eBay invest in fulfilment service Shipwire

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There have been rumours of eBay opening a fulfilment business for a while with surveys of sellers fuelling the debate. Would you trust eBay to pick and pack your orders and would you get automatic DSRs if they did so?

eBay fulfilment may have just taken a step closer to becoming a reality as eBay have just invested in Shipwire. Shipwire provide shipping software and offer outsourced pick, pack and ship ecommerce order fulfillment services. They have a network of warehouses to which sellers send their inventory based in the US, Canada, or Europe, and then connect Shipwire to their online store or marketplace.

Shipwire uses “least-cost routing” to optimally pick, pack and ship orders to the buyers faster, and for lower shipping costs than the merchant can normally source themselves.

The new investment came from two investors – eBay and Newell Rubbermaid (who own the DYMO and Endicia brands) join Shipwire’s current investor Meakem Becker Venture Capital.

Whilst there is no suggestion that eBay will be launching eBay branded fulfilment services they’re definitely dipping their toe into the fulfilment arena and will doubtless gain expertise (let’s try avoid a Craigslist type battle though!) It wouldn’t surprise me to see eBay fulfilment services powered by Shipwire launched in the near future.

This fulfilment service investment by eBay announcement comes on an interesting day as Amazon have also chosen today to announce EU wide Amazon fulfilment services.

20 Responses

  1. its one step closer for me to abandon my warehouse and get a decent fulfilment service. Yes I would trust ebay 100%, but would want some safeguards – e.g.

    – No trashing of DSR’s if the fulfilment is late, or problems arise.
    – customer service provided
    – full refund of sale price if item lost in post.

    My aim is to move to Canada and have my business run in UK via fulfilment services withing the next 5 years…I cant wait to quit the UK as a place to live. Cant wait to see more about this service.

  2. Ebay are constantly tinkering and trying to move towards an Amazonian platform but are constantly failing.
    Amazon is a stable selling platform.

    When changes are made, there is a good reason and the changes are beneficial. Ebay seem to make changes just for the sake of making changes.

    Amazon sells products and understands the problems associated with selling, whereas eBay simply hasn’t got a clue. I trust Amazon to hold my stock and to ship it. I wouldn’t risk any fulfilment package which involves eBay.

    Having recently commenced to use Amazon FBA I have emailed and telephoned Amazon support several times and have always received excellent customer service.

    I dread contacting eBay customer support. Not all eBay CS are Muppets, but a fair few are, indeed some have been downright rude.

    Over the last few years selling Ebay was my main selling platform and Amazon was producing about 10% of my sales. This ratio is changing monthly and going positively in Amazons favour. It’s now a 70 / 30 mix, and should it ever reach 70/30, in favour of Amazon I will probably abandon eBay completely.

    I will miss that income, but I will not miss the constant nonsense of eBay, so would I ever us Fulfilment by EBay – I don’t think so.

  3. i think you will find that they will tie it all in with the outlets.

    Ebay is dead. Search does not work and you are no longer garuanteed to find what you want as they have kicked too many sellers.

    There is hardly anything unique left on ebay , if its on ebay its also more than likely it will be on amazon

  4. Let me suggest one question to assess the health or otherwise of eBay in comparison to Amazon.

    If you wanted to buy a product (Product A) and it was offered for exactly the same overall price (Cost + postage) in the exact same condition by eBay and Amazon, which would you choose?
    To me there is no contest and Amazon would win every time.

    Whilst eBay continue to sell the weird and wonderful they will remain a viable market place (which is where they started). The constant repetition of Free listing days for private sellers is evidence that that they are best placed to sell single one off items.

    However for New goods and in particular the regular availably of those good from other markets i.e. Amazon I believe that eBay is a dead man walking.

  5. I think the diffence between eBay and Amazon boils down to the fact that Amazon is a retailer and eBay are not. People can trust Amazon if it supplied a good service, but with eBay, they have a whole host of sellers from private sellers to businesses and all the sales and return policies are different to each other. Most people I know view eBay much the same as a car boot sale and thats eBays problem and Amazons advantage. I think Amazons going to replace eBay and thats why eBay are reinventing themselves as a second rate Amazon.

  6. Like many eBay related topics discussed within Tamebay the stability or rather lack of it within the decision making processes of eBay management makes the prospect of a fulfilment service unlikely.

    I and I suspect many other sellers have received unjustified feedback and have been warned about policy violations which could lead to the loss of my TSR status or suspension my account. Contact with customer support is a hit and miss affair and I have no confidence in them whatsoever.

    Would any business seller commit themselves to a eBay managed or influenced fulfilment service when eBay hold a big stick over them. Should eBay ever suspend me, it will hurt but I will continue to sell on other channels. If a large portion of my stock was tied up in a eBay linked fulfilment centre the stick only gets bigger.

    I don’t really like eBay that much and making a buck gets harder all the time. I sell on eBay to make money and if that process involves paying fees then so be it – that’s business. But eBay doesn’t seem to understand business – I know that there will some who will tell me that they are making millions and millions, but are they? They are receiving listing and selling fees – that’s all. If they go then eBay goes with it. Amazon could loose all its 3rd party sellers overnight and still keep going.

    Ebay can only exist if sellers list products and pay their fees. Until EBay realise that their customers are ‘SELLERS’ and not buyers they will continue to huff and fluff.

    If eBay could provide the necessary stability I would use a fulfilment service and sell more than I currently do, but I have no intention of putting all my eggs in the ebay basket.

  7. There is no way I would use ebay fulfilment.
    I use Amazon fulfilment for some high selling items but even this has major drawbacks. Instead of having one stock accross all platforms, I have to delegate stock away from the other platforms, which can result in stock shortages, over stocking etc.
    Fulfilment works best for very high volume sellers who can be sure that they sell more by using fulfilment or have a cost benefit by not administrating sales directly.
    With Amazon I have had stock regularly go missing on arrival at their depot, but at least they deal with these problems in a proactive way. I would have no faith that ebay would have this concern or care.

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