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?



Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 9 21:08:36 2019

"aggregating shipments might enable eBay to offer participants lower shipping rates"

Ebay already has that but they don't pass the savings on to sellers.  

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

Sun Jun 9 22:57:28 2019

"... can be offered at an additional cost." And that sums up the current state of selling on eBay.

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: DeathFromAbove

Mon Jun 10 00:16:28 2019

"Fulfillment for eBay"

FOR EBAY

Exactly.  It's not for anyone else's benefit.  Simple, short, phrases say so much.  Much like a "mission statement".

Here, you can use this if you want, Devil:  "We have a strategic game plan in motion to hit the ground running and leverage our partner network to boost value-added growth, year-over-year and see record amounts of EBITDA while supporting our customer retention pain points and BOPIS."

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: DeathFromAbove

Mon Jun 10 00:19:03 2019

And the are going to get inundated with long tail CRAP.  Hope they have some magic plan on how to deal with that.  When they start destroying inventory, or charging sellers to return it, is that gonna help their PR any more?  Get real.

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

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 00:42:57 2019

In my categories SNADs and INRs are quite rare, so I have no interest in paying for extra protection from them.  FFE?  Not for me.

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

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

Mon Jun 10 01:29:48 2019

Once again Ebay is going to use another outside service to handle a service for them in hopes of becoming more like Amazon.  This will be no different than any of the other proposals where they have outside companies contracted to provide a service for them but have no quality control over what those companies do and after a short period of time Ebay will once again see how much they are not making and quietly discontinue the service.

I do not use GSP but from what I have heard, where they used to protect the Sellers from all of the fraud and headaches associated with selling internationally, now the Seller is pretty much on their own, especially with SNAD claims. I have also noticed that once again Ebay is trying to sneak that service back in as a default, at least on most of my listings.  So now i have to spend the time double checking all my uploads just prior to uploading from Turbo Lister to ensure i dont get caught in that trap as i only ship to the US and Canada.

Any bets on how soon this program disappears and of course it will be due to poor Seller participation and poor performance by Ebays partners.  Sellers will wind up stuck for shipping their products back or just kiss it goodbye as Ebay makes its next attempt at lining their pockets with the current Sellers mone, regardless of whether the Seller actually sells anything.

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

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 06:45:45 2019

OK folks WHY WOULD YOU TRUST EBAY WITH ANY OF THIS STUFF. They Lie, They have a history of contempt for sellers, They take your money and hide your listings. If you believe that they are going to change. They aren't. So if you take this as a solemn promise and when it goes wrong PLEASE PLEASE DON'T WHINE ABOUT IT.

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

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 08:43:20 2019

Marketplace plus reports that 40% of AMZ's FBA/warehouse vendors are Chinese.

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

by: Ebay Little Shop of Horrors This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 09:04:45 2019

This is proof that Amazon is dying. If an idea is exhausted, Ebay jumps on it. Always the last one in. This is not a Jesse Cohn/Elliott idea. This is a wenig idea.

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

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 09:36:39 2019

another example of the bay split personality. This news pertains to eBay being Amazon-Light. This had no pertinence to sellers who list vintage collectible antique, etc. I wish eBay would split into 2 sites - 1 for new crap to compete with Amazon and 1 based on how it was founded as the great internet flea market

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 09:58:26 2019

Dream on eBay.

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: FEEbay

Mon Jun 10 10:51:13 2019

We use Amazon FBA, and it is pretty bad....unacceptable return %, lost merchandise, fraudulent returns, etc. That said, Amazon is the undisputed king of fulfillment..... They basically created the wheel here!  Who in their right mind thinks that Ebay will be able to roll out a fulfillment program without screwing it up??
And as one of the posters above stated.... Who thinks Ebay will do right by their sellers?? Pay attention to everything they have done since 2008.......  

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: Ric

Mon Jun 10 10:51:40 2019

If you ask me, one of the major reasons sellers are realizing declining sales is all the so called visibility boosts that are allegedly built into search. Boost for free shipping, boost for TRS, boost for FBE, boost for spelling your name right the list goes on.   On top of that eBay encourages sellers to purchase featured listings. And, if those are not enough, there are eBay penalties that demote some sellers lower in visibility.

