WHERE TO FIND TRADE LEADS FOR IMPORT AND EXPORT
The internet has made locating Trade Leads a lot easier. I can remember scanning through catalogs printed weeks ago to find suppliers of products. Then writing letters by snail mail. I waited days for a reply back from the supplier. Then back and forth by fax or snail mail to get a sample and seal the deal.
The Internet has changed all that. As a result, sites like tradezone.com and our Suppliers Listings have made product sourcing a lot easier. In addition, with email, we can almost get instant responses from suppliers.
However, we can always improve on our product sourcing. First of all there are some more traditional ways of finding suppliers of products. And they can work very well. For example Government and quasi-government agencies. They compile and publish many trade leads. Most noteworthy for us is the Department of Commerce here in the United States.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The U.S. Department of Commerce provides help to World Traders. Most governments publish lists and other information about goods that can be imported from their countries. They forward this data through our State Dept. to the Dept. of Commerce. The Washington D.C. home office processes the information. Then this information is made available to you through their business assistance centers.
As a result these International Trade Administration business assistance centers are an excellent trade lead source . Click here for a list of business assistance centers.
Export.gov is another good source for exporting from the United States. The organization provides many good resources for exporting. They also feature trade leads on their site. They also have some good guides to exporting.
FOREIGN TRADE COMMISSIONS
Trade Commissioners are another good source for trade leads. They are usually connected with the offices of the ambassadors of countries. Therefore these representatives may assist you in finding suppliers of products made in their country.
You can also contact the consular offices. They can assist you with the Trade Commissioners. You can also look at a copy of the Exporter’s Encyclopedia found in local libraries for a list of consular offices. I noticed that Amazon sells the Exporter’s Encyclopedia.
FOREIGN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN THE U.S.
The Chambers of Commerce of principal trading nations maintain many foreign offices. Therefore you may contact these agencies for specific information about products manufactured in your country of interest. A quick search will fine the agencies location.
When making contact you should neatly type your communication in proper form. Countries use these offices to promote their commercial interests. They must realize you are established in the import business or they may not honor your request. A well written communication goes a long way in receiving a good response.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
Let’s say you are scouting for the manufacturer of a product. And you believe this product is made in a certain country. You should try contacting the Chamber of Commerce in the capital city of that country. Request names and addresses of suppliers who offer the product. Chambers of Commerce are there for you. Take advantage of that. You can use this list of American Chambers of Commerce abroad to help you get started.
In conclusion if you roll up your sleeves. And apply a bit more elbow grease then just an internet search. You will be able to harvest a wealth of trade lead information for your import export business.