In your search to find overseas buyers, your company may already have found foreign customers through your website, trade shows, and other avenues. However, there is great opportunity to enhance proactive exporting by choosing the appropriate sales channel. This can be a local sales agent, representative or distributor with specific industry expertise in identifying sales and marketing opportunities, and is familiar with local regulations, logistics, and after-sales service. Before signing any sales agreement, you will need to engage an attorney who is familiar with the local laws of that country. Learn more by viewing Choosing a Sale Channel, the first of five videos in the Finding Foreign Buyers set.
Last Published: 8/16/2017

International Selling 

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Common Methods of Exporting
The video highlighted some sales channels to consider. Going into more detail, there are two common methods of exporting: direct selling and indirect selling.
  • Direct selling is when the U.S. producer works directly with a foreign buyer which is usually a distributor or retail outlet which purchases the product.                                                       
  • Indirect selling is when an export intermediary such as an export management management company (EMC) or an export trading company (ETC) assumes responsibility for finding overseas buyers, shipping products, and getting paid. A variation on this method is an agent that you engage on a commission basis who finds the buyer for you. U.S. wholesalers can play the role of intermediary, buying goods from the producer and selling them to an end-user outside the United States.
The way you choose to export your products can have a significant effect on your export plan and specific marketing strategies. A key consideration is the level of resources your company is willing to devote to your international marketing effort. Read more about determining the best approach for marketing your company.

Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

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