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Wed June 22 2011 21:13:39

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is rolling out a new fulfillment service for sellers on eBay.com, as first reported in the Wall Street Journal Digits blog. While it is not releasing many details, such as branding or fees, eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff told us it will roll out two tests - one for a limited number of domestic sellers, and another test for China-based sellers who ship into the U.S. She could not say from which U.S. locations eBay would run the pilot tests.

When I asked Hoff why China sellers were included, she said the main reason is the current lengthy shipping time - it currently takes an average of 18 days to deliver from China to the United States. She could not release the number of Chinese sellers listing on eBay.com.

No information was forthcoming about what size seller or what categories eBay would be selecting for the pilot; Hoff said the U.S. test would consist of "small business sellers," but was not sure size that was in terms of sales.

The initial pilot is in the U.S. only, and "based on our learnings, we'll consider other locations," she said.

I asked how eBay would handle shipping time and shipping cost DSRs for sellers using eBay's fulfillment service. She said there were discussions ongoing about how eBay would handle it, and said "you've seen us roll out automatic 5-stars for free shipping," for example.

GSI Commerce, which eBay officially acquired on Friday, has fulfillment services for its large retailers. But Hoff said eBay's pilot program is completely separate from GSI, though she could not say how long the fulfillment service has been in the planning stage.

She did not know which executive was running the testing, but said it falls under Christopher Payne's Marketplaces organization.

Will eBay build its own fulfillment centers, lease, or outsource? "It's too early to determine," Hoff said.

What do you think, would you use a fulfillment service from eBay? Would guaranteed positive Feedback ratings and DSRs influence your decision?




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Rich

Wed Jun 22 21:28:48 2011

Perfect. Give Chinese sellers even more advantages by shipping their products for them.

Camel + Last Straw = CRRRRRAAACKKK!

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Kevin

Wed Jun 22 21:49:25 2011

Well, I have to admit it will be interesting to watch how they screw this one up.  

they need to quit trying to be Amazon.  Amazon does pretty well at that.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Kevin

Wed Jun 22 21:55:33 2011

Well, I guess in a way they finally admitted that Ebay is the home of cheap low quality chinese crap and they must see that as a cash cow.  

I bet in a few years collectibles and the hard to find things we all used to go to ebay for will be gone....replaced by .99 flashlights and flash drives from China that have half the memory they say it has

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: remember

Wed Jun 22 22:19:28 2011

More Chinese junk. Ebay should be ashamed of themselves.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Ebay No More This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 22 23:04:15 2011

Let's hope Ebay does a better job than Amazon with fulfillment. Currently Amazon FBA has a mess with sellers in Arizona required to ship to Kentucky. Straight past two warehouses in Phoenix and Goodyear. Sellers in New York are forced to ship to IN bypassing their old Pennyslvania FBA facilities. Don't know what hair went up Jeff Bezos shorts but he needs to pull it out.

My shipping costs tripled. My transit time went from an overnight delivery and into warehouse on the same day for sale. Hebron KY took five days via UPS and after almost 72 hours they still haven't got it unpacked. No one at Amazon can explain what in the world happened to FBA facilities but they better fix it. Amazon has gotten it's last FBA box from us until they get their act together. What a mess this has turned out. Fortunately for us it happened now because we had planned to use FBA for the holiday season. If Amazon doesn't get straightened out we will be looking for a new fulfillment service and will give Ebay a try.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Tim

Wed Jun 22 23:09:05 2011

eBay's two WORST characteristics (from a seller's view): 1) Cheap and unreliable Chinese junk swamping the place and 2) eBay's ongoing sloppy business practices.  And now they are going to feature BOTH in one new service!

I predict Wall Street will love this!  They have the same business practices/morals as eBay.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Wayne
Web Site

Wed Jun 22 23:18:00 2011

If eBay can't get their customer service under control (or locate it, because it's obviously missing), I can't imagine the mess they'll be for filling seller orders.

We've been very pleased with the visibility and sell-through on Amazon and that has now exceeded our sales on eBay - after just 7 months (and 8 years on eBay) - and that's with about 5 products selling regularly.

I'm cautiously optimistic about what might be offered, but I'm not volunteering to be a guinea pig on this one - no thank you.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

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

Thu Jun 23 00:24:32 2011

Another way for Chinese sellers to hide the fact that your purchase is from China.  They manufacture crap, lie about the materials used and when negged enough just use another name.  Did I mention that they lie about their location?

And eBay, the King of Incompetents, run by the Lords of Arrogance, thinks I would trust them with my inventory why?  They break something or damage it and off to the customer it will go anyway and then it will be the seller blamed, not eBay.

C'mon folks.  Draw the line and do not offer them merchandise when selling.  More importantly, when buying, do not purchase anything that is fulfilled by eBay.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Digby

Thu Jun 23 00:45:23 2011

Ebay is setting up its own Fullfilment service !

But it is not using GSI's which they just bought for 2 billion.

Come on, they are either lying or stupid.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: PM

Thu Jun 23 01:06:33 2011

Great! The Chinese crap isn't flowing fast enough, so they do somersaults to speed it up.  Why don't they just do what they do to U.S. sellers when a foreign customs office has caused a package going to Europe to be delayed for over 3 weeks?
They should just give the buyer a refund while he waits for his customs/postal service to deliver his stuff.  They can put that in their listings in that little table the Chinese sellers always use for listing their delivery times.  Refund in 18 days, delivery in 30 days.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Kimber

Thu Jun 23 01:39:31 2011

So, they cut off PayPal payments to AliExpress, and now they want to provide fulfilment for the very same sellers that sell via AliExpress.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jun 23 08:28:51 2011

Ahhh... another ''big-new-idea'' to keep JD occupied and entertained (at the EXPENSE and NEGLECT of everything else... namely the small Sellers). This ''latest-and-greatest'' idea will get his full attention until he becomes bored with it... and then it will be neglected and discarded.

