So you want to start importing, and you already have an idea – you think of importing Italian lamps from Milan, Italy! Great product, great design! Is it cheap? NO! Are you well capitalized? Probably not! Don’t kid yourself – unless you’re well capitalized you’ll lose money! If you have determined that Italian lamps is the product you want to import and sell (how you may go about making that determination is another matter, on that later), the question to ask yourself is “How and where will I be selling the Italian lamps?” The answer will determine where you need to go to buy your import export product.
Look at it this way: if you intend to sell the Milan-design Italian lamps in your small hometown to folks who could really care a less if the product is made in Italy, not to mention Milan, but find it attractive to put in their house, the price probably will be the selling point, not the source – the country of origin.
If, however, you intend to sell on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or in Aspen, Colorado to movie stars that may indeed be specifically looking for Milan-style lamps, than the product’s origin best be from Milan. Italy and the lamps best have a sticker saying just that — Made in Italy. The price will likely be totally secondary, if an issue at all.
So what do you do under the first scenario, especially if you indeed want to sell “Milan-style Italian lamps,” because you are simply into Italian design only and no other style of lighting fixtures designed elsewhere excite you in any form and shape?
Here is your answer: Take your Italian lamp collection designs and manufacture it in India! You can do it at one forth of the cost in India than you can by direct-importing the same from Italy. And you can still call your line “my Italian Lamp Collection”! You go where the product can be made well but cheaper than elsewhere, if price is of essence and product’s origin does not matter. That’s where the opportunities are in the import export business today! That’s what any major American corporation does – take Nike — their in house designers design a new athletic shoe style and then go to China to have it manufactured. You and I buy Nike, the sports shoe design we prefer; we don’t buy it because it was made in China. In this case we buy “design,” and the product’s “country of origin is not an issue.”