Make Money in Mexico: Start an Import-Export Business

A fun way to fund your Mexico vacations is by having an import-export business: 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. The state of Oaxaca is one. Many villages within an hour’s drive of the capital, Oaxaca, specialize in handicrafts. Here you’ll find hand-loomed rugs; the famous black-glazed pottery; fantastical wooden animals called alebrijes; beaten-tin mirrors, boxes, Christmas-tree ornaments and wall decorations; and pottery figures for tables and gardens.

The Colonial Highlands is another handicraft-rich area. Taxco specializes in silver, including jewelry, crucifixes and other items. San Miguel de Allende has striking tin stars studded with glass that are used as lamps. Pátzcuaro is known for articles made of copper, while other towns specialize in pottery wall decorations, blown glass and leather goods.

And San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the southern state of Chiapas, is known for weaving, pottery, furniture and amber jewelry, among other things.

For the best prices, go directly to the craftsmen themselves. Locating their workshops and meeting the best craftsmen can be an adventure (or a vacation) in itself.

Of course, you need to do your homework beforehand, too. Study your home market to see what kinds of handicrafts may sell—and where you can sell them. And in Mexico, especially at first, buy a good sampling of styles and colors to see what sells best back home.

And try to avoid the biggest pitfall of the import-export business—liking your merchandise so well that you don’t want to part with it!

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