second hand clothes exporting information


my name is Shahid Salim . I run a cash 4 clothes shop in Guildford. Our service is defined as the buying of second hand used clothing and accessories from the general public. We are now looking to export our goods to Saharan African countries ,East Europe and other developing nations . How do I get access to oversees buyers of second hand clothes. Could you please suggest us any resources, platform which I can use to promote my goods more effectively. What documentations do I need to export my goods to other countries. Many thanks for your help .
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind Regards
Shahid Salim


Hello Shahid,

If you are new to those proccesses it´s probably advisable to use some agents- maybe use a modest success fee with them?- or at least get some info about those markets (UKTI delegations can help with that).

Time spent into port waiting for inspection, dubious payment methods and a plethora of other minutiae could make the proccess very complicated without a local agent.

In the past I worked with a number of countries and I could give you some leads (Egypt, Libya). Some emerging countries I work with (Bangladesh, Cambodia) aren´t particularly suitable as they already have an excedent of highly affordable clothes.

Take into account that between the costs of transport, fees and your presumably high costs it´s crucial to spot the right market.


Jose Garriga


Hi Josh
Thank you very much for your response.
Would you be kind enough to advise me where to get an agent and what is the average cost to hire one.

Many thanks

King Regards
Shahid Salim


It depends on the country (ies) you target.

The word agent was used liberally. An agent typically refer to sombody who puts into connection the vendor and the purchaser and he gets a fee. The fee amount would depend on the number of duties he fulfills. Does he help with import? Does he advise about incoterms? Does he make trips? You get the idea.

Ideally you would cut the middleman because your margin could be dilluted to the minimal expression. However it´s advisable to run some operations with a not-so-good return of investment to get your feet wet in this type of transaction. Sort of a learning fee.

A good exporter will have some knowledge about incoterms (modes of transport, fees, customs), will have some logistics options and will cover most of the proccess. That approach generates the best margin but it´s only affordable to experienced parties and usually big suppliers: they have the volume and the workforce so they get better deals with logistics, insurance of the cargo,et cetera…

They can get margins through the whole proccess (cheaper insurance so they pay it and add to the price, cheaper consgnee or agent…. again you get the idea.

Agents or importers aren´t hard to come by but there are a lot more parts to look at, Shahid. While you cover that ground it´s not a bad idea to start picking their minds even if business delays a bit.

To enter into an agency contract or any other sort of international transaction you really need to be advised or get that bit of knowledge yourself. In other case you really rely on the good faith of your contractor, even with something as conservative as a success fee.


Jose Garriga

Export Action Plan