eBay surveys sellers about potential fulfilment service

By Dan Wilson April 4, 2018 - 10:50 pm

There are plenty of reports of eBay surveys. But this one recently reported is of particular interest. We’ve written about the prospect before but it increasingly looks like eBay is considering offering fulfilment like Amazon. US sellers have been asked direct questions about the prospect. And as it stands this looks like a purely stateside consideration but that might change.

A screengrab of the start of the survey has been posted on Instagram and you can find it here from rockstarflipper

The text of the survey preamble starts, according to the screengrab:

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?
– eBay survey

There’s a lot to unpack here, and plenty of material for speculation. Perhaps of key importance is that (shall we call it FBE? Fulfilment by eBay) the potential that sellers offering goods via the service might get preference and prominence in search.

More keenly, from a practical perspective, it’s worth wondering whether eBay has the expertise and capability to administer warehouses and an FBE facility. The current model must be the Global Seller Programme (GSP) and that does seem to prove effective to many.

Would you use FBE?

  • Mr Jones
    3 years ago

    Great, now that £10 FBE listing will be exposed above your £8 own fulfilment listing, simply because it offers a better customer experience.

    On a more positive note, perhaps it will give eBay an insight into to the real life struggles of running a warehouse and shipping on time, everytime, snow or no snow!

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    I’d consider it for faster moving lines if it was in the UK and cost effective, especially if it gives a boost in best match.

    Though a tad unfair on self fulfilled sellers in my opinion and I can guarantee their 1 to 3 day guaranteed delivery won’t be 100% unless they’re using a premium service unsuited to many products and even then there are other things which could delay.

  • 3 years ago

    Like all things it will depend on the cost, Amazon like to build and own all things and keep it inhouse, and are happy to invest for the long term. I doubt that Ebay will spend the billions that Amazon has on building warehousing all over the world and logicalist expertise needed to do this inhouse. Probably will outsource to a warehousing/fulfillment firm, so again, it will depend on the cost.

  • SAM
    3 years ago

    Amazon have always had a long term plan, and eBay are all short term. Look at the diffrence in the net worth of the two 40B eBay and Amazon closing in on 700B. This would require a lot of time and investment. Amazon shareholders were very patient for a lot of years, and am afraid eBay do not have that type of investor. Also eBay are losing their USP of the alternative, and are like a lost puppy following Amazon.
    Few years ago we would have loved this, but eBay only accounts for about 20% of our sales these days, we would like to keep our stock in-house for all our other marketplaces now (unless they would competitively fulfill other markets), also more and more of our sales are becoming digital which takes the cost and hassle out of logistics all together (again Amazon leaps and bounds ahead of ebay here)…

  • james
    3 years ago

    well there’s one of two solutions:

    A) eBay attempt this in house, royally f**k it up like they do with everything, pass the losses onto sellers. or
    B) eBay outsource it to an existing fulfiller, adding a healthy margin for eBay on top, like the do with everything, making it the most expensive fulfilment option available.

    Like when they sent the survey out asking if we’d like “Cheap, Easy, ebay returns via Royal Mail”, and what we got was the most expensive RM labels money can buy forced upon us.

  • 3 years ago

    All this will do is open the door to more Chinese sellers, already the market is flooded with Chinese sellers, and many uk company’s what employ uk staff and pay uk salary’s are bleeding if not bleeding already gone to the wall. This will see the back of most uk sellers. what pay uk overheads already hmrc and trading standards has joined together and new laws are coming out in 1st april 2019. but the damadge is done now they are in the uk and getting kick backs from the Chinese goverments , getting Tax back from china, what do uk sellers get from HMRC of our local goverments nothink. I know a Chinese company what had a kick back of the Chinese government last year to pay for a 200,000 sqft warehouse to be built has they have a company in china and the government are supporting them for overseas trading, again uk sellers get nothing. prt from being penalized from ebay.

  • alan paterson
    3 years ago

    People forget that ebay were here first. What….Amazon didn’t take inspiration and ideas from what ebay were already doing? Off course they did. Yet its always portrayed as ebay falling behind or “copying” Amazon.

    • james
      3 years ago

      were they? and in what way?
      in the way that “ebay” were “auctionweb”?
      in the way that ebay (auctionweb) launched after amazon? in complete contradiction to what you just said?
      in the way that Amazon were already trading on the nasdaq before ebay decided “buy it now” might be an idea worth looking at?
      what did amazon copy from ebay, exactly?

  • alan paterson
    3 years ago

    @ James – as a marketplace ebay were here first. Im obviously referring to the way we as sellers use the site. In the context of Tamebay. I had been trading on ebay for several years before I even had the opportunity to list my items on Amazon.

    • 3 years ago

      @alan paterson

      I have no idea which came first and I am guessing it depends in what context, as James rightly said, eBay was an auction site to start with, as Amazon was an on-line book store.

      At some point in time Amazon decided to allow other sellers to use their platform and eBay allowed sellers to use a BIN button to sell items, rather than just auction.

      The point in time is not really relevant, although it could be said one copied the other if we knew the exact dates the above happened. But supposing we give eBay the benefit of the doubt and say they did it first.

      They both use different methods to sell items, eBay allows individual listings and Amazon lumps them all together, although eBay have started to group listings (Amazon style), eBay may also be considering an in-house payment system (Amazon style) as well as the latest revelation FBE (Amazon style).

      I had a retail shop in the 90’s, it was a real mess, a shed. I went to visit a shop owner I knew, impressed by the way he had done his out with slat walling and perspex shelving, modern lighting etc, I revamped my next shop the same. A good friend of mine, who also supplied me with stock, came to visit my new shop, he was so impressed with how it looked he revamped his 30+ shops the same.

      The original guy had not got a clue about business and soon went broke, I sold mine on and the guy with 30 now has 60+.

      It really does not matter who copies who, it is what they do with the idea and how they make it work.

      If Amazon did copy an idea, they took it to a whole new level and then some….

  • alan paterson
    3 years ago

    @ tyler, the point of my original post has been missed. My point was – sellers criticise ebay for copying Amazon. Perhaps you should be directing your post to them – you are preaching to the converted.

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