Sajag Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of Movley and a former seven-figure Amazon seller. Movley is a Chicago-based company working to streamline and automate worldwide manufacturing and supply-chain through tech. With Movley, Sajag helps brands manufacturing in China build better products through on-the-ground quality control inspections.
In 2015, Sajag started his first e-commerce brand, which grew to over $2 million a year in less than two years. Plagued with quality control problems, he moved to China for six months, opened an office in Shenzhen, and spent his time on the factory floor. He watched as inspectors fraudulently passed his bad production orders, so he started doing his own inspections. Out of frustration in 2018, he then founded Movley to make manufacturing overseas easier and effective. Movley optimizes tech, data analytics, and a better process to do inspections efficiently.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- What private label Amazon sellers should know about quality control systems and how US-based sellers can vet products without having to fly to China.
- The types of products that are riskier for private label sellers.
- Sajag talks about factory audits and what they involve, the right time to do product inspections, and how to get factory owners to agree to factory audits.
- What e-commerce sellers and inspectors should do when product inspections fail and how to respond when a manufacturer claims to do his own internal inspections at the production line.
- Sajag talks about the inspection specifications sellers should include in their contracts with Chinese manufacturers and common mistakes established brands make
- What inspired Sajag to set up a product inspection company and his thoughts on taking risks.
- The future of private label Amazon sellers manufacturing or outsourcing from China.
- The upcoming brands that help private label sellers manage their businesses.
- How Sajag’s mentality has changed as he moves brands toward better quality products and away from bad orders.
In this episode…
Product returns and bad online reviews often negatively impact an e-commerce brand’s business. They also lead to loss of sales and may make other potential customers avoid buying from the brand. To minimize the potential for catastrophe, it’s essential for private label e-commerce sellers to adequately inspect and vet the products they receive from manufacturers before shipping them to their customers.
However, in cases where e-commerce sellers outsource their products from overseas markets like China, product inspections and quality control systems can pose a big challenge. The distance involved makes the ability to physically inspect the products not only difficult and cumbersome but expensive.
In this week’s episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, James Thomson sits down with Sajag Agarwal, the CEO and Founder of Movley, to talk about the strategies private label e-commerce sellers should use when performing product inspections and factory audits. They discuss the benefits of having quality control systems, how to conduct factory audits for Chinese manufacturers, and the common mistakes e-commerce sellers often make with product inspections.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Controlling Your Brand in The Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive’s Playbook For Winning Online by James Thomson and Whitney Gibson
- Sajag Agarwal on LinkedIn
- Disruptive Advertising
- Helium 10
Sponsor for this episode…
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.
Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast where we bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
James Thomson 0:18
Hi, I’m James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts Podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I’m the co-author of a couple of books on Amazon, including the recent book, Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. When you hire Buy Box Experts, you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. Buy Box Experts combines executive level advisory services with expert performance management and execution of your Amazon channel strategy. Go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more.
Before I introduce our guest today, I want to send a big shout out to the team at Disruptive Advertising. For off Amazon advertising, Disruptive Advertising offers the highest level of service in the digital marketing industry, focusing on driving traffic, converting traffic and enterprise analytics. Disruptive helps their clients increase their bottom line month after month. Check out disruptiveadvertising.com to learn more. Today, our guest is Sajag Agarwal, founder of Movley and a former seven figure Amazon seller. In 2015, He started his first e-commerce brand which he grew to over $2 million a year in less than two years. Plagued with quality control problems, Sajag moved to China for six months, opening an office in Shenzhen and spent his time on the factory floor. He watched inspectors fraudulently pass his bad production orders. So he started doing his own inspections and out of frustration in 2018, he founded Movley to make manufacturing overseas easier and more controllable. Movley brings tech, data analytics and a better process to do inspections more efficiently. So Sajag, welcome. And thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast.
Sajag Agarwal 2:14
Thanks so much for having me, James. I’m super excited into everybody listening. Hopefully, this is super valuable. And guys get a lot of actionable insights from this.
James Thomson 2:24
So let me start by asking you, as your company name suggests, you help brands build and move products continuously through the supply chain. Unlike most Amazon private label sellers, the source of China, you saw firsthand what actually happens on the factory floor. It makes me nervous to think what kinds of products are showing up on Amazon today that the sellers think have passed some sort of quality control evaluation. Let me ask you, what should private label sellers be thinking about with regards to quality control systems today?
Sajag Agarwal 2:52
Yeah, that’s huge. Thank you for that question. So yeah, I mean, in terms of returns, returns in e-commerce are about four times higher than returns in brick and mortar. And that’s just generally commerce on Amazon, my hunches is even higher for a lot of different products. And when it comes down to such a high return rate, and you know, having reviews for your products, the quality control demands from buyers on the e-commerce side of things are much higher than buyers on the brick and mortar side of things. So when it comes to quality control, and inspections, things like that, ecommerce brands should be getting a lot deeper into all those kinds of things, because there’s going to be a bigger performance driving element for their sales versus a brick and mortar comparative.
James Thomson 3:34
So I’m a private label seller on Amazon, I get my stuff in China, I have some companies doing inspections. You’re telling me that there may be some problems in the inspection process? How do I as a seller based in the US? How do I start to vet things without having to physically be in China all the time?
Sajag Agarwal 3:53
Yeah, that’s a really tough question. And the truth is, it’s hard. It’s really hard, you know, working halfway across the world to manufacture your products. And when it comes to the process, what I mostly see when it comes to the inspection process, which is kind of a critical fail point, is the inspection process is not really thorough. So if you go on like other websites, and you go look at inspection companies, things like that, they actually go on their website, that, hey, we do a workmanship inspection on maybe eight 500 units or up to that, okay, and the function tests and the wear and tear test conformity test, they just do that on 123 units. And that’s a big problem. Because when you’re only testing three units for function, and you’re just looking at the rest of the products, and you’re like, wow, these products look good. That’s not really an answer of Yeah, these products are built properly, these products are doing what they’re supposed to do. And that’s when you start having issues. So if you have a 20% defect rate, every time you pick a unit, you have an 80% chance of picking a good Yes. So if you pick three good units, that inspection is passed with zero defects, not even one defect.
James Thomson 4:55
so then let’s do some simple math here. If I’m getting 1000 units, have something built. And I’ve had reasonable manufacturing in the past. And I don’t anticipate there’s going to be a big problem. How many of those 1000 units? Do you propose that I go and have the product tested?
Sajag Agarwal 5:14
Yeah, so we recommend using the ISO 2859 model. And essentially, ISO stands for international organization of standards. So these guys have spent a ton of money developing a statistical model to determine how many units you should quality control and inspect. Okay, so they actually have a system called AQL, acceptable quality limits, and that also proposes some sample sizes. So there’s three levels of sample sizes, level one, level two, level three. So level one is meant to be kind of a very quick inspection, level two is kind of a normal inspection. So if you sell to a brick and mortar store, a lot of times they’ll ask you for a level two inspection report, okay, then level three is a higher the highest sample size that model goes. That’s actually what I recommend for Amazon sellers, primarily, because when with Amazon sellers, you have a much higher risk of quality control problems, returns things like this. So we generally recommend level three, so like for an order of 1000, that’s about 125 units for level three, inspection.
James Thomson 6:10
That’s a lot of units, I can understand why someone would want to have thorough reviews, the first couple times they’re working with a manufacturer, do you see the need for thorough level three inspections continuing? As you’ve had more and more experience working with a particular manufacturer?
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