With all the games eBay plays with visibility, all the algorithms required for the various visibility rewards and penalties, combined with the perpetual staffing comings and goings one has to believe that all this algorithm injection into search is the primary reason eBay's search does not function properly and why so many items not related to a specific search appear in eBay's faulty results.

eBay executives seemingly do not comprehend the fact that all the meddling and manipulations of search that drive inconsistent results is the reason the platform fails to grow sales. With each passing day, more buyers and sellers become frustrated with the many ways eBay fails them due to the fact that the plethora of search manipulations serves to break search rather than enhance it.

It has been 4 plus years since I closed my eBay store and completely stopped selling. Since I stopped selling I have not spent a dime as a buyer on eBay.  

With eBay executives that are blind to the cause and effect of the perpetual manipulations they employ, it is easy to see why the platform is failing to grow sales.  With each passing day that search fails buyers, the likelihood of eBay ever becoming relevant again diminishes.

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 10:52:55 2019

I can fulfill an order in a matter of minutes. Faster than eBay ever would and faster than Amazon. It's the delivery that falls short. I believe that MANY sellers can say the same thing.

If Amazon gets into the shipping business (I think they will), I can see the day when all of us will be able to offer one day delivery....WITHOUT any need or help from eBay.

eBay has an image problem, as well as numerous infrastructure shortcomings. They should focus on those and everything else will take take of themselves.

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

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 11:35:28 2019

I wanted to buy something yesterday on eBay - key word Wanted - after a hour - yes an hour - browsing everything eBay wanted to show me - most time absolutely non-related items - car parts - Chinese crappy things I didn't even know what they actually were - changing my search words generated different search results - some not relevant - AND when I drilled down the search to my specific category not All categories  I saw the exact same results which totally just disgusted me and I finally gave up altogether.  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?

If all this is the result of the new reshuffling of category's or item specifics that eBay is attempting to do we are all screwed. My biggest question is this: Please give me the date that the doors are closing so I can schedule a real peranent vacation

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

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 11:42:13 2019

so long and short of it is - if ebay has screwed things up so badly why would I give them my inventory?

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

Mon Jun 10 11:42:46 2019

Just a matter of time until eBay hides seller ID's from buyers!

We will all be "Fulfillers for Ebay"

I saw this coming the moment they mentioned "eBay Payments"

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

Mon Jun 10 11:46:38 2019

I have NEVER has a problem finding what I want to buy on eBay.

In my opinion eBay search works just fine.

Even the hard to find stuff is easy to find, I know because I buy hard to fins items all the time on eBay!

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

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 11:51:48 2019

They already are at a huge disadvantage considering they want to give sales to 2 day shipping over 3 day shipping, all the while the 2 day shipping people will have to raise prices to cover 2 day shipping since ebay won't be covering shipping like Amazon has for prime.

Ebay simply will fail at this. end of story. They are not smart enough to run an actual business correctly let alone open up distribution centers and run those as well.



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

by: hkingal This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jun 10 12:38:53 2019

eBay began and thrived as a connection service between buyer and seller. In their race to become Amazon (a lost effort, trying to become something you are not) they are destroying eBay's strength, which is the lack of anonymity in the transaction. I would never participate in an eBay fulfillment service for the same reason I pulled most of my inventory from FBA a couple of years ago. Anonymity breeds abuse. As a seller of clothing and shoes, the financial hit I took from buyers ''renting'' my items and returning them used destroyed profit. I count on eBay for the connection people feel when they buy from me - it's harder to cheat somebody if you have to deal with them personally. Much easier for buyers to say ''oh, Amazon can absorb the loss'', not realizing that they are dealing with an actual person who will suffer financially from them ''borrowing'' a snowboard jacket. There is also the problem of items lost in the warehouse -- not that important if you are selling a small kitchen utensil or other widget, but a big problem if you sell higher end items. I can not begin to imagine how disorganized and poorly run Fulfillment for eBay would be! eBay will only thrive again when they quit running after the shirttails of Amazon and go back to being what they were successful at, connecting people who have something great to sell to buyers who trust in the site.

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