ARE YOU IMPORTING FROM CHINA?
Whether you have sourced a product from the factory yourself or ordered from a vendor on Alibaba, it all starts with a product sample. This can be a very exciting time for your business but it may also determine success or failure. Using a product sample checker based on the ground in China can take a lot of stress, hassle, time and cost out of finding the perfect product. If you feel this service may benefit your business please read on…
This is an example of the
Sample Inspection Report you get.
Click to see the whole report in a new browser tab.
Once you have found a potential supplier, the next important step you must take, is to get a sample for verification.
Sample verification is an imperative step when dealing with suppliers in China, particularly if your only means of contact and communications with them has been limited over the internet through sources such as Alibaba , Global Sourcing, B2B or similar.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of a solid support infrastructure and steadfast controls in place for these websites. On many occasions, they will simply use images belonging to other Companies, which results in the product being sold to you varying substantially, totally different altogether, from what you believed you had originally purchased from the onset.
Being that many of them are just basic trading companies, a lot of them will just use other companies images and the product will then be sourced from the cheapest possible manufacturer who has cut many corners to reduce cost and increase their margin at your expense and this is usually picked up at the sample verification stage.
During the past 15 years, I have literally experienced firsthand, on countless occasions, having dealt with the Asian factories, that the samples provided have been nothing in relation to what I have ordered and many a time have been thoroughly disappointed to learn that the product simply does not function correctly, and also that they have come with too many issues, and I would therefore be unable to sell the product.
Sample Verification is a helpful tool in establishing the accuracy and validity of a product, and can even determine the strength of communications between the supplier and yourself, the foreign company Although a lot of these factories/companies now have someone on board who may speak a little, to basic good English, there is still substantial room for error due to the communication breakdown in what they understand you require as to what they translate this to be in their terms. More often than not, this leads to a vast difference in understandings and leads to quality lost time and poorly supplied product selections.
Regardless of meeting a supplier at a trade show, it is still imperative to obtain a sample, as what you see at the trade show are just there for show only. When at the point of ordering, you will find that many of the features you had observed and noted at the show, are not available in actual production.
This fact is not divulged to you at the actual show, and when you enquire as to why it is different, or doesn’t have the actual features you had seen on the product at the show, they will simply say “Oh, that was just sample for display” and think nothing of it. This is another reason to request a good quality sample first to verify you are getting exactly what you saw at a trade show, such as the Canton Fair or one of the many Hong Kong Fairs.
TIMING IS OFTEN A KEY FACTOR IN GETTING PRODUCT TO MARKET SUCCESSFULLY
Timing plays a vital part in the success of a product, particularly if selling on Ebay, Amazon or even to hit the market with your product at the right season.
Although this may be true, unless you have actually seen the product from the proposed supplier and not just looked at an image from their website, or some pictures they have forwarded to you, then a sample is a must. There is a huge industry in China that just sells copied and cheap shonky products without any recall for the buyer. I have been there, done that and hear of it constantly done to others all of the time. With my experience and background, I urge you to spend the time to at least go through the initial sample stage before handing over big or small amounts of your hard earned cash. This may be different if you are an experienced buyer of China products and have met the supplier at ,say, the Canton Fair and you have asked all the right questions and have some trust in what they are telling you there and then, before deciding to place an order with them. As I have previously mentioned, I have been doing this for 15 years and with so many bad and uneventful experiences later, I will not place an order with a company until I get a fresh sample and verify it. Depending on the product and volume of the order, I would also audit the factory before placing an order and do product inspections during production and/or pre shipment, hence why I first started living in China.
TIME IS MONEY AND BAD PRODUCT IS LOST MONEY OR REPUTATION
- I am an Australian on the ground in Guangzhou (China) so your samples will arrive at our office much quicker with less risk of getting damaged, lost or stolen.
- I have 15 years experience of knowing what to look for, and details that you may miss initially or not thought of and will often give additional observations outside of what you have specified at no extra cost.
- Inter China freight costs are so much cheaper than international air freight.
- No risk of goods getting held up in Customs.
- Verification fee for service starts from only US $50 per item.
- Over 35 years experience in manufacturing with 15 of that being in Asia, and 10 of that in China. Have been to hundreds of factories all over China and dealt with thousands of products ranging from Jewellery, Dancewear, Handbags, Home Appliances, Home Furnishings, Kitchenware, Photographic Equipment, Health Products, Sports Products to Agricultural equipment just to name a few.
For such a small investment from as little as US $50, it could mean the difference between success or potential failure. Chinese factories, or Agents, will gladly take your money, yet do not return it and are very reluctant to repair or fix anything, and this unfortunately, is not just limited to small companies.
Sample Verification will not be the answer to all of the issues that you will most likely experience with Chinese suppliers, however it will substantially reduce your risk of total loss and/or alert you to key elements and flaws that will be necessary to have fixed and resolved, prior to you handing over your security deposit.
"Sample Verification is an absolute Must Do before you take the next step"
What happens is this;
- I give you all of the delivery and contact details in Chinese with English headings to give to your factory and we can also instruct them on the best courier system to use for whatever product or situation.
- If your supplier tries to charge some crazy delivery fee or it is just to difficult to communicate to them about the delivery cost then we can pay the freight collect amount and charge it back to you with your evaluation fee.
- Your samples will arrive to us within a few days at a very cheap delivery cost compared to airfreight and without the risk of it getting lost, often broken or caught in customs.
- You go onto our website and complete a request form for each product and service that you want evaluated prior to having the sample sent to us or us receiving it. We will not start any job without receiving your request form.
- Advise when you expect your samples have been sent or plane to be sent from your supplier and ask that they put their company details inside the package. This is a very important step as we can get between 5-15 deliveries a day and a number of couriers keep the con note so we have no idea who it has come from and frankly do not have the time to open every parcel as soon as they arrive looking for a specific item.
- Go onto our website and download the No-disclosure agreement, fill in the details, sign and forward to me to counter sign and forward you a copy. This is purely for your piece of mind that your product and information is secure.
- In most cases I would start the evaluation within 2-3 days but sooner if requested. The Level-1 basic evaluation covers the items I have listed on the request form and any additional points you have listed. Detailed or complex Level-2 evaluations will be quoted upon request.
**Level-1 basic evaluations do have limitations on how many points are evaluated, how many items are within the product set (max 2-3), how complex it is and what functions you want checked.
It does not cover reading detailed instructions.
- If a product arrives to me broken or is just absolute rubbish from the onset I will send you some simple phone images and comments for your direction. I will not do the evaluation or charge you unless you advise to proceed.
- After evaluation you will be send a report with key point images via email and a copy put into your own secure Dropbox folder that you would have earlier been sent a share link. From time to time and product permitting I will also send you as a N/C Bonus, a low res 360deg rotation of your product and the matching low res watermarked images.
- The samples can then be forwarded to you in Australia, sent back to the factory or somewhere you advise. Samples can also be held by us after evaluation for only a short period of time before we must on forward or dispose of them.
- I send you a bill and you make payment via PayPal.