So you noticed that jewelry may be your ticket to a profitable importing endeavor? This quick how-to piece will show you how to get your foot in the door and build your business. Many Americans love the look and feel of diamonds or any type of jewelry that’s shiny and elegant. Jewelry has been around for thousands of years and as long as the ever-popular trend for aesthetic accessories continues, jewelry will always be in style.
Your first step is to decide which types of jewelry to import. The endless variations of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and the like is overwhelming. Not to mention choosing stones if you want rubies, sapphires, emeralds, or anything else! Make sure to do your research so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Before wholesale jewelers will work you, you’ll need to provide them with some documentation. They’re looking for a state sales tax ID, business tax ID and a state employer ID number. If you don’t have these, you can apply through your state’s tax bureau and with the IRS. Now you’re ready to go! A jewelry trade show will give you a firsthand look at all the variations of jewelry you can include in your inventory. Just look for trade shows in your area to find a nearby venue. Equally as important as researching your product is researching your supplier. You’ll also be able to meet with potential suppliers when you attend a show. Meeting face-to-face helps with your decision. Remember to go with your business instinct and choose a supplier you’d want to develop a long-term professional relationship with. Working with someone trustworthy and reliable will simplify the importing process. A great tool for finding and verifying suppliers is a database like ImportGenius.com. This web database compiles U.S. customs information and allows you to view all imports received via ocean freight. As an example, lets say you’d like to use the same supplier that the world-renowned Tiffany and Company uses. You can do a quick search for this company in the database to find who they work with. You’ll be able to find that one of Tiffany’s suppliers is Valois from the Netherlands. Valois is also a manufacturer of Chanel and Elizabeth Arden products. Given this information, this might be a supplier you’d want to work with since they’re supplying other reputable brands. Import Genius’ visual mapping tool gives you access to the complete supply chain for any company importing products into the U.S. You’ll also have contact information at your fingertips to easily get in touch with companies listed in the database. This research and business intelligence tool can be a great investment since you’ll be able to monitor your competition to see who they’re working with. Above all else, industry insight is just a click away. Once you’ve settled on your supplier and worked out your order details with them, you’ll arrange the terms of payment. If you feel comfortable issuing a down payment you can pay about 20-30% upfront. There’s also the option to arrange a letter of credit to be sent from your banking institution. When the details are set, you can then work with a customs brokers to prepare for the shipment’s arrival. Your broker can complete paperwork to ensure customs clearance, and he’ll also help with arranging transportation to get your jewelry from the port to your warehouse. Happy importing!