As an Amazon seller quality control should be your number one priority. It has great benefits when your ordered good or products are pre-inspected before shipment to avoid stories that touch the heart. Once your products are paid in full and shipped, you are beyond the point of no return. If you had to find quality problems once the goods arrive, it’s too late.
Instead, you must ensure that your products meet all technical specifications and quality requirements before paying the balance.
In this article, I will point out the advantages of quality control for Amazon sellers, in fact for online sellers and I will also answer the most common questions about the practicalities of ordering quality control in China.
Why do I need quality inspections as an Amazon seller when I import from China?
Manufacturing is not an exact science. The question is not whether there are quality problems, but how serious these problems are.
I’ve inspected hundreds of orders in person, and that’s what I’ve often found:
- Minor cosmetic issues
We must even expect it. However, there are also more serious quality issues:
- Detached pieces
- Incorrect labels
- Incorrect design
- Invalid colors
Note: Quality issues are, in a way, as safe as death and taxes. It is not unique to China, but it is the case when it is manufactured in any country.
However, what is unique in China, and most other Asian countries, is that you can not return the goods if you find quality problems in your own country or in your hand. As an Amazon seller, you can’t afford any loss which may occur from product impairment which you can prevent before time.
For this reason, quality controls are a crucial step in the process. You simply can not skip this part of the process for it is one of the most important parts of your Amazon selling strategy.
What types of controls can be done by the quality inspector?
All that can be done with the equipment available.
Some examples follow:
- Take pictures of the product and labels
- Dimensions and measures
- Visual inspection (search for damage and defects)
- Functional tests
- Verification of the label
- Drop tests
- Water pressure tests
Note: The objective is to verify that the product meets all specifications and quality requirements that you want for your customers.
What do I receive after quality control?
Within one business day after the quality inspection, Tetra Inspection will send you a PDF report with photos and other data collected.
Example: They can include dimensions, descriptions of defects, number of defects found and more.
You can also request videos.
Bear it in mind that the PDF statement will correspond to the quality checklist.
How is the Pre-Shipment Inspection performed?
The pre-shipment inspection is done at the place of production when your order is between 80% and 100% of produced and before loading the products in the containers. In this procedure, the following are verified:
- That the conditions of purchase are fulfilled 100%
All this with the purpose that the buyer does not receive any unpleasant “surprise” when he receives his merchandise.
What am I going to do with the quality control report?
The report shows the number of defects, as well as images and descriptions. Therefore, the report can help you decide whether or not you approve the order.
Tip: Keep in mind that you must set an accepted default rate before placing the order. Otherwise, it is difficult to say whether the number of defects is acceptable or not.
How do I know if my supplier accepts quality control?
First of all, you should never consider a supplier who does not fully accept quality control.
Warning: Suppliers who refuse or even hesitate to accept quality control have something to hide.
These suppliers intend to rip you off or subcontract your order to a local sweatshop.
Do I have to inform my supplier in advance?
Yes, you must inform your supplier that you intend to obtain control of the quality of the order as soon as possible before even placing a sample order.
It is crucial to make the supplier understand that you are a buyer with a serious quality assurance process in place — not one of those gullible buyers who lean back to accommodate the suppliers.
Experience: Believe me when I say that some foreign suppliers have no respect for buyers who easily give in to their demands. They like to test their customers by rejecting the most absurd demands, for example by suggesting that quality control is not even necessary.
Do not fall into the trap.
How can I reserve a quality check online?
Tetra Inspection have online reservation systems.
All you need to do is log in and submit the following information:
- Name of supplier
- Contact details
- Factory Address (if applicable)
- Product specifications
- Control List
- Inspection date
- And then, sit back and relax we will take care of the remaining job, and I assure you; you will appreciate our services.
When should products be inspected?
At a minimum, you should have the products inspected before shipping and pay the balance. However, you can also consider on-site quality control during production.
Quality control during production can help you find quality problems at an early stage (i.e., colors or wrong materials) and correct them while there is still time.
Tip: If your order volume is over US $ 10,000, I strongly suggest that you do both during production and pre-shipment inspections.
How do I know what kind of checks Tetra Inspection should do?
The purpose of the inspection is to show you the status of your products. You can ask them to report anything that can be obtained while they are in the factory.
For example, you want product photos, dimensions, packaging control, and visual inspection.
Council: The inspector will use a specific checklist to check your products and add all checkpoints you ask him to do and any other fault that we think that it should be necessary to check on your product, so do not forget. Keep in mind that we are the expert in the in product inspection and quality control industry.
