Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine the export competitive advantage differences between high- and low-performing companies in Turkey. The paper specifically and separately analyzes the companies' export resources, export skills, and export competitive advantages in order to identify the discrimination effects of each variable. Design/methodology/approach: A structured questionnaire was sent to 98 Turkish exporting companies through the mail. The response rate was 28 percent. Findings: The brand image, product quality, and cost of goods sold in the export markets are found to be the most important competitive advantage factors leading to success in the export markets, whilst the ability to understand consumers' needs and wants, and developing strong relationships with consumers in the marketplace are found to be important skills associated with success in the export markets. The paper also reveals that the export managers' knowledge is the key resource that differentiates successful export companies from unsuccessful ones. Originality/value: Although some of the studies in the literature have focused on the competitive advantages, resources, and skills in general, there is a lack of studies specifically investigating the export competitive advantage differences between high- and low-performing companies. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.