International Shipping & Freight Forwarding Blog

Common Quality Control Challenges that Amazon FBA Sellers Face

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 09:20 AM

Amazon FBA seller quality control

One of the amazing benefits to being an Amazon FBA seller is the unique ability to work from whatever location that you see fit. While this may be awesome for your lifestyle, it poses its own unique challenges.

Many successful Amazon FBA sellers take advantage of low-cost manufacturing from places like China, and import their goods to the US making it challenging for them to have their hands on the manufacturing, packing, and shipping processes.

Product quality is of utmost importance to maintaining positive reviews on Amazon, so how does one control the quality of their goods from across the world?

Here are a few tips we thought would help.

Ensure your Products Comply with Local Standards with an Inspector

When buying a new product, the common thing to do is to get a sample to make sure it meets your quality standards.

Another step you can take is to add to your pro-forma order an image of or an agreed sample reference number to be met for the entirety of your shipment. When the supplier fails to meet your quality standards, they are responsible to refund you the products & freight costs.

Please note: Such a system is typically used for less than a container load shipments (LCL smaller orders) & may not be accepted by the suppliers.

When shipping a full container load (FCL) shipment, shippers can access a certificated inspection at the time of loading.

You can google other companies that can offer the same service here in the United States or overseas. The inspection cane be conducted 100% or at a lesser percentage, which will affect the inspection cost.

Your freight forwarder should be able to assist you with coordinating and conducting said inspections. If the quality does not meet what you gave to the inspection company, your shipment will not ship, as long as you are using your own forwarder, rather than letting the supplier dictates the routing through their own forwarding company.

As a side note, not all importers use certified inspection companies. It is the buyer’s ultimate choice.  

At the receiving end, Amazon has strict regulations to follow (imposing additional storage cost if the products do not sell fast enough, labelling & palletizing). More & more Amazon importers use their forwarders’ warehouses  for storage and distrubtion to keep their costs down. 

Utilize Amazon-friendly Packaging and Labeling

Amazon has industry-disrupting standards when it comes to their shipping speed. To ensure that their employees can ship your products with efficiency, be sure that you are utilizing packaging that allows the Amazon employee to grab and go. Make sure that your label is printed in an easy to read black font on white background and is stuck flat on the packaging. Labels should also clearly identify what is in the packaging and have an easily identifiable barcode to help maintain an accurate inventory.

Proper packaging is also crucial to being a successful Amazon seller. Amazon’s packaging standards are designed to not only be packed and shipped easily, but also so that your products arrive to their buyer in one piece.

Your goods must be packaged to withstand the journey to the US via air or ocean freight shipping from the manufacturing facility to the Amazon warehouse as well as ground transport from the Amazon fulfillment center to the end destination. The latter leg of the journey is typically handled by Amazon courier or USPS and therefore can be subject to much rougher handling.

If you choose to to partner with a third-party inspector, they can also ensure that the required packaging elements such as instructions, safety warnings, and protection pieces are included.

Partner with a Quality Freight Forwarder

Many Amazon FBA sellers have found success importing their goods from China due to the low manufacturing costs. While the cost of producing goods is typically low, you can incur unnecessary shipping costs if you do not have a full understanding of how to to most efficiently import your goods into the US from China.

An international freight forwarder, like ETC International Freight System, can help to arrange your shipment so it ships as quickly and economically as possible. Smaller shipments can benefit from air or ocean freight consolidation while larger shipments can take advantage of wholesale shipping discounts that only your forwarder would have access to.

By partnering with a family-owned freight forwarder versus one of the big conglomerates, your shipments will receive individualized attention from start to finish. Your forwarder can help guide you on anything from Incoterms to customs to packing and crating and should you run into issues during your shipment, your forwarder is only a phone call away to answer any question that you may have.

At ETC International Freight System, we specialize in the unique shipping and warehousing needs of Amazon FBA sellers so that you can spend your time focusing on what you do best, finding the next great product to sell.

Find out about our Amazon shipping services here:

Check out our Amazon freight services and be better at being 5 stars!

Tags: Selling on Amazon