Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Apr 6 2016 23:10:53

Will You Use eBay Branded Shipping Supplies?

By: Ina Steiner

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On Tuesday, eBay announced its launch of a shipping-supplies store on eBay: "At eBay, we're constantly looking for ways to help our sellers grow and ship smarter. With that in mind, we'll soon be launching a branded supplies store, featuring eBay branded quality boxes, envelopes and tape - with more items to be added over time."

eBay went on to say in its announcement: "What was the prompt for the new supplies store? Many of our sellers told us that they wanted to purchase eBay branded shipping supplies online and we wanted to provide them with more choices. Our sellers also said that cost and convenience were the most important attributes when choosing what and where to purchase. As a result, we will be providing competitively priced, quality supplies with easy online ordering and convenient shipping."

As we report in Newsflash, sellers did have some concerns, including the risk of a higher incidence of theft since people could see packages contained an eBay purchase inside.

We also delved into the issue of eBay competing with its own sellers. We spoke to an executive at ULINE and to some sellers who sell shipping supplies on eBay, who shared their thoughts.

eBay is mum on who is running the store other than to say the store would be operated by a third-party fulfillment partner with a license to use the eBay trademark. The eBay Shipping Supplies store listings say the store is managed and operated by Bascom, "a trusted fulfillment partner licensed to sell eBay branded supplies."

We also found it interesting that eBay issued a press release about the shipping supplies on the same day it sent sellers news of a fee hike for its Store owners. And the strategy worked - media outlets picked up on the story about eBay boxes without mentioning news contained in the Spring Seller Update.

Take a look at Thursday's Newsflash article, and let us know what you think of the new eBay Shipping Supplies store.




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Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Apr 6 23:21:07 2016

I highly doubt it.

I get US Postal boxes for FREE besides I don't want to advertise that my items are from ebay.

I do believe ebay had branded US Priority Mail Boxes in the past.

NOT INTERESTED

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 05:20:47 2016

NO NO NO AND A THOUSAND TIMES NO NO NO.

Why would I leave a supplier who has loyally supplied me with shipping envelopes for years for a supplier who probably is a crooked as Ebay.

Why would I want to advertise to the world where my customers bought from. I have no intention of paying for Fleecebay advertising on envelopes which read STEAL ME.

Then there is the other side of the coin. Like the diamond sellers this new secret unrevealed seller will probably have the proud honor of thousands of negatives for which Ebay will just delete from.

Thanks but no thanks. One has to be hit in the back of the head a few times before realizing that Ebay is just out for themselves and would sell their own mother if it meant an increase in the bottom line.

I will now and forever use my own supplier for clean unadressed envelopes.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Apr 7 07:02:36 2016

From 1998 to 2016 Ebay has morphed into a wholly unwelcoming entity.
I haven't sold there in 10 years, no plans of ever going back. I have not bought there in years, their exorbitant fees translate into higher unrealistic prices asked by sellers.
My discretionary budget no longer exists. Land, school and sales taxes have effectively removed my retirement money.
So now, there is a fine opportunity for someone to create a brand new Retro environment in which we can auction off or sell outright the items we "can't take with us when we go", without worrying about a 3rd party butting in. ALL payment options included.
Someone must take up the mantle and close the hole in the economic landscape.
With any luck, it will happen in my lifetime.

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 07:30:50 2016

Good morning Ina
This is a very good topic. I am a longtime small EBay seller with a basic store and will get a $25 coupon quarterly (which has to be use all at once). Much of my OOAK flea market/ yard purchases are bought with an eye to use the ''Free'' USPS (Regional/Flat Rate) boxes. EBays box prices are okay and quantities of 25 are good for me; the coupon will be used. I doubt I will purchase little more than the coupon allowance. They do have several box sizes that I do not stock but could use.
I think the branding is very good. Every other company of any size is doing it. People will see it  at Post Office, Postal trucks, doorsteps and garbage/recycle. Just seeing the EBay name may rekindle buyer interest again.
I doubt other suppliers will be hurt that much; as many such as myself will only be using our coupons. Over the 18 years selling on EBay I have found ULine to have the widest select, great service, super fast delivery and the BEST quality boxes. ONLY problem is the delivery charge on my $100 order is $40 to $50; wish I was close to their warehouse. I still order special sizes from Uline but have found several EBay sellers that offer adequate product (I don't need a box costing $1.25 to ship a $10 to $20 item when a 50¢ one will do) with good common sizes and great service (two are threeb and valuepac).
In the last three years I have been ordering much of my extra boxes from Home Depot. Their delivery is slow - but free; price are good, quality okay but best for me is many of those occasional needed larger size boxes are sold in lots of 10 vs. most 25 or 50.  
My shipping expense is a significant yearly cost for me. I feel a new fresh even with USPS or EBay Logo box with clean new packing has a much better first impression with a buyer. I know myself when I get a purchase packed in a cut down raggedy box with crumpled newspaper packing I am more suspect about my purchase. First impressions and presentation are important.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Apr 7 08:00:24 2016

