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8. Commercial practices

Regular importers order from suppliers by telephone or fax. Two forms of payment are practised: consignments are paid for in advance or after the consignment is sold. According to one importer, when paying in advance the risk of receiving sub-standard product is increased

Favoured methods of payment are via FOREX bureau transfers or relatives and friends carrying cash back to suppliers. A number of grocery retail shops also facilitate payment by offering money transfer facilities. Transfers from UK high street banks tend to be slow and not reliable.

Less is known of the small-scale irregular importer’s practices. Although, some appear to sell their consignments in order to cover the cost of their air tickets.

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