How To Inspect Product Quality When Importing From China- A Step By Step Guide

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The supplier should produce high quality product each and every time and if they can do that, then quality inspection can be avoided. However, the above is only the most ideal result . The reality is that not all suppliers can provide a 100% guarantee of quality and one negative review on our product will cost us at least 10 or 100 sales. That’s why we need to conduct quality inspection every time before shipment. In this article, I will tell you how to inspect product inspection and what you need to prepare for it.

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4 Steps to Inspect Product Quality

The inspection process can be divided into 4 steps . This way you will know exactly what to do for product inspection.

Step 1: Make Preparations for Product Quality Inspection

In this step, you can make full preparation for future quality inspection. Following are some things you can do.

Prepare Good Product Specification

To be specific, one thing you can do is to prepare a very good product specification and send it to your supplier with the purchase order. Then your supplier will produce the product quality against your product specification. During the whole production process, you can give more explanation to each line of your product specification. This document should also be shared with the third-party quality inspection agent, so they can understand your expectations when they see the product specification. If you want to know how to prepare a good product specification, please refer to this article:

Collect Photos Or Videos

Another thing you can do is to collect photos or videos to show product specifications. For example, the photos show the exact measurement of your product to make it more intuitive for your suppliers to understand the product details.

Make Better Payment Term

Apart from that, please pay attention to your payment term. Never make full payment before shipment. Ideally, you should pay according to the standard payment term of 30% deposit. If you paid more than 50%, when the inspection fails, you have very little leverage to negotiate with the supplier to fix the problem, since they are already making the profit even though you don’t pay them the balance.

Step 2: Book A Third-party Inspection Ahead

Seven or ten days before the product is ready, you need to choose a suitable inspection company and make an inspection appointment. You need to tell your supplier to inform you 7or 10 days ahead before the production is over to give you time to prepare for the inspection appointment. When it comes to choosing a quality inspection agent, please keep the following 2 tips in mind.

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You’d better choose a quality inspection company that is close to your supplier or the agent have inspections close to your supplier’s location. Many importers don’t know where their suppliers are and choose a random quality inspection agent, then the inspectors will have to travel a long way to get to the factory, and you need to pay for the travel time too. So, try to know your supplier factory’s location and find an inspection company close to it , which can save you money.


Of course, you need to know how much the inspection is going to cost you. The best way to find out is to get three quotes to compare. If you ask the inspection agent to give you a quote, then you will understand how much is going to cost you per day and how many days they need. And according to our experience, the average per day cost is around 300 USD. The one who charges you higher doesn’t necessarily mean they will do a better job .

After deciding on a suitable inspection agent, you can book a specific date to conduct quality inspection.

Step 3: Conduct Product Quality Inspection

What do the inspections do in the supplier’s factory during quality inspection? Well, one thing they do is to check the number of units. If your purchase order is 2000 units, they need to check the number of cartons and count how many pieces in each carton to tally up the total to make sure the supplier produced according to your order quantity. They also need to check the workmanship, functions, on-site testing to check the product quality according to your product specification. Apart from the product itself, they also need to check the package. For example, each carton must be marked with made in China mark, otherwise you can’t get your product out of China. This is a tedious process, and this is why you need to prepare a good product specification for your inspector. Otherwise, even though the inspector has some industry knowledge, they can check and measure your product quality according to their knowledge, they still can’t know the product as well as you do.

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Step 4: Make After Inspection Decisions

There are two possible outcomes after quality inspection, one is pass and one is fail.


When the inspection passes, then you just need to make the balance payment and get your product ready to ship.


However, if the inspection fails, what are you going to do? You need to know how many products failed the inspection and what defects are recorded on the inspection report. In order to figure out the number of failed products, you need to understand AQL (acceptable quality limit).For example, if your purchase order is 2000 pieces, they take 100 pieces as a sample, and 10 pieces out of 100 pieces failed, then you need to think about how many pieces could potentially fail in these 2000 pieces.

When you read an inspection report, it is important to understand the definition of critical, major or minor defects. If the 10 defects are all minor defects after you read the report, then it’s easy for your supplier to fix.

In a word, after quality inspection, you need to read the report in detail to understand how many and what to make a decision whether you accept the shipment and pay the balance or not.

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Almost every inspection finds defects, but it’s a good thing since you’d rather find them out as early as possible before you pay the balance, than your customer complain and leave a negative review. If you need to know more about quality inspection, please contact us for further discussion.

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