Reads ""At eBay, we're constantly looking for ways to help our sellers grow and ship smarter."

If written honestly, would read "At eBay, we're constantly looking for ways to monetize and squeeze even more money out of our sellers and to be more like Amazon."

Amazon has branded boxes, therefore eBay must have branded boxes.  I'm guessing "porch shopping  theft" will go up exponentially for those using these boxes.

And I had to laugh at their statement "looking for ways to help our sellers grow".  A company that wants to help their sellers grow does not hide sellers' listings and does not place selling limits on them.

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by: That Guy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 08:25:45 2016

I might use eBay branded packaging, but I would most certainly not buy them and I would most definitely cover up their logo first.

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by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 08:29:28 2016

I will use my $50 coupon only.  Nothing more.  I get plenty of boxes that are actually free, and not "free".

All eBay boxes will be used only for shipments to areas where "porch shopping" is much less prevalent.  That means mostly rural or a PO Box or a Container shipping company for International.

Additionally, I would use them if they can be "hidden", like a Large Video box size inserted into a USPS Padded Flat Rate Envelope, or an internal box structure needed for multiple items in one shipment.

If it turns out they are not printed on the inside (like USPS Priority), I may turn them inside out to use, especially if a new box size seems convenient.

Any shipping tape would be used ONLY in-house, or on hidden boxes, not used on the outside of a box for actual shipping - I don't need a third tape dispenser running, two is plenty.

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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 09:31:14 2016

Not a prayer!  Porch shopping is a bad enough problem without advertising something is from ebay.  

But I also wouldn't use them on principle...why is ebay competing with their sellers!???  Where does THAT stop?  Just with shipping supplies or will we see them worm their way into other segements?

Like FeelingFroggy I will just maintain my loyalty to my long-time supplier, thank you.  

Perhaps if enough sellers continue to use the free USPS boxes, used boxes and packaging from their current supplier, ebay will rethink this idea.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 09:36:27 2016

It won't be long before Fleecebay will be selling advertising space on these boxes. Rates will vary but desired in your face advertising will be sold next to the recipents name and address.

The post office is confused enough without added nonsense on boxes.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Apr 7 09:46:28 2016

I will not be bribed into purchasing eBay's branded shipping supplies with coupons. ( Besides, we all know that in no time flat those coupons will be gradually reduced in value before being eliminated entirely.)

I remove eBay and PayPal shipping logos when I print shipping labels, why would I want to advertise for a company that refuses to lift a finger to help their sellers?

The selling of shipping supplies by eBay is the next step toward the Amazonification of eBay.

Now that eBay has ratcheted up their disregard for sellers by directly competing against them, I fully expect they will begin selling in more categories as time goes on.

As to eBay's deception of having a third party retail these supplies, let's just say that this lacks transparency as with everything else eBay does.

I am willing to bet that this alleged third party seller will be protected and have any negative feedback they may receive removed by their partner.

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by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 10:55:49 2016

I won't be switching.  I'm happy with the boxes I currently use, which have the phrase "Steal Me!" printed in large black letters on the outside.  They do the job quite well.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 12:13:24 2016



Actually, I had a bad dream of this, a couple of years ago,,,,,


http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/letters/blog.pl?/p
l/2014/7/1406228714.html



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This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Thu Apr 7 13:13:07 2016

Do I look stupid?   And I hate it when companies like Ebay say this stupid stuff.  I am continually offended by them actually thinking I believe this garbage, just because it drips from their mouths.  Some fool in a meeting just won out with his version of “Hey, if we say blah blah blah, then our own box sellers won't get pissed off”.  Geeeeeez, how we'd all be better off if meetings would just come to an end.

