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Istanbul, Turkey

Turn Your Travels into Profitable Shopping Trips

While on our way to a serious shopping day at the infamous Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, a large, ceramic, intricately-painted fish in the window of a gallery caught my eye. I drew my two travel companions inside for a quick look. And thus we entered into one of those unexpected experiences you have in the import-export craft business.

chiang-mai-thailand

Tapping into the Import-Export Market in Asia

For almost three years while teaching English abroad I also imported and exported goods between North America and Asia, mainly China and Thailand. It was the perfect supplement to my teaching income and a good way to enjoy some local travel. Here’s what I learned and how you can get started:

bangkok-thailand

7 Hobbies That Can Fund Your Retirement Overseas

It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…

cotacachi-leather

Ecuador: High Quality, Low Cost Crafts Can Yield Big Export Profits

One look at Cotacachi, Ecuador’s famous leather street, and I knew—“I’m going to need a bigger closet…” Turns out I wasn’t far off the mark! The gorgeous, buttery leather handbags, wallets, backpacks, briefcases, and jackets were as inexpensive are they were irresistible. Heck, I almost bought a saddle…and I don’t even own a horse!

bali0ubud

When Business Meets Pleasure in Bali…

Ubud, on the Indonesian island of Bali, is a lovely place to spend time. Green rice paddies…mixed Balinese and Dutch colonial architecture…and a “big village” feel. Ubud has kept the artsy, Hindu feel that seems mostly missing from the modern beach fronts of Southern Bali.

Running an Import-Export Business Part-Time

Running an Import-Export Business Part-Time

Shortly after arriving in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I stepped into the home of a family of weavers. The room was swept and straw mats were spread over the meticulous dirt floor ready for the day’s work to get underway.

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

If Ecuador isn’t on your short list of places to travel, add it. Ecuador has mountain towns…tropical coast…the Amazon basin…and it’s also home to the Galapagos Islands. But I won’t dwell on any of that right now; just suffice it to say that if you go, you’ll want to go back.

A Fun Way to Make Money in Thailand

A Fun Way to Make Money in Thailand

When my wife and I operated a Thai restaurant near San Francisco, we decorated it by putting Thai artwork on the walls. It was beautiful, and added to the ambiance of the restaurant. Then we had an idea. We started putting a few discreet signs up that the artwork was for sale—and people started snapping it up. Our extra business became very profitable. We already traveled to Thailand…

cotacachi-travel-ecuador

Traveling to Ecuador for Business and Pleasure

If Ecuador isn’t on your short list of places to travel, add it. Ecuador has mountain towns…tropical coast…the Amazon basin…and it’s also home to the Galapagos Islands. But I won’t dwell on any of that right now; just suffice it to say that if you go, you’ll want to go back.

Let’s Go Shopping Overseas

Let’s Go Shopping!

Buy low in one place, sell high in another. That’s what import-export means. But you don’t need thousands of dollars to get started—you can turn a profit from what we call “suitcase shopping.” That’s how many people make money in the business. Even if you don’t turn it into a full-time career, it’s a great way to fund your travels. Whether it’s on eBay, at a street market or to work colleagues, you can resell almost anything.

traditional-crafts-otavalo

Cashing in on Your “Inner Shopper”

I was in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands recently, strolling through a handicrafts fair, when I saw a display of little mirror-compacts with casings made from decorated, beaten tin. I thought they’d make perfect little gifts for girlfriends—a useful item they could toss in their handbags.

http://internationalliving.com/2014/06/a-peaceful-retirement-in-atenas-costa-rica

“I Could Have Doubled my Money”

Every couple of months I fly down to Ecuador to spend time enjoying spectacular scenery, fresh, delicious food, the perfect climate, and one of my all-time favorite passions…shopping. These are actually business trips for me, although I’ve never had this much fun “working” before. Each day is spent visiting local artisans, collaborating on new designs, […]

grasse-provence

Getting Paid to Vacation in France—the Easy Way

“What do I wear in bed?” mused Marilyn Monroe. “Why, Chanel No. 5, of course!” Perched in the hills above the Côte d’Azur in France, Grasse has been the world’s perfume capital since the 17th century. The countryside around this Provencal town is where the jasmine and roses that go into the country’s famed luxury fragrances are grown and harvested.

Morocco’s Real-Life "Magic Carpets"

Morocco’s Real-Life “Magic Carpets”

Carol Romano owns an online business and a store in Mexico’s San Miguel famed for its eclectic vibe and its unusual, one-of-a-kind merchandise. But the story of how she came to own her own business started a decade earlier…with a trip to Morocco.

cotacachi-plaza

Ecuador: Make Money While Shopping and Traveling

I knew the basics…importing means bringing items from one country in to another and exporting, conversely, involves sending products from one country back to another. Mostly I was just eager for an adventure, and I was taking a leap of faith. At the time, I had no idea how profitable it can be— and how much fun it is.

otavalo-fyl

The Fun Way to Turn $800 into $8,000

Not everything is yet labeled “Made in China.” Throughout the world, artisans still produce handcrafted objects of desire that carry serious mark-ups when resold in North America and Europe. And if you like something, chances are other people will like it too.

san-juan-del-sur-hidden-gem

Hidden Gems with Income Potential in Nicaragua

With little more than a few hundred bucks and some determination Reece decided to give the import-export world a try. Now he has a nationwide business.

buenos-aires

Funding a New Life and Travels in Argentina

I arrived on vacation to Buenos Aires, Argentina and was seduced into staying. You see, I figured out how to hemisphere-hop for free. This way I get two summers a year plus the snowy New England Christmas I couldn’t give up. I’m not a true expat. I’m a cheater. At first I lived off savings, and then pieced together an income from freelance writing and editing.

