Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 3 2018 20:19:59

eBay Fulfillment Service Could Impact Seller Visibility

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay conducted another survey about its plans for a fulfillment service following a survey it had conducted in September 2017. Instagram account "RockStarFlipper" said eBay surveyed sellers on March 29, 2018 and shared a screenshot showing the introductory question:

eBay is considering offering a new fulfillment service for its buyers and sellers. The goal is to create a delivery experience that makes your life easier and is faster, more affordable, and more consistent for your customers.

The way it would work is that you send us your inventory and we will warehouse it. Once an order for your warehoused inventory is received, we will pick it, pack it, and deliver it within the timeframe that the customer selects for the order.

The service will be competitively priced and guarantee 1 to 3 day shipping, which will promote increased listing visibility and sales velocity. Not only will the service remove hidden costs of storage and inventory management, it will reduce shipping complexity and free up valuable time for you to focus on growing your business.

How likely would you be to try this fulfillment solution?

We wrote about the survey eBay had conducted in the September 25, 2017 issue of EcommerceBytes 411 - you can see the accompanying blog post here, which garnered nearly 100 responses.

There are bound to be many brands and merchants of all sizes who are tempted to use an eBay fulfillment service.

However, sellers who don't use Fulfillment by eBay could be impacted in a major way. 

That's because like Amazon does with FBA listings, eBay would likely favor listings under its control by giving them a boost in visibility. And as eBay moves to a product-based shopping experience, that means sellers using eBay fulfillment would have a better chance of winning one of the "buy boxes" on eBay catalog product pages.



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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Tue Apr 3 20:31:48 2018

Be sure to click on Read More if you're coming from Facebook, sometimes FB shortcuts our links.

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by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 21:30:23 2018

Thank goodness I sell in a small, niche collectibles category, and all of this catalogue placement and fulfillment business should not apply. Nonetheless, I'm sure that ebay will find a way to give short shrift to my niche and de-emphasize it to the detriment of sellers such as myself. I anticipate having to be on multiple platforms, at greater cost, in order to gain the exposure I need. If ebay can not make more money from us, as punishment they will kick us down to near invisibility. I'm fascinated that ebay management thinks that window-dressing will suffice for lack of action in promoting sales. And haven't they realized that it is human nature to resist being forced into compliance to anything? There is a certain kind of arrogance that is the result of ignorance, and ebay executives exemplify that.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 21:38:00 2018

The question is..who pays for that 1 to 3 days priority shipping?

The second question is..will ebay have just as good shipping rates as amazon to ship your products to their warehouses? Unlikely

It will be difficult to be priced competitively on ebay with all that extra fees tacked on

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 21:39:49 2018

If you read my other post, you’ll see I said just this in the other post!

You can always count on eBay screwing its sellers!

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Apr 3 21:51:48 2018

Fulfillment by Amazon succeeds because of Prime. The perk that benefits third party FBA sellers is that buyers who have a Prime account can get free shipping, which leads to a lower overall price and a higher sales rate than their competitors.

Does eBay think there would be those who would pay for a membership just to obtain free shipping? Another thing with Prime is that there are many other benefits available to members for the $99 yearly. What would eBay have to offer other than just no-cost mailing (and only of items they fulfill)??

If there was an eBay fulfillment program, they would probably require all FBE sellers to offer free shipping and free returns. And of course funded by the seller. They are, it seems, already attempting to angle in this direction.

As I have mentioned on many occasions, eBay seems that they would not be likely to make this kind of investment. Or do they plan on sending FBE merchandise to China in shipping containers, then to be mailed back to the US in an e-packet (and picked and packed by slave labor)??

Besides, I do not think eBay would persuade enough sellers to trust them with their items. Doesn't sound like a good idea for my business. And if eBay did begin to lease warehouse space, they will also have to FINALLY purchase and ship their own merchandise. And hire more employees as well. This would be a huge undertaking.

Bottom line is that it will only succeed if there is PARTICIPATION. And with the failures of the eBay Valet and Global Shipping programs, they do not so far have a good track record when it comes to handling the goods of others.

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Apr 3 22:01:39 2018

Another Viewpoint Regarding FBA / FBE:

If eBay had a free shipping perk for those who pay a membership, wouldn't there be Amazon sellers who would use their ''eBay Prime'' accounts to drop ship to buyers on the River for a profit?? Just like what happens now with the many eBay dropshippers!!!

