International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Commonly Used Shipping Terminology

When importing and/or exporting it is essential to be familiar with various shipping terms that may be demanded by a buyer or seller. Defined below are some commonly used terms:

  • EXW (Ex Works) - Seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.
  • FCA (Free Carrier) - Seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.
  • FAS (Free Alongside Ship) - Seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment.This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that moment.
  • FOB (Free on Board) - Seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CFR (Cost and Freight) - Seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) - Seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Effective Advertising in China

More traditional mediums for advertising such as television and print ads have shown to be a less effective way to reach the younger generation. As Gary Wang (founder/CEO of Tudou, the leading video portal in China) explains, a recent Netpop survey found that 58% of purchases are the result of positive word-of-mouth consumer reviews, blogs, and product ratings sites. In China the population of the highly-targeted group of 18-28 year olds is 176 million! And among them it is said that video-sharing sites are becoming more popular than TV.

So what is the best way to target this population especially with the up-coming 2008 Olympics? Banners and pop-ups have become a inefficient use of advertising budgets because of their lack of flexibility in shape and creativity and the emergence of hundreds of products that preemptively block them. The company Tudou recommends wallpaper ads and 3 second screen insertions to more effectively reach your target audience without the annoyance factor associated with pop ups.

Whichever methods are chosen it is of the utmost importance to understand user behavior and know your target audience in order to best choose which platform will best suit your product and budget.

How To Effectively Advertise In China; Gary Wang; 2008

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Barriers To Trade

There are many trade barriers and unfair practices one should be aware of including , but not limited to:
1. Intellectual Property Infringement (copyrights, trademakrs, etc.)
2. Inconsistent customs procedures
3. Lack of competition in foreign government bidding
4. Bribery and corruption

It is important to report these unfair practices with the Trade Compliance Center at

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Euro holding strong against US Dollar

1 Euro today is 0.6790 US Dollars.

The BBC announced that investors think that the European Central Bank (ECB) will not do anything to weaken the Euro, while the US is thought to favor a declining dollar.

The dollar has weakened sharply since September when it traded about $1.20 against the euro. It has lost approx. 7% this year, while against the Japanese yen it is also down 3.2%.

To convert more currencies, please see the currency conversion page.

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