Small businesses in the import/export arena first need to identify the products or services they want to carry. Here are the top 10 import/export ideas you can start on immediately:
1. Food products: The easiest option for export is food-related products. It is easy to find companies that manufacture food products locally for domestic consumption. Many of them never export. If the products are of good quality, you can link up with them and export a part of their produce.
2. Clothing: This is a year-round business, where demand never dries up. Specialized clothing, particularly for women, makes for a great import-export business. If you have access to unique dyeing techniques, printing styles and embroidery methods, you will have a very profitable import-export business.
3. Jewelry: As with clothing, there is always a market for jewelry around the globe. Customized jewelry, ethnic jewelry, handcrafted jewelry make for excellent import/export products.
4. Toys: This is yet another category where there is perennial demand. There is a cultural component associated with toys and, as with jewelry, people are often willing to experience for themselves the trends prevalent in other nations. The matryoshka (“nesting”) dolls of Russia, the cane and bamboo toys of India, the kendama (ring-and-pin toy) of Japan, the piaji (kids’ game) and the yo-yos of China are very popular and are also a sound business idea for import/export.
5. Greeting cards: While the greeting card industry has suffered greatly because of the Internet, there is a niche for personalized greeting cards, especially wedding invitations. If you put up samples of what you can provide on your website, you can expect orders from discerning customers within your country, as well as from other nations.
6. Personalized tableware: Notwithstanding the inherent risk in this business due to the delicate nature of the product, this is a money-making import/export idea. If you have a well-thought-out business website, you can take orders for personalized tableware from various countries. Just make sure the packaging protects your precious tableware.
7. Handbags: This is another great import/export idea. Handbags are easy to source and easy to ship. Traditional designs and materials are the best bet, as are customized and creative designs.
8. Footwear: This is another easy-to-source, easy-to-ship product. You would need a comprehensive website where you can upload numerous designs and styles, along with prices. Make sure to provide the same design in various sizes.
9. Dry fruits: All countries don’t have the requisite weather conditions to grow fruits that can be dried, and there is great demand for these in all parts of the globe. So, dry fruits make for an excellent import/export product.
10. Processed items: Products such as shea butter, olive oil, jojoba extracts, aloe vera gel, hibiscus extracts are not available everywhere, but have a high demand in the cosmetics/personal care industry. That’s another good import/export business idea.