Starting a Furniture Import Business
This article is intended for those who wish to start their own furniture import business. It gives you an overview of how the furniture import business works. Read and discover tips on where to search for furniture items. This article also tells you why going into the import furniture business makes for a good business venture.
The importation and distribution of furniture has become, in recent years, one of the staples of international trading.
Importing furniture is a lucrative business not only in the US but also around the world. The reason for is threefold. One is availability. Not every state or country can pride itself with having its own furniture manufacturer. If this is the case then there is no other recourse than to import furniture pieces in order to meet the demands of the local market.
Second is image. There are certain countries in Asia and Europe that boast of having prime furniture craftsmen. They have been tested time and again to produce beautiful furniture pieces with superior quality. This has earned them a reputation and this reputation is what sells their products.
Third is price. Furniture items from less industrialized countries are significantly cheaper. The labor cost there is so low so much so that it negates the shipping and handling expenses.
Your goal as a furniture importer is to acquire/purchase furniture items directly from a foreign furniture manufacturer. You subsequently ship and resell this furniture in the domestic market. In the process, you will be dealing closely with storage companies and transport companies.
Furniture importers act as intermediaries between the manufacturer and the end user. First, they transact with the furniture maker or his representative. Once a deal has been made, the importer then pitches his furniture to the wholesale distributor or the retailer.
To succeed in this field, a person must have no aversion to conducting sales pitches. He must be enthusiastic yet patient and keen on tracking the finer points like shipping receipts, invoices and so on. It would be a plus if he has some sort of background or work experience in the import /export industry.
It is not always necessary for a furniture trader to travel abroad in search of pieces to sell. The internet is a very helpful tool in your search mission. You can also visit trade shows. It is easy to discover when and where to find such shows. All you have to do is get in touch with the trade development office of foreign embassies.
Once you have chosen what you want, get the exporter’s quote and negotiate on the price of the furniture items. As soon as you are satisfied with the offer, buy the products. Expect to shell out a steep sum since you will be buying in volume. The start up capital for this venture is quite hefty but the rewards are heftier. Remember, in order to earn money, one needs to have money.
Finally, have the furniture shipped stateside together with the documents from the exporter and then settle all the mandatory paperwork being sought by the customs.
The End User
Define who your potential clients are. Make sure that the furniture pieces you are offering fits the lifestyle and preference of your target market. The importance of this stage in business planning process cannot be emphasized enough. If there are no consumers then there is no business.
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