What is the difference between an importer, agent and distributor?
Commission or buying agents sell on behalf of exporters and receive a commission on sales made. They seek out potential customers and may be used to facilitate and promote your products in the respective markets. Buying agents to not take legal possession of any goods. Importers solely import goods for resale to other companies (distributors) for sale to retailers. Importers and distributors take legal possession of goods and pay exporters. They are usually obliged under the terms of their agreement with exporters to carry stock and to provide after sale service when necessary. The basic difference between an Agency and Distribution relationship is that the Agent does not purchase goods for re-sale but only promotes the sales of such goods on behalf of the exporter whereas a Distributor buys the stock and re-sells it to the end user.