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How to Export Liquidation Merchandise

Growing Your Business By Exporting

One of the most often overlooked successes within the liquidation industry involves exporting store returns and overstock merchandise. There are many sources in the United States (department stores, catalogs, websites, etc.) that require their liquidated products to be exported. This requirement alone can reduce the initial cost of the goods by as much as 50%. This cost reduction could be the motive to consider exporting. One of the primary reasons exporting is often overlooked is that it can be a bit more challenging than typical merchandising avenues. Establishing a well-connected list of import/exporters can increase your profits from liquidations, exponentially.

Identify Your Market

In order to begin successfully exporting your surplus goods, you’ll need to identify your market and find companies or individuals who are interested in receiving your exported liquidation goods. Consider advertising in reputable, country-specific trade publications to locate a foreign importer. In addition, you may want to use an internet trade portal to locate interested companies or parties. Beware, however, that scams don’t always originate on the selling side. There are numerous buying scams too!

Assess the Potential

The next thing you’ll want to do is to assess your liquidation products’ potential. Understanding your chosen country’s product needs is crucial for your exportation business. Just because a product is successful in the United States doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in an overseas market. In addition, you’ll need to assess the products that are currently available in your import country’s local market to see if your surplus items can compete.

Being aware of the potential your liquidation merchandise has overseas also means understanding any cultural differences and local customs, which may affect branding, labeling and packaging. Some returns and overstocks items simply may not be suitable for export to certain countries.

Depending on what you are exporting, the country of import may have restrictions and some countries may have licensing requirements for your surplus goods.  For example, knives and weapons, food goods, including vitamins and minerals, often times have restrictions. In order to find out if there are any restrictions for exportation, we recommend visiting the United States Embassy pages of your particular country of export.

You’ll also need to have a good understanding of U.S. export laws and your responsibilities under those laws. For example, United States law prohibits offering to pay commissions to foreign officials, relatives or friends in order to get business. Also, you’ll need to be aware of any foreign boycotts that are in place and any countries that participate in boycotts against nations who are allies to the United States.

Utilizing Customers Brokers

There are a few options for transporting your surplus goods to another country. Depending on the size of your shipment, you can utilize FedEx or DHL. However, in some countries (such as Russia), it is NOT recommended to use either of those avenues but, instead, utilize the services of a customs broker for the country of export.

Working with Freight Forwarders

Another method of transporting your liquidation goods for exportation is by utilizing the services of a freight forwarder. A freight forwarder arranges all of the necessary details including moving your shipment from your facility or your choice or port, right to the door of your importer. In addition, they can advise on all of the costs of exporting such as freight costs, port charges, consular fees, insurance costs, freight handling fees and costs of any special documentation that may be necessary.

A freight forwarder can also eliminate the hassles and pitfalls of preparing and filing your export documentation as well as make sure your export documentation gets to the right person. They’ll also arrange for proper transportation of your goods and make arrangements to have your surplus items loaded and packed properly. In addition, they’ll reserve your cargo space and make arrangements with overseas custom brokers to make certain your documents as well as your liquidation items comply with all foreign customs regulations. All in all, a freight forwarder is a great asset and provides a nearly turn-key solution for your exportation business.

While exportation may seem daunting initially, once you select the proper items for exportation and have your systems in place, it can be a rewarding and profitable business, which opens up a variety of new opportunities for growth in the future.

Ask your AML sales representative about the availability of Export Only product lines. AML may offer the service of loading your containers at our facility under certain guidelines.