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Here is a wonderful tale of Tagua & Ecuador exports from Bonnie Keough who conducts Ecuador Exports Tours.

About  two years ago I received a catalog in the mail from Fair Indigo.  As I flipped through the pages, an item immediately caught my eye.  It was a tagua bracelet,  identical to the ones I routinely buy in Ecuador and have been buying and selling for several years.

I know the wholesale price of the bracelet, their retail price was $24.50.  This allowed for an extremely generous markup for both the catalog company and a middleman!

A few days ago, I received an email  ad for the  new Spring Fair Indigo catalog.  I clicked on the link and  started looking at their new offerings.   Look at what I found:

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Two pages of tagua jewelry!

Those same bracelets were featured, but also many more necklace styles.  And, again, I recognized all of them.  I have been buying those same necklaces for  several years from the artists who make them!

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Bonnie Keough with piles of Tagua jewelry.

Looks as if the market for tagua jewelry is gaining recognition and momentum.

I have been buying and selling tagua pieces since my first trip to Ecuador in 2006.  I liked it for myself  and  so did my customers.  It is a profitable, fast selling item with a great story.

It’s a “green” product, natural, renewable and so versatile.   Now it seems, tagua is catching the eye of many businesses and enterprising Ecuadorians  as well.

When I first started buying tagua, it was very difficult and time consuming to track down high quality tagua items and then negotiate acceptable wholesale prices.  It still is.  Although it is very easy to find tagua items now, there is a vast difference in quality.

I have several small, family owned tagua businesses that I have been doing business with for years.  Originally, many artists were working at home and selling to market vendors.  Eventually, some of them opened shops, but many still work from home with help from their families.

Recently,  I have noticed a huge increase in the number of tagua shops opening.  Just like anywhere else, Ecuadorians are catching on to the trend and opening these shops.   But, there is a huge difference,  they  are not artists selling their own work  or  hand- crafted  items locally made;  they buy in bulk and resell.

I can’t fault them for trying to make a buck, but buyer beware.   I look in the new shops, but  I have yet to  find the quality, originality and fair pricing I find with my  favorites.

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Tagua jeweler... a jewel.

“My” tagua shops are always a popular stop on my export tour.  Because of a long-term relationship with the owners,  everyone is given fair wholesale prices.   Often, we are invited to visit the homes of the artists and shop owners.  Many tour delegates can’t believe the bargains they find.  Even those who don’t intend to buy tagua often fill a bag or two!  And, when they get home, many are surprised to find that  tagua items are always popular and  sell quickly.

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Tagua seed.

For those of you who have been patiently wondering  “What is tagua?” It is the large seed that grows inside an even larger pod (basketball size) on a tree that’s a member of the palm family.   The tree grows in many regions of Ecuador:  rainforests,  cloud forests and the Amazon.  The tagua nuts (seeds) are  harvested, dried, carved, cut and colored  with natural dyes.   This provides a source of income for many  families along the way from tree to finished product. Tagua trees are no longer being cut down since they provide a valuable product,  and of course this aids in stopping deforestation.   Tagua is nicknamed “vegetable ivory” because it is as versatile as the real ivory and can be used as a replacement.

Tagua is one of many products you will learn about on our export tour.  Join me in exploring the unique products of Ecuador,  meet the wonderful people and  enjoy the beautiful  scenery.

Join Bonnie Keough and  A Team Ecuador for the next  Import Export Tour in Cotacachi.

Ecuador Exports Service

Ecuador Living’s Ecuador Export Service has expanded.

The ability to earn extra income may be one of the most important assets you can have when living in Ecuador.  Having an Ecuador export business is one good way to earn.

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Jewelry is one of many Ecuador exports.

Ecuador has evolved as an export center and we have expanded our export service to create custom export tours that fit each person’s schedule and particular desires.

Most tours start in Quito as the greatest number of crafts come from villages such as Cotacachi,  Peguche, Otavalo, San Antonia de Ibarra, Atuntaki and throughout the province of Imbabura.

