Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 9 2019 20:13:25

eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay continues to work on an Amazon FBA-style fulfillment program and referenced a "high-sales velocity program" in a new survey about the service.

We can track eBay's interest in offering fulfillment services as far back as 2009, and in January of this year, it invited sellers to participate in a pilot program called Fulfillment for eBay. The marketplace is not building out its own infrastructure the way Amazon has done, but instead, is using partners - just as it has down with its Global Shipping Program, powered by Pitney Bowes.

A reader forwarded the survey, which was focused on gauging seller interest in using the program and determining whether the fees for using such a program should be higher, lower, or the same as Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

In January's invitation, eBay had referenced 3-day delivery, but in the latest survey, eBay set out new expectations about delivery speed. The survey spelled out standard delivery as 1-2 days "with access to eBay's high sales velocity program (e.g., eGD or new program)." 

And it asked sellers if they'd be interested in a lower priced fulfillment service with 3-day delivery speed - "the service offering would be the same except that item shipped in 3-day might not get sales velocity boost as much as item shipped in 2-day."

Amazon moving to 1-day delivery is no doubt putting pressure on eBay.

It appears eBay would use a combination of pricing and visibility to induce sellers to use the program. Potentially powerful carrots include greater visibility and seller protection (protection from Item Not Received claims, for example).

It's interesting to note that aggregating shipments might enable eBay to offer participants lower shipping rates, but sellers would still have to pay to get their inventory to the eBay program's warehouses in the first place. In January, eBay had said participants in the pilot program would be required to split their inventory into at least two locations.

One question in this month's survey outlined the program as follows:

Imagine eBay were to offer a new fulfilment service that allowed you to deploy your inventory to multiple locations around the country, being closer to the buyer. The service would include

- 1-2 days promised delivery to buyers, with access to eBay's high sales velocity program (e.g., eGD or new program)

- Storage and pick & pack in eBay fulfillment warehouse, with late end-of-day cut off (e.g., 9 pm), allowing more orders to be processed same day

- eBay handles all buyer queries related to delivery (e.g., where's my item?)

- Full protection on delivery-related issues, no penalties for missed delivery times, damaged goods or non-received items

- Option to fulfill orders from your own website or other marketplaces ('multichannel")

- Additional service offerings (e.g., returns, packaging, international fulfillment, etc.) can be offered at additional cost

It then asked, "Assuming the service is offered at a competitive price, how likely would you use the fulfillment service, even if only for part of your sales?"

eBay also asked sellers which of the following additional features - offered for an additional fee - would be most attractive to them:
 
- eBay managed returns (buyer returns items to eBay, and eBay restocks items into seller's inventory)

- International selling support via forward deployment (international shipping with additional help for customs, duty and tax calculation, etc.)

- Value added services (Appraisal, Re-Packaging, Imaging, etc.)

- Inbound Logistics Support (Negotiated rates to send inventory to eBay fulfillment centers)

In another question, eBay stated, "By using the new fulfillment service, you will be able to get seller protections, customer service, and access to high velocity badge for your eBay sales." Do those sound like the kind of carrots that would induce you to try it?

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 13:20:48 2019

''As of this morning I have absolutely no clue how anyone finds my items or my store anymore. Is it a wonder I have any sales at all?''

Ebay did something beginning in the second half of May. Since then it would appear the site has been down more than up as per Downdetector. People have been complaining they cannot complete their purchases for a variety of reasons. The site has been clumsy moving between pages. Gallery photos have been slow to load and appear on search. Impressions have plummeted another 32% from already lower numbers compared to last year, I have had 2 days of $0 in the last 2 weeks after not having even one for 16 months, Sales have dropped 35% for no apparent reason (other than the lack of impressions), I experience period of 24-36 hours of no sales until a flurry of 2-4 inside of a tight 3-4 hour window almost daily.

I have changed nothing on my end of things. I can provide verifiable proof that eBay's ''visibility bump'' for offering various levels of performance is about as real as the tooth fairy.

Search and by default Cassini are completely flawed and there is likely no way to fix it beyond dumping it and beginning from scratch. As I see things, eBay has nowhere to go but down.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 14:14:01 2019

Ebay can't even keep our pictures in our listings without "losing" them, why the hell would I give this technical issue laden and dying marketplace my inventory???

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 16:34:16 2019

@must be crazy

I'm seeing the same decline, though it feels to me like it started in april.

Absolutely no way that I would do FBA with either ebay or amazon.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jun 10 16:37:44 2019

The first problem with these fulfillment programs is that you pay through the nose to ship your stuff to a warehouse and then if/when it doesn't work out you pay through the nose to ship it back home.  The second problem is what happens in between - the rent (that periodically suffers a sort of surge pricing at Amazon), co-mingling with counterfeits/returns,etc.  I just can't see an upside for all but the smallest and cheapest products.

Some clown on a forum recently made a snide remark about blocking me for negativity.  The reality is, though, if you think any of this through, I have nothing to do with the negativity.  It's like...they're trying to con fools into this.  Don't think too hard...just sign up, then ????, then profits!

