Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 17 2012 17:00:27

Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

By: Ina Steiner

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Buy.com doesn't have the same name recognition as Amazon.com and eBay, but it has attracted merchants such as Overstock.com as well as some of eBay's biggest sellers (Jack Sheng's eForCity, for example).

Last week, Buy.com began surveying Amazon and eBay sellers about their use of Amazon's FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) service as it prepares to launch its own fulfillment service in what could be dubbed FBB - Fulfillment by Buy.

The survey asked sellers about their use of Amazon FBA, asking them if they use it for non-Amazon.com orders in addition to Amazon orders. It also asked if they pay a higher fulfillment fee for Multi-channel items fulfilled by Amazon compared to their Amazon orders.

Several questions focused on Amazon FBA fees:

- Did you attempt to negotiate with Amazon to get a discount off of their published FBA Multi-channel rate card?

- Does Amazon give you a discount off of their published Multi-Channel rate card?

- How much do you save using FBA Multi-channel fulfillment compared to self or other fulfillment services (e.g. 20%)?

- If you currently do not use Multi-channel fulfillment by FBA, how much could you save by switching to FBA Multi-Channel fulfillment (e.g. 20%)?

The Buy.com survey asked sellers who use Amazon FBA how much sales lift they get on FBA products. The survey also asked sellers who are not using Amazon FBA for Multi-channel fulfillment why not, and asked those who are using it to identify the top 3 reasons for switching to FBA multi-channel fulfillment, including the responses such as cost, reliability, customer experience and security.



So what's compelling about marketplace fulfillment services for third-party merchants? Amazon.com attracts third-party sellers to its FBA fulfillment service by offering them increased exposure on its heavily trafficked marketplace - FBA listings are eligible for free shipping to Amazon Prime customers, helping the merchant win the Buy Box and boost sales.

Buy.com has been courting merchants to use its fulfillment service at ecommerce events this spring, and AuctionBytes Blog editor Julia Wilkinson reported on its presentation at the recent Monsoon conference during which Buy.com's Randy Smythe said the company hoped to launch the new fulfillment service before the all-important fourth-quarter.

Buy.com currently has five warehouses across the U.S., and Smythe said the program would be similar to Amazon.com's FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program and would include multi-channel shipping. Buy.com is pitching merchants on the fulfillment service by telling them it could lead to two to three times higher sales and conversion for sellers.

Last month, Buy.com made a radical shift to its home page design, showing third-party merchants featured front and center. The idea to focus on merchants came from Japan's Rakuten, which acquired Buy.com in 2010 and has gobbled up a number of leading ecommerce sites around the world. Rakuten founder Hiroshi Mikitani will be giving a keynote address at Buy.com's Expo in New York on June 27.

What would you tell Buy.com about its fulfillment service - will Buy.com face significant hurdles in getting third-party merchants to sign on for an "FBB" service? Or could Buy become the next Amazon?




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Perminate Link for Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service   Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

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

Sun Jun 17 18:51:44 2012

It's intersting to see buy.com starting to distance itself from eBay. What does that tell us about the state of eBay's marketplace?

From another observer of eBay's clunky PreyPal, on eBay’s own forums:
 
“I just ordered an item [online] from Buy.com. When I completed the “fill in the blanks” stuff, I had a choice of payment. There was the usual charge card form and then three offerings with logos:
 
Pay by Visa V.me
Pay by Google Checkout
Pay by PayPal
 
“Funny, isn't it, which one was last. I thought there was some kind of arrangement between eBay and buy.com, a platinum-like anchor store on eBay.”
 
Even funnier, which one Buy put at the top of the list; major online retailers apparently are smart enough to distinguish the wheat from the chaff after all. But, the real question is, now that Visa’s V.me is available (MasterCard’s offering still on the way), how much longer will that PreyPal logo continue to appear at all? Any one want to take bets on a time frame?
 
