The Conditions of Sale 1

export, information, credit, banks, manufacturers, american and firms

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18. Information thru "references."—The commer cial credit information service regarding foreign firms is not as detailed and definite as the domestic credit ratings. In order to supplement this information or to save the expense of employing a credit agency, in formation may he attained thru other channels.

References to one firm by another can never be sat isfactory. Credit inquiries hardly ever receive the attention of responsible men in the firm. A creditor firm may have a direct interest in withholding in formation or misrepresenting the case. Moreover, only those firms are mentioned as references who are certain to give favorable information.

The consular regulations do not permit consuls to give information of a private or confidential nature, or to render an opinion regarding the capital or the credit of houses in their territory.

Many of the various trade-promoting agencies dis cussed in a previous chapter maintain credit informa tion departments. The Philadelphia Commercial Museum is well prepared to perform such services. In Canada, the Canadian Manufacturers Associa tion has maintained a credit-information service since 1904.

19. Credit information than banks.—Banks are probably in a better position to secure information re garding credits than any other agency, but they will not part with it to the first corner, particularly if it concerns their own customers.

American business men have been handicapped by the lack of American branch banks abroad. The German and English banks accumulate trade and credit information for their own customers and coun tries. The documents attached to drafts tell these banks much about the business dealings of firms of other nationalities. The American Locomotive Com pany and other American firms have evidence that their transactions thru German banks became known to German competitors. Some of these banks went so far as to send copies of invoices to German manu facturers. The establishing of branch banks abroad is, therefore, not a matter of sentiment; it is a vital trade necessity.

In a few isolated cases the seller protects himself by a "letter of trust" or a "letter of lien." This let ter is a statement signed by the buyer that the goods are held by him in trust for the seller. Usually in

such cases the "letter of trust" covers the period be tween the receipt of the documents by the buyer and the receipt of the funds by the seller.

20. Requests for quotations.—Export commission houses and export merchants send out requests for quotations to manufacturers, usually as printed forms. Frequently, manufacturers are requested to fill these out in duplicate and to sign both copies. In case the quotation becomes the basis of an order, one of the copies is sent back, signed by the export house. This is called the "confirmation." The tendency is always for the export house to throw as much of the risk as possible upon the manu facturer. Where a sample is sent with the inquiry and a contra or reference sample is demanded, the export house will usually take pains to call attention to the fact that acceptance of this reference sample does not signify acceptance of the goods, even tho they may turn out according to sample. This is intended to make the manufacturer carry the commercial risk of the transaction. The goods are not "accepted" until they reach the foreign customer and are accepted by him.

The manufacturer, on the other hand, may insist that the goods be inspected before they leave the fac tory, or at least in the port of embarkation. In Man chester the cotton goods manufacturers deliver their goods sold to export commission houses to a "packer," who inspects them and packs them for export. This "packer" becomes then, legally, an agent of the export commission house.

Where instructions regarding packing are given, it is advisable to comply strictly with them. The manufacturers may be held responsible for any dam age to the goods resulting from faulty packing and goods may even be refused altogether by the over-sea buyer when not packed or "made up" according to instructions.

21. The the United States the term "indent" is used among sonic exporters as synony mous with export order. Indent has, however, a special meaning and, strictly speaking, refers to the kind of export order current in Asia and Australia.

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