Commercial tourism or networking between entrepreneurs from different countries on foreign and domestic trading platforms has a solid history, its methods are constantly being improved and developed.
The first, in the memory of the living generations of residents of the countries of the former USSR and the Eastern Bloc, were residents of Poland who started commercial tourism. In the 80s, they, often in tiny cars, traveled for commercial purposes for many thousands of kilometers from their homeland, trying to improve their financial situation, and spontaneously organizing the supply of missing consumer goods to the inhabitants of the surrounding countries.
Residents of the former countries of the socialist camp: Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Estonia, Moldova and others, began to both accept "commercial tourists" and send them to mid 90s of the last century. At that time, “wild capitalism” began to be built on these territories, and bazaars with things and shoes came to stadiums and squares. Retail buyers - "shuttle traders" brought to these countries essential goods produced in the former USSR, vodka, spare parts for Soviet technology, watches, socks, textiles, and from there clothes and super-scarce household appliances: video recorders, car radios, food processors, and also the much-coveted hard currency. The most popular at that time were US dollars and German stamps.
The peak of the "shuttle economy" came in the early 90s, when, instead of wages, people in Belarus and Russia began to receive goods from their factories, which were in demand in Eastern Europe. These were socks, artificial silk, wristwatches, and much more. The incentive for such trade was also the possibility of entering a number of countries with a still Soviet passport - others did not yet exist in many post-Soviet countries. Thus, hundreds of Belarusians a day traveled to Romania with USSR passports, carrying products that their enterprises could not sell in Belarus and were given out against salaries, and in Romania they were willing to buy, and with good margins, which greatly facilitated trade.
At the same time, trade relations between entrepreneurs are beginning to be established, however, due to many bureaucratic obstacles and many gaskets, the goods cost the end consumer a lot. In addition, officials and criminals brought many problems to traders.
Now the trips of individuals abroad for goods have become more civilized and have become shopping tours for fur coats to Greece, to fairs and outlets to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest. Tourists are not limited to Eastern Europe, many families from holidays in Turkey bring inexpensive and high-quality textiles, weekend tours for sales in Milan and Bern are popular.
Within their countries, Russian citizens also go to Moscow for shopping, Ukrainians go to Odessa and Kharkov, Belarusians go to Poland and Moscow. The most famous are the huge commodity markets such as TYAK Moscow in Lyublino (whose turnover, according to recent data, reaches $ 10 billion a month), 7 km in Odessa or the Wolka-Kosowska market (Vulka-Kosovska), 20 km from Warsaw.
This applies mainly to travel by individuals and small entrepreneurs. The preservation of such a system is facilitated by the VAT refund policy for goods produced in the countries of the European Union, exported by residents of the countries of the former USSR. Thus, "shuttle traders" get back about 16-23% of the value of the goods paid in the countries of purchase in the European Union.
However, nothing lasts forever, and progress cannot be stopped. Entrepreneurs are starting to switch to purchasing in modern ways. Wholesale and small-scale wholesale purchases have now entered a new stage of development associated with the modernization of trade and fair grounds, the popularization of new forms of interaction between manufacturers and retailers. This applies equally to railcar buyers and small-scale wholesalers. Such gigantic trading platforms as TYAK Moscow in Lyublino, the Ukrainian markets of Barabashova and "7 km", the Wolka-Kosowska market (Wolka-Kosowska) 20 km from Warsaw are huge conglomerates with ultra-modern infrastructure, powerful communication lines, division into sectors by type of product, bank branches, currency exchangers, courier, legal, brokerage and other services. It is also believed that cryptocurrency settlements flourish there.
TYAK Moscow in Lyublino boasts a turnover of more than $ 10 billion a year, some Ukrainian markets, according to unconfirmed reports, have a turnover greater than the budgets of the regions in which they are located. A distinctive feature of such complexes is their versatility - on their territory there are small wholesale points of sale of goods and meetings of large representatives of retail with manufacturers are held.
One of the types of trade relations of a new type can be called the annual exhibition - the sale of China Homelife, when trade business representatives are introduced to the capabilities of manufacturers and trade contracts are concluded for small and large consignments of goods. It happens in the following way.
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