Scaling new products and growing an Amazon store can be extraordinarily costly & time-consuming – a process we at ZonPrep have decades of experience with.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure that the items you plan to sell are high-quality products before listing them with FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). One way of doing so involves testing sample units prior to listing. Not only will these give buyers confidence and peace of mind in their purchase… but it’ll increase your sales because shoppers always make their purchases from reviews!
Therefore, sample testing is a process that allows you to check for defects, assess the quality of the materials used, and ensure that the product meets your specifications. It also gives you a chance to gauge customer reactions and acquire feedback that can help you improve your product and increase revenue. Testing product samples is an essential step in the Amazon FBA process, and it can help to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their purchase.
Use this outline to skip to any section of this page:
- What is product sample quality inspection?
- Use a checklist
- Test durability
- Evaluate functionality & utility
- Inspect product safety
- Packaging quality
- Heavily inspect the first production run
- Use an FBA prep service to inspect for damages
- Consider a 3rd party inspection service
- Keep an eye on customer reviews
What is product sample quality inspection?
When you’re running a business, it’s important to be smart about your choices – especially when it comes to placing inventory orders from a supplier. After all, a bad purchase can end up costing you time, money, and valuable resources. That’s why it’s always a good idea to test product quality before committing to a large order.
Any savvy FBA seller knows that you can never take a supplier’s word at face value. No matter how reputable the supplier may be, it’s always best to test the quality of a product sample before placing a large bulk order. This is because even the most trustworthy suppliers can make mistakes, and a small error in manufacturing can have a big impact on your bottom line.
By testing product samples, you can ensure that the products you receive meet your standards and that your customers will be happy with their purchase. In the end, taking the time to test product samples is an essential part of doing business.
By ordering a small sample of the product first, you can assess the quality for yourself and make sure that it stands up to the quality you need to receive above a 4.0 average rating on Amazon. This way, you can avoid ending up with an unusable product or subpar materials. In the long run, taking the time to test products before placing a bulk order will save you a lot of headaches and money (along with your Amazon account health).
Use a checklist
There are several factors that go into testing sample quality – and many FBA sellers forget to cover each aspect (when they run their testing on-the-fly). One way to avoid this problem is to use a checklist when testing product samples before placing a large bulk order.
By taking the time to evaluate the samples thoroughly, businesses can ensure that they are getting what they expect from the supplier. This type of due diligence can save a lot of headaches down the road.
Some things that should be included on the checklist are: visual inspection of the product, checking for defects; function test of the product; and testing for durability of physical damage and long-term functional use. By making sure that all of these boxes are checked before finalizing an order, Amazon sellers can help to ensure that they are getting a high-quality product that will meet their customer needs and result in majority 5-star reviews.
Before placing a large order with a supplier, always check the durability of their product samples. This will give you an indication of the overall quality and viability of the product’s success on Amazon (since it’s impossible to drive thousands in revenue without solid durability that leads to positive reviews).. Here are a few different ways to test durability:
- Perform a physical test, such as dropping the product or subjecting it to other forms of stress.
- Conduct a chemical test, which will determine how well the product withstands various chemicals.
- Do a functional longevity test, in order to determine how long a product can run (such as a battery, etc).
- Try a biological test, which will determine how well the product resists microbial growth.
By testing the durability of the product samples, you can be sure your customers won’t submit negative reviews that result in your product failing on Amazon – along with causing a high return rate and losing money.
On top of that, you might be left with thousands in inventory that can’t sell – due to a poor review rating (or from Amazon removing your listing). Testing durability is a huge factor in avoiding this pitfall.
Evaluate functionality & utility
Before placing a large bulk order with a supplier, always check product functionality and effectiveness by testing product samples. Make sure the product works as intended to solve the customer’s problem. Advertised features and benefits should be verified.
To get an accurate idea of how the product will perform, it is best to test it under conditions that approximate as closely as possible the conditions under which the customer will use it. This may require setting up special testing equipment and/or hiring outside consultants with expertise in the area. The investment of time and money upfront will pay off in avoiding delays and extra costs later if the product turns out to be less effective than expected.
Why is this so important? For the same reasons as durability above – you’ll receive scores of negative reviews and risk getting your product removed, if it doesn’t work as advertised. As a rule of thumb: always choose the higher-quality product. Attempting to cut corners and save money can result in a totally-failed product – which can result in a huge stash of inventory down the drain.
Inspect product safety
Sample products are an essential part of the product development process, allowing companies to test a new product before committing to a large order. However, it is important to remember that sample products may not be safe for use. This is because they have not undergone the same safety testing as products that are on the market.
