These are some things I have learned over the last couple of days:
1. There are questions to be asking such as:
- Ask for referrals of other American companies this person has worked with.
- Will I lose my ownership once he purchases the products and they are shipped?
Answer-Yes, if he pays for them, then he would own them.
Answer- If you are worried about design copying, the Japanese have better current laws about this than the Chinese.
- How do I estimate freight charges?
- I currently use PayPal as my preferred payment method on my website. Is this the right kind of payment method for this type of transaction?
Answer-Pay Pal should be fine if in small quantities. Japanese do use credit cards, but the Chinese do not yet.
- What is the usual process for working with international buyers?
Answer-Here is a guide to Doing Business in Japan.
These were my questions. The answers were provided graciously by Jim Roberts, Business Development Manager for the North Carolina Department of Commerce with the International Trade Division.
2. Always surround yourself with good advisors and people you can go to for suggestions and wisdom.
- I was priveledged to be able to immediately contact a few of my advisors, mentors, and friends who were able to connect me with others who could help me in this new situation.
This business stuff is exciting!