A big fear of ordering overseas is the unknown, specifically whether the product will be shipped to you in the condition and quality that you expect, and not being able to fix any mistakes once the product arrives at your door. To compact that, I always advise anyone to contract a product inspection firm, to check your products before they are shipped. Especially with products that are manufactured overseas, having a professional inspector review your products may cost a few hundred dollars, but could save you thousands of dollars in potential loss.
We once forgot to get the product inspected and ended up receiving thousands of dollars in inventory that we couldn't sell. This is a crucial step, because when you're ordering products in large quantities, it is easier to fix the mistakes while they're still with the manufacturer. Let's go over some of the options to inspect your products overseas. For one, if you're buying through Alibaba, there is an option to add on an inspection service from an Alibaba certified inspection firm to perform quality control for you.
You can access this through inspection.alibaba.com. To establish the standard of quality that you want for your products, you first need to approve a single unit sample from the supplier. Depending on the complexity of your product, you can either ask your supplier to provide you with images and videos of the product or send you a single sample to approve the quality in person. This will be the single unit that your inspector will use to compare with the rest of your inventory.
There are several third party inspection firms in Asia that you could use. The one that I would recommend is QIMA, because it is one of the largest firms that has experience in a wide variety of industries. You can register on their website and create an audit with them. Just fill out the details and ask for suppliers to send them a sample. With this sample, they'll later go to a factory on an inspection date and compare the actual sample with the production units. Once this inspection is completed, they will send you an inspection report.
Based on this report, you can either release a shipment to a supplier or ask the suppliers to rework the goods according to your agreed terms and fix the problems found during the inspection. Only when you're entirely satisfied should you release a shipment. In most cases, there will be minor findings such as scratches, dents, or packaging issues. If this doesn't bother you, then you can authorize a release. If there are any major problems like faulty wires or wrong colors, you should ask your suppliers to correct the goods.
If your payment terms and entail partial payments upfront and the rest of the payments upon delivery, it is in the supplier's best interest to correct the mistakes in order to get the full payment. You have the upper hand in this situation. Once everything is as it should be, you can get the logistics provider of the order to pick up the goods and send them to the port.