I think it's safe to go ahead and rubber-stamp this one with huge letters that read: ''EPIC FAIL!''

JD is trying to be a ''jack-of-all-trades'' and ends up being a master of NONE.

Perhaps clueless investors will be impressed, but ultimately this will be a half-hearted effort with mediocre results.

It certainly CONFIRMS all that we've been observing and predicting during his tenure. For *years* we've been saying that small sellers with ''flea market'' and ''one-of-a-kind'' items are not wanted on eBay. This latest move on his part should certainly silence those who ridicule and taunt us for speaking the truth. There can be no more denials or excuses now!

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: John

Thu Jun 23 08:32:04 2011

It is all a matter of money for eBay. If they see a way to make a penny ( diamond sellers), a few pennies ( Chinese sellers), and there greatest cash cow $ ( U.S. sellers)....they go for it.

Their policies designed to get whatever they can from the group that sells.

They change, tweak, hold (make interest), buy, corp.now fulfillment  and next year start all over again.

Left in 08 and glad .

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jun 23 08:52:37 2011

I am guessing that the fulfillment program will be run by teams from newly acquired GSI, after they have been properly indoctrinated and assimilated into the eBay culture., and all thoughts of providing quality customer service are erased from their consciousness. GSI teams will have be learn how to respond to sellers questions without providing factual information that amounts to an honest response. GSI teams will learn how to go through the motions of assisting sellers without actually doing anything helpful. They will have to pass eBay Lip Service 101 where their motto is "Promise anything...deliver nothing" .

Perhaps there is one positive thing that will come out of eBay entering the fulfillment business, that being they will finally know what it is to have packages delayed or lost in transit, or to have buyers making false claims for INR, because THEY will be in the business of shipping product.

This will be a real eye opener for eBay when the scam INR claims start coming in and they KNOW THEY shipped it, or when the false damaged item claims come in but THEY KNOW they packed the item well.

While the seller will likely be awarded 5 star ratings because they are paying for them when they pay the fulfillment fees, still the damage claims and INR claims will have to be resolved, and since eBay will be one shipping orders, they will be the ones that have to answer to buyers.

One could hope that the end result of this process will be that eBay will reexamine the draconian seller standards even though they will not hold them selves to them.

Another positive will be that eBay will be collecting fees for the fulfillment service. This means that the flood of Chinese goods eBay is hoping to fill their fulfillment centers with will end up selling for slightly higher prices in order to cover the additional fees.

Of course, those sellers will have to expect yearly fee increases for the fulfillment service because eBay never created a fee they could not increase every 8 months or so.

Another promise soon to be broken... It should be noted that eBay promised they will NEVER COMPETE with sellers. That said, when fulfillment merchandise is considered abandoned by eBay, I guess they are simply going to donate or destroy the product, because if they ended up listing the product, they would be shattering yet another promise made to sellers.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: MR ME

Thu Jun 23 09:09:21 2011

All the USA needs right now is more "Made in China" crap.
Majority of Chinese products on eBay do not meet safety standards of any sort (FDA,UL,etc), infringe copyright laws, do not pay customs (packages marked "gift , sample"),or are just poor quality in general. eBay is quick turning into the dollar store of the web......what happened to the "Community" of like minded sellers and buyers, ?

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: kevin

Thu Jun 23 09:39:32 2011

Here's how ebay is going to make a ton of money with this...

1)  they charge for item storage (just like amazon)

2)  They keep placing random and arbitrary "selling limits" on sellers.  This causes more inventory to just sit and rack up storage fees

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: missing the point

Thu Jun 23 10:07:59 2011

I think you are all missing the bigger picture here.This will be another way for ebay to sink it's fangs in your wallet.My guess is if this test works well they will require you to use fulfillment and pay A NEW LOW FEE BECAUSE SELLERS ASKED FOR IT !!! as they often phrase fee increases like we are all idiots and don't realize we are being fleeced.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Here Again

Thu Jun 23 10:28:15 2011

Well, at least there can be absolutely no question on who eBay sees as their future sellers. It is the Chinese (and others) mass manufacturers. The days of the small sellers is numbered -- period. My only question is where will the multitude of small sellers (and hopefully their buyers) move to over the next 1-2 years? eBay will not be an option.

Finally, a bit of a personal rant: Thank you eBay for contributing to the continued decline of the US worker which has been so accelerated by the likes of WalMart and their push to build up the Chinese manufacturers over US companies. I never pass through the front door of a WalMart as a result. And I expect I will completely cut off my eBay spending (both as a seller and a buyer) in the next year or so. Just my personal refusal to reward bad corporate behavior in pushing the US consumer/worker down the stairs in the great race to the bottom.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

by: Tony DeLuca

Thu Jun 23 10:29:49 2011

How much you want to bet that the Chinese sellers that use "Fulfilled by eBay" get a huge boost in search. eBay will game the system in favor of "Fulfilled" vendors then claim overwhelming success of the program to Wall Street.

eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China   eBay Tests Fulfillment Service to Speed Delivery Time from China

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jun 23 11:36:16 2011

Tony asks: ''How much you want to bet that the Chinese sellers that use ''Fulfilled by eBay'' get a huge boost in search.''

Annie responds: That's a sucker's bet. :-)

You're absolutely CORRECT, and I'd lose money if I bet against it.

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