As more and more companies purchase goods in China and sell them under the “Fulfilment By Amazon” model, we get more request for checking 100% of a production batch. And, to a certain extent, it does make sense.
As I wrote before, FBA sellers get booted out if many customers complain about their products’ poor quality. And, from what I hear, Amazon is going to become stricter as time passes. A random inspection is more cost-effective but is a scary thing to many importers (what if they are not lucky?).
There are three important conditions to reap the full benefits of a 100% inspection:
- Don’t pay in full before the inspection (or you no longer have any leverage),
- Give defective products back to the supplier,
- Be ready to ship the goods immediately if they are acceptable.
We have done a few trials & errors and we now have a clear way of handling it. I wrote it down below. If you have an office in China, you can try to do the same if it makes sense for your situation.
- Payment of 30% to supplier;
- Components are ordered, production starts;
- Random inspection during production (to ensure average quality is not very bad) — this step is often skipped for small orders;
- Production is 100% finished and supplier sends photos;
- Payment of 50% (now up to 80% total);
- Supplier sends the goods to the office;
- We check 100% and sort out the bad pieces, which are sent back to the factory;
- Factory sends replacements (or reworked pieces);
- We check those replacements;
- Once all is good, payment of 20% is sent to supplier;
- We ship the goods out and handle logistics.
By the way, I wrote before about QC inspections on a platform and their pros & cons. The approach is rather similar, but typical platform inspections are a good fit for large orders while what I described above (100% production check) is a better fit for small batches.
Maybe some readers have extra tips for making sure a batch is 99%+ acceptable?