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 17:13:47 2019

Amazon is walking back on FBA - I guess that's a signal for ebay to try it, with a third party in the mix at that? I can see some wanting to use the service, but not enough to build it out.  

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jun 10 19:24:25 2019

I feel sorry for all the FBA sellers who get stuck with another seller's returns. Some months back I purchased an item on Amazon, and when I received it, it was missing the identifying manufacturer nameplate. I contacted the seller, and he indicated that it was an FBA item, and could have come from anywhere, so just send it back, which I did. So what happens to the seller who gets it back, that never sent the defective item to Amazon?  

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: fAlken This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jun 10 23:38:56 2019

"high-sales velocity program"

It's right there, they've surpressed all of our listings in an effort to get us to use their programs.  This company is worthless, They're going to AOL themselves, recognized by name only, at some point people might say "Get the hell out of here, regular individual people could sell on Ebay?  I thought they were an instant messenger company"  Time to cancel the store, they're just stealing from me while they surpress my listings so they can say "Hey we have a high velocity program you can get into, you just send us all your merchandise and we'll do the rest and leave you with pretty much nothing once you see the fees"  I actually believe they're circling the drain and will either go out of business or get sold off.  They're a husk of their former selves.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 11 09:59:34 2019

1) why even bother - theres NO ROOM left in the profit margin to give eBay even more money

2) why is this service even needed?

3) what MORON would let eBay handle more of its business?

4) As said by Silver about GSP (started out good then turned into crap - the protections, the service, and the prices) - so why get involved?

5) eBay knows nothing and/or less then nothing about ecommerce - is this really what ANYONE wants to do?

6) Just wait for the "Magic Automatic returns crap" that will of course be attached to it kick in

7) the higher positioning in sales is just another lie - if I shine DWs shoes during lunch do my listings get better exposure?

STAY FAR AWAY from getting involved with eBay any more then need be,

eBay is a website that is supposed to connect buyers and sellers and yet they interfere at every turn. Ive spoken to their employees the few times they did show up to places "where ecommerce is what goes on" and these people were as dumb as a rock, they didnt understand why eBay and Amazon are different, they were unhelpful, and the list goes on.

Im going to go out on a limb here and say that this is all about the Chinese sellers who wish to avoid taxes - eBay will help them lie to the government and claim the goods they sell are from the US .......

I want eBay to help me make sales, not ship my stuff, not look at where it comes from, nothing - just connect me to customers. Anything more is a waste.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Jun 11 11:32:06 2019

I wouldn't trust this company to reheat my breakfast sandwich.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 11 11:38:11 2019

@pace306

"1) why even bother - theres NO ROOM left in the profit margin to give eBay even more money" ~ For some sellers yes for others no!

"2) why is this service even needed?" ~ For faster delivery of product

"3) what MORON would let eBay handle more of its business?" ~ Smart sellers who want to be more efficient

"4) As said by Silver about GSP (started out good then turned into crap - the protections, the service, and the prices) - so why get involved?" ~ For better seller protection

"5) eBay knows nothing and/or less then nothing about ecommerce - is this really what ANYONE wants to do?" ~ Do YOU know anything about ecommerce? eBay hired a thousand guys like YOU!

"6) Just wait for the "Magic Automatic returns crap" that will of course be attached to it kick in" ~ eBay will see 1st hand what returns are like, sounds good to me!

"7) the higher positioning in sales is just another lie - if I shine DWs shoes during lunch do my listings get better exposure?" ~ Are you experienced in shinning shoes?

PS: The glass is 1/2 full not 1/2 empty. . . . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 11 13:08:25 2019

"- Full protection on delivery-related issues, no penalties for missed delivery times, damaged goods or non-received items[.]" You notice there is no mention of SNAD claims. So eBay won't be protecting you from the most important issue with regard to liar buyers.

"- eBay managed returns (buyer returns items to eBay, and eBay restocks items into seller's inventory)[.]" Is eBay going to actually inspect what was returned to make sure there are no parts missing, or if it was the same item shipped?

In reading over all the services eBay is providing, which will definitely not be free for sellers, unless a seller has a seriously huge profit margin this will be a money-losing program.



Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 11 13:40:29 2019

PS: The glass is 1/2 full not 1/2 empty. . . . . .

With eBay its not 1/2 empty - its %99 empty ALWAYS.

Not that I want to challenge you - but if you could elucidate for us (or just me) PLEASE - some of eBays (in your words) "1/2 fullness" - Id LOVE to hear it (them).

Can you PLEASE tell me if you think the current returns process is fair?

Could you PLEASE tell me if you think the listing process is fair?

Do you know EXACTLY what/how an item gets it ranking?

Can you PLEASE tell me why a picture is "bad" at 499x499 pixels but 500x500 is GOOD (and hint: its not a google issue)

Could you please tell me why you think its ok to force issues by inserting semi legal items in to eBay TOS so you can purposely hurt sellers?

Could you PLEASE tell me why eBay has only %2 growth and Amazon has %46 growth?

