What’s the best way to sell your product in your targeted country? Here are some of the options.
- A sales agent finds buyers in return for a commission on sales. Find out how many other products the agent handles - too many and your product could be lost. Agents also tend to push products that offer the most commission.
- A distributor buys your products and on-sells them with a mark-up. This way you’re likely to have less control over pricing. Check the track records of both agents and distributors and consider a trial period first.
- A joint venture with a local business. This can give you access to established customers and markets.
- Opening a branch office overseas. This is usually the most expensive option and is often reserved until other methods have established strong, sustainable sales and you need more control over issues such as after-sales service.
- Selling online. This is the lowest-cost option but it may not work for your product or service type. You’ll also need to research internet trading regulations to stay on the right side of the law in your target market.
Service and backup
What will you need in the way of product or service warranties, spares, after-sales service or a help desk? What insurance cover do you need? Some markets like the United States are highly litigious, so you may need expert advice on product liability issues.
It can be difficult finding your way around a foreign market, particularly if there are language issues. Austrade may be able to help you find interpreters and other facilitators such as agents who can deal with customs and shipping clearances in foreign ports.
Identify the most suitable mode of transport for your goods and assess the cost. You might need to consider the climate of the countries the goods pass through or the best way to transport perishable or fragile goods. Freight forwarders offer a comprehensive goods transport service and may be able to save you costs by consolidating your goods with other consignments if you only need to ship a part-container load. A forwarder also assumes responsibility for documentation and bookings for air, rail, shipping and road transport. Ask your business colleagues or your trade or industry association to recommend suitable businesses.