AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Aug 15 2010 17:45:44

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is surveying sellers on whether they would be interested in using a fulfillment service called eFulfillment Service. Sellers would send their inventory to eFulfillment Service,* which would store the items, and then pick, pack and ship orders as they were received. According to a seller who took the survey, benefits of using the service would include:
  • improved search exposure on eBay for listings that used the fulfillment service;
  • no low (1 or 2) Shipping DSR ratings for those orders.
Update 8/17/10: eBay responded to our inquiry and said it did survey several thousand sellers asking about their interest in a fulfillment service that could potentially be integrated with eBay.com. The survey did not link to eFulfillment Service, nor did it reference any specific vendors. "At this time, we are merely surveying sellers about the benefits of a fulfillment service and their desire to have access to one."

eBay is under pressure from some Wall Street analysts (including RBC Capital and Deutsche Bank) to offer fulfillment services - some analysts want eBay to actually move in the direction of inventory ownership. No doubt analysts are impressed with Amazon's success with its FBA fulfillment service; Amazon is building 13 new distribution centers this year.

But while Amazon's FBA fulfillment service offers some clear advantages to sellers, it's not without its problems, and isn't suitable for every product or category. One complaint, for example, is that Amazon.com allows buyers to return items with no questions asked.

Recently on the Amazon.com boards, a toy seller discussed the problem he faced with returned action figures that had been opened by customers, saying he was facing the prospect of losing money with FBA because he could not relist returned items that were no longer in mint condition.

This is not the first time eBay surveyed sellers about a possible fulfillment service - eBay surveyed sellers last year. The seller who took this month's survey said eBay asked about shipping carriers, shipping costs - including how much time they spent on packaging and shipping and how many workers they employed, and indicated eFullment Service would help control/handle returns and buyer issues.

Update 8/16/10: eFulfillment Service President John Lindberg said he has not been in talks with eBay, but would be delighted if eBay was interested in partnering with them. I have a request in to eBay asking if the survey linked to eFulfillment Service, as reported by a reader, and have not yet received a response.





Comments (78) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Sue Bailey This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Aug 15 18:02:31 2010

''no low (1 or 2) Shipping DSR ratings for those orders''

If we needed proof of what a farce DSRs have become, there it is. I thought feedback was meant to be the buyer's view of the transaction? Is eBay really saying that things can never go wrong with a fulfillment service? Or would this be just a bribe to use the new service?

Rhetorical question; I know the answer.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 15 18:13:50 2010

Would sellers who use this service still be vulnerable to scam buyers?  I betcha they will be ;-)

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 15 18:15:18 2010

Incidentally....they're going to keep using that "improved search" nonsense until the law beats them over the head with it!

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Sun Aug 15 19:03:50 2010

“PayPal Visit?”

Just to lighten the day, here’s a funny one about the Pope’s forthcoming visit to the UK.

http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/?p=4499&cpage=1#commen
t-18185

Some
discussion about the cost of the visit to the taxpayer, apparently.

There’s no real problem here, they should simply get all the papal visitors to charge everything to their PayPal accounts (eBay’s PayPal, that is) and then afterwards claim that none of the goods/services ever arrived. That way you can get the goods/services and never have to pay for them.

It’s a great system. Being a payer, I’m looking forward to Mastercard/Visa, on behalf of all their underlying financial institutions, also adopting the same simple mediation policy. Of course, I’m not sure how the PayPal merchant payees feel about such machinations. Then, they can always take the matter up with PayPal. Ho, Ho, Ho, ...

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: dumb idea

Sun Aug 15 19:20:51 2010

Sounds like a dumb idea, when Amazon is already well established.

How about just being ebay and stop the manipulation and constant changing?

Ebay has proven to do everything wrong and constantly kills off "projects" nothing survives because they buy it and forget about it. Half.com is a great example. I used to do incredibly well on Half.com until Ebay screwed it all up in a matter of months! Adcommerce...another recent screw up. It was good and they killed it.

I can see them starting this and then shutting it down after a year or so and having the sellers pay for the return shipping of all their inventory. Then the sellers will get their merchandise back short thousands of dollars in missing items. Or receive the wrong merchandise back all together.

Small sellers all across America have plenty of storage space. They could easily handle the selling if ebay would stop throwing roadblocks up every other day!

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: RicRoe

Sun Aug 15 19:25:19 2010

How many times does eBay believe they can roll out the higher placement in search Bull Ship?

There can be only one true top placement in search. Other placements are second degree, third degree, etc... and they are buried in eBay's secret algorithm which can be altered one way or another on a daily basis if eBay so chooses.

We know that no matter what, Diamonds have been promised top placement, and everyone else is subjected to whatever layering of visibility eBay decides they want to dole out.

As far as fulfillment itself, I will never trust my merchandise to a thrid party.

Under my control, mistakes are mine and mine alone, I will not trust a third party to treat my customers right.

Under my control, I would have no inventory loss or shrinkage due to employee errors or theft.

Under my control, my items are available for immediate listing, not reliant on receipt by a third party which may be backlogged before listings go live.

Under my control, I would be able to offer better pricing because I would not have to build in shipping to the fulfillment center into my costs, then have to add a second shipping charge to get inventory to the buyer.

As to what Wall Street wants or expects out of eBay....

Perhaps if John Donahoe had not run eBay so deeply into the ground, eBay would not have to pander to so called analysts who understand less about how eBay works than JD does.

Perhaps if John Donahoe had not destroyed the social connection between buyer and seller eBay would still be able to generate high sales volume.

John Donahoe has proven susceptible to analysts suggestions by making changes to appease those analysts. The result has been a decline in sales that John  Donahoe has proven unable to overcome.

If it were possible to rollback eBay to 2006/2007, buyers and sellers would be thriving, sales would be increasing, and eBay would not have to bend over to appease analysts expectations.