Could you also PLEASE tell me why eBay has the right to add a %4 VIG on sellers who have higher return rates caused by eBay and its own archaic rules?

Could you also PLEASE tell me why sellers, buyers and manufacturers ALL hate eBay?

If possible, maybe you could also explain to me why %75+ (and Im being generous with that number) of eBays employees have no experience in the business that eBay is supposed to be in ?

Exactly how many lawyers does it take to run an fancy website?


thanks :)

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Jun 11 14:48:53 2019

Actually with ebay, there is no glass. It's a tip jar or a beggars cup. All they speak is money and nothing else.

The worst yet was the implementation of the 40% 'penalty' fee grab, soon to be 50%. And who came up with the parameters for this extortion, who created the beginning, middle and end rules, who decides the outcome. ebay does!

And that's just one of the 1000s of despicable things ebay has done

How anyone can speak positively and continue to do business with this conspicuously dirty company is mind boggling. I mean....talk about denial...

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 11 19:48:22 2019

NoMoreEbay

Of course - you are correct - but then "people" (not people here) wonder why eBay cant/doesnt grow ..... "duh its the economy stupid" ... its the constant strangling of sellers and ripping them off for NO reason!

A certain gentleman here provided youtube links to his "guys", the ones who dispense "paid advise" on how to make millions selling on eBay (all of it worthless of course) ... but there you go - people will shell out $200 an hour to "tell people" how to accomplish just that! (talk about gullible).

eBays main fault - are the lawyers. Its gone from ecommerce to legalized theft (every part of the company), all the while comparing established sellers with business licenses, to people who have You tube channels showing how they buy cr@p at flea markets and Goodwill.

I "cant" have SNAD - it comes from the maker or distributor in a sealed box - when you buy X you get X - comes in a sealed box etc. When you buy from Ms I buy cheap vases at Goodwill or I am a picker from the Midwest whos main talent is bargaining people down on goods from $3-$2 on some old sweatshirt - form them you WILL get a snad - its the merchandise you are buying/selling!

But THOSE people and I are treated the same by eBay lawyers. Lots of schooling yes, brains and common sense - no.

%99.9 of us here spend alot of time, effort and money trying to run a business and do the right thing, only to be treated like garbage over and over - THATS why theres no growth.

Sure go ahead - throw your money down a rat hole and trust eBay with your goods and give up another %10-15 percent for some perceived value .... just dont ask ME to do so!

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Jun 12 11:56:08 2019

Easy Answer. NOPE.

I am considered a top rated seller. I will never be a top rated plus seller because I cannot do same day or 1 day delivery. Do I get any benefits because I can't meet 1 of the criteria. Heck no. My listings are in the toilet. Sales are drying up faster than a puddle in the Sahara. I refuse to give them any more of my money. NEVER. When they can't even seem to help sellers who put a lot of money into their pockets in the first place, you know darn well they don't have a clue what they are doing.

No one could comprehend this. Why in God's name would a company want to ruin itself. I struggled with that thought for a while. But it's really very simple. They do NOT know what they are doing. It should be evident to everyone, Wall Street, the BOD, everyone.

But it's not. No one could believe that a Management Team could be so stupid and incompetent. That it is continuing to implode. Willful destruction left right and center. It couldn't be possible to be that bad?

Well more fool all of you. IT'S NOT JUST THAT BAD....IT'S EVEN WORSE.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jun 12 12:32:03 2019

I just had another thought:

"- eBay handles all buyer queries related to delivery (e.g., where's my item?)"

If eBay is guaranteeing one- to two-day delivery, why would any buyer have to ask "Where is my item?"  

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Jun 12 14:11:52 2019

@iheartjacksparrow

Just one more stupid thought................... Good on you for pointing it out. What a mess.

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 12 17:31:15 2019

""2) why is this service even needed?" ~ For faster delivery of product"

"PS: The glass is 1/2 full not 1/2 empty. . . . . ."

Thus, it is apparently agreed the best that can be hoped is that in typical eBay fashion, this service will be no more than half-fast.  



Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 12 20:08:59 2019

2) why is this service even needed?" ~ For faster delivery of product"

Faster then what ? The seller actually boxing it and taking it to the PO themselves? Oh right .... getting PB (who destroys "fake violins") to have some $8.50 an hour drone box it and ship it .... yup thats faster (not a reply to Snapped :) )(its a reply to you know who)

MORE IMPORTANTLY - did DOPEBAY set up at E3? Wouldnt E3 be the place to show "gamers" that eBay has EVERY game and add-on - from old to new? (or are there too many fakes on eBay that they are embarrassed about??)

Perminate Link for eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service   eBay Readies Carrots and Sticks for FBA Style Service

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Jun 13 00:34:25 2019

@pace306

"Faster then what ?"

Let's say you have a customer in California.

Who could ship the item to the customer faster, you in NJ or a warehouse in Nevada?

eBay is looking for sellers who have a good source for product (something you say you're good at)

This program is geared towards sellers just like YOU!

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