If you read our recent blog on how to start selling on eBay, you already have the tools and knowledge you need to get started on the eBay marketplace. However, once your stock starts rolling in and orders begin piling up, managing that eBay business can be challenging – especially if you’re selling from home (like so many eCommerce merchants have had to shift to lately).
In this guide, we’ll explore eBay fulfillment services, how they can help you scale, what to look for in a provider, and 3 options to consider for your store.
Why to use an eBay fulfillment service
An eBay fulfillment service handles the storage, picking, packing, and shipping of your eBay orders for you. This great if you’ve got limited time and/or limited space.
But, there are many more reasons to use an eBay fulfillment service, such as faster deliveries, wider coverage, and even cost savings.
eBay fulfillment providers have the staff, resources, and expertise to quickly deliver your orders, enabling you to offer customers fast delivery speeds. eBay’s fast shipping program comes with badging that highlights delivery timelines and encourages shoppers through purchase.
An eBay fulfillment service should have multiple warehouse locations across the country. As you add warehouse locations, you increase your coverage and expand your reach to provide as many shoppers as possible with fast and affordable shipping options.
The more places you have inventory in, the shorter the distance your items have to travel to reach your buyers. For example, Deliverr strategically places inventory close to historic demand and continually reevaluates these placements with machine learning, to shorten the distance between where your items are stored and where your buyers live.
Speaking of warehouse locations, fulfillment services can adapt their space to your needs. Whether you need more space during the holidays, or less space over summer, you’ll have the right storage and staff that can adjust to your needs.
A fulfillment service can leverage the power of bulk buying to access cheaper storage, packaging, and shipping rates, passing these savings onto your business. This is especially useful when looking to offer free shipping to get eBay Fast ‘N Free tags on your listings (more on that soon).
Expertise and quality
Finally, an eBay fulfillment service is an expert at delivering items quickly, safely, and cheaply. Their processes are already built out and time-tested, which means you can rely on their expertise when issues come up and as you scale.
Importance of eBay Fast ‘N Free tags
We mentioned this briefly above, but eBay Fast ‘N Free has such a significant impact on conversions that it deserves a section to highlight the benefits of fast shipping. When you use a fulfillment service focused on speed like Deliverr, your listings qualify for eBay Fast ‘N Free tags. These are bright green tags automatically added to listings where items can be delivered within 4 days for free.
Obtaining this elusive tag next to your product listings is important because they;
- Make listings more prominent in search results
- Ensure listings are included when shoppers filter for fast shipping
- Increase your chances of winning conversions from time-poor shoppers
- Enhance trust under the eBay guaranteed badge
eBay takes into account your average handling times, shipping services, warehouse locations, and tracking information when allocating Fast ‘N Free tags.
While you can certainly meet the eligibility criteria yourself, in-house, maintaining the eligibility requirements in-house can be tricky, especially during busy periods. Using an eBay fulfillment service can take care of marketplace SLAs and ensure seamless coverage nationwide.
What to look for in an eBay fulfillment service
Outsourcing any part of your business is a big decision, especially when it can directly impact customer happiness and reviews. Look at these few key aspects of a fulfillment service before you choose your partner.
- Coverage – Do they use intelligent distribution to offer nationwide fast shipping?
- Integration – Do they integrate with eBay to process orders, and can they integrate with your other sales channels?
- Speed – Do they meet eBay’s Fast ‘N Free requirements, and can they offer faster speeds of 2-day or next-day delivery?
- Pricing – Is their pricing clear and affordable, with no hidden extras?
- Flexible – Can you get started with a small volume of stock or product lines?
Tip: Check your fulfillment prices on our cost calculator.
Your intended fulfillment provider should happily answer these questions and provide you with testimonials to back-up their claims.
3 eBay fulfillment services
Let’s look at 3 interesting fulfillment partner options to help you get started on your search.
Deliverr is an eCommerce fulfillment partner that offers eBay fulfillment, as well as fulfillment for Amazon, Walmart, Wish, and Shopify.
You become automatically eligible for eBay Fast ‘N Free using Deliverr, thanks to the following features:
- Multiple warehouses covering 2-day delivery to 95% of the US
- Delivery speeds of up to 2-day and next-day delivery
- Guaranteed delivery speeds with seller protection on SLAs
- Clear and simple pricing, helping to calculate the business costs of free delivery
You can also get started with Deliverr by uploading just a small number of products, allowing you to test outsourced fulfillment for your eBay store before fully committing.
2. eBay Managed Delivery
In July 2019, eBay announced the launch of eBay Managed Delivery, an end-to-end fulfillment service for eBay sellers. You could think of it as fulfillment by eBay, since it would use eBay warehouses and services directly instead of a third party.
Operating in a similar way to Amazon FBA and Deliverr, eBay Managed Delivery will provide sellers with storage, packing, and shipping functionality that results in faster delivery times and lower shipping costs.
However, the pilot program closed in December 2019, with no further word from eBay about its future. Should eBay Managed Delivery launch later this year, we expect it to be well-suited to eBay-only sellers with a high volume of small, lightweight product sales. However, without knowing the pricing, eligibility, or future of the program, you’ll have to watch this space.
3. Amazon Multi-Channel FBA
If you currently use FBA for your Amazon fulfillment, you can use Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment to deliver the same products to your eBay customers.
Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment uses FBA warehouses and networks to deliver your products to non-Amazon customers. This has the benefits of keeping your fulfillment in one place and maintaining delivery speeds of 2-days or under, but there are cautions to using Multi-Channel FBA.
Aside from Amazon charging more to fulfill multi-channel orders, eBay has been known to suppress sellers using FBA for eBay orders, due to tracking incompatibility and Amazon-branded boxes. If you are using FBA to fulfill eBay orders, proceed at your own risk.
Your fulfillment operation is one of the most important operations of your eCommerce business. It affects your stock levels, customer experience, and your ability to continue making sales on various marketplaces.
With the right eBay fulfillment service, you can be confident that your stock and delivery standards are maintained, exceeded, and capable of withstanding whatever pandemic is thrown its way – all ready for you to begin growing your eBay sales.