If eBay management paid less attention to Wall Street and instead focused on appealing to Main Street where the buyers and sellers are,  sales would recover and eBay would be much better off.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Sun Aug 15 19:55:53 2010

Unfortunately, the Wall Street stock value is the one that triggers the executive bonuses; need I say more? These turkeys can see no further ahead than tomorrow.

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: shipwire product fulfillment
Web Site

Sun Aug 15 20:17:00 2010

Shipwire has been offering fulfillment services to eBay sellers for quite some time and has real-time connections to eBay and paypal that work for anybody with those accounts.

Check us out too and keep a heads up for some insane new software features to address many of the concerns of the comments of this post including not all products being ready for fulfillment houses (true) and RicRoe's comments about not wanting to outsource fulfillment at all.  Stay tuned over the next couple weeks.


http://www.shipwire.com/help/ebay-auctions/

N
ate
Shipwire
team

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: ENOUGH ALREADY

Sun Aug 15 20:18:19 2010

eBay can kiss my a

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: another side of the coin

Sun Aug 15 20:18:42 2010

JD & Crew have the attention span of a gnat. Nothing like having a CEO who doesn't know his own marketplace and obviously shows signs of having ADHD. One of the signs is starting projects and not finishing them. He starts, gets distracted or loses interest, and goes on to the next sure to fail plan.

There really is nothing scarier than having a CEO this incompetent leading a business you have spent years building and cultivating.

I would never trust eBay's fulfillment with my items. The keyword here is trust and how many of us want to put trust in eBay at this point?

No low 1 or 2 Shipping DSRs? What about the other DSRs?

Communication? Buyer asks a question and the seller contacts eBay and eBay either doesn't respond or gives a canned response that has nothing to do with the question.

Description? Buyer receives broken after the fulfillment center or shipper broke it. Buyer states SNAD. Buyer doesn't receive it due to theft INR.

Shipping time? Fulfillment center again takes forever to send, loses it or again theft.

Too many questions and concerns. eBay has far too many glitches that still have not been fixed. When has eBay ever run like clockwork to date or especially in the last three years?

JD has Amazon envy. He was not happy running a successful company and wanted to put his mark on changing to eBazon. I'm tired of eBay p@ssing on my leg and tell me it's raining as Judge Judy would say.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: buck efay

Sun Aug 15 20:58:18 2010

Plus Ebay has said it will be a third party. What happens when that third party goes bankrupt & steals your inventory in Their warehouse? Would anyone in their right mind trust ebay with their goods? And with the PITIFUL STR ebay now manages, I imagine most sellers have too much time nowadays to pack their items carefully!

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sun Aug 15 21:27:59 2010

@ Shipwire Nate

No, the only thing insane is letting yet another source take their slice of the smaller eBay pie.

You ought to stick to selling ads and lobbing softballs on Uncle Grief's show. Many of the folks here don't trust eBay, and they know the money to be made on eBay is by snookering the new sellers.  

I do not see why someone would pay $30 a month to store 6 things in your tiny space.  

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Rich

Sun Aug 15 21:42:26 2010

@Ed Gadfly
'Uncle Grief'!! That's funny!

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 15 21:52:31 2010

What next?  After Ebay gets its slimy hands on seller's items I guess they will then offer "faster fulfillment" for a slightly higher price????  Think about it...if you aren't already listing elsewhere and building your business off ebay then take a marker and write "dummy" across your forehead!  I know some sellers think they only need to "adapt" but that's becoming less and less possible. ;-)

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: You Guys

Sun Aug 15 22:06:03 2010

It appears that this proposed service is NOT for the average small/medium sellers like ourselves.

This is something that ONLY the largest sellers would want or need or could afford. They are the only ones who would benefit. Perhaps another group who would be interested in this service would be the "near-large" sellers who are just on the brink of becoming diamond sellers themselves.

Ultimately, this is just one additional way to push us down and out of the eBay machine.

On the plus side... my Bonanzle sales and web store sales have OUTPACED my eBay sales for the third week in a row. :-D

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: Troglodyte

Sun Aug 15 23:23:56 2010

Say it ain't so, Jeetil Patel!

Tell us you weren't the Deutsche Bank analyst who recommended ebay own their own inventory.

I thought YOU were smart. But I guess I was wrong. The honeymoon is over. I'm getting a divorce. You're just like all the others.

Goodbye, Jeetil, goodbye.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: gonefromebay

Sun Aug 15 23:55:45 2010

Ebay will contract with the cheapest service available.

Would you trust a minimum wage employee, with no loyalty to anyone, to pack that precious Ming vase and get it safely to the buyer?  And when it is returned in pieces, do you think ebay and/or the fulfillment center will reimburse you?

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 16 00:00:02 2010

@shipwire

$3-4 per item for a max of 60 items?  you think too expensive and too small.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Bijoux Dragon
Web Site

Mon Aug 16 00:21:54 2010

Would I ever send inventory to ebay's lackey to be packed and shipped - I think not!  Do I trust those bozos to pack as well as I do and to ship promptly?  You've got to be kidding!Since I've opened a Ruby Plaza shop to compliment my Ruby Lane shop do I even care that eBay has found another way to play favorites?  NO WAY.

Will I email sellers before bidding and ask if they ship themselves or use the eFilment shipping service - absolutely!  And I will never, ever bid on anything that is packed and shipped through that infernal service.

eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers   eBay May Offer Outsourced Fulfillment Service to Sellers

by: buck efay

Mon Aug 16 00:24:16 2010

If it's anything like FBA, you will have to package all your items in advance & ship them already packed to ebay. Then pray they send the right items for your order. Will Ebay's fullfillment offer free delivery confirmation? I bet not.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.