In the past, eBay has toyed with various ways to introduce official eBay order fulfillment services for their clients and sellers. For instance, eBay enterprise, branched off from the business and provided fulfillment options for enterprise customers specifically. However, this was sold and officially rebranded in 2016. The company also used to offer eBay Valet. With this service, sellers were able to drop the items off at an eBay warehouse and the items would then be shipped out by the company. Similar to Enterprise, this fulfillment solution was shut down in 2018.
Since then, eBay has released various surveys hinting at the possibility of an eBay order fulfillment service similar to the one that Amazon provides to their sellers. However, to date, that system has not yet emerged. This doesn’t mean you can’t gain fulfillment when selling through eBay. You certainly can and there are numerous benefits that you will gain from doing this. Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages that must be considered too. Let’s look at the pros and cons of eBay order fulfillment services to explore whether this is the right choice for you.
One of the big benefits of eBay fulfillment for the business owner is a lower level of fees. When you work with a fulfillment company, you are going to gain a secondary connection to reputable and trusted providers of shipping. That means you’ll benefit from the lower rates that they charge. Your customers benefit too because you’ll be able to charge less for shipping without needing to worry about issues with maintaining profitability. Of course, affordable shipping costs for customers will also provide another distinct advantage.
Improved Seller Ratings
One of the best facts about selling on eBay is the automatic change to your seller rating based on your shipping policy or standards. If you explore the policy, you’ll find that if you offer free shipping and eBay can prove the buyer didn’t pay for shipping, you will gain an automatic five-star rating for this area of your service. Even if you don’t provide completely free shipping, you are going to see lower costs here. That means customers are more likely to provide a higher rating here and for other areas like speed and quality. Since a large company will be handling your shipping with eBay order fulfillment, you can all but guarantee a faster turnaround time than if you were sending out the products and fulfilling orders yourself.
Lower Return Rates
Returns can be irritating and time consuming through eBay. That’s why you’ll be thrilled to hear that if you use a fulfillment service returns are likely to be lower. You won’t have to spend all your time dealing with items coming back. In fact, you won’t have to handle the returns at all because they’ll take care of it for you. They’ll handle all the legwork and make sure that interactions between your business and customers are kept completely professional. This also means that you are again likely to see a higher seller rating and an improved opinion of your customer support. This is what you need and with fulfillment it becomes a stronger possibility.
Hands Off With Logistics
Most sellers on eBay do not want to constantly keep a check on their store and their orders. At the same time though, it’s important to make sure that orders are sent out as quickly as possible. You don’t want to keep customers waiting because this will earn you poor reviews and damage the reputation of your business. eBay fulfillment effectively solves this issue because here you’ll be able to completely trust in the fulfillment centre to complete the order for you. As soon as the payment is processed the order can be packaged and sent out with virtually no delay. So, you keep your business rep intact and you don’t have to stress about individual fulfillments.
International Shipping Made Easy
While eBay doesn’t provide an actual fulfillment service they do offer the Global Shipping Programme or GSP. The GSP is designed to ensure that international shipping from both the US and UK can be as easy as shipping domestically. Once the package reaches the global shipping centre, eBay takes on full responsibility and ensures that customers benefit from a range of features including free international tracking.
It’s Not The Same As Other Sites
Those who are used to fulfillment through sites like Amazon are going to be in for a shock when they try to do the same through eBay. As already mentioned, official fulfillment offered by the company doesn’t really exist. The closest was eBay enterprise which eventually became Radial Inc. While Radial Inc. does offer fulfillment, officially they are no longer tied to eBay at all. They do however provide solutions for large companies like Gamestop and Shoe Carnival.
This essentially means that if you want fulfillment through eBay, you need to choose a third party provider. That makes it a buyers market which ensures that rates differ depending on which company you choose. So while fulfillment through eBay should be cheap, it can be quite expensive. Reliability and turnaround will also differ from business to business as well.
Lower Levels Of Control
Another significant issue with fulfillment through eBay is that you are losing some degree of control you had over your brand and your reputation. You might trust a fulfillment service to deliver your products faster than you can and provide savings to your customers. But, if a business fails to do this then it will be your brand that suffers. If you’re handling the fulfillment, you’ll be able to decide how fast you need to correct an issue. With a fulfillment solution on eBay, it will all depend on the level of service that they provide.
We hope this helps you determine whether fulfillment through eBay is the right choice for your business. While a total fulfillment solution is not currently available through the marketplace, it’s likely eBay is going to announce official plans soon based on recent surveys. When this occurs, you will be able to gain access to the benefits we have mentioned without the issue of needing to interact with third parties.