Thursday 13 Dec 2018

Inspections: Where to Inspect Products?

Where to inspect your ordered products can be a tricky question, because ideally you want inspect the products before accepting them – so that you can reject them without having to pay for them.

If you inspect the products at your supplier’s facilities, you can immediately reject them if they aren’t good quality. However, this usually isn’t a practical option, since your supplier is often thousands of miles away from you. More likely, you’ll do the inspections at your own facilities. But will it then be too late to reject low-quality products and get your money back?

This all hinges on the legal meaning of “acceptance”. To most people, “acceptance” means receiving products and then deciding to keep them. But for and payment processors such as Paypal, “acceptance” might mean the mere act of taking delivery of the products. Whether you like them or not, you’ve “accepted” the products – and your supplier is entitled to his payment – when you receive shipment and there’s a shipping record to prove it.

So you might have to be careful about where – and when – you inspect your ordered products. The best place to inspect them is at your supplier’s facilities. No one can argue you’ve “accepted” the products at this point.

But if the products have already entered your country, you might want to inspect them before they clear customs. If they’re unsatisfactory, reject and return them immediately.

Another possibility is to have the products delivered to your local post office and do inspections there in the presence of a postal agent (so the supplier can’t accuse you of damaging the shipment). If the products aren’t satisfactory, immediately refuse acceptance and return them to the supplier. Check with your local post office to see if this option is possible.

In any case, the whole point is to not “accept” any products unless you’re satisfied with them.

You can avoid all this legal wrangling by specifying the exact meaning of “acceptance” in your contract with your supplier. For example, you might want to explicitly reserve a 30-day inspection period, during which time you can reject and return any ordered products. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about exactly where – and when – you should do your inspections.


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