At long last, your package is here. You bring it inside and tear it open to see the product you’ve been eyeing for weeks, but something catches your eye. Is that a crack? A scratch? A broken piece?
No matter which online platforms you sell wholesale products with, you can save your customers from these experiences. You may not always get to see the products you sell, but there are steps you can take to ensure their quality is what your customers expect.
The Online Seller’s Role in Quality Control
As a seller, you’re the ultimate authority on your products. You decide what to sell, how to price it, and where to get it. Your job is to do what you can to manage the realities of buying and selling wholesale merchandise.
- Wholesale merchandise can be inconsistent. You’ll likely find that many manufacturers make the same or extremely similar items, especially when shopping for unbranded products. But that means subtle differences between two seemingly identical batches or products can exist. It also means separating legitimate listings from sketchy ones can be tough.
- Wholesale products may have passed through many hands. Depending on the source of your products, they may have spent time in warehouses or been shipped to and from stores. More movement means more potential for damage.
- A large volume of products inevitably creates concerns. Even if defects only affect around one in a hundred products, ordering bulk wholesale merchandise means you might have several individual items that need addressing.
- Wholesale merchandise is a commitment. Once you purchase your products, the deal is done. Some sellers may accept returns or exchanges, but most won’t.
Common Quality Control Problems
Some quality control issues are hard to spot at a glance but can become problems down the road. Some examples to watch for include:
- Minor damage: scratches, dings, etc.
- Incorrect or missing branding
- Dirt or grime on products
- Missing or broken pieces
- Poor or incorrect color matching
- Defective or incorrect design
- Missing or incorrect labels
Understanding Quality Control Standards
Each e-commerce platform used to sell wholesale goods has its own quality control expectations and guidelines. Be sure to read up on the details that apply to you. Below are some of the overarching strategies companies use to ensure the products customers receive are legitimate.
You’re already a step ahead if you sell products through the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program. FBA allows you to ship products directly to an Amazon warehouse after purchasing them from a supplier.
From there, Amazon handles storing, packaging, labeling, and shipping your products. It also carries out some level of quality control.
Visibly damaged or incorrect products can be noted before your item is sent out. Amazon’s customer service team may also step in to handle any quality control issues after shipment.
It’s also important to be vigilant with quality control on your end. Amazon trackers seller metrics like a seller’s order defect rate, which is determined by how many of your products are reported as defective. Sellers must aim to keep this rate below 1%. Your account may be shut down if it gets hit with lots of customer complaints.
While eBay may not offer much quality control on the company’s end, it does have some rules that help protect sellers and buyers. For instance, the VeRO Program helps intellectual property owners report counterfeit listings.
But what’s more helpful is the site’s seller rating system, which lets shoppers share their thoughts on item quality, shipping, value, and more.
Walmart Marketplace utilizes more thorough vetting procedures for third-party sellers than other retailers. The company has high standards for suppliers, quality, and product authenticity. But, since not all products are fulfilled by Walmart, sellers are tasked with ensuring their shipments arrive in good shape.
You’ll need to follow all Merchant Center guidelines to list wholesale products without getting them removed. Google asks for accurate product data that you’ll only be able to provide if you’re informed about what you’re buying.
Tips to Help You Sell Quality Products
Learn to identify quality products and manage your inventory carefully with these essential tips.
- Know Your Stuff: Make sure you understand the law and origins of your products. Research manufacturers to be sure products come from a trustworthy source. Stay informed about recalls so you can adjust listings or contact customers.
- Keep All Documentation: It’s smart to hang on to all documents related to your product, such as lab testing results and any other records (purchase orders, invoices, etc.) that help identify your suppliers.
- Review Your Products: If you can’t get your hands on your product before it ships to customers, consider consulting an expert to review products for problems. Another option is to order one of your products yourself or turn to customer reviews for insight. Regularly check in to make sure there are no inconsistencies.
- Shop Smart: Don’t trust just anyone with your money, especially when shopping for wholesale merchandise.
For quality merchandise that won’t disappoint, shop with established wholesale sellers like NexDeal. Check out our rotating daily wholesale deals to see what’s new, or download a complete list of our inventory to see all of our amazing product options.