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How to Start an Export-Import Business Without Money

When you are ready to do something, there is always some things will come in your way to make or break you. In Export business, most people often get stuck to start foreign trade because of funding. They generally believe that to build up an International Business, you need to strengthen your bank account.

Export-Import is really big things as we believe. But you don’t have to be a son of a millionaire to start the business. The proper lack of funding knowledge, most people turned their business mind to the other side, they felt hopeless.

But what I am saying, in foreign trade, there is no such funding obligatory to run your business even you are actually thinking for a bigger step.

First, you need to know what minimum capital is required to put your feet into this trading platform.

How much money do you actually need to start the Export-Import Business?

When I was exporting my first product, non-Basmati rice to Bangladesh, Quantity of 35 ton by a fully loaded lorry, I was calculated the total costing around $15000 including the commodity’s price, transporting, documentation charge, and miscellaneous.

That means I had to invest a $15000 to start the business.

But in the second time when there was an order of Maize corn, for the same quantity, I calculated the costing was around $7000 including everything.

That means I’d have to invest around a 000 to fulfill the order.

Sorry, I could not fulfill the order due to the buyer closed the deal. But it shows me how much should I needed to execute the sale.

The investment capital in foreign trade depends on which product or commodities and how much quantity you are willing to export to the destination country.

If you are exporting a cheap product, you need to invest the least amount of money. But if you are exporting an expensive product, you should have arranged a huge amount of money.

However, if funding is really an issue for you to initiate the business, there is always plan B. The good news is you can begin the game without any kind of Investment. Here I am sharing some opportunities to win the game.

#1 Become a supplier from source level.

Did you analyze that from where the exporter gets the product or commodities?

Not every commodity are produced in their local area. They collect goods from where it is available at a marginal price.

The exporter purchases his product from whom are called supplier. If you are living in an area where some of the exported products are being manufactured or produced, you can supply this product to an exporter who can export directly to the abroad.

You are actually involving here as a supplier to make the deal. You are helping the Exporter to source his products.

Neither You have to develop an export procedure nor you have to invest money to do that. You also don’t need an office to operate the business.

If exporter like your product, he will pay you in cash to collect the product. However, you may have to arrange some of the responsibilities like direct purchasing the product from the market, packing, loading, sending to the destination port. But these are a very easy option to operate. The exporter may get relief from this by you.

There is something must be manufactured or produced where you are living in. It could be from vegetable commodities to handicrafts products, which is maybe not available where the exporter is living.

  • Search nearby your area which products or commodities are being produced.
  • Get the product’s detailed information, quality, price, supply availability, and then contact some exporter through various channel.
  • Talk to him that you can supply that product at a very flexible rate.
  • Send him some pictures of the product or if he requests, send him the samples to check the quality.
  • Share him the price including purchase rate, packing, transporting to his destination port, and also including your commission fee.

You can create a supplier profile in your county’s domestic trading site like indiamart.com, tradeindia.com for India.
Upload your product’s photo and write details about it and give your contact address.
You will not get the call from an exporter, but also from some of the domestic traders. They used to sell the product in their locality.

I often receive a call from Exporter/Trader through these sites and share my product details with them.

#2 Become an Export commission Agent.

A commission agent is who works as an intermediary person between the exporter and the seller or between the exporter and the supplier.

Usually, when someone first begins the journey in foreign trade, it’s a very hard time to find a reliable importer or exporter. And if found they don’t necessarily know where the commodities available for supply.

An export agent holds as many as connection and relationships with exporter and importer and also with the source level supplier. He set a meeting between the buyer and the seller that they both get the benefit for the trade.

They take a commission from either exporter or the importer or from both of them.

An agent’s duty is not only to provide the seller-buyer information but also to create a trustworthy relationship between the seller and buyer in the export environment.


For the people who are thinking to implement with the export world but afraid of a few things to be a direct exporter, then Agent Commission could be a great way to get started in export business without any investment, fear of loss, and headache. It would be an excellent starting point.

In the field of Export agency, you will learn a lot about the necessary business skills that will help you to grow up in the future as a real exporter.

You don’t need an export license to first get started as a Commission Agent. A local authority trade license is only sufficient to start the business. You can also start this business from your home though with just a computer, but if you have a working office, then the buyer and seller could visit there for a meeting.

  • Search for prospective buyer and seller and also the supplier everyday. Collect their contact address.
  • Call the importer if they have any requirements for any commodities.
  • Then call the specific seller that you have an order if he could export that commodity.
  • Frankly talk about your commission details.
  • Then what product details terms he shared, forward these details to the buyer.

If the buyer agreed with the details and term provided by exporter through you, the deal could be making a significant amount of earning points in your business journey.

#3 Export hands craft product directly with least investment.

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We people across the world think that Export-Import means selling and buying the products or commodities in a mass of quantity.

But its not actually fundamentally true. You can export a single product as well as without having an export license.

Yes, that’s right.

There are much-handcrafted products that are producing around your nearby places. and those products have a very high requirement in the western country.

You can sell these products through Amazon.com, Aliexpress.com etsy.com, etc and also through your own website.

  • Create a seller profile on these sites.
  • Upload the good quality attractive photo of your handicraft products.
  • Give a price for it and describe the details of how can a buyer get delivered.

