How to avoid buying low quality goods from China when importing

Importing quality products from China so that you can sell them online through the various e-commerce platforms available can be profitable. However, your profit margins can be affected when you buy low quality goods from China. Although an e-commerce business is generally simple, it can be easy to over think it because of all the risky moving parts involved.

Starting an online business, much like any other business has its own sets of risk but if you do not know what you are doing, it is very easy to end up with knock-off goods worth thousands of dollars that may not offer any value to your customers at all. That being said, there are some things that you can do to avoid buying low-quality goods from China.

How do low-quality goods from China come about?

First things first, it is important to point out that China is one of the best manufacturing countries in the world. This means that thousands of companies and businesses from all parts of the globe rely on Chinese manufacturers for their high-quality products. Sadly, although some companies have built a reputation for themselves for producing goods that consumers can rely on, there is an equally successful section of manufacturers that produce low-quality goods from China by cost-cutting.

Such suppliers often employ cost-cutting measures when manufacturing goods with the hope that the buyers and their customers will not notice. The quality of the product usually starts off high, but it soon begins to dwindle in a process that is often referred to as quality fade in the manufacturing sector. The honest truth is that businesses and customers may or may not detect the changes so it is always important to put measures in place that can eliminate defective products entirely before any harm comes to any consumer.

In some cases, low-quality goods usually come about as a result of non-deliberate mistakes. For instance, a supplier may send out the wrong type of shoes to a buyer not because of self- sabotage but because of poor quality assurance processes. As always, this is why it advisable to only work with a reputable company that has years of experience to ensure that such mistakes do not occur.

Here is how to avoid importing low-quality goods from China

Know and understand the value of your products

You can assess the value of the products that you are buying by ensuring that you get at least three to four quotes that will help you settle on the right market price for your product. Chinese manufacturers are incredibly competitive and similar products are typically priced similarly or within a small price range of each other.  If you find more than a10% difference between the quotes that you receive from suppliers, then you should be aware of which supplier you can trust and which one you cannot.

For instance, if you are importing weaves from China and you get the following quotes:

1st quote: $35.00

2nd quote: $34.00

3rd quote: $ 13.00




There is likely something strange about the 3rd quote because it is incredibly low compared to the other two. This could mean that the weave has been constructed with cheaper materials which will result in an inferior product.

Send a purchase order

When sending your orders to your suppliers, ensure that you include an actual purchase order instead of just sending an email. Purchase orders are more professional and they are likely to make your business appear well put together, which will demand some level of respect and professionalism. In turn, this means that suppliers will take fewer liberties with the quality of your products.

Send a product specification document

Ensure that you include a product specification document along with your purchase order. A product specification document is simply a document that defines what the high quality product that you want should look like. This document will help you set a standard and you can use it as a quality assurance document for your Third Party Inspection when your goods arrive. If any issues occur with your order, the supplier cannot give you excuses as long as you have a product specification document. A product specification document can contain details such as:

  • Where you want the location and size of your company logo to be.
  • The color of the items.
  • Pictures of all hardware that needs to be attached.
  • The material types to be used, eg, synthetic, polyester etc

Try and include as many specifications as possible to ensure that you get the exact product that you are paying for/need.

Perform third party inspections

There are several companies that offer Third Party Inspection services that are affordable and reliable. Third Party Inspections allow you to verify that the products that you receive meet the criteria specified in your product specification document. Such inspections also ensure that your supplier never cuts corners.

Review your goods completely

Once you get that first shipment of products, make sure that you review them thoroughly. You should ideally point out any elements that you need changed on your next order so that you can include them in the product specification document. As you continue to receive feedback from your customers, you can adjust your needs as you build your business.

What if you receive low-quality goods from China?

Try as you may, it is crucial to understand that each shipment will always have its sets of complications. If you ever receive low-quality goods from China, common practice dictates that you should raise the issue with your supplier and ask for replacements on the next order. You can try and get a refund, but most suppliers won’t give you a refund unless you have worked with them for several years and have developed a trusting and dependable relationship with them.

Ever encountered low-quality goods from China? Did you take any steps to fix the issue? Please share your experiences and tips in the comment section below:













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