We can arrange for you to meet the artists, designers, creators, craftsmen, wholesalers of products that suit your business ideals and arrange visits of workshops, homes and markets.

Improve the quality of your life, expand your horizons and reduce the tax you pay as you increase asset protection by having an overseas company and overseas income!

Join other like minded souls in Ecuador.  Learn how to gain freedom and self fulfillment through an Ecuador export business.

In wood products.

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In Ecuador’s art.

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In jewelry and all types of exports.

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This tour goes to the high Andes.

You’ll see products from Zuleta where they create handmade “green” cotton-one-of-a-kind tableware, shirts, specialty items.

Here you see them in hand sewn embroidery from the village of Zuleta. In this Andean community near us hand embroidery has been an important form of artistic expression and adornment for centuries. Andean cultures have long boasted superior textiles, far surpassing those of Europe. The weavers of the Andes could produce material with as many as five hundred two-ply woolen wefts per inch compared to one hundred in Europe.

The women of Zuleta are renowned for unique hand embroidered designs and colors. Their styles are so unique they have become a form of cultural identification.

Flowers are popular in Otavalan sweaters as well.  Plus the ladies of Intag make flowers from plant fiber.

Delegates who use this export service are also eligible for The Ecuador Living Club Ecuadorshop Logistics Service offered by Flower exporter Roberto Ribadeneira.

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Roberto Ribadeneira speaking at our seminar about how he can shop, ship and charge for Ecuador export businesses.

Here is a business lesson from the Texas Rangers.

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Texas Ranger badge.

The ultimate form of financial security is to serve in a way you love through your own business.

Improved technology continually makes this easier but increased ability to serve is often hindered by red tape.

Almost everyone has heard of the Texas Rangers.  They are the oldest law enforcement body on the North American Continent and have helped bring in many famous criminals like John Wesley Hardin and Bonnie and Clyde.

We were really tickled to hear from a delegate of the Ecuador Export tours that he had sold hundreds of embossed Ecuador leather backpacks to the Texas Rangers and that was just the first order.  However it turned out that there was one thing that even these famous lawmen could not overcome…. red tape.

Almost no one has heard of the 106 rules the current administration has passed in the last three years that collectively will cost taxpayers more than $46 billion annually in compliance and lost productivity.

As you’ll see below the process of shifting from a small to medium or large Ecuador exporter requires a lot and growing amount of red tape… so much so that it overwhelms even the large Ecuador rose farms.

However there are two rays of sunshine that can help with this problem.  The first is the The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Act (H.R. 4078).

The website of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote a report that says:   July 26, 21012 the House Passed  the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act”.   Measure freezes new job-killing regulations and streamlines rulemaking process.

(WASHINGTON)—The House of Representatives today passed a comprehensive regulatory reform bill to cut red tape and make the federal rulemaking process more friendly to job creators.  The measure included several provisions previously passed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The Obama Administration has issued some 106 rules in its first three years that collectively will cost taxpayers more than $46 billion annually in compliance and lost productivity.  This is four times the number of major regulations and five times the cost of rules issued in the prior administration’s first three years,” Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Issa said.

“In more than 30 hearings, examinations and public forums, our Committee has heard loud and clear from job creators across the country who tell us that red tape imposed by the federal government chokes economic expansion and hurts job creation.  Nonpartisan research surveys report that the American public feels the same way—with an overwhelming majority saying federal regulations are a major reason why the economy is struggling.  This bill helps unwind much of this unnecessary red tape and frees entrepreneurs and business owners to do what they do best: create jobs and opportunity,” Issa added.

See a link below to The Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Act (H.R. 4078).

This is why we are pleased to introduce the second bit of good small business news, a new benefit for our Export Service delegates.

First, let’s look at the red tape to export from Ecuador to the USA.

#1:    A US company.

#2:   A continuous bond, which has to be purchased each year to be eligible to register to import with the US Customs.

#3:   A broker who has a power of attorney authorizing them to handle your imports.

#4:   A US bank account to pay US customs department when taxes and duties are due.

