3 Common Mistakes & $13,000 Of Unsellable Goods

The following skype transcript is an all too familiar event to us at Easy Imex.

We are contacted by an importer AFTER they have received a consignment of broken or worthless goods.

With the kind permission of “Alex” we’ve published a recent skype conversation so others can learn from the mistakes he made when importing from China. In this case “Alex” bought over $13,000 of product from a china supplier which turned up in such poor condition it would be impossible to sell to his customers.

There are 3 major takeaways to consider:

3 Major Takeaways

    1. Don’t trust samples as being the same quality as your actual production.
    2. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because I’ve ordered over and over with no problems – there will be no problems. In this case Alex had ordered many times before, with no problems. Just as his confidence was high and he was ready to order in larger amounts, he became overconfident and thought spending an extra couple hundred dollars on Quality Control (QC) wasn’t worth it.
    3. Don’t EVER rely on a suppliers in house quality control. Always do your own independent QC. In this case, had Alex spent extra money, he would have saved a fortune in the long run.

Hopefully others can learn from these mistakes.


[8:34:06 AM] alex: Hi Tom its Alex. I’ve had a slight problem I have recently imported a load of duff helicopters would your company be able to help?????????????????

[8:34:48 AM] Thomas Cutler: hi alex

[8:35:16 AM] Thomas Cutler: firstly, I assume the helicopters are in the UK right now?

[8:37:17 AM] alex: yes they are I got them over here having been sent some decent samples however the the circuit board on most of the helicopters is really poor and the packaging is quite bad as well

[8:38:19 AM] Thomas Cutler: Unfortunately if the goods have left China it’s too late to do anything about it. How much did you order?

[8:39:48 AM] alex: 500pcs unfortunatley mate just goes to show you cant always trust the sample quality

[8:42:04 AM] Thomas Cutler: Did you get quality control done on the helicopters before they were exported?

[8:43:54 AM] alex: yes I had quality control done by the factory itself they said everything passed and all was well I shouldn’t have trusted them to be honest but I just took their word for it

[8:59:39 AM] Thomas Cutler: Yes, never take the factory’s word on quality control (assuming you were actually dealing with a factory)…It’s the fox guarding the henhouse.

[8:59:54 AM] Thomas Cutler: Real quality control has to be independent.

[9:03:46 AM] alex: Ok cheers for the info mate I guess you only really learn from your mistakes. 199 dollar quality control doesn’t seem so expensive seeing as it could save me from ordering a load of dodgy goods

[9:08:30 AM] Thomas Cutler: Alex, your exact experience happens all the time. Not doing QC and getting a load of dodgy goods… Many people have your exact experience and if they had done QC before exporting the goods it would have saved them a lot of money.

[9:11:11 AM] Thomas Cutler: Many people just refuse to do QC. They don’t see the value. But experienced China importers always get product inspected because this happens so often.

[9:14:11 AM] alex: yeah I was the same to be honest at first as I thought I would save myself some money by not doing it as I have had good suppliers in past and so thought nothing of it but it seems you can only push your luck so far.

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    About the Author: Adam

    Adam Gilbourne is the Founder and Managing Director of Easy Imex. Since 2005, he has helped hundreds of companies worldwide to successfully import from China. He has a large expertise on product sourcing, quality assurance, and supply chain management.

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