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, June 25, 2008

Export Working Capital, A Barrier to Trade for African Women

African female exporters express that their largest barrier to trade is a lack of export working capital. Because most buyers are reluctant to pre-pay for a product for fear they will not receive it, these entrepreneurs simply do not have the funds necessary to develop and create their goods upfront to meet a demand. Another problem for them is a deficit in the information and education available to them that is necessary to successfully develop products to sell in the US market.

To address these issues the World Women Trade Fair has a mission to provide women entrepreneurs of third world countries with the tools they need to build their businesses and gain access to global markets. For those who lack the capital to develop their business they must rely on strong supplier-buyer relationships where they are able to work together to agree on favorable payment terms and even help them with product development. Last week the World Women Trade Fair hosted the International Gift & Home Textile Expo in Los Angeles where female exporters from around the world including Africa came with the goal to establish new business relationships and increasing their exports to the US.

Click here for more information on the World Women Trade Fair.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Visit The Potential Market

Early on in the export process it may be wise to travel to potential markets and see for yourself where your best opportunities exist. Going abroad prepared with a well thought out plan will help you to get the most out of your trip. Below are a few tips on how to do so.
  • You should always visit with prospective agents, distributors, or other business partners prior to entering into any agreements. And, arranging to meet with more than one will give you a better idea of the options available to you.
  • Plan your trip with as much time as possible in advance (at least six weeks). A good investment would be planning your trip with some in-country assistance. This will increase your chances that you will be able to meet the right agents and customers suited for your business goals.
  • Get all your paperwork in order. Be ready to answer questions regarding price, volumes, capacity and delivery times. Speak with local shipping agents to help determine shipping times and costs.
  • Read up on the country. Educate yourself on some local customs or issues so that you may ask more informed questions and build a better understanding of the market you are dealing with.
  • Follow-up on your visit. Within 48 hours of a business meeting contact via email or fax those you had meetings with to thank them for meeting with you and include any follow-up information requested. This will leave a good impression with the potential client that you are a professional with whom they may feel comfortable doing business with.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Commonly Used Payment Terms For International Trade

Here are some commonly used payment terms used when exporting or importing goods.

  • Cash In Advance - Upfront cash to the exporter prior to shipment
  • Letter of Credit (L/C) - A letter issued by a bank that authorizes the bearer to draw a stated amount of money from the issuing bank, its branches, or other associated banks or agencies
  • Open Account - An unpaid credit order
  • Consignment - Payment is deferred until goods are sold
  • Telegraphic Transfer (T/T) - Electronic transfers of funds through banks

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Five Strategies For Doing Business in China

China is the third largest economy in the world and growing larger everyday. With such an enormous population and resources it is a market every businessperson needs to consider as an opportunity. Besides a language barrier the Chinese culture of doing business may be very different from one's own country. So when considering doing business with Chinese it is important to gain a general knowledge of some common Chinese business practices and norms.

Bill Quarless is president and CEO of Impact Products and has significant experience in doing business with the Chinese has compiled 5 strategies for doing business effectively in China. Below is a general summary of these strategies.
  1. "Prepare to be patient" - Doing business in China is a long process with many meetings required to finish any deal.
  2. "Approach with a trusted friend" - Because building a personal and trusting relationship with business partners is essential to the Chinese, having a contact who already knows the people you are trying to do business with can give you a jump start on the process.
  3. "Socialize to build trust" - Business and friendships are intertwined in China. For the Chinese it is imperative to get to know prospective business partners on a personal level, so you should be prepared to socialize as much if not more than talk business.
  4. "Give face to create goodwill" - Saving face is one pf the most important things to the Chinese. Losing self-control can quickly ruin a deal.
  5. "Emphasize your value" - To speed up and increase the chances of negotiations running smoothly, express what your assets and what you can bring to the table from the beginning and often.

Source: The Art of Negotiation by Bill Quarless

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