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close this bookExport Marketing for a Small Handicraft Business (Oxfam, 1996, 192 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contents1 The marketing mentality
Open this folder and view contents2 The business approach
Open this folder and view contents3 Markets and their characteristics
Open this folder and view contents4 Reaching your customer
Open this folder and view contents5 Support for handicraft exporters
Open this folder and view contents6 Designing and producing for export
Open this folder and view contents7 Presenting your product
Open this folder and view contents8 Fulfilling orders
Open this folder and view contents9 Despatching export consignments
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNotes and references
View the documentAddresses of organisations referred to in this book
View the documentFurther reading


This book is intended to help producers of handicrafts to increase their sales and recieve a proper reward for their artistry and skills. It shares some of the experience gained by Oxfam Trding in 30 years of importing handicrafts from over 50 countries.

The number of producers around the world who want to sell their products overseas is far greater now than it was when we started. If the handicrafts sector is to fulfil the expectations placed on it, then marketing must assume its pre-eminent business role. Making the product is only part of the process: selling it at a profit is what really counts. I hope the topics treated here will help producers to think about the various aspects of export marketing, and learn from the examples of others-both how to do it and how not to do it!

This is not an exporter's manual. I have included the essentials of international trading procedures only briefly and generally. Rather, this is a book about how to reach, and respond effectively to, the overseas customer. Therefore, I hope it may also have something to offer the experienced exporter, as well as the less experienced ones for whom more will be new. A primary objective is that the material might be useful as a resource in training courses for export marketing. It may then be supplemented by reference to the specific procedures of the country in which the course is being held.

I have at the outset placed exporting in the context of an overall marketing strategy. It is Oxfam Trading's experience that many producers who want to export have not developed coherent plans, and analysed how they want to achieve them. Sometimes there are opportunities to sell more in their own countries. There is much common ground in good marketing practice, wherever the target customer is located. Many of the concepts in this book are applicable equally to domestic market promotion, and may assist some producers in increasing their success in that, too.

Most craft production units and marketing organizations are smallscale. They lack the sort of management structure, manufacturing adaptability, access to information, and financial strength which tends to be assumed in conventional textbooks about export marketing. I have tried to write throughout with their situation and perspective in mind, and discuss ideas which are realistic when working with limited resources.

This book was first published in 1992. It has been reprinted without major changes to the text, but with updated references to recent legislation, new organizations, and changes in the international trading environment. I have also attempted to clarify further the references to marketing theory.

My thanks are due to many colleagues in Oxfam, from whom I have learnt much over the years.

Edward Millard, Oxford, 1995

To Jenny, Neus: Lucy, and Duncan.
Thank you for putting up with my absences on work overseas.