Import by yourself or outsource? A strategic decision

The tradeoffs between in-house importing and using a sourcing agent

When expanding your business to international markets, you face an important choice: do you take the import process into your own hands or do you choose to work with a sourcing agent? This choice has far-reaching consequences for your business operations, your profit margins and your ability to switch quickly and efficiently. In this article we explore the responsibilities, advantages and disadvantages of importing yourself versus outsourcing these processes.

Importing by yourself: Responsibilities and benefits

Importing by yourself means full control over the product selection process, supplier negotiations, quality controls and logistics. Direct contact with suppliers can lead to better purchasing prices and a deeper insight into the production processes. The benefits include a higher profit margin and direct impact on the supply chain. However, the responsibilities are significant: you must ensure compliance with international trade laws, manage customs formalities and build a competent team that can manage these complex processes.

Outsourcing to a Sourcing Agent: Responsibilities and Benefits

Outsourcing your import operations to a sourcing agent can remove much of the stress that comes with international trade. A sourcing agent acts on your behalf in finding the right products and suppliers, performing quality checks and providing the necessary documentation. The benefits are clear: time savings, expertise in local markets and often better conditions through the agent's network. But beware, it also requires trust and control over the sourcing agent, and can lead to additional costs that can reduce your profit margin.

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The role of a sourcing agent when importing from Asia

In the world of international trade, a sourcing agent plays a crucial role. These professionals form the bridge between companies and suppliers. But what exactly is the added value of a sourcing agent?

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Weigh the pros and cons

When choosing between importing yourself and outsourcing, you must make a trade-off between the degree of control you want and the amount of time and resources you can invest. Self-importing offers full transparency and potentially lower costs in the long term, but requires a significant investment in knowledge, infrastructure and risk management. Outsourcing reduces complexity and provides access to specialized knowledge, but can be associated with higher costs and less influence on the purchasing chain.


The choice between importing yourself or outsourcing to a sourcing agent is a strategic decision that should be carefully considered. Analyze your business goals, your ability to meet the demands of the import process, and the cost-benefit of each option. Whether you choose the direct approach or the expertise of an agent, the most important thing is that your choice is in line with your business vision and growth strategy.

Make the right choice for your import!

Westwood Sourcing offers specialist support and expertise to make your import from India successful and efficient. Contact us today for more information! 

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