Trade-In Tech
by on September 2, 2021

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you either work in or have an interest in buying and selling electronics. By this point in your life, you might have experience reselling electronics throughout your city, state, or country. But have you thought about buying and selling electronics internationally?


Don’t let the potentially long distances scare you away - becoming an international electronics distributor has a lot of advantages. If you’d like to learn more about buying and selling electronics this way, we have a lot of helpful information for you.


In this post, we’ll go over:


  • The benefits of buying electronics overseas

  • The pros of selling electronics overseas

  • Where you can find international electronics online

  • Extra tips to help you buy and sell electronic devices internationally like the pros

  • How to safely pack electronics before shipping them out


After checking out this article, you should have a good understanding of how to get started finding, buying, and selling electronics internationally. Let’s get started!


Why Should I Buy Electronics Overseas?



One of the first things you’re probably thinking about is a reason to buy electronics internationally. For someone who isn’t used to buying electronics overseas, this experience might seem a bit daunting. With that said, there are many advantages associated with buying electronics internationally. Here’s more information as to why buying electronics this way is such a smart move.


Getting Electronics Before They’re Widely Available at Home


Almost every international company has a schedule of when they’ll release electronics throughout the world. While some companies send their electronics to North America first, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, electronics companies prefer to launch their new electronics in Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world.


Some companies never ship their electronics to North America. If you can get your hands on these items, they could soon become best-selling electronics for your business. You’ll also have less competition to worry about since you’re one of the few buyers who have access to electronics from locations around the world.


With a little time and effort, you could soon find yourself having lots of people and companies contacting you to get electronics they can’t find anywhere else.


Competitive Prices


Understandably, when your business is getting started, you don’t want to spend all the money you have. In most cases, it’s true that you’ll need to spend money on things like taxes and shipping fees. However, many international markets are extremely competitive. 


With so many international sellers competing to get your business, this often leads to attractive prices for buyers. It’s also common for international sellers to have lower prices due to their currency exchange rates. In many countries, the value of a United States dollar can go a long way.


Because you’re finding international electronics for low prices, it will be easier for your new company to get a nice head-start on the competition.


Great for Buying in Bulk


Another major advantage of buying electronics internationally is having many opportunities to buy in bulk. If you’re going through the time and effort it takes to purchase electronics devices overseas - you might as well make sizable orders.


With that said, buying in bulk doesn’t have to mean spending tens of thousands of dollars on electronics. Instead, you can spend a set amount you’re comfortable with. And, considering the low prices of many international electronics, you don’t need a huge budget to make a bulk order.


After buying electronics in bulk, you’ll have lots of inventory that’s ready for your business to start selling to customers.


Tax Savings


As you’ll soon learn by shopping internationally, currency rates between countries can vary wildly. What’s also important to note is that tax rates can also change depending on where you’re shopping. When you continue to purchase electronics internationally, you’ll likely find tax rates are far lower than what you’d spend to buy electronics in the United States or Canada.


When you’re spending less money to buy electronics, you can use these savings for other aspects of your company.


Why Should I Sell Electronics Internationally?



It’s also a good idea to learn about why so many people prefer to sell electronics overseas. Here’s a closer look at the pros of selling electronics devices internationally.


Having Items People Overseas Want


One of the most important things for any business is selling products or services that people want. If not, you could have a hard time making enough sales to keep your company in business. 


Some of the most popular electronics in the United States aren’t always easy to find in other countries. Fortunately, by offering electronics from North America, you could find lots of interested overseas buyers.


The Potential to Make a Lot of Money


As mentioned in the last point, selling electronics internationally can mean having in-demand items. Because of this, you should notice that selling electronics in the right international markets can bring a lot of profits for your business. Many electronics from the United States can fetch high prices in certain international markets.


Making Lots of Valuable Connections


Another great reason to sell electronics internationally is to potentially make new business connections. As you continue selling items in other countries, you’re likely to build strong relationships with your buyers. 


You could soon find that these connections help your business grow in many ways. It’s possible to find international companies that have exactly what you need. It’s also possible to sell electronics to international buyers that want what you have.


Where Can I Find Electronics for Sale Internationally?



Now that you understand why finding international electronics can be beneficial, it’s time to learn where to find them. Don’t worry; you don’t need to start planning a trip overseas. When you know the right sources, you can find international electronics from the privacy of your own home. Check out the sources below when you’re ready to find international electronics for sale online.


Trade-In Tech


When you need electronics from both domestic and international markets, you’ve got to check out Trade-In Tech. Trade-In Tech is a wholesale platform for buyers, sellers, and companies within the electronics industry.


