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Importing from America.

(5 Posts)
CockBollocks Sun 12-May-13 16:23:09

I have been discussing starting a business with a group of friends, we are quite excited about a product that we would love to sell.

I think we need to contact the company and suggest that we could be an official outlet in the UK, solely pushing and marketing their product - maybe agreeing a timeframe for this.

My questions to the business savvy on here are!!

Would it be normal for us to arrange importing the product or would they be likely to do that as we are essentially purchasing units.

Is importing possible for a new business with little knowledge of the process?

Do you think a relatively large US company would take us seriously?

Thanks for any help.

NotYouNaanBread Sun 12-May-13 16:41:02

Import/Export usually involves a bit of negotiation re. who is responsible for shipping costs. When I buy from an overseas factory, I am usually presented with several different pricing options per unit - I pay to collect it from the factory & get it to England (picking up all charges along the way), they get it to the port/airport in their country and I take it from there (again, picking up all the charges), or they ship it all the way to my front door & I just pay the import tax.

Similarly, when an overseas customer (i.e. a retailer) orders from me, I offer them several different options (which ALWAYS involves them paying full shipping). Sometimes they want shipping built into the unit cost, but usually I make them pay the full shipping costs.

What I mean is that it's open for discussion, and you will have to negotiate the best deal with them. You should talk to a freight forwarding company, rather than UPS etc. If you PM me I can recommend a specific company that has been really great with me.

If you want exclusivity from them, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the means and the reach to earn that distinction. They will probably shy away from the idea of you being an official outlet unless you can really demonstrate that you are not going to disappear, or market them badly.

Do you want to distribute this product to other retailers or do you want to be the sold UK retailer?

NotYouNaanBread Sun 12-May-13 16:42:27

Oh - you need to apply for an EORI number

CockBollocks Sun 12-May-13 17:08:12

No we want to retail it ourselves. We love the product passionately and really think others would to so we would market it as our sole product.

I realise that a long term exclusive deal would be unlikely but don't want to put in all the work getting it out there for someone like John Lewis to swoop in and start stocking cheaper.

The idea is we would build a name for us by giving great service etc and having any new complimenting products this company brings out first so hopefully people keep coming back to us.

From what you have said they wouldn't think we were complete amateurs if we did not have our import solution sorted - thanks.

Talkinpeace Sun 19-May-13 13:27:49

Many US companies do not export. They will only deliver to US addresses : Homeland Security rules.
Order a sample and see how they handle it.

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