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Top services offered by import companies

Exporter due diligence

Exporter due diligence

Carry out due dilligence to prevent fraud and ensure you are complying with the laws.  

FROM $1,200

Import laws

Import laws

Comply and keep abreast of import laws in Australia including tariffs, permits, banned items and procedures.  

FROM $500

Import taxes and tariffs

Import taxes and tariffs

Understand all the expenses you need to fork out such as tariffs, fees, and taxes such as GST.  

FROM $900

Importing strategy

Importing strategy

Minimise expenditure and investment and increase efficiency with a proper importing strategy. 

FROM $1,500

Logistic chain

Logistic chain

Build a logistics chain for your imported goods and use the right technology to manage them such as RFID.  

FROM $1,500

Marketplace

Marketplace

Hire services to import through online marketplaces covering fees, permits, and regulations.  

FROM $250

OEM branding

OEM branding

Come up with a branding strategy and plan for your OEM products imported overseas.  

FROM $100

Packaging and distribution

Packaging and distribution

Build a solid packaging and distribution points and channels locally.  

FROM $1,500

Pricing strategy for imported products

Pricing strategy for imported products

Factor in compulsory expenses and taxes or look at competitors' strategies to price your imported products.  

FROM $200

Shipping and handling

Shipping and handling

Find options for your shipping and handling of products whether overseas or local.  

FROM $15

Sourcing suppliers

Sourcing suppliers

Search for cost-effective and trustworthy suppliers.  

FROM $150

Storage

Storage

Warehousing, data and analytics services for your imported goods.  

FROM $15

Average hourly rate for Importers in Australia

min rate $52 - $101 max rate







Importers

If you are looking to begin importing, it is important to do your due diligence. Certain products are far more suited to being shipped internationally than others, and understanding your responsibilities as an importer or exporter is vital to ensure that you meet your legal obligations. There can also be a number of hidden costs associated with importing that you haven't considered, and putting processes in place to ensure prompt delivery of goods is essential.

How to choose a product to import

If you are looking to import products from foreign manufacturers, you will need to become familiar with Alibaba. Alibaba is the largest online marketplace for chinese manufactured goods and is by and large considered the primary source for small business importers. While other options do exist, they will require heavier vetting on your part, and you will need to establish your own relationship with the manufacturer, which can be difficult for a new or small business.

Once you have an account on Alibaba you will be inundated with options. There are thousands upon thousands of potential products you could import, but not all suppliers are equal. You should only be looking at gold suppliers with trade assurance. This significantly lowers the risk of you being sent faulty/counterfeit products or being scammed.

Once you are looking at the right suppliers, you need to find products which:

  • Are not patented, trademarked or subject to copyright
  • Are legal to import
  • Are not already popularly sold on Amazon, eBay or Etsy
  • Do not pose a health or safety risk to consumers, of any kind
  • Are not likely to break in transit
  • Are not likely to malfunction
  • Can be branded
  • Are available at manageable minimum order quantities

That covers the essentials. If a product fits those criterias, it is possible to make money importing it. Does that mean it will be easy? Of course not. If you are a first time importer, there are a few extra tips you might want to take on board to limit your exposure and increase your chances of success:

  • Choose a product in the $20-200 price range
  • Avoid liquids as they have longer shipping times
  • Avoid chemical, medical and food products
  • Find a niche market with few major players
  • Choose products which are labour intensive (this is where chinese manufacturers have the greatest advantage)
  • Request samples
  • Visit the factory in person and establish a relationship with people in the business
  • Build a marketing and sales funnel first to test the viability of your product idea
  • Choose a niche where you have a competitive advantage (knowledge, brand value, price, product range, etc)

The reality of importing

Entrepreneurs first exploring the import space can sometimes feel giddy when they see the potential profits of imported products. It is not uncommon to find an item which you can buy for $1-2 per unit selling for $20-30 per unit on Amazon or eBay, leading some of the less risk averse new business founders to throw down $1000 in a heartbeat, expecting to make huge returns overnight. These entrepreneurs invariably get burned.

First of all, there are hidden costs of importing they generally haven't considered, including:

  • OEM branding fees
  • Shipping and handling fees
  • Import taxes and tariffs
  • Storage costs
  • Investment of time and resources to package and distribute products locally
  • Postage fees
  • Cost of returns and refunds
  • Sales and marketing expenses
  • Business overheads
  • Income taxes
  • Your own time and labour

It can also take a significant amount of time to sell your inventory, if the product is not one which sells in high volume, or you lack the marketing budget to push it more aggressively. So what may look like a whopping 2000% profit margin on the surface may be reduced to a 20% margin when everything's said and done. If you are considered importing, don't be dismayed. Many businesses operate on slim margins, it is just important to manage your own expectations and do the research necessary to ensure you aren't forecasting unrealistic profits.