In addition, Tetra Inspection officers take a closer look at potential quality issues discovered during the sampling process.
How do I know if the inspector is qualified to check my products?
For all inspections, Tetra Inspection uses the internationally recognized ANSI (American National Standard Institute) and ASQ Z1.4 statistical sampling standard. The inspection covers an examination on the features, performance, overall appearance, durability and dimensions of the merchandise. An inspection certification will be allotted to you (in the case of a payment to the manufacturer by letter of credit).
What is important is that we have a strong track record and that you provide a clear and measurable checklist.
Do I have to send pre-production samples to the agent?
You do not have to do this, but it can help the agency better understand the product. That said, most of our customers do not send samples before production.
Reference samples can be very useful for checking fabrics and other materials during an inspection, as it is also difficult to confirm whether the product is correct.
Will the inspected samples be destroyed?
Not in most cases, but some quality tests may damage the product to a certain extent. This includes flame retardants, material weight controls, and water pressure testing.
Note: You only need to use one unit for most of these tests.
Can I go to China and do the inspection myself?
Of course, you can fly to China and visit the factory for yourself. In fact, this is something I encourage you to do, before placing your first order.
However, when it comes to quality control, not only will you save money on hotels, flights, and visas – but you will also find that the quality inspector does a better job than you would yourself.
Note: There are of course exceptions, but a professional inspector will almost always do a better job of finding defects than a novice buyer.
Should I do a quality check on each order?
Yes, you should have each order inspected. As we said, manufacturing is not a science, and a faulty or damaged component can ruin the whole lot.
Warning: A defective lot can ruin your reputation, giving you bad reviews and you know that bad reviews scare potential buyers away. You must always check the quality before shipping. In addition, your supplier is much more likely to minimize defects if he knows you will have the lot inspected. If you start to relax, they will too.
Can the quality control company also verify that the products comply with mandatory safety standards?
Our agents check labels and verify compliance with mechanical compliance requirements (i.e., loose parts or sharp edges).
However, we have the equipment to perform more complex product safety tests (i.e., electrical or EMC tests), or chemical and heavy metal audits.
Keep in mind that the lab test is paid for separately, and is often more expensive than quality control.
What happens if they notice quality problems?
It is very likely that you will find quality problems. If the inspector finds only a few minor quality issues, the problems will be corrected, and you can go ahead and approve the order.
Tip: You must ask your supplier to redo or repair the products and have the order inspected again.
Remember that you will have to deal directly with the supplier. The agent will not negotiate compensation or anything of that nature with the supplier.
Can I just do a quality check when the goods arrive at me?
No, of course, but what’s the point?
Note: Assuming you find quality problems, there is nothing to do. You can not return the products to the supplier, nor force them to reimburse you.
And even if they are willing to accept a return, it is difficult to get the goods through Chinese customs.
Prevention: The repayments are also complicated because of the control of capital. But it is very likely that you will not have to deal with customs or control of capital because the supplier can simply refuse any compensation and leave.
Most quality problems are caused by misunderstandings or vague data sheets. No supplier will lose profit, equivalent to 20 orders, simply because the products do not confirm the perceived (and even imaginary) idea by “good quality” buyers.
Advantages of pre-shipment quality inspection for Amazon sellers
Quality inspection (PSI) is a division of supply chain management and an important method of quality control to verify the quality of products that customers buy from suppliers.
Quality and Pre-Shipment Inspections ensure that the production complies with the buyer’s specifications and the terms of a purchase order. The pre-shipment inspection reduces the risks inherent to web commerce such as fraud or disappointment with products below the desired quality.
A PSI can be done in different stages before shipment to verify the total amount of goods and packaging, check the quality or consistency of the goods, check all documentation, such as test reports, packing list or verification of compliance with the country of destination standards such as ASME, CE mark and import duties.
Both the buyer and the seller benefit greatly from this procedure. In the case of the buyer, he makes sure to protect his investment and guarantees that the product for which he is paying is in accordance with the standards that were stipulated in the purchase contract. This way you avoid scams, inconveniences or any problem with the product that generates losses
For the seller, having a pre-shipment inspection is the guarantor of a quality product, is the endorsement of a serious company that complies with the provisions of the law and its client.
At Tetra Inspection we make sure that your purchases are made under the highest quality standards and every aspect of the buying and selling process we monitor directly, in this way we eliminate any error framework, and you can be sure that your product will be as you chose, in the exact quantities and of superior quality.
Visit our Pre-shipment inspection page to learn more.