Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Import Export Business Q&A Continued

Original Question:

What is the percentage of your customers that are actually making a living from your product? What is the average income per year for the customers that are making a living from your product?

Original Answer:

Thanks for the inquiry.

Let me ask you a question? or two. Please do not take what I am about to say as being sarcasm, it is simply the way I am trying to get my point across for the questions you have

If you own property, you are probably paying thousands of dollars in real estate taxes to support the local school system. Do you know the percentage of students that get a job paying above minimum wage? Do you know the average income per year of the students with whom you invest so much of your hard earned dollars??

Literally you are asking questions that cannot be answered. My primary business is export marketing and promotion. If you have read my Import Export Business blog, you would have learned that I started selling training materials and import export business resources early on to help support my "habit" of getting started in this business.

I spent hundreds of hours.....I've said all this before in the blog - go read it....I sell a course or courses, period. Why, because I do marketing of other import export business materials, people call me asking for solutions to the problems they got themselves into by trying to get into this business without proper training. My time is valuable and even more so at the age I am now. Now they could either pay me $200 an hour or they can buy the courses I recommend.

I have reviewed "many" different training materials in my 20 years in this business - the courses we offer now are the "best" I have found, period. They work if the person buying them has any amount of reasonable intelligence, can speak and write well enough to be understood and realizes that it
will take time and much patience to succeed.

If we were charging $8000 like some programs do which are being advertised on the Internet at this very moment, then your question is a valid one for them to answer and come up with some proof.

I have put on my web pages "Exactly" what you get with our courses, line by line, piece by piece and for an importing course priced at $160, an exporting course priced at $316 and a combination of the two at only $424.00, do you really think that I can take the time to follow through with all the people who have purchased our courses over the years? They are getting outstanding packages of valuable information, some of it proprietary, some not, but so much of it that you could spend hundreds of hours trying to compile it yourself - what is your time worth??

The sad fact is with any business - 95% or more of the people who buy courses or materials to help them start "any" business, NEVER do more than glance at it and forget about it.

Quite frankly, I doubt there are many universities that know how many of their students are actually making a living doing what they majored in or let alone what the average income is of those who were lucky enough to get a job in that major. So bottom line, for $160, $316 or $424, why am I expected to keep track of this kind of information.

Again, if you read my import export business blog, you will see I have stated many times over, there are NO ABSOLUTES in this business or any business or life for that matter. It really does not matter what someone else does with their life - what matters is what you do with yours - their success is in no way a guarantee of your success and by the same token, their failures, for whatever reason, are in no way a reflection on anyone else but themselves.

Sorry but I just cannot answer your questions - honest enough?

Follow Up Question:

I was hoping some of your customers would reply and tell you how well they are doing with your product and the income they were making. Before I get myself into this business, I would like to know the average salary. I'm not looking for a multi-million business, but I do have a mortgage and bills to consider. From your background and experience, would you know the median salary for this kind of work? I would truly appreciate your information regarding this issue.

Follow Up Answer:

I am sending you two references you should read - you should also scan through each post I have made on the import export business blog - there is a wealth of information there among all the ads, many questions and answers from the past 20 years.

I do not wish to seem vague but it is against FTC (federal trade commission) regulations to provide someone with any form of income claim in relationship to a business opportunity - I never have, nor ever will.

The first thing you have to change is your mindset about being in business for yourself and asking what the "median salary" is? Salary entails working for someone in a job, that is predictable, believe me a business is not.

The export business is even more variable - there are 10's of thousands of products you might choose to work with, each one offers different profit margins and/or commissions depending upon what level you work your business.

Therein lies another variable, most books, government and private write about an export business in terms of an export management company. Although our exporting course will teach you what you need to operate an export management company, it is not what we recommend you start out pursuing unless you have a very large credit line.

So we go back to what we recommend the most, starting out as an export agent/broker. In this area you match buyers to sellers and collect a commission from the seller. Each product of the 10's of thousands out there carry a varied profit margin as well as size of the market.

I currently have contracts with 3 manufacturers of a particular line of products, one started out offering me 20%, I negotiated it down to 10% because I did not want to be involved in the day to day responsibilities a sales rep has to endure. The commissions are payable, basically for as long as we are as under agreement and on for a period of 2 years after. The 2nd company is 5% for the first year because of different circumstances concerning the targeted leads we are providing them. The 3rd is basically like the 1st but starting out at 7% with a raise to 10% after a year.

I have worked with other companies where they paid a set dollar figure per item sold.

I just signed an agreement with a new company that agreed to 10% - another is an exporting business that has offered 20% of his net profit which can be $1000 or 500 for each product sold depending upon the number of these items sold.

Can you begin to see why I cannot and will not provide you a dollar figure?

I would say this, if you need income now or for the next 6 months, this is not the business to get involved in. Sell stuff on Ebay, at least your money is almost immediate.

Second, I would never quit your day job (if you have one) before you have a business generating at least the same amount as your job pays you or more.

Now if you wish to go forward, then read the old archived newsletter from 2001 at:
it contains an interview with an importer exporter who reveals his business income.

Next, the blog post in which I cite some examples of actual exporters I have spoken with and some of the deals they put together, go here:

I would then continue through the blog looking at each post - some are more advertising than others but in there is literally a "wealth" of information you need to use to help you make the most informed decision possible. That is the first decision of a business person, i.e., making an independent decision - not having a boss, supervisor, wife, husband, teacher, coach, professor or other authority figure, just you and your future, your decision.

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