Monday, June 16, 2008

Selling In Other Countries

For many sellers the concept of selling their products to customers in other countries than the one they are located in is rather a scary proposition. We have all heard the stories about delivery problems, high shipping costs and other not so pleasant problems. It is a bit more involved when selling outside of your own country but considering the possible gain, it might be worth your consideration.

For those that live in the US, the buying power of customers in other countries makes products produced in the US very attractive. Unfortunately, with the increased business can comes increased headaches. Increased delivery times and costs are one of the biggest. We may live in a world of instant communications but when it comes to delivering physical merchandise, things still seem to move at a snails pace. Considering the fact that each country has its own custom’s and importing regulations, some of which can be very restrictive, it really pays to do ones homework prior to selling in other countries.

As an example, let me use one of our companies, DM Production and Sales. DMPS sells Country Rustic & Primitive home d├ęcor. Most of it being produced from reclaimed and recycled lumber and wood obtained from Historical Property Restoration Projects. Doesn’t sound like that would create a problem does it. You couldn’t be more incorrect.

Most countries have very complicated regulations about importing wood products of any kind but even more restrictive ones for what is considered Raw Wood & Lumber. It just so happens that this is the category that our products fall into. Without going into all the details, let me simply say that all in all, for us, it just isn’t financially worth it to sell and ship to other countries. Many other products have restrictions on them that the seller must be aware of.

Every seller has to weigh the costs before they begin selling in other countries but if the figures work out for you as a seller, it isn’t unrealistic to see a very significant increase in your sales by opening up to other countries. Initially it may seem a little intimidating but after your first few sales, you will see that there really is only a couple of more steps involved and the rewards are usually more than worth the extra effort.

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