Goodbye clunky PreyPal, it has not been nice knowing you …
 
“When Do We Start Calling eBay A [Failed] Payments Company?”
   
http://www.ecommercebytes.com/forums/vbulletin/showthread.ph
p?t=24590
 
eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jun 18 00:02:39 2012

I would think for many small to medium sellers all these FBXs are nothing more than another layer of monetization for the companies that comes at the expense of merchant profitability.

Don't trust any of these snake oil salesmen until you see results.

Remember when ebay promised increased visibility and increased sales if sellers jumped through hoops A through Z?

Until these money grubbing companies start actually delivering decent results in exchange for our money, they can all take a tall dive into a shallow lake.

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by: eBelly This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 01:18:06 2012

Isn't it nice to see one of feeBay's sacred, incestuous spoon-fed Diamond sellers betraying it's master? The timing couldn't be better, right at the exact moment feeBay throws the entire seller base under the bus, in order to bankrupt the small to medium sellers to force liquidation prices. Wouldn't it also be ironic if Buy designed a 'classic auction' site with real feedback like it used to be, T.E.S. exposure, no more 'best match' manipulation and grew it organically while feeBay flails and drowns in it's own greed? Sign me up.

FeeBay will soon be to auction site e-commerce what Myspace now is to social media. Totally uncool, overnight. Good riddens.

Perminate Link for Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service   Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

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

Mon Jun 18 11:34:41 2012

Argee with eBelly.

Buy was the beginning of the Diamond Kissing.

So Buy, the friend of eBa'al my enemy, should now become my friend too? As well as my new master?

lol... Mr. Mikitani has been in the radiation a little too long.

Perminate Link for Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service   Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 18:54:40 2012

Buy.com (Buy on eBay) (like people are so stupid they wont figure it out) doesnt need eBay as much anymore now that they own Rakuten.

Yes, eBay is getting a turn at ''bitting the hand that feeds you'' but even middle sized Platinums (not manufactorers like Skullcandy or Monster (Monster's new on eBay)(Monster signed on after eBay had VERO remove 200+ sellers of Monsters Beats headphones!). Buy.com is/was getting tired of the fees, the foreced returns and the insane customers who are NEVER happy (all fed by eBay policies).

Macys has moved on, as will others who can no longer take the pressure. But eBay is counting on ore manufactorer stores to offset the loss - I wouldnt bet on it though!

FBA on Amazon helps you get ''the box'', which in Amazon, is the ONLY real way to make large volumes of sales. (On eBay nothing matters, as you are rotated out of view anyway!)

If I can make money by getting the buy.com ''buy box'' then I will do FBB ... if not then no.

Perminate Link for Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service   Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Jun 18 22:46:17 2012

If Buy can offer pricing that works for smaller merchants, their fulfillment might be useful. Amazon's FBA is too expensive for lower-priced items, large items, or slower-moving "long tail" items. By the time you add up all the fees, there goes any margin you might have. It's crummy that you can't get in front of the Prime buyers without using FBA. I guess that's the "premium upgrade" fee you need to pay to access those buyers.

With any luck, Buy will offer something to compete with FBA. I'm not holding my breath, though. Ming has it right about this being just a way these businesses can grab another slice of the pie. Seems like there are more fingers poking into our ecommerce business "pies" every day: listing managers, shopping carts, inventory management, tax services, payment services, advertising services, email campaign services, warehouse services... and don't forget all the venue fees that go along with this stuff. The list is endless. Outsourcing some things can be beneficial, but there's only so much pie to go around and it defeats the purpose of having your own business if you end up serving most of the pie to others.

Perminate Link for Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service   Buy Targets Amazon as It Surveys Sellers on Fulfillment Service

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

Wed Jun 20 19:17:55 2012

Funny, I just bought a weighty Kenwood food processor on eBay from an Australian-based seller (because I live in Australia) and the item arrived five days later by UPS from the UK—fulfilled by Amazon!

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking



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