Wholesale in Italy?

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Aug 29th, 2003, 11:15 AM
  #1
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Wholesale in Italy?

Does anyone have experience buying goods wholesale in Italy? I have a legitimate store-front business (Sales tax permit, Fed. I.D. #, yellow pages ad, etc.)- this wouldn't be personal shopping. I wonder how much red tape might be involved and what other documents I would need. I'm particularly interested in pottery and glass jewelry. I would have to ship pottery since we're travelling by train. This is our first trip; I may just do research for next time. Any experienced input would be helpful. Thanks.
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Aug 29th, 2003, 12:11 PM
  #2
ira
 
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Hi nsw,

Keep in mind that you do get a refund on the VAT if you purchase more than about 200E from one shop. That's worth 17%.
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Aug 29th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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Thanks, Ira. I have read about the VAT refund. However, that's not the same as buying wholesale. If I want to resell it at a modest profit, I can't pay retail prices. I own a gallery in the U.S. This would be for the store or perhaps a special "trunk show".
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Aug 29th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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Funny that you should mention that. I have a friend that wants to start importing various goods. She contacted US Customs...and they were very very helpful and gave her some useful information. If you think you might have problems you can always get a Customs Broker to act on your behalf although their fees can be high from what I understand. As far as buying goods wholesale in Italy check out the website www.italtrade.com. Also there are firms all over the world that act as agents for the buyer..they help you with foreign vendors which can be very helpful if the vendor and you do not speak the same language. They can be helpful if there are delays in shipping ( a friend of mine is a buyer at Neiman Marcus..she gave me that suggestion). But again there are fees involved. I hope this helps. I wish you the best of luck!
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Aug 29th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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nsw55,

I don't know about the documents involved, but I imagine it isn't too nightmarish - basicaly the goods must be shipped with a customs invoice. Anyway, stick to stores/companies which are experienced exporters and are willing to handle the paperwork for you.

VAT is a non-issue as it will not be levied by the seller if the goods are shipped abroad directly. You should check into the customs duties you might have to pay on your end (in the US) though.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Aug 29th, 2003, 09:14 PM
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I'm in the furniture business and we import in from all over the world. Unless you have specific contacts and are going to buy items in container loads (i.e. huge amounts) your probably not going to get prices cheap enough to make it worth your while to cover shipping costs and import duties. If you are serious about giving it a go, then you need to find a gift trade show and go to one of those. I'm not sure if you've been to Europe or not but most things are more expensive there than in the US. The Cheap goods come out of Asia and Central/South America.
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Aug 31st, 2003, 01:12 PM
  #7
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Thanks for some good info. I doubt that I'm going to be an importer/distributor. Hence, not planning on filling a freight container. Regarding trade shows, however, like the ones in the U.S. they are probably big manufacturers, not individual artists. If I meet a potter whose work I like I'll ask about it and take it from there. I know there is bound to be paperwork involved but for one or two boxes, it might not be too bad.
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