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Exporting Basics

CHAPTER 3. Making Export Sales
  Check Out Prospects
  Check Out Prospects

Before committing to any sale, you should verify that the buyer is trustworthy. Gather impressions from your correspondence with the firm, and particularly from its response to your questions. However, also look to independent sources to evaluate prospects, such as:

  • Government services. The U.S. Department of Commerce has a fee-based International Company Profile(ICP) service that provides detailed background reports on individual foreign firms. U.S. exporters can order ICPs from a local U.S. Export Assistance Center. A number of U.S. states have overseas trade offices that will compile foreign company information for state residents. Federal and state governments in other countries may offer similar services for their exporters.
  • Web-based company databases and directories. These directories have profiles on millions of worldwide companies, although with fewer specifics about each company (e.g., Cofaceand Corporate Information). Regional sources include the EDGAR database of U.S. public companies; Canadian Company Capabilities; Europages; Asian Sources and Companies of Africa.
  • International banks. Major international commercial banks will often provide information on foreign firms for their corporate customers.
  • World Trade Centers (WTCs).This worldwide network can provide information about foreign companies for WTC members. Check with your local WTC office.
  • Credit reporting agencies. Credit reports on foreign companies are available from many private sector sources, including Equifax, Dun and Bradstreet, Graydon, Veritas and Coface.

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