Four Questions for Best Export and Import in Russia

By: Gen Wright

Knowing what you are doing is key in any business when it comes to successfully carving a niche for yourself. This is especially true in the Russia export-import fields as you often must forge relationships with vendors you may never even meet in person. Before you take that step, you must realize it is a career path not for everyone. After all, it is a path that requires you to demonstrate your ability to work effectively with different laws, cultures, and technologies, in order to achieve pre-set business goals.

To make your job easier in conquering the export-import Russia fields, here are four questions you need to know the answers to:

Who is your trading partner? Confirm the trader you are doing business with is who they say they are. Make sure the address, e-mail and phone information, you have checks out. Check on your own if you know your way around the international scene. The best choice, of course, would be to employ a third-party source such as Dunn & Bradstreet. It may cost you a little more than doing it yourself, but weigh those options. You will save time and obtain the peace of mind that allows the level of trust needed for a successful business relationship.

How are you protected? Make sure your contract stipulates the vitals. Spell out the specifics of things like payment methods, arbitration, and sales conditions, to name a few. This ensures clear communication between you and the other party and clearly defines your legal rights and actions should you need use of them. Also, when defining a payment method, make sure you select a method that minimizes risk. Stay away from things like Western Union Money Transfers. Services such as these do not allow you to track actual information, so there is a risk they can take your money, default on the contract, and leave you holding the bag with no legal recourse. Recommended payment methods: Letter of Credit, Escrow, or any reputable fund transfer service that will verify users and guarantee transactional satisfaction.

What is a key way to earn and share each other's trust? Never expect anything for free. If you wish to sample a product, be transparent. In other words, go out of your way to show the other side you are for real by offering a nominal payment, such as the price of shipping-plus-cost of the items being shipped. Do not send or expect freebies. By showing the other side you are using real funds, you imply a larger interest in more business transactions and work to ensure a more solid business foundation. And beware of shipping addresses that are from countries with high fraud report volumes.

Is the other side too generous? While it may be a show of good faith if someone in your same town gives you a little more than expected, the opposite is true in international transactions. Should they offer to pay you more money than what you are asking, you know immediately this "businessman" is a fraud. Over-generosity is overcompensation.

Keep these questions in mind when you are looking to engage in the Russia import-export fields, and remember: if something sounds too good to be true, it is. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes.

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