What is Reference Sample Comparison?

Ship your product samples to our team. Use for products with unique textures, colors, and shapes.

How it Works

  1. You ship samples to our warehouse in the country of inspection.
  2. We repackage the units in a tamper-evident seal and ship them to the factory for delivery before the inspection. The factory is advised not to open the samples or the package.
  3. The inspector verifies the product is still within the tamper-evident seal, and takes pictures and/or videos to show the reference sample on the report.
  4. The inspector uses the reference sample to compare to the produced units.
  5. After the inspection, the inspector ships the reference samples back to our warehouse for storage or to ship them back to you. Alternatively, the inspector can leave the samples at the factory.

When is it needed

We highly recommend sending reference samples for all products you inspect with us. That said, reference samples are optional, but there are certain kinds of products where it's more important than others. If your product fits any of the below criteria, we'd highly recommend sending us a sample:

  • Unique Texture, or Feel: Your product has a unique texture, or feel that's hard to describe in words or pictures. For example, you might have a metal product with a unique surface coating.
  • Exact Specific Color: You are looking to nail down an exact specific color. Take for example the blue/gold dress that went around the internet. Pictures DO NOT illustrate color well, and what the inspector says is highly dependent on the lighting and camera where the photo was taken, and the device on which it's viewed. You can give the inspector other identifying information such as a Pantone number, but raw materials can change color during manufacturing especially with textures and surface coatings/polishing.
  • Irregular, or complex shape: Products that have a unique shape can be hard to measure and describe appropriately in the booking form or in pictures. Inspectors can compare measurements, weights, and overall shape from the reference sample.
  • Handmade Items: Handmade items can variate from unit to unit, unlike mass-manufactured products. Inspectors can have a hard time determining what units are acceptable and which ones are not. For handmade items, sending multiple samples that cover most of the variable units that the inspector can use can significantly aid the inspector in identifying bad units from good units. It also allows the inspector to dive down into extreme detail with specific grooves, and the overall feel of the product.


We charge a flat fee of $35/inspection for inspections containing reference samples. This fee includes the following:

  • Shipping from our warehouse to the factory and back for most standard/small products
  • Re-packaging & Handling Costs at the warehouse
  • Storage costs for the sample at the warehouse
  • Additional administrative costs for coordination

Movley doesn't really make money on this addon, and we do it because it makes your inspection significantly more effective.

Please note, you are still responsible for the shipping cost of the product from you to the warehouse, and back if you'd like us to return it to you after the inspection. We cover the shipping from the warehouse to the factory and back for most standard-size products. If your product exceeds these standards, we may assess a very small shipping charge to cover shipping & handling.

Booking inspections with reference samples

Reference samples need to be shipped from you to our warehouse which can take a few days to several weeks. Learn more here about how much notice to give Movley from the date of inspection!

Ready to book your inspection with a reference sample?

Check out these additional articles to learn how to fill out the booking form accordingly, and how to properly ship samples to us!