A Practical Approach in Product Selection is necessary. Instead of approaching the product selection process from demand side - it is far more practical to look at supply side. Ask yourself what can you supply.
What are your strengths ? How close are you to supply sources.
Key Factors in Product Selection:
The product should be manufactured or sourced with consistent standard quality, comparable to your competitors.
ISO or equivalent certification helps.
It should be available in sufficient quantity. If possible, avoid products which are monopoly of one or few suppliers.If you are the manufacturer - make sure sufficient capacity is available in-house or you have to outsource it at short notice. Timely supply is a key success factor in export business
It is competitively priced. The price should not fluctuate often - threatening profitability of your export venture.
Regulatory aspect of export. Check Govt policy - if there is any restriction in its export.
Status of various Govt incentives - such as duty drawback, tax incentives, DEPB etc.
Import regulation in overseas markets, specially tariff and non-tariff barriers.Though some major non-tariff barriers such as textile quota has been abolished - quite a few tariff and non-tariff barriers exist in European Union and other regions.If your product attracts higher duty in target country - demand obviously falls.
Registration/Special provision for your products in importing country. This is specially applicable for processed food and beverages, drugs and chemicals. For example - one needs FDA approval for exporting drugs and pharmaceuticals to North American market.
Seasonal vagaries of selected products. Some products sell in Summer, others in Winter. Some products may sell only during Christmas. Keep in mind seasonal aspect of your product, if there is any, and lead time required to reach target market.After Sales Service. If exported product needs after-sales service, you should open service center before hand or arrange distributor/agent who can provide servicing facility. It is not advisable to export a product that requires after sales service, in case you lack the technical and financial ability to provide it.
Packaging and labeling requirements. Keep in mind special requirements of perishable products like Processed food, Mode of transport, Logistics requirements. Special care is required for certain products which may be bulky or fragile or hazardous or perishable or of some such feature.
The following items are prohibited / restricted from shipment.
Any of these items being sent may result in surcharges, delays or confiscation by authorities where appropriate.
Animal skins / Furs / Ivory and ivory products
Articles of exceptional value (e.g, works of art, antiques, precious stones, gold and silver)
Dangerous goods / Hazardous materials / Fireworks
Liquids / Adhesives / Paint
Firearms / Swords / Knives / Weapons
Money, Negotiable items & Payment cards
Plants / Seeds
Passports / Birth Certificates
Tobacco and tobacco products / Drugs / Medicines
Unaccompanied baggage / Suitcases
White Goods (fridges, ovens, etc.)
Glass / Ceramic / Marble / China / Stone / Resin - (or any item containing these matierals)
Laptops, Monitors, Computers (Unless parts sent separately)
Televisions / Plasma & TFT Screens
Furniture (Unless Flatpacked)
Any food item to USA & Canada
It is the senders responsibility to comply with current government regulations or laws applicable in each country. Shipments are subject to inspection and possible delay by customs or representatives of other government authorities.
Not all commodities can be shipped to all countries.