If you want to expand your independent retail store's market reach by introducing a wider variety of products, then importing from overseas is a great option. Imported products are often cheaper on the wholesale level, and the offerings are nearly endless when you shop online.
If you have never ordered stock online and are wary about the quality of products you will receive or other importing complications, then these are valid concerns. However, by following the below industry tips, you can import amazing items to help you grow your small retail store.
Tip: Source Items Through a Reputable Online Marketplace
Whether you are sourcing products from China on a site like Alibaba or from Lithuania via a site like the Lithuanian Marketplace, it's important you transact business via an online marketplace. These sites and others offer rating systems for sellers so you can take a peek into other buyers' experiences with them before making a purchase. In addition, the marketplaces offer you buyer guarantees in case a seller doesn't fulfill your order or there is some other problem outside of your control.
Tip: Know What Products You Want Before Shopping for a Supplier
Before you start browsing on an online marketplace, make sure you have a very clear idea of what products you want and a budget for their purchase. It is too easy to find a lot of new products when you simply browse the sites looking for potential products. This is a common way buyers end up with products they can't sell or regret buying.
Tip: Always Order Samples and Make Smaller Orders Until You Have Established a Relationship with the Seller
Reputable online wholesale sellers will give you the option of ordering sample products before placing larger orders. You should always do so! If you are happy with the sample items you receive, then make some smaller orders to see how the products will sell and to build up a relationship with the seller.
Tip: Make All Purchases with a Credit Card
One final tip when you want to import goods into the United States from overseas is to always make your purchases with a credit card. This is vital because credit card issuers offer buyer protections you won't have if you pay with a bank transfer or another payment method. While there shouldn't be an issue, it's always nice to know that your credit card company will go to bat for you if something happens to go wrong.
Go to sites like LithuanianMarketplace.com for more information.