name & address of the exporter, and the same applies to the seller/exporter who will supply you, instead of dealing directly with YOUR customer.
If for example you are going to get 10% profit from a deal and your customer opens a $100.000 transferable letter of credit in your favour, you then "transfer" $90.000 to your supplier abroad thus keeping $10.000 for you!
Obvioulsy the same can be done for either importing or exporting deals.
The above is an amazing system to earn huge amounts of money through import-export, and what is even more amazing is that you do not need to be competent in any specif area of products because both buyers and sellers are the specialized people in whatever they deal with. You are just the middle man proposing to both parties a deal that works on a win-win-win base.
A typical import operation involves following the path below:
Receive the pro forma invoice, the exporter's quote on the merchandise; negotiate if necessary.
Open a letter of credit at your bank.
Verify that the merchandise has been shipped.
Receive documents from the exporter.
See merchandise through customs.
Collect your merchandise.
Some very good portals for international trading are the following: