Money, Money, Money

Abba was wrong, it’s not necessarily a rich man’s world. So how can you finance your next intercontinental extravaganza? It’s not as difficult as you might think. The only trick is, you’ll have to spend some money to make some money.

Carl

Our Swedish friends Emelie and Carl, who we met while traveling in India, had the brilliant idea to buy Indian textile items that would appeal to Westerners and then sell them in Sweden. During a recent trip to Calcutta, their entrepreneurial side quickly took over and they went shopping on a big scale. Scarfs, bedspreads, handbags, shawls, and other decorative items. I would have had a lot of fun with that.

But then came the shipping. Sending stuff from India and having to deal with the post office can be quite intimidating but once you get the hang of it, it’s not as scary as it looks. Just make sure every package is sewn into white linen – that’s a good start. And then pray to Hanuman that your shipment will make it.

I just recently contacted the two Swedes, and they sent me the latest update on their successful sales business. The pictures show Emelie and Carl shopping and shipping the goods in India, and then reselling them on the island province of Gotland, a popular holiday destination in Sweden. Good choice, people in vacation mode are much quicker to spend their money. This is important, especially if you want to finance your next trip and continue your nomadic lifestyle.

Carl and Emelie

Importing products from India is a great idea because goods there are comparatively cheap. Having said that, many other third-world countries offer similar opportunities. Be it baskets from Ethiopia, silver jewelry from Morocco or weavings from Guatemala, there’s a definite market for ethnic art in the West. You just need to know what your potential customers are looking for.

But before you go out and spend your last cent on exotic knickknacks, make sure you’ve thoroughly investigated your country’s policies on importing merchandise. Even for a small number of items, you may have to pay import duty, sales tax, and, in the end, income tax.

Well, you don’t want to run into trouble with the law, or, instead of doing souvenir runs, you might find yourself on the run.

3 responses to “Money, Money, Money”

  1. avatar Emelie says:

    Our business on the island province of Gotland was very successful. We enjoyed bringing some bits and pieces of India to Sweden. In order to give something back to people in India and other parts of Asia, 10% of our profit goes to microfinance.

    • avatar Thomas says:

      What exactly is “microfinance?” Emelie, can you supply a link explaining the concept?

  2. avatar Emelie says:

    That’s a good question Thomas,

    The speech held my Muhammed Yunus when he and Garment Bank recieved the Nobel Peace Prize 2006 gives you a good introduction to microfinance. More about it here.

    We have been lending out money through kiva.org.

    Have a look at our facebookgroup “bengalisk sjal” for information (in Swedish) and pictures from our business this summer!

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