How to find Buyers (Part VI) : Trade Bulletin Boards - Great Source for Latest Buy/Demand Information

Bulletin Board (BBS) is a one to many communication medium where buyer or seller 'posts' a message for visitors of the Board. Like notice boards in physical world, BBS is a source for latest information.

BBS is an extremely powerful tool to reach a seamless world not bound by countries, regions or even languages. Trade BBS (i.e. Bulletin Board dealing in International trade) seems to be the ideal tool for any foreign trade professional. Whether you are buying, selling or offering some service - trade BBS can get you instant result almost at zero cost.

  • A Trade BBS provides latest trade information on following three areas:
  • Buy or Demand message, where importer or buyer places an inquiry for sellers
  • Sell or Offer inquiries where seller places advertisement for his product for buyers
  • Misc Opportunities messages where parties other than seller or buyer (e.g. Agent, Distributor, Logistics operator etc.) place message for general exim community.

Evolution of BBS

During the heyday of dotcoms, thousands of Trade BBS sprang up from all parts of the world. Simple technology and ease of use were the main drivers for such huge popularity. However, so many bulletin boards with so little to distinguish one from other, made life difficult for international traders.

Following the burst of dotcom bubble - many of these trade bulletin boards have closed down. While, sadly, some good BBS have closed down, the good news is that surviving ones have become much more powerful.

Is the Information Genuine ?

I have heard this concern many times over. Indeed, all messages posted at BBS may not be from genuine parties. Like advertisements in Newspaper or any other media - BBS is a source of information. How best to use this information is limited only by the skill and ability of the user. One will have to separate wheat from chaff ! Besides, whether the source of information is BBS or not - every prudent businessman exercises necessary precautions while evaluating a trade offer. From that angle, it is difficult to understand the reason for such concern.

List of Trade BBS

Following is list of few Trade BBS where you can find buyers. This is only a random list - please see 'Sources of Information' below for comprehensive listing.

Source of Information

Listed below are two excellent source of information on high quality trade BBS around the world.

  1.  Google
    Perhaps the best listing of world's top BBS can be found in Google - the king of search engines. Please visit the following category of Google: Business > Industries > Import and Export > Portals It lists 245 top Exim Portals from all over the world. We are proud to inform you that occupies 22nd position among world's top exim portals, according to Google's page-rank Order. Please visit
  2. world's largest collection of tradelead sites It lists a total of 359 exim portals from all over the world. Needless to say, occupies a prominent place among them. Please visit

Related Links:

Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 2, Issue 36 February 14' 2002

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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