eBay order fulfillment may have a few challenges. Learn about solutions like dropshipping and partnering with eBay fulfillment services.
Want to hear something that will shock you? eBay is 25 years old.
It’s hard to believe that this B2C and C2C website started out selling broken laser pointers and vintage collectibles. However, eBay has become one of the biggest success stories of the dot com bubble; boasting 250 million searches per day worldwide.
Whether you’re a large business looking for another sales channel or a sole proprietor searching for a way to get exposure; eBay is undoubtedly one of the best places to sell goods. However, while eBay can provide unparalleled exposure for your products, the logistics of fulfilling and shipping those orders can prove challenging. Additionally, order fulfillment and shipping can even be the reasons why some sellers shy away from eBay.
Before you worry about how you will handle fulfilling orders, consider your options. There are many methods for efficiently managing your eBay order fulfillment; all it takes is a little homework to find the best options for your eBay business.
The Benefits of Selling on eBay
What started as a trendy way to pass time has become more than big business.
Over the past few years, eCommerce has become a fundamental part of the global retail structure. In 2019 alone, 1.92 billion people purchased goods and services online. Furthermore, eBay had a large piece of that pie; averaging $22 billion dollars in sales in the 4th quarter of 2019 alone.
eBay has become a pillar on the web while it continues expanding product offerings.
Despite the heavy competition from other eCommerce giants, eBay still stands out in certain areas; making them an ideal home for sellers. Selling on eBay is a relatively simple process. There are many tools and tutorial videos offered by eBay to help a vendor learn the ropes.
eBay is still the most popular auction site on the web.
Its automatic bidding feature continues to be an attraction for buyers. In addition, eBay’s marketplace is great for those looking to score deals on antiques, collector’s items, and more. Ultimately, eBay is the best place to find these types of unique, sentimental items.
The platform is also considered the best choice for business-to-business sales. In other orders, eBay is great for both wholesalers and small businesses looking to sell their goods. Another great perk is that it’s significantly cheaper for sellers to use eBay than their higher-priced competitors.
How eBay Orders are Processed
eBay has developed some distinct ways to process and fulfill millions of orders a day.
As a seller on eBay, your products showcase in an eBay store with your username credentials. Depending on the types of products you’re selling and the volume of sales, you have two choices. You can either opt into selling items with the “buy it now” feature, which sells at a fixed price. Or, you can auction your goods; which works well for used items or collectibles that are hard to find.
When it comes to selling products on eCommerce sites, the name of the game is quick turnaround time.
Once you begin selling items, you’ll want to monitor your store often to ensure you’re on top of your sales. Sites like Amazon have set a standard for low-cost shipping charges and rapid-fire shipping. Because of this, buyers expect to receive deeply discounted—if not entirely free—shipping charges. Furthermore, buyers also expect incredibly quick turnaround times from order processing to getting their item.
The eBay community is very focused on its seller ratings system and feedback. So, buyers are strongly urged to provide reviews for their orders. A quick scan of seller ratings will show that most ratings are based on shipping costs; as well as the length of delivery time. This is why choosing the right fulfillment process (or partner) is so vital to the success of your eBay store.
The success of your eBay store will largely be determined by your ratings. Therefore you’ll want to ensure your backend fulfillment is one that is as efficient and effective as possible.
How to Fulfill eBay Orders
While it’s clear that eBay is an excellent choice for today’s eCommerce seller, deciding the best method to fulfill and ship orders can be slightly more challenging.
The ideal manner to handle your logistics sold on an eCommerce site like eBay depends on several different factors.
However, guides from fulfillment experts like, Print Bind Ship, can help you determine the ideal process for your business. In general, there are four different fulfillment options to consider; handle order fulfillment in-house by yourself, dropshipping, hiring a 3PL partner, or use eBay’s fulfillment center.
While there are positives to each method, there are also some drawbacks.
Fulfilling Orders In-house
When a seller is first starting out on eBay, fulfilling orders in-house may seem like the most natural choice. However, if your plan is to grow your business or to have it become a profitable sales channel, fulfilling orders in-house can be very challenging.
FrommMaintaining inventory, tracking orders, and packaging supplies, tp the time and transportation constraints. These are all complicated processes to consider when handling fulfillment in-house. If your business continues to grow, it’s likely you’ll find you have to hire someone to manage this. Ultimately, this can add significant costs to your profitability.
