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Foreign Power

Import resellers bring it home.

Inventors can run into problems getting their inventions manufactured overseas. These problems can be severe because entrepreneurs have to pay for their products before they get a chance to inspect them. Therefore, they can easily end up with a container full of the wrong product with no option of returning it. One way to avoid this problem is to work with an import reseller, a company that arranges for production and quality and then brings the product into the United States under its ownership. Buying from an import reseller ends up being no riskier than buying from an American manufacturer. Import resellers often advertise in the back of trade magazines.

John Stodolka, president of PCI Inc. in Little Canada, Minnesota, imports products from Taiwan. His explanation of his company's advantages: "We have an engineering office in Taiwan. They help inventors locate the best manufacturer for their product. They also interface with the manufacturer to get preproduction units built for inventors' approval, and they do quality control inspections during production. We bring the product into the U.S. under our ownership so our customers don't have to worry about any import paperwork."



Don Debelak is a new-business marketing consultant and the author of Bringing Your Product to Market(John Wiley & Sons). Send him your invention questions at dondebelak@uswest.net.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Foreign Power.

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