Plus if you are selling direct to customers and accepting credit cards, you need:

#1:   A verifiable credit history and Social Security number.

#2:  A gateway company to process the charges.

#3:   A credit card merchant account.

#4: A certified, secure  shopping cart.

#5:  An annual PCI compliance review and certification

#6:  An EIN number provided by the IRS

#7:  A sales number issued by the state of Florida.

#8: A Physical US address (PO box not allowed).

#9:  Monthly accounting system.

#10: IRS annual sales report.

This along with the 106 new regulations adds so much expense and bother that even the large rose plantations in Ecuador cannot keep up.

Fortunately there is a solution and a special benefit for you if you have an Ecuador export business.

Our import logistic provider sent me this note:  Gary, A great new system has developed in Ecuador so that Flower Shops can now order direct from the rose plantations.

The way things have worked is that flower shops received their flowers from a local vendor, who got them from a distributor who got them from an importer, who dealt with a farm.

Or the flower shop purchased them from someone like me who buys them from a farm and ships them by FedEx.

This has expanded our business because in order to sell and import direct into the USA  there is an endless list of things to do. (They are described above).

The Ecuadorshop Logistics service provides all these services for exporters in importers into the USA.

The farms can sell to the flower shops but have no way of charging them nor of getting the flowers through customs.  Our company does everything for them as their logistics provider.

We charge the buyers credit cards, do the FedEx labels, send the tracking number, deal with customs, pay duties when rehired, use our bond and broker coordinate and pay the rose plantation.

The plantations find that complying with all these requirements is too expensive we do the entire logistic service.

The farm only has to grow, harvest and sell the roses.  Our logistics service takes care of everything else.

Every farm I have talked to has signed with me.

I am happy to now provide an even more special exclusive service to your Ecuador Living Club members and export tour delegates.

I can provide our logistics service for Ecuador exports beyond roses.

There are two more very special benefits.

First, our logistics service can pay manufactures in Ecuador.

Second, our service can monitor production and quality and assure timely delivery.

I have met many of your export tour delegates who have found really greet products that they sell really well.   However once they return to the US they can’t restock unless they return to Ecuador.

If they do reorder but are not present for delivery, they are at the mercy of the manufacturer… which creates a huge quality control problem.  These importers get whatever suppliers here send them.

Many don’t even try to reorder.  They don’t know how. They don’t want to wire  money without seeing the product and being are of delivery.  

Many others just have no idea or find that the income is not worth the time, effort and cost of all the red tape.

The good news is that I do not get in-between the importer and buyer either.  I set a price for my service and the importer knows his product cost.

Our service is provided for a set fee so the importer knows all costs and can price his product accordingly.

This is a great service that provides every detail for importing products into the USA.   We have used this logistics service ourselves for years. One big benefit is that the service can send each product direct to the buyer in the USA.     We sell Ecuador roses… charge the customer and deliver the order to our logistics service.   Everything else is handled by the service.   The  tracking notice and the roses are delivered direct to the buyer.  The logistics service then charges our credit card and pays the supplier… so no money has to be wired to Ecuador.

 The Ecuadorshop Logistics service makes large and medium scale Ecuador exporting possible.   Our Ecuador Living Club and the Ecuador export tours make this service possible from smaller businesses.   As you can imagine a service of this nature requires substantial set up and personal attention. Normally this would be available only to larger businesses such as rose plantations.   Due to the size of our readership… the size limitation for acceptance has been removed.  This is an exclusive service available to our Ecuador Living Club members and to the delegates who use our Ecuador export service.

Turning your passion into profit with your own business makes sense in these technological times… if you can outrun growth in red tape.  The Ecuadorshop logistic service can help stop red tape from putting your business in the red.

The ultimate form of financial security is to serve in a way you love through your own business.  Exporting can be fun and fulfilling as well as profitable.  Improved technology continually makes having your own global micro business easier if you can eliminate most of the red tape.

Please contact Gary Scott at for details about private export tours at gary@garyascott.com

 

 

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