Roosevelt Roby, entrepreneur and
father of 10, taught his children how to make money selling products
on the Internet. Their success translates into a very lucrative family
business that he believes will sustain his growing family of grandchildren
"Through our research, we discovered how to tap into a vast global
marketplace with billions of consumers who are eager to buy anything
that comes from America," he says. "All we need to know is what
they want to buy, then we find the suppliers."
What do global consumers want to buy? Everything from toys to
blue jeans, according to Roby.
"They want the same things we have here in America. The problem
is," Roby explains, "they aren't equipped to manufacture most products
in other countries. They're looking for American suppliers and they're
willing to pay top dollar to have the things we take for granted."
Take toilet paper, for instance. A common complaint among travelers
is about the rough grade of tissue that is available outside the
United States. It's pretty evident that American-grade tissue provides
a much higher level of comfort.
"In fact," says Roby, "it's a luxury item sought after by the
royal families of the world. They want designer-colors to match
their bath ensembles."
Roby says that used cars and auto parts are in high demand as
well as music CDs and personal hygiene products.
"My sons export rebuilt automotive turbochargers," Roby tells
us, "and I've sold a large number of used American made cars. There's
a company in Germany who wants to buy eight or 10 cars per month.
They pay in advance and the shipping company and my bank handle
all the paperwork. We make from $3,000 to $5,000 per vehicle and
they sell abroad for a much greater profit."
If business is so good, you might ask, why aren't more people
involved in it? That, according to Roby, is because most people
think that international trade is only for big businesses.
"They think it's too complicated for an individual or small company,"
Roby explains. "Too many rules to follow."
In 1987, Roby developed a computer database system to simplify
the process and provide vital information to importers and exporters.
His service, WBE.NET, the World Business Exchange Network, is a
membership trade association with subscription service that started as a
dial-up bulletin board [BBS] system, now located on the Internet. WBE.NET provides
trade leads and market research information supplied by
government and other business and trade resources. These databases provide
contact information for buyers, sellers, manufacturers, agents and distributors worldwide.
"WBE.NET gave me the opportunity and the tools to participate
in money-making deals ranging from a $25,000 blue jeans transaction
to an $18,000,000 steel contract as a middleman/agent," says WBE
member Julius Hughes of Compton. "After purchasing WBE.NET's Global
Package, I trained my son to work with me in this business. I am proud to show him
that we no longer need to rely on a paycheck."
Roby believes anyone can be successful in international trade.
He says it is the only business he knows of that is promoted by
governments throughout the world.
"They want you to be successful because it's good for everyone's
economy," he says. "It doesn't take a lot of money or knowledge
to get started. As an export agent, you can operate from home or
office on a full or part-time basis with no inventory, no warehousing
and no capital required to buy merchandise. Surely, manufacturers
welcome agents and distributors to expand their markets and sell
more products. You can act as a middleman between buyers and sellers
and earn hefty commissions for putting deals together."