15 Ways to Earn Import Export Broker Commission

Import Export Broker Commission: The methods via which import export agents make money depend on the avenues they choose to execute trade.

The commission will also vary depending on the nature of the product.

Profit margins per item and transaction volume.

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 Import Export Broker Commission

Import Export Broker Commission

1. Consultation Fees

Some new international trading companies would like to work directly with consumers but have no clue where to start.

They at times seek the services of an agent to help them get started.

Agents normally charge a fee for the consultation and provide them with the information they seek.

Be sure to establish a good rapport with such companies.

As they sometimes choose instead to work through an agent if they are impressed by services offered.

Read also: Top 20 Ways to Get Foreign Customers for Nigerian Export Good

2. Sales Commissions

This is the most common way for import export brokers to make a commission.

The rate will depend on your negotiation skills, experience and the company you are dealing with.

10% to 15% range is just a benchmark and is the most common range within which most agents operate.

Read also: 110 Hot-Selling Products for Export Business in Nigeria

Import Export Broker Commission

3. Broker Commissions

These ones differ from sales commissions in that they are mostly one-off deals.

They involve bringing a customer and seller together for a one-time purchase and getting a pre-specified cut of the pie.

At times, companies enlist the services of a commission agent for export when they have excess inventory of some products that are going to be discontinued.

The broker looks for an interested buyer, seals the deal and gets his commission.

See also: 13 Ways to Earn Import Export Broker Commission in Nigeria

4. Customer Representation at Events

International trade companies are not always available to attend trade fairs and exhibitions abroad.

They might choose to forfeit attendance to save costs and instead send an agent to represent them at the event.

This mostly works when the event is held in your home country and a cost benefit analysis makes it seem worthwhile.

The commission for such a service is entirely negotiable as there are no pre-determined market rates.

Related: Top 23 Import/ Export Broker’s License Tips in Nigeria

Import Export Broker Commission

5. Referral Commissions

As a commission agent for export.

You might at times chance upon information.

That could benefit another agent or a supplier but happens to be outside your scope.

Instead of sitting on such information or giving it away for free.

Agents instead charge a fee that is dependent on the success of the deal in question.

You might for instance not be involved in the automobile industry.

But happen to meet an interested client.

By connecting them with a supplier or agent in your circle.

You will earn a commission from the said supplier or agent when the client makes a purchase.

6. Storage Facility or Shipping Commissions

As you become established in international trade.

You will find more ways to make commissions.

With an established network of suppliers, freight forwarders, shippers and others.

The opportunities to make money are limitless.

As an agent, every service you offer can attract a commission.

Import Export Broker Commission

So make money from connecting suppliers to shippers, helping them get storage facilities and any other convenience offered.

The options for making money as an import export agent are limitless.

You have to be creative and think outside the box about possible needs that you can fill as an intermediary.

And for as long as you offer impressive services.

You will always have manufacturers and others looking to work with you.

7. Minimal capital requirements

Compared to becoming a distributor or international suppliers.

This kind of business does not require much capital.

The internet has made it easy for agents to look for new business prospects and establish contacts without having to spend much.

Sure, you might want to travel abroad once your business expands.

But the general capital needs to start off are minimal.

8. Work from anywhere

Startups benefit from the fact that this business can run from anywhere.

So long as you have stable internet and a PC or laptop.

This is convenient as it makes it possible to run your business on the go and reduces overheads.

Import Export Broker Commission

9. No need for specialized education

Even though education and experience make it easier to become an import export agent they are not mandatory.

Certain specialized areas like customs clearance require one to get a customs broker license.

An import export agent license is however optional and serves to add credibility to your business.

But most aspects of the business can be handled by pretty much anyone who has a handle on entrepreneurship.

10. Recurrent business opportunities

Unlike brokers, agents enjoy the benefits of recurrent business deals.

It is up to you as an agent to nurture business relationships.

For as long as you offer good services, your customers will not have any reason to look elsewhere.

Set god prices and have good customer care habits.

Doing this will ensure recurrent opportunities and free up your time to look for more prospects.

Import Export Broker Commission

11. Safeguarding Your Interests as an Agent

In any form of business, it is always wise to put things down in writing.

This makes it harder for treacherous parties to breach agreement terms.

And in case they do, you will have the tools necessary to initiate legal action against them.

There are a number of actions you can take to safeguard your business and personal interests.

12. Representative Agreement

One of the most important documents for import export agents is the representative agreement.

It sets out the terms on which you will operate including commission rates and the authority you hold as a representative.

It should also specify territory rights to ensure that both parties work within stipulated confines.

The payment method, timing and currency should also be set out in specific terms.

Import Export Broker Commission

13. Non-Disclosure Agreement

An NDA is also crucial for protecting your long term interests as an agent.

This document will prevent the manufacturer and buyer.

From going around you and leaving you out of the transaction altogether.

It is also important that you take care not to reveal any information.

To either party that could increase the chances of such an eventuality.

14. Attend Trade Fairs

Variety is one of the most basic building blocks of a successful import export agency and trade shows and exhibitions are among the few events that bring together the biggest variety of manufacturers and suppliers together. New products are usually launched at such events making it possible to secure exclusive deals as a foreign supplier. Additionally, there are numerous exporters who attend such events in search of an agent to help them sell abroad. It is therefore the ideal opportunity to build a network of suppliers and get valuable contact information.

15. Use a Specialized Approach

One of the most important aspects that determine an agents success is his level of understanding of the target market. You will need to understand the demographics and legal framework of this area as well as any other matters that make an impact on trade. Learning the local language and culture is also an added advantage as it makes it easier to transact business and to translate documents.


International traders love working with import export agents.

They enjoy such conveniences as reducing recruitment and training costs.

And only paying for completed deals.

But what benefits do you stand to enjoy as an agent?

The import export market is constantly evolving.

The factors that propelled traders to success a few years back might no longer work.

This makes it important for you as an import export agent to stay ahead of the latest developments.


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