Buying wholesale can always be a challenge in lessdeveloped regions of the world. With growing economies, stable democracies and an increased demand for consumer goods, Latin America and the Caribbean are definitely markets to conquer.
There are 4 different ways to buy wholesale in Latin America and the Caribbean:
*Buy directly from suppliers located in Asia, Europe, USA etc.
*Order from local distributors or agents representing international companies
*Buy from manufacturers located in Latin America and the Caribbean
*Search for wholesalers online thanks to B2B Trade portals and marketplaces.
1- Purchase directly from foreign manufacturers located outside the region
The product offer from foreign companies is very diverse allowing buyers to choose from a very large variety of products from famous world brands to cheap low quality products. This option forces a larger initial investment aslarge quantities are required for each order. This option is not feasible for small and medium companies looking topurchase small quantities. Knowledge about international trade is also required in case problems arise. Topics such as commercial terms, logistics and customs procedure should be thoroughly understood.
2- Buy from local distributors representing non-Latin American and Caribbean companies
Most companies in Latin America and the Caribbean will buy from local distributors, wholesalers and agents who represent several foreign brands and manufacturers. Thisallows them to decrease their initial investment as well asnot worry about international procedures such as shipping and customs procedures. You can find very oftenwholesale distributors located in tax free zones such as the "Zona Libre de Colon" in Panama or the "Zona Franca de Iquique (ZOFRI)" in Chile. It is important to state that almost every country in Latin America and the Caribbeanhas its own tax free zone in order to boost trade and thesegeographic location have become strong trading platforms in the region.
3- Purchase from manufacturers in Latin America and the Caribbean
Another option to decrease logistic costs is to buy frommanufacturers and suppliers located in the region. There are a lot of benefits to this option such as better communication as the same language is used, shorter distance to travel to meet potential suppliers, costeffective prices as no middleman is adding his share and easier control of product quality. This also reduces cost related to custom duties.
4- Browse wholesalers on B2B marketplaces and business portals
Thanks to the internet, there has been an increase inonline trade portals and marketplaces. The leaders are big names such as Alibaba, Tradekey, EC21 etc. Thesemarketplaces are very strong on an international level but lack presence of Latin American and Caribbeancompanies. Why? This region is developing and is learning about the tools available to them and is starting to understand the importance of having an online presencefor their company. The increase in entrepreneurship in the internet business within the region is also booming. Latin America and the Caribbean just created its first trade portal and marketplace www.mercatrade.com that is holding up to the international standards of design and programming and has adapted itself to the needs of the region.