7 Important Things to Know About Amazon Quality Control for FBA Sellers

If you make a living by selling products on Amazon, you know how important it is for your products to have a good rating.  Poor ratings can result in persons overlooking your product and going for another option.  Persons tend to give low ratings because the quality of the product was poor or because the product was faulty.  As a seller, you want to ensure that your products are always of the highest quality to prevent this.  If your products are fulfilled by Amazon, they also require that your products be of a certain standard.  While you may not be the person manufacturing or processing the goods, having amazon quality control is a good way to ensure the quality you desire.

Why Do You Need Quality Control?

Amazon quality control
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If your product is mass-produced, or if you buy your products in bulk from a country like China, you can expect to have a certain percentage of your products with simple or major problems.   This is not necessarily related to the country you choose to buy from, but rather the nature of the business.  Manufacturers are always looking for ways to cut costs and in doing so many times the quality of the product suffers.   Simple problems that may affect quality include things like the product being dirty, scratches, and minor cosmetic issues, all of which can greatly affect your buyer.  Major problems include incorrect labels, damaged products, missing parts, and incorrect designs or colors.

Now, if have no quality control system in place, these problems may not be detected until they reach the buyer and at this time it will be too late.  If your products are shipped with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), the problem will be detected when they get to amazon and your products will not be accepted.  What’s even worst, you could lose your listing or privileges with Amazon.  In both cases, you would be left with a large amount of merchandise that you cannot return and that you may have to pay a hefty price to fix.  If this were to happen you would end up losing significantly.  All of this can be avoided with Amazon quality control inspection.

What Exactly Is Amazon Quality Control?

Quality control basically involves monitoring the quality and status of your goods at various points of production.  This is to ensure that the final product is of the quality you want it to be.  The steps involved may include verifying that the supplier is qualified and has the right equipment and raw material; ensuring that he or she understands the specifications of the products required; assessing the products when approximately 20-50% complete, and performing another assessment when at least 80% have been packed for shipment.  The various assessments are geared at early detection of any problems with the hope that resolution can be brought about in a quick manner.  This final assessment ensures that the products are of a suitable quality to be received and enjoyed by your buyers.

All of these inspections are done at the manufacturing site before the product is shipped to you in the US.  At first glance, all these may seem overwhelming and time-consuming if you were to conduct the process of amazon quality control inspection personally.  It is for this reason that it is highly recommended that you choose to use a third-party quality control inspection company.

What is a Third-party Quality Control Inspection Company?

A third-party inspection company is basically an unbiased company that focuses on the inspection and assessment of the quality of products being produced.  They are not involved in the production of the product.  Their job is to visit the manufacturing plant and perform analysis at the different stages of the process.  The main purpose of this company is to ensure that you remain informed so you can make the best decision regarding the products you receive.  If you are importing in bulk from China, you may want to consider hiring an inspection company based in the country.  This will help to have any problems rectified before products are shipped.

What Will the Third-party Inspection Company Do?

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In order to ensure that your shipment is received by Amazon, the inspection company will work to have a specialist who is well versed in Amazon quality control visit the facility to assess your products and also how they are packaged.  At this point, the assessment will be made to verify that the quality of the products is as you requested and to also verify that the requirements as laid out by amazon are fulfilled.  To do this there are a number of tasks that the third-party inspection company performs.  These include but are not limited to, the assessment of weight, measurements, packaging, labels, barcodes, and tests such as drop tests,s and water pressure tests as needed by the product being assessed.

Amazon has a checklist that your products and packaging must comply with and the inspector’s assessment is basically to ensure all these are fulfilled.  This way you are ensuring that the quality of your products will remain unchanged even during the shipping process which may be vigorous with all the lifting and dropping and shaking that cartons go through.  Ultimately, it works out to having quality products delivered to your buyers and you having an excellent rating and ultimately more sales on amazon.

(Learn more about Amazon FBA Inspection)

Using the Information from Quality Control

The inspection report from your third-party inspection company may include pictures of the product, measurements, notes based on visual inspection and results of the various functional tests done, defects found, and the percentage of defects found.  Once you’ve received this inspection report you can then make a decision as to whether or not you would like to have the order shipped.  Finding problems with the quality of the products produced is a must and this is to be expected.  However, you should have a minimum acceptable quality level (AQL) in mind above which you will not accept the shipment. (What’s AQL?)

If the problems found are minor you can request the supplier to address these problems and then have another inspection so you can approve the order.  It is therefore important that quality control inspection be done before the shipment leaves China.  Once the shipment gets to the US, returning the products will be difficult if not impossible.  It is also good to have this done before the last part of the payment is given just in case the supplier refuses to complete the work or make necessary adjustments.

When Is The Best Time to Have Quality Control Done?

As mentioned before the quality control checks can be done at various times along the process.  However, if you should ensure that this is done at least before you make your final payment and before the products are shipped.  If however, your shipment is large, like costing more than $10,000 USD you may want to have the inspection done both during the production and right before they are shipped.  You should also know that it is advisable for you to have a quality control done on each shipment you may have even if it is from the same supplier.  Mistakes can also result when products are made from machines.  As a result, even if a manufacturer has proven to be reliable in providing quality products in the past, you should still inspect the products of future shipments to ensure that this quality continues.

Can You Do the Inspection Yourself?

There is no reason why you are not able to do your own quality control inspection.  However, you must bear in mind that to do this with the best result, you would have to travel to China.  It would actually be great if you were able to make the trip to the factory before even deciding to work with a particular supplier.  However, as it relates to inspecting your products for quality control, you should realize that you would have to make more than one trip which will cost you a nice penny when you take into consideration, the cost of your flights, hotels, and visa.  If you were to however make the wise decision to use a trusted third-party inspection company such as AQI Service which is based in China, you would not only be saving yourself time and money but you would also be ensuring quality.  This is because while you can do the inspection and probably do a good job, inspectors from this company are trained and experienced in this area.  They, therefore, have the tools and expertise required to recognize things affecting quality that may not be so clear to the naked eye at first glance.

Having a third-party inspection company on board will cost and you may be wondering if it is really worth it.  However, just think, is it worth taking the risk and ending up with a batch of products in which at least half or more than half of the products are sub-standard? I think not.  Investing in quality control will definitely help to ensure that your products are of the quality that you know your buyers deserve.


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Author: AQI Service as a professional quality control service company in China specialized in providing a complete range of quality inspection and testing certification services in China & Asia for global importers, buyers, retailers, and sellers.

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