Selling Through an Intermediary

Retailers are the most popular choice for exporters because they sell directly to the consumer. They tend to reach a broad range of consumer needs as well as wider audience.

Wholesalers sell products to the retailers and carry a variety of products from a number of businesses but specialize in a specific type of good such as food products or automotive parts.

Distributors sell a variety of products from different producers. Unlike wholesalers, they do not specialize in a specific type of good and normally sell directly to customer.


  • Assist you with establishing market access that may be difficult to do on your own
  • Possess the knowledge, resources and distribution capabilities to help establish a presence in retail chains
  • Assist you with developing business contracts
  • Possess staffing and delivery capabilities to help you export your goods in a timely manner
  • Helps you build business relationships


  • Intermediaries can be costly because you will have to pay them commission, which could reduce your overall profit margins
  • They represent many companies and they may not focus their attention on your business
  • If your products are not selling, they may offer a discounted rate which will lead to a loss in sales for your business

Marketing Yourself/Direct Export

Marketing yourself is a great option if you are innovative and creative in finding new ways to sell your products directly to the consumers.

As the exporter you are responsible for developing a business plan, market research, entry strategies; as well as handling all logistics including shipment and payment.


  • Develop your consumer base
  • Establish a relationship with your customers
  • Determine the payment options
  • Use a hands-on approach


  • Resources and time necessary to do the initial start-up
  • Requires more “people power”
  • Knowledge of all country specific regulations is your responsibility