Amazon would actually benefit from this- buyers (and ex-sellers and others that refuse to shop on eBay) will buy the same item for a higher price, shipped in a colorful eBay box.

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by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 23:25:09 2018

Sold by eBay, fulfillment by Amazon.

Ebay will be gone in 2-3 years.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 23:41:55 2018

Who is selling items with enough margin to eat all these costs?

On Amazon its 1) to get the buy box 2) because Amazon "owns the shipping" cheaper then anyone on the planet 3) Amazon has fantastic traffic.

eBay has NONE of these things - doesnt mean they wont try it though. eBay has NEVER been shy wasting sellers monies.

GSP was done for a few reasons - whether eBay actually makes money off it (they do however) is a second matter.

eBay 1) gets a cut of the shipping IN and out 2) eBay avoids/avoided alot of SNADs since they (used to - dont think they do so anymore) examine packages and 3) theres a DMCA/VERO?Transshipping game eBay does when sellers try to ship certain items out of the US - the deal becomes - you cant offer to ship the item out of the US yourself - but if you check the GSP box - you can do it that way ..... aka see #1.

It will get tried at some point - soon as eBay gets most of it figured out - and it WILL be used as leverage against sellers who wont play ball.

It will lower sellers in search, it will accelerate 30+ day returns, it will give eBay a new income stream, it will let eBay see what sells and where it comes from and then make money reselling that info to the highest bidder (you have to remember that eBay is basically pond scum aka not your partner), and then eBay will tell you that when you use FBE you get higher placement, faster shipping, be "eligible" for some kind of rebate (like TRS stuff) and will get protected from negatives.

Sellers will fall for it and the ones that can afford it - will sign up (I wont - theres not enough margin in electronics).

Amazon does it so wBay will to - and if Jeff Bezos walked around naked in public - DW would too. eBay has no shame and no clue.

Till it happens we are all safe - eBay Valet took a dump on eBay - it will make them think twice about it ... but it wont scare them off, not by a long shot.

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by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 00:39:11 2018

They never give up trying to screw the seller.  It’s that simple. They have no original ideas since the founder and I have to give Whitman credit, started eBay stores. How long ago was that? Over 10  years ago. Meanwhile Amazon thought out of the box even though eBay was the first, Amazon was more creative. It’s sad that they just copy Amazon.
.
The only advantage they have or had is unique items and their auctions and being the first but lack of hubris kind of ruined it for them. That’s it!  Bezos has taken great risks and rules right now but due to lack of auction license, they have limits however Amazon has their own movies plus more. They've surpassed eBay by being creative. eBay is the place to go for items Amazon can’t compete in due to their auction license and grandfathered FCC status.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Wed Apr 4 00:39:42 2018

Considering china already mails things to the USA (primary market) for practically free, why would they want to participate in this?  So eBay can then mail it domestically out of their "warehouse" for 30x more?

There's just no way ebay itself is going to take this on without reinvesting all of their resources in systems, warehousing, warehouse and implementation staff that aren't phone drones - which might actually have to be skilled and won't work for $15/hr.  So in this end, it's going to be another 3rd party handling it (probably one of the failed valet vendors -  and they will again fail spectacularly as a team, lose millions of dollars in the process, and alienate even more of their user base, both buyer and seller.

Do it eBay.  Start the countdown to your bankruptcy.

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by: debranator This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 01:34:21 2018

What Ebay does not seem to get is that they can NEVER be amazon.
Ebay is where I sell goods that I will not list on amazon.
Ebay is an alternate venue and they should embrace where they started which is an online garage sale...primarily auctions.
That model worked..trying to be amazon does not.
They killed their auction listings when they started charging 1.00 a listing for auctions less than 5 days.
My 1000 auctions a month went to 20 and now none.
Not worth it.
And the worst part?
The part ebay cannot grasp?
Is that amazon Prime buyers are a higher end market and the majority despise ebay.
It was made very obvious to me a few weeks ago.
I have a fragile item that does not fit well into priority boxes.
But, the free ebay boxes that I get with my store were a perfect size.
So, I shipped them in the ebay boxes..
But, although I carefully covered all the ebay logos with priority mail stickers...
one of my amazon buyers left me a bad feedback.
Because I used an ebay box.
This is the feedback:

Item was listed as new. Came well packed but in an e-bay box. No original box or paperwork and the box smelled like smoke. If I wanted used off of e-bay, I would have bought off e-bay. This WAS supposed to be a gift.

