ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Master the Art of Suitcase Importing

Updated on December 2, 2019
Nolimits Nana profile image

Nicolette Goff can't wait for her next trip to places off the beaten track. She loves to pack one carryon and head for the airport.

Otavalan Marketer

The Markets of Ecuador

The craft markets in Ecuador are huge fun - dozens of vendors offering all sizes of beautiful tapestries for wall and floor; huge stacks of hand and machine knitted sweaters, all 'alpaca'; soft cotton shawls of all colours; tables full of silver handcrafted jewellry; colourful tagua necklaces and bracelets, unique art and carvings, and on...and on...

Bargaining is mandatory. If you don't offer at least 20% less than the quoted price, you're going to be sorry. Besides, it's fun! I've found that everyone is willing to bargain, and you will never feel pressured to buy. But you will buy!

Now, what does that all have to do with 'Suitcase Importing'? Well, it's amazing how far your dollar goes. A dozen tagua bracelets will cost you anywhere from $15 to $25, depending on your aforementioned bargaining skills. Soft, lovely cotton shawls can be had for $1 to $2 each. You can fit a lot of those into a suitcase. People at home love them, and are willing to pay you up to ten times your investment. I've sold over 100!

One friend I've met in Ecuador says that people who see her wearing her ponchos want to buy them right off her back! They will cost you less than $8 in Otavalo's famous market square. Sweaters like the one shown are priced between $10 and $15. Discounts for quantity are always negotiable.

And when you visit Otavalo, make sure you go into the streets off the Plaza de los Ponchos. That's where the wholesalers are located. There you'll find shops with stack after stack of hand knitted sweaters, heaps of ponchos, shelves and racks of embroidered cotton clothing, beautiful leather goods and silver or tagua jewellry.

In Cotacachi's shops, you can find quality leather purses for as little as $15. If you've been shopping back home, you know that a quality leather purse can run you anywhere from $60 to $300. Do you see an opportunity here? I won't even mention the leather coats, the quality saddles, the horsehair woven belts....

Look for opportunities. Do some market research before you leave home. Find your passion, something you know. It may be saddles, it may be sweaters, or wood carving. Then visit the markets of Ecuador, and fill your suitcases with the quality products there. Bring them back home, and I'll bet you have no problem making some money... for your next trip.

Lovely handknitted sweaters


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)