Although a host of options exists, there are four common types: Manufacturer's representative (selling the product line of one foreign company, usually on a commissioned basis): This is great when the company has an extensive product line and enough funds to help promote sales through advertising, after-sales servicing, etc. Wholesaler or distributor (purchasing the goods yourself for resale): You set the profit margins, but you may get stuck with unsold inventory. Value-added reseller (purchasing goods from abroad for the purpose of "adding value" by modifying the product to produce a new product for sale). This works best with easily modified items, such as assembling computer hardware and software into a ready-to-use unit. Retailer (selling goods directly to end-users): This is a good option for specialty items with a local customer base, or for items not requiring service or support.