Never. Never, and under no circumstances, deliver products to Italian partners without payment. Even if you managed to agree on a higher price, even if it is your friend, relative or an old partner whom you have known for ages and shared numerous glasses of wine. Money up front. Always.
Italy is a union of the once rival trade nations, the leading of which were Serenisima (Venetian Republic), Genova and Pisa. These aristocratic republics quickly outgrew their own resources and became completely depended on trade and sea routes. Trade, exchange, bargaining – in the blood of Italians, and it seems that local modern merchants follow the old covenant – ” If you don’t lie you don’t sell.”
When you start a new product with complete lack of connections and authority in the market, in Italy you will always be exposed to the condition – payment of the goods upon arrival. Such conditions must be rejected immediately. You can be provided with the proof of payment on the day of shipment. This is also a trick of the old trading nation.
The payment confirmation document may look like this:
The trick is in a few points.
Firstly, a payment order is often presented as a confirmation of payment, which says nothing, except for the declaration of intention to pay the bill. Such a payment order can be issued regardless of the state of the account. If the amount for payment of the invoice is insufficient, the transaction will be canceled.
Secondly, Italian on-line banking operates in a tricky way. After completing the payment and receiving a confirmation of payment, the money is not debited from the account of the Italian company or an individual entrepreneur for about 24 hours. The financial controller allows the payer to “change his mind” and cancel the operation.
If the payment was actually made – the Italian recipient will see it no later than the next day, the recipient from the EU – no later than within 2 days, the recipient outside the EU – no later than within 3 days.
When you do not see the payment even after 3 days, the Italian partner will tell you that it is the first time, that the bank has messed up something and he cannot understand how this can be.
There are other stories. For example, the customer simply disappears while the goods are on the road. Or they come up with a deficiency for the purpose of getting a discount, if you agreed for a payment after consignment.
Prepayment is the only confirmation of the order.
For southern Italy (lower than Florence) – this is an unconditional rule and those who do not know it – just a treat for the local public.
If the control over the products is lost, and the money is not paid – be sure, the Italian partner will not rush. A significant proportion of international trade in Italy falls on one-day companies or individuals of entrepreneurs who, in the event of a lawsuit, will show no assets to pay for the goods.