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You are here: Step 19: Getting paid  
Getting paid


The time has finally come to receive your hard-earned export payment. Clearly, receiving payment is perhaps the most important step in the export process. Without payment, you are likely to fail quite quickly. Exactly how you receive payment will depend on the payment method you have negotiated with the buyer.

There are several different payment methods

As in the domestic market, there are several different ways of receiving payment for goods sold to buyers. Each alternative method of payment has different benefits/drawbacks for both the seller and the buyer, and some are more popular (or common) than others. Generally, the seller (i.e. the exporter) will want to receive payment as quickly as possible, while the buyer (i.e. the importer) will want to delay payment as long as possible. Which ever method of payment that is used will depend on the (a) the bargaining position and (b) the negotiation skills of the importer/exporter.

Bargaining position

By bargaining position, we refer to which of the two parties is more desperate for the transaction to take place. If, for example, the importer urgently requires a replacement turbine for a power station that is currently not operational (and not generating income) because of a damaged turbine, the importer may be happy to pay in advance for the goods. On the other hand, if the seller is keen to break into a particular market in which the importer is already well entrenched, the exporter may be willing to receive payment in 60, 90 or 120 days, just to have the importer taken on the product.

Negotiating skills

Agreeing on a payment method and payment terms is all about the art of negotiating. Some individuals are not very skilled in negotiating contracts and may consequently loose out to a more skilled and determined foreign trading partner. Negotiations will generally cover issues such as product specifications, delivery schedules, price, payment methods and payment terms.

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    Step 19: more information

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    More information on Step 19
    Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
    Step 1: Considering exporting
    Step 2:Current business viability
    Step 3:Export readiness
    Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
    Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
    Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
    Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
    Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
    Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
    Step 10: Managing your export risk
    Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
    Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
    Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
    Step 14: Obtaining the export order
    Step 15: Producing the goods
    Step 16: Handling the export logistics
    Step 17: Export documentation
    Step 18: Providing follow-up support
    Step 19: Getting paid
    Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
    Step 21: Export Management
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