Sourcing 101

Inspection Agencies - Sourcing's Secret Weapon!

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just be there at the factory, watching over the production?

Inspection Agencies - Sourcing's Secret Weapon!

Imagine this.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just be there at the factory, watching over the production of your product? Present and make sure everything is made up to spec.

Or maybe that’s tough, so it would be awesome to have someone on your team that could go to each factory and visits the production.

Yeah, that would be great, but more than likely that isn't exactly time or budget efficient, right?

Luckily there is another solution- Inspection Agencies!

In the world of e-commerce, where everything happens fast for the customer, inspection agencies play a vital role in helping product sourcing companies ensure the quality and safety of the products they are sourcing. These agencies offer a range of services, including factory inspections, product inspections, and laboratory testing, to help companies verify the quality and compliance of their products.

Factory inspections allow companies to assess the manufacturing facilities and processes of their suppliers, ensuring that they meet the necessary quality and safety standards. Product inspections, on the other hand, involve evaluating the finished product to ensure that it meets the required specifications and standards. Laboratory testing helps companies verify the safety and quality of products through a range of analytical and testing techniques.

By partnering with inspection agencies, product sourcing companies can gain peace of mind and confidence in the products they are sourcing, helping to minimize the risk of product recalls or other issues that could damage their reputation and bottom line. Additionally, using inspection agencies can help companies meet the regulatory requirements and standards of the markets they are targeting, further enhancing the reputation and credibility of their products.

Inspection agencies are third-party companies that you can hire to inspect your goods. They can go as many times as you want, and could even visit at different phases of the production like mid-production or post. You need to provide them with as much information as humanly possible. I’m talking about sizing charts, specs, samples, and whatever you can. They will check the goods, measure, and test things you didn’t even know were possible. They will grade the production on a scale if needed.

Should items fail the inspection, inspection agencies would inform and ask the factory to correct and reproduce the materials. They will usually notice things like loose threads, dirt marks, glue, etc.

Now, you might be working with your current supplier and think, “my suppliers are the best and I’m always super happy with how the goods come out, I don’t need another 3rd party to check on them”.

Yeah, I used to think the same way too.

Then I started hiring agencies even on the exact reorders and they found issues worth thousands and sent stuff back to be fixed.

So how much does it cost? Price range is about $100-$250 per man-day. (Alibaba has one for like $50 through their platform, haven’t tried it but let me know if it's really worth it!) That means you get a person for pretty much a day to go and help out.

If you want people to go multiple days, then you gotta pay per day.  Now, if you have a massive production with a lot of SKUs, then you might need to hire 2 man-days of the agency.

Almost always, they will try to push 2-3 days on you to be more thorough. I also think about it like “if I was there, would I need multiple days to go through this stuff” and almost always tell them, "Nah, I’m good just 1 man day will do."

You might have heard of inspection agencies and horror stories of them getting bribed by the factories to falsify their report.
Do those things happen? Yeah.
Have I ever met a soul it happened to? No.
Will that ever happen to you? Low chance, but using a reputable agency would definite help.

Feel free to shoot me a message and I’d be happy to connect you with the ones we used.

They are trustworthy, very professional, and only $200 per day!

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