importing international business


The United States is the world’s second biggest importer. Main imports are:

capital goods (22%) and consumer goods (21%). Others include: automotive vehicles, parts/engines (12%) and foods, feeds and beverages (5%). Shipments from China represent 21% of the total imports followed by Mexico (14%), Canada (13%), Japan (6%), and Germany (5%). (Trading Eco. 2019).

In 2019, Imports from China were 21% and Import from Mexico/Canada were 27% of our overall Imports and expected to increase in 2020.

The U.S. is the uncontested leader in Marketing Globally.  We invented the Good, Better and Best Strategy in Marketing and mastered its approach.

The policy for Retailers in the U.S. has been to offer 80% Brand name products and 20% Private label.  For European countries, it has been the opposite, or retailers carry 20% brand names and 80% their own Private Label.  Thus, the Importing tool has been essential for U.S. Retailers to compete and offer the consumer an alternative to brand products at cheaper prices.

Why the 80/20 rule in the U.S.? 

Brands offer Quality Products, Innovation and Creativity which equals Value, Private Label Only Copies and try to imitate Brands.  The basis of this concept is competition, companies in the U.S. want to increase their market share and thus offer consumers choices of Products based on their budget and spending power thus the concept of Good, Better and Best. 

If you elect Not to bother with consumers wants and needs, your competitors will and take your business away- it is that simple. 

As a country of Entrepreneurship, Brands win in the U.S., it is that easy.  In Europe for example, Private Label win, they like to copy as they lack entrepreneurship spirit which cannot be taught.  In spite of all the incentives in France and the U.K. for example, they have a huge deficit in entrepreneurs which is due to their Culture that does not nurture even the concept itself.  These are Facts not opinions.

What is Private Label?  It is the Products that Retailers carry under their name such as Kirkland for Costco, Home for Target and Club Room for Macy’s, where the concept here is to offer an alternative Price Point for Consumers who cannot afford buying Brand names.  Service is key in this concept, meaning offering Good Quality Products at Cheaper Prices that will satisfy consumer demand and need. 

In my opinion, this competitive environment in the U.S. has contributed substantially to the growth of our Economy, and Lack of Competition & Growth of Economies in Europe, China, India and many others is the result of their Disbelief in the concept of Competition. 

Industries in China, India and Europe have one common factor, Lack of Competition.  Industries in these countries are generally dominated by one or two players thus a Monopoly, and as a result Brands and Private Label impose Products and Pricing on consumers in the E.U.  The results are lack of demand and lack of growth as stated earlier.   My own theory is based on my travels, dealings with foreign buyers, different Cultures and market research.  

This is not a PC topic and not discussed much in the industry or academia, however, Reality is based on facts, and our success in Marketing in the U.S. is due to our system and business concepts we established and improved over the years.

According to CBP (Custom & Border Control) we import about 12 Million Containers a year out of which 5% are scanned, at a cost of about $ 22 to $ 32 Billion, a budget of a small country.  Retail sales were about $ 5.3 Trillion in 2018, and Importing was about $ 2.6 Trillion in 2018. 

Impressive numbers that will lead to the seriousness of my comment and quote: “Discount Stores are the Mistakes of Marketing”, Goods that were imported by Brand names that failed, did not sell due to very basic mistakes in Marketing related to the 4P’s: Product/Service, Place, Promotion and Price.  In other words, the company Failed in offering the right features in the Product or Service, Failed in Place or in Distributing the goods/Selling the Product, Failed in Promotion and giving incentive to the consumer to buy it, Failed in Price or the Product was Too Expensive, Company did not Price the Product properly and consumers refused to pay for it. 

It sounds so basic but the arrogance of many companies who believe they are so Big that they do not need to Abide by these simple Principles of Marketing. 

Discount stores were created as the remedy for all these headaches and failures of Big Brands and not for any other reason.

Importing is in high demand by Brands and Private Label, Consumers love both.  The above is a prelude to Importing.  Contrary to what many think, Importing is Not buying a Cheap Product from country X or Y—, it is being Able to Sell it in your Home Country:


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