Selling handcrafted goods directly from your country to the world through online can be a great way for people who have very less money. You can only send only one product of at spend of $10

#4 Become a Direct Sourcing Agent of abroad company

When a deal is being made, there are too many questions arises to the importer’s head like,

  • About the quality of the product if it doesn’t match with the sample after finally delivered the product.
  • What if the exporter refuses to deliver the goods after the buyer made him an advance payment?

Issues always happen and then if the exporter shows the middle finger to the buyer, The importer feel helpless and arrange a direct sourcing agent in the overseas country.

Importer wants the green apple, not the red apple.

For that reason, you can become a direct sourcing agent of a company or individual importer to provide him import convenience. If he found you as very helpful, a liberal, modest person they may hire you as their loyal sourcing partner to reduce the risk of foreign trade.

  • Search over the internet for an importer who is interested in dealing in your country.
  • Tell him that you could provide the correct details of the product that he is intending to import with the exporter.
  • Tell him that you can handle all of the troubles that he is afraid of like, product quality, advance payment guarantee, sophistic packing, delay of delivering, etc.

#5 Become Export Service Provider

If you are actually feeling that you can’t be defeat with these part of the Export-import, you may become a service provider in the foreign trade platform.

Export service providers are providing various type of Export related services like Documents processing, Client searching, Website making etc

nowadays, to start the international business, you need to reach out to the other part of the world to sell your product. That’s why exporters visit many countries to participate in the International trade shows, trade conference, Export summits, etc to connect with the buyer.

And it’s not possible for everyone to bear these type of expenditure. And for that, they build their company’s website to tell the buyer about their existence.

And note that not every exporter or importer know to make a website, or sending an email, search buyers, find the product online. They get help from others who provide this type of service

Here is your great opportunity to provide this service to the exporters to make a website. If you are using the internet for a while, you might be know how to make a website or how to send an email, or if you don’t then it’s very easy to build a website with many of free website making software.

There are many websites making applications over the internet. one of the most popular software is WordPress.

I have built this site by WordPress which is free to use.

  • First, build a website and the tell the exporter that you provide website making service just for the only exporter.
  • Give a specific design to the website that focuses only on the export-import purpose.

#6 Become an Export-Import tutor.

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Export-Import trading is a trending topic across the globe and everyone is excited to discover the business opportunity to execute on there own way like you.

No one wants to get frustrated in this field after starting out. So they are very excited to understand the whole business model from the basics of export to how to finish a deal.

As I am writing this guide, I didn’t know well about all of the parts of this international trade. So I have started to learn a lot and writing about each of this business’s part.

You can also earn money by teaching this business principle through writing blogs, creating e-books, making video tutorials, providing offline training programs.

Learning the export-import system is very easy and teaching it to others can be a strategy of achieving in this business to the future.

  • You can make a website for this purpose and start writing blogs like me to share your export-import knowledge to others and can earn a little money through placing ads on your website.
  • You can create an e-book about how to start export import business and write with the explanation of each of the part of the export business. The e-book can be either free to download in intention to attract visitors to your website, or can be priced a little bit to sell on your website or Amazon.
  • You can make video tutorials of export-import business and start an online course on your own. You need to create separate videos for each of the parts of Exim to elaborate the business model. It will help your customer to understand that your content has the quality to purchase. Or you can upload this video on youtube and earn money through the youtube ads.

Nowadays people prefer video tutorial to learn something rather than reading something on your blog or e-book.
The online learning presence you are making will be great resources for who are interested in the International business world.

How much money can you make by these options?

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If you are asking about its profit margins without just started the business, then you are not actually passionate about this business. People who passionate and love to do something and they started the job without questioning for money, automatically get some significant results when they finished the job perfectly.

If you found 100 prospective buyers from abroad and don’t have the knowledge of how to make a trustworthy relationship with them, then you may get lose every buyer and get zero results.

If you found only 5-6 buyers and you are well known about how to build a trustworthy relationship with them, you may get some deal by them.

Your attitude, loyalty, hard-working, and some tips and tricks are your profit of this business.

Get to achieve this attribute, these will get you the money.

Basic needs to start this business.

As I headlined this post that you don’t need money to start these businesses was actually meaning that you can start this money with just your pocket money.

You just need a computer of a laptop with high-speed internet connection, a separate phone line, an average quality office or you can just start from your living room.

If you have some close friends, you can share this with them and create a team to build a robust company. Teamwork can give an exclusive result of your hard work.

Make some professional looking business card, Make a website(Must),
That’s it.

Conclusion – Is it a good carrier?

Every carrier is a good carrier if it matched with your capability and passion. If you are getting started an entrepreneurship business just for the reason that you want to be an entrepreneur but you are not passionate with that or don’t have the capability to finished it well, it could a nightmare experience in you carrier life.

I have elaborate on every possibility and show you the path to reach your point. Now you have to think which way is perfect and convenience to enter in the International Export Import trading market.

You can’t do everything at a time, look at your situation and ask yourself am I ready for it?

  • Don’t keep these ideas just only in your head. Write a business plan and think on paper.
  • Write everything on a paper about what you want to do. What you have beside your hands and what you don’t have.
  • Write every idea on a paper that write its possibilities according to your wealth capacity and hardworking minds to do the business.

Good luck.