Having a trained professional inspect the quality of your products is critical when it comes to sourcing your goods. Manufacturers often have a different perception of what constitutes good quality, especially if you are sourcing your products from countries like China, India or Vietnam.
There are many reasons why you should hire a quality inspection company. In order to avoid your supplier sending you bad products, which you then cannot sell due to quality or legal/compliance reasons, you should definitely hire an independent third party company to perform a quality inspection before they’re shipped to their final destination.
Such quality inspection companies in China and other countries, however, are a dime a dozen and not all of them do a good job. We show you how to avoid hiring a black sheep and how to find the best quality inspection for your needs in just three basic steps.
Step 1: Set Your Budget & Scope of Inspection
Before you start looking for a suitable quality inspection company, you should consider how much budget you have available for inspections. The greater the number of products tested and the more extensive the tests, the more budget is required for the inspection.
We recommend that you have inspections carried out not only after but also during production, as it is cheaper and faster to have any product defects and deficiencies changed and improved during ongoing production. If the products are found to be defective after production, the entire batch must be disposed of and produced again, which means a considerable delay in delivery and thus, restock time.
However, if you cannot invest in both during-production inspections and pre-shipment inspections and have to decide for one, then just go for one a pre-shipment inspection as the final result and right packaging and labeling according to FBA guidelines is what makes or breaks the selling success of your products.
How much a quality inspection costs depends on several factors, such as the country, scope of inspection, traveling distance to the supplier and so on. To give you an idea of the cost, a basic pre-shipment quality inspection in China usually starts around $300.
Also, think about which additional services you might want to have, such as supply chain audits or sophisticated lab testing. This way you can already filter for companies that do offer these particular extra services during your research.
How to Save Money On Product Quality Inspections
If you have more than one product manufactured, have them all tested at the same time as one job. It is cheaper to give the quality inspection company one large order than several small orders.
You should also make sure that the quality inspection is located close to your supplier, as a longer travel time for the inspector to get to the manufacturing site will result in higher costs for the inspection.
A third way to reduce costs is to have only a small sample inspected by the inspection company, but be careful: the fewer products you have inspected, the higher your risk that the quality of the entire production batch is still insufficient after all.
Step 2: Research, Shortlist & Compare
Now that you know how much money you can spend on inspection and which services you want to book, you can start looking for suitable quality inspection companies.
On Sermondo, you can find FBA inspection companies in various countries and can directly see where they are located on a big world map. You can also read independent reviews of other Amazon sellers that have experience with the company. All of the third party inspections listed on Sermondo are quality inspections that are familiar with Amazon FBA requirements.
If you don’t have the time or nerve to look companies up yourself, you can also use our matching service. Simply fill in your requirements in our matching form and we will suggest a handpicked selection of inspection companies based on your needs.
We recommend shortlisting two to three companies, reaching out to them and getting offers for their services. These offers should define exactly what is included and how their price is calculated. How quickly they react to your inquiry is already a first important indicator of how reliable they are in terms of communication.
Also, ask them any questions you would like to have answered and how much they charge for a second inspection if defects are found and the products need to be replaced. If not stated in the offer, ask in advance how the company handles such a case. Be aware that most companies will charge extra for a second inspection service.
However, you can include in the purchase contract with your supplier that they will have to pay for a second inspection if the goods do not pass the first one.
A personal video call is always a good way to ask these questions and get an impression of the company, the language skills and their team.
Step 3: Choose a Company & Get a Contract
After comparing the different offers, you choose the third party inspection that best suits your needs. Make sure that the company fulfils the following requirements:
- Experience in your niche – They have experience with testing your kind of product and they can provide official licenses and certificates proving their competence.
- Full-time quality inspectors – They employ their own full-time quality inspectors and/or have close collaborations with other certified quality inspections that employ full-time inspectors.
- Consulting and guidance – They offer comprehensive consulting and proper guidance on what to test and how to test it. They will appoint you a dedicated contact person in their company to take care of your needs.
- Legal knowledge – They are familiar with the regulatory and import requirements your products must meet. They are familiar with Amazon FBA quality, packaging and labelling guidelines.
- Inspection report – They agree to provide you with a detailed inspection report in English.
- Fair prices – They don’t charge exorbitant fees.
- Good reputation – They have a good reputation and can present clients success stories.
Make sure to get a proper service contract that both you and the inspection company sign. The contract should include all conditions that you agree on so that you have a legally binding document in case of non-fulfilment.
Conclusion – Hire a Quality Inspection that Works According to International Standards
Hiring a third party inspection to check the quality of your products is essential for your sales success. The most important thing is that the inspection works according to international testing standards and knows exactly which safety and import laws your products have to comply with in order to be allowed to sell them in your target country.
You can find such reliable and experienced third party inspections on Sermondo. Sermondo finds and pre-vets the best quality inspections that specialize in product inspections for Amazon FBA sellers. As a global platform, Sermondo features quality inspections in China, Vietnam, and virtually every other country in the world, making it easy for you to find an inspection company that is close to your supplier.
The shorter the distance between the inspector and the production site, the cheaper the quality inspection service will end up being.