How to Do Quality Control in Chinese when You’re Not There?

Mar 07, 2024 Chapter 4. Inspection

For importers and private labelers, there is only one thing scarier than hearing about “bad product”: finding out that your shipment has been rejected by Amazon for being incorrectly labeled.

That’s why if you import anything from China, you should familiarize yourself with the quality control checks. It might sound daunting and expensive, but they’re cheap and easy.

For around $200-250 per shipment, you can dramatically improve the quality of your product, which in turn sells more. You can almost completely eliminate the possibility of being scammed.



quality control in Chinese



How It Works and How Much It Costs for China Quality Control Services?

Quality control in Chinese checks are almost always performed by third-party companies. An inspection company like supplyia sends a quality inspector in China to your supplier’s factory or warehouse and inspects against your specifications or a default set of specifications. Any quality inspection company can send quality inspectors anywhere in China.

It’s shocking how little third-party inspections cost. A typical inspection costs about $200-250. It charges by what they call a labor day, which is what an inspector can do in 8 hours. In most cases, you will rarely need more than 1 business day. $250 includes all transportation and other expenses.






5 Types of Quality Control in Chinese:

The following are common quality control in China, but we should not be limited to a certain type of service selection. We can use our imagination and use different service combinations to achieve our goal of quality control.

  1. For example, if you choose to inspect a new factory, you will inspect the goods in the middle of production, and then conduct another inspection before shipment. For another example, when they are familiar with each order, we only need to conduct a pre-delivery inspection. . .
  2. For another example, if you have many suppliers, you can hire a sourcing company to help you contact them… let they help you arrange the shipment, and do some random inspection before shipping.


Choose Best Suppliers Catch Problems Early Verify Quality Before Shipment

Factory audit

Pre-production inspection

During production inspection

Pre-shipment inspection

Container loading inspection

Suppliers selection 5% 30% 80% Shipment
% of Finished Production






How to Choose Quality Control in Chinese Service?

You can perform very complex inspections(random vs full) and tests such as lead content testing, tensile strength testing and more.

However, for most customers (and probably the vast majority of other private labelers) they just book what they call a pre-shipment inspection and do the following:

  • Review and verify that my shipment actually exists and I’m paying for what I ordered
  • Verify items are properly labeled and barcoded (so they don’t get rejected by Amazon)
  • Inventory my items to make sure I get the exact quantity I ordered
  • Doing some very basic product quality verification like making sure the item looks good, making sure the blue jeans I ordered are blue and not red


We recently started to adopt a different approach with the help of our clients to do the quality control in Chinese:

  1. They start with piece by piece inspection in China (paid by the manufacturer)
  2. They see what defects come up most often
  3. They give advice to the manufacturer to decrease the most frequent defects
  4. If the proportion of defectives goes below a certain target, they switch to random inspections (paid by the importer)
  5. If the proportion of defectives goes back up, they switch back to full inspection/piece-by-piece inspection (paid by the manufacturer)


In the mid-to-long run, it decreases the costs for the importer by forcing the factory to solve the real issues. If you need random inspection for quality in China, you can try to contact us.




Who Can Help You with Quality Inspection Services in China?


You can ask your manufacturer to perform an internal review and send you a report. While this method is less expensive, manufacturers are more concerned with protecting their business interests than ensuring the quality of their products. In-house QC teams may have experience and dedication to quality control, but they may work against you. Their goal is to manufacture and deliver goods as quickly as possible, and this is not in sync with quality control.


Trading or 3PL Sourcing Partner

Another viable option is to hire a trading or sourcing partner. These entities will not only help you source products from the right manufacturers in China, but will also assist you with quality inspections. They receive a commission and want to retain you as a customer so that you can continue to provide them with business

Therefore, you can count on them to make an unbiased assessment of the quality of your products. In addition, because of their trade, they have business relationships with many manufacturers and can use this to your advantage.


QC or third party inspection services in China

Another option is to find a reputable third-party inspection service in China that will perform quality control inspections to your standards. Since they do not work for the supplier, they are neutral and impartial to the supplier.

However, this does not mean that you leave the entire process to them. It is recommended that you work with them to clarify your requirements and check that they are following a process to your satisfaction.


Self-inspection or Your Shipping Company:

You can always leave it to your own team to perform quality checks. However, doing so is costly. Training, accommodation and travel costs will add up to your import costs. Or you can ask your freight forwarder to help you do a random inspection for consolidating the shipping.




Your Expectations for Quality Control Reporting

Show product quantities

– the number of finished products provided to the inspector by the supplier. The inspector will count the product to ensure it matches your order.

Visual defects

– These are defects that are visible on the product or its packaging. The maximum number of acceptable defects is determined by the defect tolerance on the QC checklist. If the allowable limit is not met, the inspection will signal a failure.


– These results confirm that the goods meet the quality control requirements. Inspections for conformance requirements are composed based on your QC checklist. If the inspector finds any non-conformities, they will note them in the final inspection report.

Field testing and inspection

– This may be required to determine compliance based on your product. The inspector issues a report covering all areas after the quality control inspection.




Tips for choosing a third party QC company in China

A reliable QC company in China will provide a wide range of quality control inspection services, including the following pre-production inspection, in-line inspection, pre-shipment inspection, container loading supervision, and audit services from factory audits, social audits to environmental audits.

Hire a company that has relevant experience and understanding of your product category. This will allow them to make the best quality control judgments.

Ask them about previous reports they have given to clients, preferably in similar product categories, to assess their ability to provide professional and clear reports
Make sure they understand your quality requirements.

Finally, hire a company that offers transparent pricing for their quality control inspection services. It will allow you to understand your total import costs and plan your budget accordingly.




Chinese Quality Control Conclusion:

Ensuring that your products are inspected to verify compliance with quality requirements and specifications will enable you to work more effectively with manufacturers (as they will take your instructions more seriously) and help you get closer to your customers and keep them happy.

To eliminate a lot of hassle, inspection quality control in Chinese services will help you reduce production costs.

Have you used quality inspection controls on your products?

Let us know about your experience with this service in the comments section below.




  1. How to Choose Best China Pre-shipment Inspection Service?
  2. China Factory Inspection Services: Imported Goods Quality Control Company
  3. Manufacturing Audit: What Questions to Ask Overseas Suppliers?
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