Since this company began in 2012, it has welcomed over 25,000 members and continues gaining new members each day. Trade-In Tech is also home to a large and popular marketplace that’s full of all kinds of electronics, including items from:


  • Samsung

  • Huawei

  • Sony

  • Oppo


We also have lots of popular electronics from North American companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google. On Trade-In Tech, you’ll find listings featuring iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, MacBooks, televisions, smartwatches, and much more!


Plus, there are many ways to start finding electronics from our wide range of international members. First, you can check out the Trade-In Tech marketplace. This marketplace is always full of listings from our network of over 25,000 members. There are also plenty of international sellers from areas such as Hong Kong, India, China, and other major electronics hubs.


One of the biggest benefits of joining Trade-In Tech is not worrying about fees. We don’t believe that our members should watch their hard-earned money go towards paying lots of bothersome fees. Whether you’re buying or selling electronics on Trade-In Tech, you’ll never have to worry about a bunch of fees taking away your profits.


In the rare event that you don’t find what you need in our marketplace, you can also use another one of Trade-In Tech’s awesome features: the buyer’s request. This feature allows you to create a quick, easy, and 100% customizable request for any kind of electronics you want. After creating your request, it goes out to each of our members in just a few seconds.


You can also check out Trade-In Tech’s many chatrooms, membership pages, and other areas to find the international electronics to help your business grow.


Trade-In Tech also features exclusive members-only calendars that list all of the electronic expos and trade shows taking place throughout the year. This section of Trade-In Tech is extremely beneficial if you want to check out international electronics trade shows in person.




You may also find electronics internationally by checking out eBay. This auction website is incredibly popular with buyers and sellers around the world. And, with enough time and effort, it can be a good source for finding electronics from international sellers.


One of the drawbacks of finding and buying international electronics on eBay is the risk of dealing with fakes. Being such a massive marketplace, it’s almost impossible for eBay to keep an eye on listings that contain fake or stolen electronics. This became so bad that, at one point, eBay got sued by Louis Vuitton claiming that over 90% of items claiming to be from the fashion company were fakes.


If you’re careful about choosing the international sellers you work with, it’s possible to find lots of electronics on eBay. Just make sure you check the reviews and ratings for anyone you’re thinking of buying electronics from.


Amazon Global


Another way to potentially find electronics overseas is by checking out Amazon Global. This is a recent move by Amazon to list items available throughout the world. With that said, it can be hard to find a great selection by browsing Amazon Global. Since this service is so new, it’s going to take time before the already established businesses might start using it.


Making matters worse, you’re most likely going to be paying retail prices to get any international items from Amazon Global. When you’re paying retail prices and shipping to get these items, it’s almost impossible to make a profit on anything. After you throw in Amazon’s fees, there’s not much left for you to profit from.


12 Tips for Finding and Buying Electronics Overseas



While it’s possible to earn a nice living working in international markets, doing this takes time. Fortunately, we’re here to save you time with some must-learn tips about buying electronics overseas. Check out the tips below before you hit that buy button.


1. Research the Best Shipping Rates


One of the most important aspects of buying electronics internationally involves shipping. Because you’re shipping items such a long distance, you’re going to be paying quite a bit of money to cover shipping costs.


We don’t recommend using shipping rates as the only indicator of whether you should buy electronics from a seller. However, favorable shipping rates can definitely help you avoid overspending on electronic devices.


Before you purchase anything from an international seller, make sure to look over their shipping rates and options. Sometimes, a seller will list low prices for their items and jack up their shipping costs. By the end of the transaction, you might not have gotten a great deal.


2. Find Out If International Warranties Are Available


Another important factor to consider is if international warranties are available. As you probably know, many electronics come with warranties. However, some warranties are only valid for the country or continent they’re manufactured in. If you’re buying products with these warranties, they’re not going to be valid once you bring your electronics to another country.


Fortunately, some electronics manufacturers offer international warranties. Under this type of warranty, you could live in the United States and buy smartphones from a person or company in China. Since these electronics are protected under an international warranty, any customers in the US that buy them have a little additional peace of mind. Plus, you have the comfort of knowing that you’re selling goods under warranty.


3. Be Prepared for a Lost Shipment Every Now and Then


It takes large transportation and shipping networks to move products from one location to another. If you were sending a letter to someone in the same city you live in, it might not take that many people or companies working together to get this letter to its intended recipient.


When a seller is shipping something from a distance that’s much farther away, it increases the risk of something going wrong. We don’t mention this point to scare you. Instead, it’s here to prepare you for the occasionally lost shipment.


