export samples international buyers
Export-Import, International Business

How to Send Export Samples to International Buyers | Effective Process of Product Sampling

Sampling is the first step in the process of exporting product!

When exporters deal with the foreign buyers, he should always be prepared in order to provide samples of his products. 

Promotional measures are beneficial for a healthy start. It thus depends on him to provide his product samples whether they are free of cost or on a minimum charge.

Samples having permanent marking as “sample not for sale” are allowed freely for export without any limit. However, in such cases where indelible marking is not available, the samples may be allowed for a value not exceeding US $10,000, per consignment.

Steps to Send Export Samples to International Buyers

For export of sample products which are restricted for export as mentioned in the ITC (HS) Code, an application may be made to the office of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

There is a checklist, one need to understand and move step by step:

1. Import-Export Certificate (IEC)

You as a businessman, first & foremost needs to have an IEC – registration for Export Import under DGFT.

2. Export items

You can also send / export freely “exportable” items on free of cost basis for export promotion subject to an annual limit set to a license ( IEC ). Well for a first timer, there should not be a problem.

Later on you may consult your Chartered Accountant for this financial clause.

3. H.S. Code

You must have the product information to the extent . You and your buyer are clear on the exact H.S. Code and specifications of the product.

4. Product Knowledge

It is very important that you have detailed product knowledge that you are going to send to a buyer.

For example : It should not be that you are talking of “Sour Lime” and the buyer in Dubai understands it as ‘Eureka Lemon”.

5. Packaging

Now is the packing time. Your product must be clean, without any dust, without any patches, and should be brand new.

6. Invoice

Take a format from DigitalExim  Documents. Invoice must have clear mention “SAMPLE – NOT FOR SALE” Invoice must be printed & not handwritten.

7. GST

GST Tax from India. For the samples there is no GST.

However if you have bought your free sample from a manufacturer then GST is paid to the supplier / manufacturer.

8. Dispatch

Send your samples as a GIFT Package. This will create a lasting impression on your buyer. As you know, the first impression is last impression which is very important.

9. Courier

Send the samples through postal channel, Courier or airmail. Take a proper receipt for the payment of whichever channel you choose and keep a track of it.

Examples of Courier companies :DHL, TNT, FedEx, Blue Dart, Aramex, SpeedPost etc.

10. After sample is received

Once the sample received by the buyer, give a courtesy call to the prospective buyer. Ask him how the product is, does it match his expectations.

Talk about final pricing and close the order.

Meta description

Sampling is the first step in the process of exporting product. When exporters deal with the foreign buyers, he should be prepared to provide samples of his products. 

After the sample is received, and approved they may ask for a larger quantity of samples. Cost of sending out Samples across the Border to another country is only your business investment.

We presume that the buyer across the border has virtually seen your product.  You have procured all your registrations and quality certifications for the product already. 

And very importantly, you and the buyer both are clear on the pricing in case the order gets through.

If you are stuck somewhere or face any problems related to this, we are always present to help you.

So, contact us for a care-free experience!


Kavit Shah

Founder of Impexperts & Digital EximSharing the 33+ years of experience in the Exim Industry, with the aim to help every Indian Entrepreneur achieve their Business Goal!

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