Currently, netizens on Quora (a platform to ask questions and get answers) and Reddit (a social news website) are discussing how to stock from Chinese manufacturers and sell on Amazon. John Frigo, an E-commerce adept from Chicago issued a video on YouTube explaining how he realized the monthly sales volume of USD 250 thousand by this means, which attracted up to 1.5 million viewers.
China-made products are usually much cheaper for the third-party sellers on Amazon.
A seller once told Yahoo Finance that, “I tried to find similar superiorities if stocking from other countries but unfortunately, the answer is no. I tried to find a place where the product price could be lower than China, but even yes, the transportation cost would be much higher.”
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can provide services that third-party sellers outside US sell their products in America even never stepping into the country. According to information provided by Amazon website, third party sellers can directly send products from Chinese factories by express delivery to warehouses of Amazon in US. Then Amazon will complete “sorting, packaging, transportation and after-sale service”.
In 2016, FBA has delivered goods with value of more than USD 2 billion and enjoyed a growth of 70% in the number of sellers who use this service.
Amazon requires that parcels sent by the third party sellers must be marked with the information of sellers. Seller may still require manufacturers to paste the seller’s information on the packaging box even not catching a sight or get in touch with his products.
So if you are a customer of Amazon, you may be scarcely possible to know whether the product is from an American seller or from a Chinese factory. The third party seller will use FBA to solve warehousing problem and shorten the transport time.
Quality inspection: who should assume the responsibility?
Different with Alibaba which targets at individual sellers, Amazon owns a lot of self-running products, thus it can guarantee quality and delivery service. But with the growing number of third-party sellers, Amazon may be faced up with quality control and counterfeit problem, which is a problem which is difficult to solve for a long time.
In fact, if products that customers have purchased are delivered by FBA, customers must examine product quality by themselves. In this case, product reviews may be good or bad. John believes that, “product review is everything.”
Amazon has a requirement that commodities for sale must abide by laws, regulations and Amazon’ policies. But if sellers bypass the procedure of quality inspection, customers may feel more difficult to find out potential problems of the product until problems occur.
In the next half year of 2015, “hover board” has become the hot potato in festival gift market. A manufacturer told CNN that Amazon did not sellers to provide certificate until explosions and fire disasters happened to this kind of product so as to prove “hover board” products in accordance with applicable safety standards. Amazon finally stopped selling most of “hover board” products.
“under FBA mode, who will assume the responsibility of product quality is a grey zone yet to be clarified. Customers will surely have a judgement of product quality by practical utilization. But if the product meets the standard, there is no need for them to expend energy doing so.”
If you are a new third-party seller on Amazon, and would like to avoid accidents happening to your product, suggestion is very simple, “keep away from infant, electronics and food related products”.
You may also resort to third-party quality inspection organizations like AQI Service for help. Their inspectors in China can help you to know the supplier’s quality control level and the quality of to-be-sent products. Or you may ask them to assist full-inspection so as to make sure that your product will maximally get no buyer’s complaints after sold-out.