When testing a sample product, always check for product safety information. This includes looking for warnings about potential hazards, such as choking or suffocation risks for small children. You should also check to see if the product has been tested for use in a home or car. If it has, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Lastly, consider whether the product’s ingredients are safe for your health. If you have any concerns, consult with a medical professional before using the product.
Keep in mind – Amazon enforces strict policies when it comes to products on their site. If a product is found to be unsafe, Amazon will remove it and may penalize the account even further. This policy is in place to protect consumers from being harmed by products that they purchase on Amazon.
Remember… when you market a product, you implicitly promise your customers that it is safe. This promise is enforceable under various state and federal laws. If your product ends up being unsafe, you may face legal problems – including class action lawsuits, individual lawsuits, government investigations, and civil or criminal charges.
In addition, you may be required to recall your Amazon product or take other corrective action. To avoid these problems, it is important to ensure that your product is safe before you put it on the market. This means testing it thoroughly and ensuring that it meets all applicable safety standards. By taking these precautions, you can help to protect yourself from legal liability.
As you can see, it’s absolutely vital to ensure your product is safe and does NOT pose a risk to the consumer. Otherwise, you may find your product being removed from the site, your account being penalized, and dealing with potential legal ramifications.
One commonly-forgotten aspect of testing for product sample quality is evaluating the packaging – particularly the box, inserts, and protective padding for the product.
Uses high-quality packaging will help to ensure that the product arrives undamaged and in good condition. Additionally, good packaging will help to boost customer satisfaction – as it will protect the product during shipping and enhance the customer experience when he or she opens the box and sees the product for the first time.
This is also where branding comes into play. The first touchpoint with a product (when opening the box and interacting with the packaging) has a surprisingly-high impact on customer satisfaction and repurchase rates. You should discuss with your supplier to see if they can customize the packaging to fit your exact needs – meaning your customers needs!
The top Amazon sellers and ecommerce brands have this down to a T – which is one of the reasons they’ve gotten to the position they’re in now. By taking the time to check packaging quality before placing a bulk order, businesses can avoid many potential problems down the road, boost their reviews, increase repurchase rates and boost their revenue.
Heavily inspect the first production run
As you gear-up to make your first bulk order, it’s crucial to inspect the first production run from your supplier. This will allow you to ensure that the finished product matches the quality standard of the initial sample(s) that you already tested. It’s also a great opportunity to check for any potential issues that could cause problems down the line – especially transitioning from one-off samples to mass-produced units (which is often a different process on your supplier’s end, meaning the first production run can differ from the sample).
Of course, inspecting a production run can be a daunting task, especially if you are working with a large number of products. However, there are a few tips that can help to make the process easier:
- First, it is important to clearly define your quality standards from the initial sample(s). This will help you to quickly identify any qualities that didn’t meet your requirements.
- Second, try to work with a small-to-medium order size. This will allow you to thoroughly examine each item and minimize the risk of overlooking something important.
- Finally, remember that it’s always better to catch issues early on and establish trustworthy communication with your supplier – in order to address and solve these issues together.
By taking the time to inspect the first production run from your supplier, you can help to ensure that your finished product is of the highest quality – allowing you to continuously re-purchase each inventory order with confidence.
Use an FBA prep service to inspect for damages
Unfortunately, relying on your supplier won’t always go as planned. They’re focused on producing/sourcing your products and fulfilling the order – but not as much inspecting and prepping them.
A reliable FBA prep service will thoroughly inspect and prep your products before they reach Amazon warehouses – which includes making sure that the products are properly packaged and labeled, and that there are no damage or defects.
In addition, a prep service will also verify that your products meet Amazon’s standards for quality, safety. By ensuring that your products meet these guidelines, you can avoid having them rejected by Amazon or returned by customers.
Avoiding these costly mistakes that can result in your products being banned from Amazon’s marketplace is where an FBA prep service truly comes in handy – and as a result, it’s the reason most Amazon FBA sellers always opt for this type of service (instead of running their prep in-house).
Keep an eye on customer reviews
Once you’ve checked all the boxes and made a first production one, your only final step is to monitor customer reviews. After your product launches, take a close look at the reviews to see what customers are saying – because if you’re seeing a lot of negative feedback, it may be an indication that your product quality is not up to par. In this case, you may need to make some adjustments to your manufacturing process or find a new supplier.
On the other hand, if customer reviews are mostly positive, it’s a good sign that you’re on the right track. Monitoring customer feedback is an important part of ensuring that you’re offering products that meet the needs of your market.