One big drawback of those attempting to handle fulfillment in-house is dealing with the exorbitant and constantly changing shipping costs. Many shipping companies’ prices can change depending on; package weight and dimensions, the origin, the destination of the package, and the requested delivery time. With that being said, eBay draws a substantial international audience. So, if you’re open to shipping globally, you’ll be paying a great deal more for international packages.
These costs can run very high. Since most buyers now expect to receive free shipping on their purchases, these costs can be incurred by you. One of the best ways to avoid steep packaging and shipping costs is to turn your fulfillment services over to a 3PL.
Experienced 3PL partners like Print Bind Ship have access to shipping discounts and packaging knowledge. The end result will be better shipping and handling bottom line for your business.
Choosing the Right Shipping Options
Another major component of in-house fulfillment is determining which shipping service you will use. This is because there are benefits and drawbacks to all of the “big three”; FedEx, USPS, and UPS.
Some of them specialize in shipping certain types of packages and to different destinations. Therefore, you will need to be tactical in your approach in order to maximize your shipping budget. For example, if you’re shipping fragile or heavy items, shipping using USPS Priority Mail might be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re shipping internationally, you might want to opt for FedEx.
This can result in a lot of effort to gain “insider” knowledge and supplies. Overall, it might be a better option to use an expert 3PL partner that deals with these types of challenges on a regular basis.
Learn more about the best fulfillment options for small businesses.
While eBay’s new fulfillment service offers label partnerships with all of the big shipping giants, eBay doesn’t actually ship the packages themselves. You’re essentially giving eBay a cut of your profits to provide you with convenient labeling options. With this in mind, it’s worth considering if using a different 3PL that can provide a wider base of services; and if actually completing the shipping task for you is a preferable option.
eBay Fulfillment Service
As we’ve already discussed, eBay launched their Managed Delivery program in 2020.
It’s designed to make shipping for large volume sellers a more convenient, end-to-end procedure. Furthermore, the eBay fulfillment service is focused mainly on managing shipping costs and making the labeling process easy to access. Additionally, it was designed to shift some of the financial and logistics burden off of the seller’s plate.
While the eBay Managed Delivery service does provide some significant benefits to the seller, there is one drawback.
Sellers have found the lack of personalization and customization in packaging, with eBay; a major component of the modern-day eCommerce experience. For example, one of the biggest “buzz terms” to come from the eCommerce age is the “unboxing experience.” Having an aesthetically pleasing, brand-specific package has become so universal that there are entire Instagram channels dedicated to it!
Rather than have your packages arrive in generic eBay branded packaging, it’s worth considering the opportunity in partnering with a 3PL like Print Bind Ship, that offers custom boxes with your brand design and logo, and even customize the internal packaging of the product to enhance your buyer’s experience, and build loyalty and exposure for your eBay store and products.
Amazon FBA for eBay Fulfillment
There’s no doubt that Amazon has been a pioneer in eCommerce, and the trail it has blazed has set the overall tone and expectations for online buyers and sellers all over the world. It, therefore, makes sense that Amazon would create a fulfillment service for eBay sellers to utilize to ship their products. Using the Amazon FBA platform certainly provides a seller with unprecedented access to convenient, local storage space for your goods, which in turn provides amazingly quick delivery times. Additionally, Amazon FBA can handle returns and exchanges for you with ease.
However, just like with eBay’s Managed Delivery service, there are some drawbacks. Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, and therefore the prices for using their services is commensurate with that footprint. Amazon charges both storage fees and fulfillment fees along with long-term storage fees for your products. Coupled with this is that Amazon allows for your products to be packaged with products ordered from other vendors, and this takes away from both the showcase of your brand and potentially your reputation if the vendor you’re packaged with doesn’t have the same commitment to quality as you.
eBay Fulfillment orders with Print Bind Ship
Deciding to launch an eBay store is an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, but it’s one that requires you as a seller to do your homework to ensure you get it right.
For most sellers, making sure you have chosen the right way to handle eBay fulfillment will be the key to that success.
Choosing a 3PL like Print Bind Ship to handle your eBay fulfillment makes the most sense from every angle. Not only do you reap the benefits of their deep knowledge of shipping methods, costs, and processes; you also have the advantage of another channel to promote your brand through customized boxes and packaging. Having a proven 3PL inventory management system in place will also maximize your potential for growth. Partnering with a 3PL for your eBay fulfillment allows you to focus on the aspects of your business needing your attention. Overall, a 3PL can make selling on eBay a much more rewarding and profitable experience.