These days, it seems like someone is selling every kind of item imaginable online. But there are also buyers looking for new items to get their hands on. If you’re not very crafty, and therefore unable to make items yourself to sell, another option is to import items from another country to sell online.
There are definitely some benefits to importing clothing and jewellery to sell online, but there are also some important things you need to look out for which could land you in some extremely hot water. If you are importing things from suppliers, such as men’s cotton business shirts and men’s trousers you need to ensure that nothing contains a trademarked or copyrighted label, unless you have approval from the brand to be selling clothing under their label. Selling trademarked or copyrighted goods can have you owing thousands of pounds to the rightful owner of that brand.
One of the first things to do if you are looking to import clothing or jewellery is to write a business plan. You need to know how your business is going to run and work out contingency plans should something go wrong. If you are selling clothing such as menswear or women’s dresses online you will need to make plans to set up a website, payment options, shipping options, photographing the clothing and marketing your website. All of this can be included in your business plan.
If you are planning on importing clothing, you will need to find out the rules and regulations on the type of goods you can import through customs and quarantine facilities. Finding out if your products are going to get held up due to testing is better to know up front than to find out on the day you are expecting a delivery.
You will also need to plan how you are going to pay for your import duty and taxes if applicable, especially if sales aren’t rolling in from day one. For example, importing men’s business shirts online could cost you around 5% in import duty and taxes. If you are looking to import to sell silver jewellery online you could be looking at a minimum total of import tax and duty of £410 on £2000 worth of goods. Both costumer and silver jewellery have an import duty tax that you will need to factor into both your purchase price and your selling price.
Another option to importing is to find a local manufacturer or designer who can do small runs of products. This will mean you cut out any import duty and can deal directly with the supplier, ensuring quality and consistency in the product. Should your items be made locally, you can market your products as such, and could even include bios on the makers on your website. It gives you products a more personalised feel.
If you are looking to import to sell online, it is advisable to talk to a professional about your options and what kind of costs you could be up for along the way.