Why Pre-Shipment Inspection in China is A Must for Amazon Sellers
A pre-shipment inspection in China is crucial for any business that import products from Chinese suppliers. This helps to side-step many of the challenges associated with poor manufacturing and fraudulent suppliers. Better products also means happier customers.
Happy customer that leave positive reviews is one of the most important factors in determining the long-term success of a product on Amazon FBA. Positive reviews are highly correlated with sales according to several independent studies and are essential when competing with sellers that have similar products.
When customers are happy they are more inclined to leave positive reviews. Better reviews means more sales. More sales means better ranking for your keywords and more positive reviews.
This again leads to more sales and the story continues. This is what we call a positive feedback loop.
If you sell items of low quality, you will have the opposite effect; Sales decrease over time the same does your ratings. In the worst scenario, Amazon may hit the cancel button on your listings or even delete your listing privileges altogether.
Avoiding such situations will require a well-planned strategy to ensure best in class product quality.
If you don’t have experience setting up an inspection plan a pre-shipment inspection in China from a third-party can help you set this up. During a pre-shipment inspection, a certified inspector will visit your factory in China once your order is around 80%-100% completed.
There are many reasons why Amazon sellers should conduct pre-shipment inspections. Below we have listed 5 reasons you should conduct a pre-shipment inspection in China if you are an Amazon seller.
1. Avoid Paying for Defective Products
We have listed this one as number one due to the severe consequences of such an event.
A pre-shipment inspection in China will help you deal with the problems at the source.
If you inspect your shipment upon arrival at a US prep center, there is little you can do if you detect defective products. If you think that PayPal will save you, then that is a truth with modification. PayPal will usually require that you return the products to your supplier, before issuing a refund for the products.
This means that you are left with paying the cost for shipping your products from China to USA, and then back again from USA to China.
The foregone sales and the time wasted are other losses that you won't be able to recover.
2. Avoid Costly Returns and Potential Suspension
Arranging a pre-shipment inspection in China prior to exportation will help you sidestep dealing with countless returns from unhappy customers.
A large amount of returns can have a huge impact on your profit at the end of the month. Amazon will usually refund your customer with no questions asked. The responsibility for delivering products that customers are happy with is eventually your responsibility.
Too many returns will increase the risk of suspension from Amazon's platform.
3. Accurate Product Listing
Your product listing on Amazon should match the quality and the specifications of your products. Of course, this makes complete sense. Anything else could be considered as fraudulent.
Many sellers assume that the suppliers will give what they promise. Although most Chinese manufacturers are honest, it is far from all of them. It is typical for new sellers to take this for granted. We have listed some of the major problems one can encounter when arranging a pre-shipment inspection in China.
In the end you as the seller should make sure that the blanket you sell is made of silk and not rayon if that’s what you’ve promised.
A pre-shipment inspection provides you a complete overview and can help you avoid these misrepresentations.
4. Meet Packaging and Labelling Requirements
Packaging and labelling expectations are very specific, whether you sell on Amazon or not. These are details you may just choose to gloss over, but this will put you business at risk for two main reasons:
- Wrongly labeled items can lead to severe penalties by US customs and border control.
- Wrongly labeled shipments can put your FBA seller account at risk.
You rather pay keen attention to Amazon’s requirements and include them as a part of your specifications to both your manufacturer in China and your third-party inspector.
5. Manage Quality and Reviews
This must be the most paramount point. As an FBA sellers one of the strongest tools you have to attract buyers to your
product page on Amazon is your product reviews. Business Insider claims that positive reviews can increase sales with more than 20%.
What you get with a pre-shipment Inspection in China
A pre-shipment inspection in China allows you to control the quality of your products, without you having to travel abroad. Once your products are completed, a certified inspector will visit your supplier to conduct some tests and go through a pre-determined sample size in accordance with international standards for sampling.
The inspection usually involves the following components:
- Factory Visit
- Drop test to check the sturdiness of the shipping cartons
- Stress test to measure the force required to break/rip apart your product
- Label check. Whether it is FNSKU labels, shipping labels or country of origin labels, a pre-shipment inspection will have it covered
- Unit count
- Product and carton measurement
...and much more.
How is a Pre-Shipment Inspection in China Conducted?
After you've booked an inspection a certified inspector, or a team of inspectors, will visit your supplier's factory. A supplier that is unwilling to allow for an inspection is always a red flag.
The certified inspector will take a portion of your goods and inspect them according to international regulations and safety standards in addition to your own standards.
An internationally recognized industry inspection standard called AQL is used to determine the sample size to be inspected. The products are then picked at random from different cartons and investigated.
An inspection report with images of the products with comments from the inspectors is made once the inspection has concluded. Inspection Bird usually also provide a recommendation on next steps to take according to the standard being used.