Whether it’s a mistake made by a shipping company or a customs-related mix-up, shipments can get lost. Fortunately, many sellers will work with you if there was a legitimate mistake that prevented you from getting the electronics you paid for. Also, the vast majority of international packages reach their destination, which is a comforting thing to remember.


4. Make Sure You’re Allowed to Buy What You’re Purchasing


As you might know, most countries have lists of goods that can and can’t get imported or exported into or out of their countries. With that in mind, the country you’re wanting to buy electronics from might not allow some of these items to get shipped internationally.


While it’s a rarity, you’ll want to consider checking out import and export lists to ensure you’re not breaking any laws to get your hands on international electronics. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on something you can’t legally ship to your country.


5. Consider Getting a Credit Card With No International Fees


As it is with almost any transaction (except ones you make on Trade-In Tech), you’ll have to pay fees. Considering that, it’s not uncommon to incur quite a few fees when you’re buying items overseas. One of these fees is the foreign transaction fee. It’s a common fee that many card companies will charge their cardholders.


With that said, a transaction fee might not be the only fee you need to pay when shopping overseas. Over time, these fees could be taking away a sizable portion of your company’s revenue. Fortunately, there’s a way you can solve this problem.


If you don’t want to pay these fees or they’re becoming too burdensome, there are some cards without any transaction fees. Using these cards to buy electronics overseas can be a great way to avoid those pesky fees.


6. It Could Take a While


You don’t need us telling you that the world is a large place. However, it’s important to keep in mind that shipping distances between countries can mean you could be waiting a while to receive your packages. We’re not talking about waiting just a few days. In most cases, you’ll be waiting a few weeks to receive your electronics.


You can get your electronics faster by paying more money for shipping. However, the price you’ll pay to get items shipped out faster can cost hundreds of dollars.


When you’re looking over shipping options, it’s easy to end up overspending. Unless you must have your electronics right away, you can save a lot of money by utilizing slower shipping methods.


7. You’ll Likely Need to Buy a Certain Amount of Products


As you begin to buy electronics in wholesale quantities, you’ll likely run into what is known as a minimum order quantity. This number is the minimum amount of electronics you’ll need to buy before a seller will ship them out. If someone were to offer a minimum order quantity of 50 pieces, you’d need to order at least 50 items or units before they would get shipped out.


After a bit of research, you should be able to find sellers with minimum order quantities that work well for your company’s budget. It might take a little time to find a seller offering quantities that work for you. However, finding sellers with the right requirements could mean you’ll soon have lifetime business partners.


8. Understand That a Language Barrier Could Exist


Every time you buy electronics, especially if you’re a wholesaler, there are details that both parties will need to take care of. If you’re working with a person or company from another country, there might be some bumps in the road regarding language barriers.


Even with apps and translating services, it’s possible for either of you to get a little confused every now and then when communicating. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to ask any questions to help you clarify what’s getting said if you’re unsure. If you’ll be speaking on the phone or through video, you might need to consider hiring a part-time translator.


Getting on the same page with the person you’re working with is a great foundation for strong business relationships in the future.


9. Always Research a Company Before Working With It


Whenever you’re making a big purchasing decision, it’s understandable to want to do your research. Considering the importance of finding high-quality electronics internationally, it’s imperative to research any company you’re thinking about working with.


It’s worth entering the name of a company you’re considering working with into Google. Hopefully, you should find their official website and some directory pages. Take a closer look at these websites to see if you can find out any reviews or testimonials from past customers or business partners.


Since you could be looking at company websites that are in foreign languages, it might be handy to use Google’s free Google Translate tool to help you out. Google Translate is free and works within your browser, so you don’t have to download anything.


It will take a little extra time to research a company, but it’s well worth it to know you can trust who you’re doing business with. If you don’t spend any time doing this type of research, it could mean getting taken advantage of by a scammer.


10. Ask for Tracking Information If It’s Not Provided


As mentioned earlier, international shipments can take a long time to get to your doorstep. Considering that, tracking information can help ensure you’re up to date as the electronics you ordered reach your home.


Hopefully, the seller you’re working with offers tracking numbers. But, it’s vital to ask for one if they don’t originally provide it. We’re not saying to necessarily avoid sellers or services that don’t provide tracking numbers. However, having the tracking number available does provide a lot of peace of mind as you wait for your electronics to arrive.


11. Have a Currency Translator Handy


Most of the time, you’ll be using websites that display currency in USD. However, this won’t always be the case. Fortunately, you can help ensure you avoid overspending by keeping a currency translator handy.


