If you want to source stock for your business at low prices – perhaps cheap stock for your eBay business – then importing it from abroad could be a good idea. You can import almost any kind of product from abroad, and import prices are often low. But, how do you find good sources?

Here are six very effective ways to track down sources of imported goods:

1. Embassies or consulates. Track down the embassy or consulate of the country you want to source from. These are most usually found in London or other large cities. Get in touch with the trade promotion office there. They will often be able to send you a list of companies in their country who are looking for trading partners here. (The really good thing about using this source of contacts is that these companies are actively looking for new foreign customers and so will be keen to cut you a good deal.)

2. Chambers of trade. Virtually every town and city everywhere in the world has a chamber of trade or commerce (or similar) which brings local businesses together. They often have an online directory of members on their website, or can send you a list on request.

3. Industry or trade associations. This is one of the best sources you can use, and highly recommended. Whatever industry you care to name – anything from chocolate making to car parts manufacturing – there’ll almost certainly be an industry or trade association for it. They often have a directory of members on their website, or can send you a list on request.

4. Ministry of commerce or trade promotion agencies. Almost every country worldwide has a trade promotion agency or ministry of commerce. It’s their job to find new markets for local companies in other countries worldwide. As well as the usual directory of members these organisations often have a matchmaking service or similar. Tell them what goods you want to buy and they will introduce you to producers in that country.

5. Yellow Pages. You might not often think of this, but it can be quick and easy. Most countries have a Yellow Pages or similar directory and there’s usually an online version too. Just try a search and see what supplier leads you can find!

6. Online trading marketplaces. These are basically directory sites that put you in contact with manufacturers, distributors, exporters and wholesalers abroad. Just search for what you want and you should find plenty of suppliers in many different countries. You may even be able to get quotes and place orders direct with them through the site.

(Just one thing though. Good though they are trade portals are readily available to all other buyers. Doing a little more digging using the other sources I’ve outlined could put you in touch with little known sources that other buyers don’t have such easy access to.)

Here’s an article which explains how to use what is probably the best online trading marketplace of them all: Alibaba

Lastly, here’s another article I hope you’ll find helpful to get you started in successfully importing low cost goods for your business: Everything You Need To Know About Sourcing Products From Europe