It is an unboxed brand new item and she imagined the smoke smell...all was because of the ebay box.

So..ebay trying to be amazon is an experiment doomed to fail.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Apr 4 02:08:44 2018

I'm not big enough nor do I have enough of a profit margin to allow for yet another set of hands in the pot so to speak.

A fulfillment program can be very useful to many sellers, I'm just not one of them.  I don't know if it will affect visibility or not, I suppose we will just need to wait and see how many sellers participate and how it affects the rest of us.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 02:40:26 2018

Ebay really needs a new way of thinking. It doesn't need a fulfillment center because most product sold on ebay are already fulfilled by amazon. All amazon needs to do to pull ebay's plug is simply ban the ebay fulfillment and ebay would be done. That is waaaaay too much power in the hands of your competitor! This may already be underway too since amazon just started banning loads of people. Any chance those people are drop shippers or drop ship recipients? Ebay would never bounce back from such a scandal.


As ebay sinks deeper and deeper I can't believe no one realizes ebay is marching onward to failure. We need more "ebay does not need to be like amazon" thinking like DW went on about when he introduced himself.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Apr 4 02:45:16 2018

@comments

That simply isn't true.  Granted there are a good number of sellers on Ebay that dropship using Amazon, but it is not the majority of sellers on Ebay by any stretch of the imagination.

Amazon doesn't necessarily know that a seller from Ebay is using them as a dropshipper.  It could be a seller from any number of sites using them as a dropshipper.  

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by: userfish This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 03:11:20 2018

I did the very long survey and tried my best to talk them out of it.

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by: userfish This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 03:15:35 2018

I sell some very heavy 69,5 PD Medium box items to Canada. My Canada buyer buys 1 on ebay, wires the balance and ebay gets to ship all 15 boxed for me for 1 price.
It is awesome!

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 03:43:44 2018

@Extinctbay -- you failed to mention that Amazon is losing money on that Prime shipping.
My question is -- will Ebay build warehouses like AMZ?  Or will it rent seller's garages?  Will it hire teams of workers like AMZ?  Will it co-venture with AMZ to warehouse goods; which seems to more likely.
This seems like pie in the sky IMO.  I just don't see them getting up to speed logistically.

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by: Calling You Out This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 05:49:12 2018

Contrary to what most posters here are saying, I think Fulfillment by Ebay is a fantastic idea and I for one will certainly be using it. Our Ebay sales have grown year over year to a point where we can barely keep up. If Ebay does start the FBE program we will be able to add even more SKUs. Sounds like a win - win

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 06:06:34 2018


When Wenig introduced himself he actually was speaking out of both sides of his mouth then also, we just didn't hear as much about it.  Wenig has always had one speech that he gives to the Ebay sellers about how Ebay is our partner and that Ebay has no intentions of being like Amazon.  Then the next week when he is speaking to the Wall Street people it all changes and Ebay is going to be the next Amazon and he starts committing to projects that will make Ebay look just like Amazon while trashing all the sellers that he currently has.  

Bottom line is he does not want to be the CEO of the largest Flea Market in the world.  He wants to be in charge of Amazon and since there is no way they would hire him after seeing the joke his ideas have become, he has to try and emulate them in any way possible with low cost programmers who many times i don't think could program themselves out of a wet paper bag while using patch work software and not expanding the hardware to accommodate the increase in listings that Ebay has attained.  

Wenig would rather allocate $2.5 billion each of the past 2 years to buy back Ebay stock in an effort to increase its value while this years allocation is $6.5 billion in buybacks.  imagine how much Ebay could improve if they paid for quality programmers who actually worked in the same country and could communicate with each other at least weekly to discuss what each ''Team'' is doing, or actually upgraded their servers to handle all of the listings so we don't have the rolling blackouts or the throttling of accounts.  Ebay could make so much more money if they would just stop manipulating the sales trying to make it more like a socialist economy where each seller with this type of store is allowed to sell this much product each month.  Its all about creating fixed monthly income rather than have any dependence on their system actually working and allowing sellers to sell !!

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by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Apr 4 06:17:10 2018

Why would any business owner do that?  Total moronic idea.

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