Taking a few moments to convert what you’re buying into dollars helps you avoid making any costly overspending errors. It only takes one mistake to end up overspending by hundreds or thousands of dollars.


12. Look for Reviews From a Company’s Past Customers


Reviews can be incredibly important to read before you buy a product or service. In most cases, you can find at least one or a few people willing to share their experiences about something they tried. With that in mind, you’ll definitely want to check out reviews about international companies before buying electronics from them.


Without checking out these reviews, you could find yourself getting ripped off. Depending on where you’re finding reviews from international numbers, you might have to run them through a translator. By checking out reviews, you can potentially save yourself a lot of headaches in the future.


How to Pack Electronics for International Shipping



If you’re interested in selling electronics internationally, it’s helpful to understand how to get them packed and shipped. While you might understand how to do this for domestic shipments, shipping electronics overseas is a little different. With that in mind, here’s how to get electronics ready to get shipped overseas.


What to Do With Lithium Batteries


When you’re shipping electronics, the batteries that are likely inside of them will be a very important concern. Most likely, these electronic devices will contain lithium batteries. While lithium batteries are great for powering electronics, they’re not the safest items to ship internationally.


Unfortunately, lithium batteries can catch fire if they get exposed to certain conditions or temperatures. Before you ship any electronics that contain lithium batteries, make sure you follow your destination country’s rules about accepting shipments with these items.


In some cases, when packed properly or inside of electronics, lithium batteries are safe to ship. However, many countries have different rules about what they will and won’t allow. If not packed properly, lithium batteries pose a huge fire hazard.


Complete All Required Paperwork


Before you can ship your electronics to another country, you’re going to need to complete paperwork. Make sure you have the right paperwork for the country you’re shipping your items to. Once you have your paperwork all filled out, you’ll be able to ship your electronics to their intended location.


This type of paperwork typically requires you to list common things like where you’re shipping your item to. You’ll also need to list details about what you’re shipping. It’s also possible that you might need what’s known as a certificate of origin. This document details where your item was originally manufactured.


While the thought of getting and filling out these documents can seem a little daunting, these activities get easier as you continue doing them. As you would when shipping lithium batteries, it’s imperative to have the right documents for the country your electronics are going to.


Use Strong Boxes


It’s understandably tempting to save money on shipping by purchasing the cheapest boxes you can find. However, doing this could result in your electronics getting damaged during the shipping process. If this happens, you could be out quite a lot of money.


If you’re looking for something a bit stronger than a traditional cardboard box, you could ship your electronics in corrugated boxes. These boxes have additional layers that make them less likely to get damaged by pressure or water damage.


What’s great about corrugated boxes is that they’re available in many sizes, ensuring they’ll offer a nice fit for your electronics.


Fill in All Open Space


In most cases, you’re going to have some open space after packing your electronics into a box. This is normal, but you’ll want something to fill in these open spaces. Fortunately, you can do this by having certain fillers on hand.


The most commonly used filling materials are packing peanuts, air pillows, and bubble wrap. What’s great about the previously mentioned materials is that they’re fairly easy to find in most stores. You can also order these items online. If you’re going to sell more than a few items, you can buy in bulk and save money on these filler materials.


Some people use paper to ship their electronics, but we don’t recommend it. In most cases, especially when shipping heavy electronic devices, the paper will crumple and not offer much protection. Since many electronics are reasonably fragile, these aren’t items you want getting moved around a lot during the shipping process.


These filler materials can also help keep your electronics safe should they get pulled aside for a quick inspection.


Will You Insure Your Electronics?


Another thing to think about when you’re shipping electronics across the world is whether or not you’ll buy insurance for them. Many of the major shipping carriers can safely get items from one location to another. However, mistakes get made and accidents happen.


If you want additional peace of mind when shipping electronics, it could be beneficial to purchase shipping insurance. Shipping insurance is similar to other types of insurance in that it protects what you’re insuring. In this case, you would get reimbursed if your electronics get damaged during the shipping process.


Before you choose insurance that a shipping company offers, it could be beneficial to check out rates from third-party shipping insurance providers. There are companies that offer rates that are lower or at least comparable to many large-scale shipping services.


In conclusion, buying and reselling electronics internationally can be a great way to start or grow an electronics business. It will take some time and effort to build up experience buying and selling electronics internationally. However, putting in the work can help bring in major profits for your company. If you’re ready to find the connections you need to start doing big business internationally, make sure to join Trade-In Tech or check out our blog for more tips.


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