Unlike a regular importer who only deal in a few products, a promotional product importer has to deal with various products. Because of the wide product range, promotional product importers usually aren’t experts on production processes, but they have to frequently work on a wide range of products at aggressive time frames.

Those importers who successfully import promotional products, have habits that set them apart from the regular importers.

1.)  They prepare

The successful promotional product distributor who treads offshore, doesn’t treat the process the same as if they’re buying domestically.

Successful importers spend time in preparing their inquiries. Whether it’s clearly laid out specs or detailed mockups, they’re ready to use visuals and measurements to show the supplier exactly what they need.

Successful importing, regardless of the industry, avoids as much guess work as possible from the supplier.

2.)  They communicate

A successful importer, especially in the fast-paced world of promotional merchandise, knows to be quick on the follow-up. There shouldn’t be a ton of downtime between emails.

When a supplier has a question, the successful importer is quick to provide insight.

When samples arrive, they keep your vendor updated on the sign-off process.

The successful importer quickly lines up their freight forwarder and there are not lags which ruin an otherwise successful order.

3.)  They keep perspective

Promotional product importers who keep perspective on the bigger picture by growing long-term relationships with their suppliers have more success. They aren’t always out shopping the next vendor hoping to save $300.

They realize that a 1-time order with a first time supplier is not going to be as smooth as when they deal with the same supplier over and over.

4.)  They know their products

They know more about their production line than the average promotional importer. Yes, they may not be experts, but they practically apply fundamental knowledge that a factory expects when dealing with an importer.

This importer works arm-in-arm with the factory on design, on calling out material specs and in reminding the factory what problems to keep an eye out for.

5.)  They’re experienced

A distributor who goes offshore for the first time will run in to obstacles.

Success in importing promotional items really comes over time.

This success comes with experience, the successful importer of branded merchandise rolls up their sleeves and doesn’t stop after the first try.

The experienced importer’s success isn’t tied to what the supplier did or didn’t do.

They’re solution-oriented even when the supplier didn’t take the best path.

In working with China, any importer deals with times when suppliers take an ill-advised step or makes an error.

Promotional product importers don’t fall to pieces but figure out a plans of action.


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