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Goods imported from Mexico can often be obtained at a lower wholesale price than similar products produced in the U.S. The profit potential in buying wholesale Mexican imports comes with a few caveats, however. By exercising due diligence, you can reduce the risks and increase the possibility of having a smooth and profitable experience with Mexican merchandise.
Goods imported from Mexico to the U.S. in 2013 totaled $280.5 billion, according to the latest available figures from the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Top imports from Mexico by dollar amount include automotive products such as trucks, cars and parts; electrical machinery; other machinery, crude oil and mineral fuel; and optical and medical equipment. Mexico ranks as the second-largest agricultural product supplier to the U.S., a category that encompasses chocolate, snack foods, beer and wine in addition to produce. Small businesses in the U.S. often buy handcrafts such as pottery, jewelry, leather goods, blankets, clothing, hats, furniture and folk art for resale at significant markups.
Wholesalers in Mexico
When you buy goods from a wholesaler in Mexico, unless you work with a distributor or other go-between, you assume all the responsibilities of an importer, including complying with all laws, licenses, fees and taxes. Restrictions and fees vary by type of merchandise. Check with U.S. Customs to find out what's applicable to the wholesale imports you want before you place an order. Internet directories aren't any guarantee as to a wholesaler's reputation. The Trade Commission of Mexico, Bancomext/Promexico, has several offices in the U.S. that can serve as a liaison with Mexican exporters.
In addition to Mexico-based companies offering wholesale merchandise, there are U.S.-based wholesalers that specialize in goods from Mexico. Some wholesalers feature product lines of a particular type, such as yard art or food, or one type of food, such as shrimp. Others carry many different kinds of products, which makes it convenient to select several kinds of gift items, clothing, pottery or other category of goods. Normally, wholesalers require purchasers to have a resale license. Trade shows can save you time in checking out companies and their products. Compare prices before ordering, as prices can vary substantially between suppliers. Check the quality of goods in person if possible or start with the smallest possible order to make sure the products meet your expectations before investing in a large order.
Benefits and Pitfalls
Wholesale Mexican imports can result in a healthy profit margin, and if you locate and market items that sell well for your business, you may be rewarded with repeat customers and enough income to invest in a growing product line. Although many importers are ethical, deliver on time and practice quality control, it's worth checking a supplier's reputation before placing an order. For U.S.-based companies, check the Better Business Bureau. Importers aren't required to be licensed, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Control website. Product availability, price and quality may vary in your chosen line of Mexican imports. It's a good practice to establish relationships with more than one supplier to reduce the risk of running short of goods you need for your business.
Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.