A Way to Make Big Money As an Importer/Exporter

An import business can be a very lucrative business. Both import and export agents, who are also referred to as international trade agents, are needed in import/export transactions. The import agents handle the importing of foreign goods, and the export agents work with exporting domestic products. According to documentation from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, 95 percent of the $2.5 trillion annual trading is made up of small businesses. This means that if you are an entrepreneur entering the international trade business, there is the opportunity to earn big money. It is a very detailed process. Here are some steps to help you begin.

  • Prepare your office space—To do this, you find suitable business space. The space you choose for your business will have to accommodate a small office, but the larger portion will be devoted to shipping and receiving. Then go to an office supply store visit the sites online. Most office supply company such as Office Depot or Staples have online sites. Either way, you’ll want to get a fax machine, multiple-line telephone, copier, and at least one desktop computer and one notebook computer. In addition, you will need shipping supplies. This includes things like: a scale for weighing packages, a measuring tape for determining dimensions, packing tape, boxes and packing peanuts or paper.
  • Designate a staging/shipping area of your office space—This area should be divided into two distinct spaces. You’ll want one for packing and one for receiving. You’ll probably want to further divide these two sections according to destination. For example, if you are shipping basketball supplies to Canada, mark out an area specifically for Canadian shipments. You’ll want another area for receiving goods from each country, you’re receiving from.
  • Obtain the proper license—In general, the United States government and most state governments don’t require an individual to be licensed unless that individual is trading in one of the following: food, firearms, livestock, alcohol, tobacco, and copyrighted material, such as DVDs. You can contact the US Department of Commerce to find out if a license or permit is required for your particular trade items. You’ll also want to inquire with your state’s commerce department to determine if you need a permit or license.
  • Have start-up financing in place. Typically, the cost of starting an import and/or export business is around $5,000. If you want to take out a loan, you can visit the Small Business Administration’s website for details about getting financing. The SBA has a list of approved lenders. If the loan amount you require is under $35,000, you may consider a micro-loan.
  • Focus on items that are in demand—If you want to make big money, you need to focus on importing and exporting products that are in demand domestically and overseas. For example, in the United States, the latest technological products are good to focus on. When exporting, look for short supply. You’ll want to focus on goods or products that the country you’re exporting to has needs.


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