The Most Fun Way to Make Money in Mexico

The Most Fun Way to Make Money in Mexico

A fun way to fund your vacations is by having an import-export business—it’s not as complicated as it might sound. It could be simply buying local products in Mexico, like handicrafts, and selling them back home when you return. Mexico makes so many handicrafts that you have plenty of options, from Mexican rugs to silver to pottery and more. Several regions of Mexico are particularly known for their handicrafts.

How One Jobless American Turned Things Around in Mexico

How One Jobless American Turned Things Around in Mexico

When Cheryl Finnegan lost her job, she considered putting up a fight. She could stay in San Francisco—maybe get back into another firm with another position in corporate marketing. Or she could do something else with her life. At the age of 39, in the middle of a divorce and with a generous severance package from her former employer, Levi Strauss, Cheryl did just that.

A Business That Can Pay For Your Travels

A Business That Can Pay For Your Travels

Reece Guth stepped off the bus at a sleepy town two miles from Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. He was armed with two things—a vague business idea and a money belt filled with $50 notes shoved down his pants.

Fund Your Travels With an Import-Export Business

Fund Your Travels With an Import-Export Business

In Mexico, we buy pottery, baskets, and silver. In Jamaica, we went to the source and had baskets made for us. In Guatemala we bought scarves directly from the weavers. In Honduras we purchased sea glass jewelry, dolls, bark art, and baskets. With our Import-Export business, our working year ends in December and doesn’t kick into gear again until March.

Import-Export: A Quick and Easy Business Idea For Your Next Trip

Import-Export: A Quick and Easy Business Idea For Your Next Trip

One country above all others on our beat is a great place to try out your entrepreneurial side: Ecuador. The Spanish guild system is still at work here, so each town and village specializes in one craft—leather work, ceramics, silversmith, guitar making, etc.

Could You Start a Business Like This From Where You Live?

Could You Start a Business Like This From Where You Live?

I’m able to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, thanks to my mini “import-export” enterprise. When I want a break from Buenos Aires, I hike to the villages in the north to negotiate delivery of llama wool hats, scarves and shawls—direct from the villagers who make them.

The Cheater's Guide to Funding a Life Overseas...

The Cheater’s Guide to Funding a Life Overseas…

We’ve all gone on vacation and fallen in love with a place. You promise yourself you’ll visit again…but you really wish you never had to go home at all. Well you don’t, necessarily. You can figure out a way to stay. I did…

Ecuador Crafts – a Buy and Sell Guide

Ecuador Crafts – a Buy and Sell Guide

We are in Cotacachi, Ecuador, for the day. Here, one long road I’ve dubbed Leather Lane makes up the main drag…as far as shopping goes, that is. The street smells heavenly—of good quality, new leather. I could find something to please every single person I know here.

Make a Profit in Ecuador With This Quick and Easy Business Idea

Make a Profit in Ecuador With This Quick and Easy Business Idea

Many of the people on our bus are business-minded individuals, interested in items they can flip back home. One couple even tells me they are setting up a website so they can sell imports online. Another woman has plans on a smaller scale: she’ll sell a few items to family and friends.

Artisan Markets—Buy Low-Sell High

Artisan Markets—Buy Low-Sell High

We’ve all gone on vacation and fallen in love with a place that’s hard to leave. You promise yourself you’ll come back and visit… But you really wish you never had to go back home. Well, you don’t. You can figure it out. I did…. For me the place was Buenos Aires, Argentina. I love its unique mix of European and Latin American cultures.

Haggle Like a Rug Trader

Haggle Like a Rug Trader

A confession: At International Living’s recent Live & Invest Overseas Conference in Las Vegas, I acted like an unscrupulous rug trader. The attendees didn’t stand a chance…

Import-Export—Buy For $2, Sell For $12

Import-Export—Buy For $2, Sell For $12

Most of our friends and relatives think we’re crazy. We travel a lot and go places they wouldn’t dare to go. We have a lifestyle that works for us, but not necessarily for everyone.

Profit From South America’s Best Artisan Market

Profit From South America’s Best Artisan Market

If you stroked my feather-soft alpaca blankets from Ecuador’s Andean highlands, you’d long to snuggle into them. To the Incas, alpacas—which look like miniature llamas—translated into wealth. Alpaca fleece is similar to sheep’s wool, but much softer.

From China to the U.K.—Where to Shop for the best Antiques

From China to the U.K.—Where to Shop for the best Antiques

Don’t go hunting for antiques. Let them come hunting for you. A definite goal leaves you vulnerable to the articulate salesman or, worse still, the self-styled expert who will convince you that what he has is what you really need.

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