Sell overseas directly

Last updated 19 March 2019

When you sell directly to overseas customers you’re responsible for everything from finding new clients through to after-sales support. You have control over each stage of the sales process allowing you to:

  • set higher margins
  • get to know the market
  • build a personal relationship with your customers
  • see what your competitors are doing
  • plan an effective market strategy

If you are planning on selling direct to consumers online, this can be an attractive option. If your product or market requires that you frequently visit the market to meet customers and sell to them in person, be aware that this will take a lot of resource. You may find that selling directly isn’t scalable for the size of your business and that using an agent or distributor are more cost effective routes to market.

Sell online overseas

Selling online is a low cost way to sell directly to overseas customers.

You can sell online through:

  • your internationalised website
  • online marketplaces
  • social media platforms

Use our selling online overseas service to find and join online marketplaces with deals negotiated by the government.

Join our E-Exporting programme for specialist one-to-one e-commerce guidance.


You should always document your relationship and agreements to clarify expectations on each side. Where possible use English law in your contracts and make sure that the contract clearly states your terms and conditions. These can include:

  • audit clauses
  • bribery and corruption clauses
  • clauses to undertake training and certification in anti-corruption and bribery

Always consider using a local lawyer who has specific knowledge of the law of the country and specialist knowledge of your industry.