Don't start sourcing from South Korea before you read this (Free cheat sheet)

Today, many entrepreneurs invest their money in sourcing products from overseas, and this trending is becoming hot day by day. Businesses import products from other countries and sell them in their own country with good profit margins. They get those products at considerably low prices and make a good profit by selling them at high rates.

South Korea

In just a couple of decades, South Korea has become a great marketplace to source products from. It is now a great opportunity for online businesses and physical retail to source products from Korea and sells them in their own country. Today Korea is the leading manufacturer of a lot of products and supplies them to different countries worldwide.

Related: Why Are Korean Products So Popular? How Can You Make Money By Sourcing From Korea?

Stating a sourcing business may sound easy, but it comes with a lot of challenges. If you plan to start sourcing products from South Korea, you are on the right page. This article will not only cover as a guide for you, but you will also learn some essentials that you need to know before sourcing from South Korea. It is a cheat sheet that you can overcome many challenges and difficulties that most business owners face when they start sourcing products from overseas.

Intellectual Property

When it comes to purchasing and sourcing products from overseas, then many manufacturers and supplies do not have any guidelines or policy for handling intellectual property. As a business owner, you always want to keep your product unique from your competitors. So, you have to make a formal agreement for the protection of your intellectual property. If you have a unique product that no one else has, you can impact the market. You can easily become an industry leader and make a lot of income. If a supplier or manufacturer starts providing the same product to other business owners, then your business can go at a loss.

Although there are no universal and definite best practices for handling intellectual property, there are some key steps that you can follow when you are agreeing:

  1. You need to perform a portfolio analysis of different suppliers and study the risks associated with new suppliers.

  2. You need to make a non-disclosure agreement with the supplier to protect the information shared between both parties.

  3. You need to clearly define the ownership of the product and its usage rights.

You can explicitly mention in your agreement whether the supplier can provide the same product to other businesses or not.


When you decide to source products from South Korea, then the first thing you need to do is find suppliers for your products. You will need to do extensive research when finding suppliers and manufacturers and shortlist the suppliers that you think are most suitable for your products. Once you have shortlisted the suppliers, the next thing you need to do is check their products. One of the easiest ways to do this is by asking them for samples. It will help you to check the quality of the products and the authenticity of suppliers.

When they provide you with your product samples, carefully analyze the products to check if they meet your desired quality standards or not. You also need to check the price of products and the samples to ensure that the supplier you choose is affordable according to your budget.

It would help if you kept in mind that when you have multiple options, then never settle for the first one. If you like the first supplier's quality and budget, don't just stop there and stick with that supplier. Test the samples from multiple suppliers and then choose the most suitable one from a pool of suppliers.


Incoterms are specialized terms defined by the International Chamber of Commerce. They are used internationally to define both buyers' and sellers' obligations as part of a contract. Many incoterms exist today, but most buyers and sellers ignore them. You can attain many monetary and competitive advantages by following the incoterms.

Incoterms define the monetary and procedural aspects of all international shipping practices. They are essential to ensure the timely delivery and payment of goods and services. When Incoterms are not used correctly, many misunderstandings and mishaps can occur between suppliers and customers.



Transparency is key to successful sourcing. The sourcing procedure should be carried out fairly and transparently. This is very important and understandable at all levels in the sourcing industry. Transparency in sourcing comes with a lot of benefits. By implementing a transparent sourcing policy, you can ensure that the products you are getting are genuine, and you can minimize the duplication of purchased items. The records are managed in a better and organized manner.

The supplier or manufacturing you choose to source products from South Korea should be transparent and provide you with all the necessary details about your business deal. Each and every point should be cleared explicitly. There shouldn't be any confusion or doubts; otherwise, you may find yourself in trouble if something goes wrong.

Background Check

When you plan to start sourcing from South Korea, keep in mind that you may find more than one supplier suitable for your products. You can test their samples, but before you place a bulk order, it is crucial to perform a background check on the supplier and manufacturer to check whether the supplier is authentic or not. There are plenty of websites where you can check the manufacturers' ratings, and if they have a website, you can check the reviews of previous customers.

Another method that you can adopt to perform a supplier or manufacture background is by hiring a local sourcing agency. They will charge you a small amount and will perform a detailed background check of a supplier on your behalf. It helps you to ensure that your products and your investment are in safe hands.

Related: Do I Need a Sourcing Agency to Find Korean Suppliers? A Detailed Answer


Research is the key to success before starting any business. Suppose you are an entrepreneur and planning to start a sourcing business. In that case, you first need to do some research to familiarize yourself with the foreign culture and the foreign business environment. When you are sourcing products from another country, you need to understand that they may have different standards. If you fail to recognize those standards, then you can face several issues and communication problems in your business. As a result, you won't be able to form a long-term relationship with your clients.

Research also helps you in finding the most suitable supplier for your businesses. As discussed earlier, you may find more than one supplier for your products. You will need to perform proper research to identify which supplier is the most suitable and will help you increase your ROI. Your ultimate goal is to get the best quality at the lowest cost. Only proper research can help you to achieve that.


In the product sourcing business, the process of contraction is very crucial if you want to maximize your profits. As a retail owner, you would like to get your products' finest quality at the best possible price. You also need your products to arrive at your desired location at the specified time. Sourcing is not an easy job, and it demands your attention and your time. If you are busy managing your other business activities, it would be difficult to manage everything on your own. This is the reason why most businesses make contracts with different sourcing agencies.

Related: The pros & cons of working with a procurement agency

If you are a beginner in the sourcing business, you may not have the right tools, equipment, experience, and expertise needed to source products. So, instead of doing everything on your own, you can hire a contractor that can do all the difficult tasks on your behalf.

These are some of the critical points you have to keep in mind when planning to start sourcing from South Korea. If you are still confused about anything or have any questions, please book a free consultation and talk to a real expert today.