Importing and exporting can be very lucrative. If and only if you know what you’re doing.

An importer can be stuck with a warehouse full of goods it can’t sell. An exporter can find his products sitting on a dock waiting for a truck or train.

In the interest of helping our clients who want to import or export, here are 5 tips that can make the difference between success and failure. Profit and loss.

  1. EMPHASIZE SERVICE, NOT PRICE

Sure, you want the best rate. But if you need door-to-door service, not port-to-port, you may be very surprised by both the cost and delays.

Your product could end up in limbo waiting for customs clearance or a bill of lading. It might to be warehoused while waiting to be loaded at the export dock or trucked by the importer. Do you know how much and what type of insurance do you need for your shipment?

An experience freight forwarder knows what questions to ask, and how to determine what services you’ll ultimately need. And if they have a reputation for customer service and attention to detail, they can save you a lot of heartache.

Too many shippers have found that putting price over service can be very costly in the long run.

  1. RECOGNIZE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE

There’s nothing simple about international shipping. From international laws to customs clearance, from dockworker strikes to piracy, there’s no end to the complications that can impact the delivery of your goods.

That’s why successful international businesses work with experienced freight forwarders or fulfillment companies, people who know the industry and have the relationships to get things done.

They can reroute cargo, handle paperwork, and tap into their networks to solve problems that may come up.

You may not even hear about the problems, because an experienced fulfillment house or shipping company will take care of them before they arise.

  1. BUY WHAT YOU CAN SELL

The “Get rich quick” ads make it sound so simple. You buy in bulk from China and sell the product at a hefty profit.

Unless you use a drop shipper, follow that advice and you’ll probably end up with a garage full of products that nobody wants.

Carefully consider what you’re going to sell. Find a niche product. One that fills a need. One that is in demand. Buy in large quantities and sell at a high price.

It also helps if you’re passionate about and believe in the product.

  1. STAY UP TO DATE ON SHIPPING INDUSTRY NEWS

One day union negotiations create a backlog at a port. The next, a storm delays shipping through a major sea lane.

You don’t have to be an expert on shipping, but it pays to keep up.

That way you can ask and know what your freight forwarder or shipping company can do to mitigate or manage these situations. It’s their job to know what’s happening and help your orders move as smoothly as possible.

Most major shipping companies and fulfillment houses have blogs you can follow.

  1. GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW BEFORE YOU SEEK THE RIGHT VENDOR

Make sure you know what you’re shipping, its value, its weight, its size, when you’re planning to ship, and to and from where you’re shipping.

An experienced fulfillment house needs this information up front to find the most cost effective and trouble free solution.

So you can get your goods where they need to be and into the hands of your customers as quickly as possible.

Whether you’re selling products in the United States or delivering orders overseas, credit card chargebacks and fraud are most common during the delivery process.  For help in reducing risks around lost, stolen or damaged good, call Pinpoint Intelligence at 305-423-0261 or learn more at here