“MANY of our sellers told us that they wanted to purchase eBay branded shipping supplies online”.   (PLEASE Ebay, tell us who really said THAT!)

“Our sellers also said that cost and convenience were the most important attributes.....”  (Not for me.  Quality is the most important.  ESPECIALLY in a box)

“..........easy ONLINE ordering and convenient shipping”  (I already buy boxes conveniently, from Ebay sellers, ONLINE!  I guess maybe the other sellers never looked online for boxes)    Here's an idea Ebay: If you want me to ship free (5.00-25.00 shipping costs), why don't you throw in the boxes?  The USPS ones are free.  Except for the higher postage due to “Free” boxes........   Otherwise, I'd NEVER screw the sellers that sell me boxes at a FAIR price.  I will pay MORE, to not have the Ebay name on it.

As far as the “Branded” issue, who sees the boxes anyway, except the workers/drivers, & neighbors.  Incidentally, NO way will theft go up.  All the buyers know that Ebay just sells junk.  Just look at the item not as described,  arrived broke, missing parts, not even arrived claims.  No body would steal that junk off a doorstep.  They would have to send them free, without me even ordering, and  I'd cover up the logo with my own website name!

I am sick of Ebay BRANDING themselves, while their small sellers are TRENDING into oblivion.  I have been a seller there for 18 years, and I refuse to do ANYTHING, that would help them in any way.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Thu Apr 7 13:16:39 2016

The End:  Look at https://openbazaar.org/

I've been watching this open source site get started.  Just went live.  Much more work to do.  Has some really intriguing aspects.  No fees.  Arbitrators.  Bit Coin.  (I don't trust the bit coin thing yet, but if I hold my sales under $100.00, & can find a way to spend the bits, this thing may work!)  Search Ecommerce for articles.

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by: notbananas This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 19:39:54 2016

"Let the nose of the camel in the tent and the rest will surely follow"
----------------------------------
French recipe: How do you boil a frog? If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump out. If you place it in a pot of cool water and let it heat slowly until boiling, the frog will stay in the pot.
-----------------------------------
Starting with an offer to "help sellers" using a single product, and who knows where it will end up. If they are trying to compete with Amazon, that boat had already sailed years ago.

Amazon actually warehouses and sells products, eBay doesn't. This is the key difference everyone forgets. Do you remember the spoken mantra years ago?
"We are just a venue. We don't get involved between buyers and sellers". How come I haven't heard that in many years.

Point being eBay recognizes it's earnings are flat and trying to come up with any way they can to increase growth and earnings.

They forget their technology 20 years ago was innovative, today it's just ho-hum. On-line competition sprouted in the last 10 years in geometric proportions and now they are grasping at straws trying to keep it alive and meaningful.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 7 21:35:01 2016

I wouldnt buy a pencil if it was branded by ebay.

Besides I doubt thet can beat the prices of other suppliers

If theyd like me to use their branded boxes, they can give them to me free, or give a discount on fvf for advertising for them

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by: kilogirl78 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 8 00:03:18 2016

I'll use my coupon and sell my "free" supplies right back on eBay with one of my 10,000 "free" listings.

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by: wanda This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 8 00:24:15 2016

It is just greed, imo.  Ebay has just wedged it's foot in the door, what do you want to bet the whole free boxes we get from the Post Office will soon be a thing of the past.... and we will never hear about the back room negotiations that went into it.  Who is not sick and tired of big business bleeding us dry at every turn?

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by: flybuy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 8 00:29:00 2016

The only thing I buy is tape and just bought a bunch from Amazon. I recycle boxes and packing material
Wonder if Ebay will make life miserable for the current sellers of packing supplies.  

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by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 8 00:39:47 2016

I recall seeing something about the USPS possibly doing away with the free boxes (not the flat rate, I presume).  Could Ebay be starting a box business to pick up slack left if the USPS discontinues their boxes?

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