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Understanding Samples

Quality control is one of the most important factors involved when buying product from overseas manufacturers.  There are several key processes involved that must be taken into account to limit product quality issues, none of which is more important than arranging exact samples of your product.

The supplier may seem to have the exact product that you are needing.  The information, specifications and photos that have been emailed to you may look like it is the exact product that you are needing in your market.  You should be very careful to proceed with a first order without receiving the actual samples to your actual specification first.  Although the products may look right, the functionality, strength, durability and materials may differ to your actual requirements.  We recommend that you arrange an exact sample to be made and sent to you for testing and checking with your own eyes.  A few key notes to checking samples:

  • After checking them with your own eyes, test them in the market.  Make sure they perform the exact task they are required to do.  If dealing with local clients, discuss the sample details with them and get their valued feedback on how they rate compared to their existing products.
  • How long will the product last?  How strong is it compared to local products in the market?  Test it out to it’s maximum potential, put it under extreme conditions.  Throw it around a try to break it – find out exactly how the product performs and how long it will last compared to others.
  • Make sure that the sample the supplier has sent you is exactly the same as the specification you require.  Sometimes suppliers will send you a sample of their most popular ‘normal’ product that they can easily make or already have in stock, so can easily send to you.  This sample specifications may vary from what you have been discussing with the supplier.  Make sure you confirm it’s exactly the same as what you have been already discussing.
  • How have the samples been made?  Sometimes the samples can be made differently to an actual production run.  Some samples may be made by hand, while production runs are made by machines.  You must know how they are made and if this will affect the product.
  • What standards are these products made to?  Can the supplier provide certification to prove these products have been tested and approved to an International or Australian Standard?  Not all factories can provide certification, but you must ensure that the products are designed for the Australian market.  Are there any rules and regulations for this particular product in the Australian market?
  • 99% of the time sample costs will be higher than an order of the goods.  Samples are once off products so obviously more time and effort is involved in making such a low quantity.  Be prepared to pay a little extra for the samples.  If the samples can be sent to you by airfreight that’s great, but it will cost more than usual modes of transport.  It’s well worth it to spend a little in the beginning to ensure you get the products right.

 

Once you are confident that the samples are what you need, you can then look at importing these into Australia.  Submit your Landed Price request to us – Send us all of the FOB quote, photos and information from your supplier. Once you have your actual Landed Price delivered to your door, then you know you can proceed with your import with confidence.

 

 

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