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Import Oil Paintings For Profit

You might have considered import/export as a business opportunity before, but been a little daunted by the sheer size of it. However, here is a way that you can get started in international trade very easily indeed.

Import Oil Paintings For Profit.

Oil paintings are a product which are very easy to deal in and very easy to import. They sell on sight, for cash, and offer an excellent profit margin too!

The secret of this business is to buy your stock from the low wage countries in the Far East. Here, talented artists are able to produce an original painting in oils on canvas for as little as £5 or so. An identical painting costs anything from £50 to £100 or more in the UK, so you can see the profit potential!

Here's how to make big money from importing oil paintings.

How to Find Suppliers

Finding suppliers takes a little time and effort, but it will be worth it at the end of the day. The best thing to do is to write to the London embassies of the various Far Eastern countries. Tell them that you are interested in importing artwork from their respective countries and you'll usually find they'll do what they can to track down suitable suppliers.

The best countries to import oil paintings from are Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, India and Pakistan. Prices vary according to the source, the size and the quality, but prices start at the equivalent of £5 for basic paintings of popular subjects like flowers, street and country scenes and animals.

Once you have the addresses of suitable wholesalers, write or fax for details. They'll normally send a catalogue illustrating what subjects are available and, for a few pounds, maybe also some samples.

Some of these wholesalers also offer a very novel 'paint to order' service. All you do is mail off a photograph of your husband/wife/child/pet cat or dog, and a few weeks later they'll deliver an authentic oil painting every bit as good as if you'd paid a local artist! This can be a very useful service which offers you extra profit potential, as you'll see later.

If you are not ready to go into the import business just yet, then there are a few wholesalers around who import oil paintings and prints, allowing you to test the market before you take the plunge. Some of these are listed later. Of course, this isn't as cheap as importing direct, but it is an even easier way of getting started. At the moment (2007) one wholesaler (Art International) is advertising 5" x 7" oil paintings for £7.45 and 20" x 24" pictures for £8.95.

How to Import Oil Paintings

This is one of the easiest forms of importing you will ever find! Simply post or fax your order off to the supplier. Most of them will take a credit card in payment so you won't need to bother with bank drafts or letters of credit. Plus, depending on the card you have, you'll have some protection if your paintings don't arrive as ordered. As paintings are fairly small and light, they can be sent quite economically by air mail, so they normally only take around a week to 10 days to arrive.

The good thing about this sort of product is that you don't normally need an import licence and there are few complications with Customs. If your supplier ships with a firm like Federal Express or UPS then they will clear the goods through Customs, pay any taxes due, and then send you a bill later.

Actually, Customs duty, VAT at 17.5% on the value of the goods, plus the freight charges will mean that you are paying double the actual cost of the paintings once they reach your door. However, you'll still only be looking at a buying in cost of £10 for something that could sell for £50, £80 or even £100.

Selling Your Oil Paintings

There are so many ways of selling original oil paintings that you'll be spoilt for choice as to where to start. Perhaps the best way to start is to organise some kind of Exhibition Sale. You might have seen some of these in your own area already, and they make an ideal pastime for buyers on a Sunday afternoon or a wet bank Holiday!

Always choose a top notch location for your exhibition. You'll persuade people to pay more in a nice hotel than a draughty community centre. Also choose somewhere that is in a busy location, preferably alongside a major road. A really good place will cost you up to £300 a day, but you only need to sell two or three good paintings to get this back. Plus, when you consider that this includes all display boards, lighting and ready made passing trade, it's actually quite reasonable.

Most of your paintings should be sold unframed, as original canvasses. This makes the paintings cheaper and easier for the buyer to carry home, but the main advantage is that it allows the buyer to choose a frame which is to his/her taste rather than yours. If you wish, you can offer buyers a framing service. Simply arrange it with a local picture framing shop and add a margin on top.

The main advantage of choosing a busy location is that you won't need to do a lot of expensive press advertising. It's easy enough to make up some gaudy fluorescent hoarding and put these out on the approach roads to the hotel. Use common sense here. Put one at the entrance, one at a quarter mile, one at a half mile, and one at a mile out. This gives people time to decide to stop in for a look before they reach your venue, rather than once they're past it and then having to stop and turn round.

Other Profitable Ideas

Other methods of selling oil paintings include selling them at boot sales and Sunday markets, selling by mail order or party plan, or selling to local craft and gift shops. Some people get their paintings displayed in pubs or restaurants on a 'sale or return' basis or turn a spare room into a home art gallery.

Whatever you do, don't forget to tell people about your 'paint to order' service using photographs. Your overseas artists are unlikely to charge more than about £40 to £50 for, say, a portrait, yet you would expect to pay £200 to £300 at least for a portrait in the UK. So, you can see the profit you will make even after paying delivery charges and duties.

Once you've started importing oil paintings successfully then you might like to branch out into other items which can be sold in the same way. Handicrafts, wood carvings, jewellery, brass ware and pottery are all items which can be bought for very little in low wage countries and sold for a huge mark up here.

USEFUL ADDRESSES (Over time, these details may become inaccurate)

Import/Export books and courses

Associated Importers, 7a Chart Road Industrial Estate, Godinton Road, Ashford, Kent.
Tel: 01233 638458

Wade World Trade Ltd, 50 Burnhill Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3LA
Tel: 0208 663 3577

Wholesalers of Paintings and Prints
Allied Trading Co., 6 Cheetwood Road, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8AQ.
Tel: 0161 832 0612

Art Collection International BV, Hendrik Jacobszstraat 14, 1075PD, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Tel: 00 31 20 6797878

Classic Art Pictures ltd, Milton Street, Salford, Manchester M7.
Tel: 0161 832 5818

Global Wholesalers, 1210 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 2RA.
Tel: 0161 442 9055

Embassies
Hong Kong Government Office, 6 Grafton Street, London W1X 3LB.
Tel: 020 7499 9821

Indonesian Embassy, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD.
Tel: 020 7499 7661

Indian High Commission, Aldwych, London. WC2B 4NA
Tel: 020 7836 8484

Malaysian High Commission, 45 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QT
Tel: 020 7235 8033

Pakistan High Commission, 35 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN.
Tel: 020 7235 2044

Philippines Embassy, 9A Palace Green, London W8 4QE.
Tel: 020 7937 1600

South Korean Embassy, 4 Palace Gate, London W8 5NF.
Tel: 020 7581 0247

Sri Lanka High Commission, 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2 2LX.
Tel: 020 7262 1841

Thai Embassy, 30 Queens Gate, London SW7 5JB.
Tel: 020 7589 0173

Foreign Embassies

Hong Kong Government Office, 6 Grafton Street, London W1X 3LB.
Tel: 020 7499 9821

Indonesian Embassy, 38 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 9AD.
Tel: 020 7499 7661

Indian High Commission, Aldwych, London. WC2B 4NA
Tel: 020 7836 8484

Malaysian High Commission, 45 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QT
Tel: 020 7235 8033

Pakistan High Commission, 35 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN.
Tel: 020 7235 2044

Philippines Embassy, 9A Palace Green, London W8 4QE.
Tel: 020 7937 1600

South Korean Embassy, 4 Palace Gate, London W8 5NF.
Tel: 020 7581 0247

Sri Lanka High Commission, 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2 2LX.
Tel: 020 7262 1841

Thai Embassy, 30 Queens Gate, London SW7 5JB.
Tel: 020 7589 0173




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