Fulfillment for eBay Pilot in the US

By Chris Dawson March 27, 2019 - 12:00 pm

Fulfillment for eBay is already running in Germany and Australia. Fulfillment for eBay has been running as a pilot programme in the US for several months and they are still recruiting sellers.

Up until now, eBay have pretty much left sellers to fulfil orders, although they’ve provided some valuable assistance in the form of their Global Shipping Program and Click and Collect to assist small sellers on the marketplace to offer big retailer delivery solutions.

The problem is that sellers have to meet buyer expectations as measured by eBay metrics and often under promise with extended despatch times to avoid falling foul of feedback. eBay also don’t highlight offers from sellers who do promise to ship fast leaving buyers to click into multiple listings to check shipping times and this, I believe, is one of the reasons so many buyers prefer to shop on Amazon.

On Amazon, especially with Prime (whether delivered through FBA or Seller fulfilled Prime) if you want an item delivered quickly and are a Prime member then it’s easy to find the expected delivery date… although increasingly it’s not next day but it’s still specified and mostly met.

eBay don’t have Prime but they also don’t enable buyers to easily find items with fast shipping. Fast and Free is outdated – a three day delivery isn’t fast in 2019. eBay don’t have a search facility to locate items qualifying for Premium Service, all of which offer a next day (paid) shipping option. In the US there is a sidebar option narrow search to items that can be delivered in 1, 2, 3 or 4 days, but we don’t even have that in the UK.

Fulfillment for eBay offers 3-day deliveries as standard for 90% of buyers in the continental US and while that’s not fast it’s worth bearing in mind that express shipping is routinely a 2-day delivery due to the size of the country. In the UK it would be equivalent to offering a 1-2 day service as standard and in Germany, Fulfillment for eBay already offers 1-2 day shipping.

While there are costs associated with Fulfilment for eBay, as there are with Amazon FBA, the ability for eBay to offer a guaranteed delivery promise could make a huge difference to encouraging impatient buyers to shop on eBay. It does in part depend on how well it’s signposted on the site – in Germany for example they already have eBay Plus offering buyers fast and free premium shipping, simple free returns and premium customer service and Fulfillment for eBay items automatically qualify for eBay Plus.

Fulfillment for eBay Features

  • End-to-End fulfillment on every item sold
  • eBay’s 3-Day Guaranteed Delivery for 90% of Continental US buyers
  • Logistics are handled by our team
  • Customer service, seller protection, and more

Fulfillment for eBay Requirements

  • Sellers must agree to our partners’ terms and conditions for service
  • Sellers must sell items that are suitable for fulfillment (i.e. no HazMat, no food, no dangerous goods, etc.)
  • Sellers must be able to split their inventory into at least 2 locations
  • Sellers must be able to turn over their inventory within 3 months
  • Sellers must use either eBay listing tools or use one of the following listing tools: ChannelAdvisor, Shopify, Zentail, SellerActive, GeekSeller, InkFrog, or WooCommerce

Apply for Fullfillment for eBay in the US

Currently eBay are only accepting sellers into the Fulfillment for eBay pilot if they’ve been invited. However if you sell on you can express your interest in the program here.

  • 3 years ago

    The lack of transparancy or any actual specific details should alert sellers to the fact that:

    1) eBay doesn’t truly know what it’s doing and is going to make it up as it goes along.

    Unlike Amazon or WalMart eBay has no in-house “bench strength” in supply chain, logistics, warehousing, transportation networks, etc. etc they are dependent on the capabilities of their outsourced “partners”.

    2) “Logistics are handled by our team” is a misleading and disingenuous statement, as eBay is wont to do.

    Since eBay hasn’t disclosed who the 3PL(s) is/are handling the actual fulfillment operations, the ambiguous “our team” shows eBay again posturing as an actual “operation” when it’s convenient for them, and the “capital and overhead-light” technology company for a different audience.

    Like politicians, Wenig/eBay’s messaging is mercurial and will shift or perform an entire 180° depending on audience.

    3) Will FBE allow fulfillment for other marketplaces/sites besides eBay?
    Can pack-out include merchant flyers with promos/coupons to sellers own site?

    If no to any of #3 and you are a large enough seller to contemplate FBE you are certain to be better off shopping 3PLs on your own by obtaining eBay’s fulfillment rates and shop around directly. Like Wenig’s compensation package, eBay’s intermediary/middleman cut is always “above-band” margin-wise and you’re certain to be better off with the flexibility of remaining independent of eBay with your inventory and not allow them to get their claws in any deeper.

    Speaking of eBay’s duplicity, I this serves as further evidence eBay attempting to marginalizes seller’s unique brand identity or differentiation and replace it with “BRAND EBAY”.

    • Rob
      3 years ago

      ebay mess up on quite a lot of things but do manage to get the odd thing right. They have done a pretty good job on the global shipping programme when partnering with Pitney Bowes. Maybe it would be the same company that runs the fulfilment for ebay?

    • 3 years ago

      > CHRIS: “Fast and Free is outdated – a three day delivery isn’t fast in 2019”

      Too true, and yet in the US the “Fast ‘N Free” moniker, logo and search teaser doesn’t even represent 3 days, it’s 4!

      Hardly “fast” relative to Amazon’s re-conditioning of consumer/buyer expectations.
      > ROB: “[eBay] have done a pretty good job on the global shipping programme when partnering with Pitney Bowes.

      No argument from me relative to the operational performance of PB for eBay’s GSP. Then again, that speaks to my point regarding eBay’s complete dependency on the capabilities of their outsourced partners as eBay doesn’t have the human-capital talent and expertise in-house – they’re completely at the mercy of their vendor-partners for endeavors such as this.

      When eBay launched the interest survey a while back I commented on a US blog that PB would seem a logical choice for this since they handle GSP, but eBay’s collateral seems to suggest several outfits may be involved at this stage. If anyone knows the name(s) of the current fulfillment operators, please do share.

  • Freddy
    3 years ago

    Seller must turnover stock within 3 months. Great for fast moving items but otherwise a bit of a lame duck

  • 3 years ago

    Designed with the Chinese in mind perhaps?

    Clamp down on location abuse, say you’ll kick them off if they don’t play fair, then offer them a new way to play fair, at a price.

  • Antony
    3 years ago

    In the article above the Global Shipping Programme is mentioned. I tried this but noticed international sales dropped a lot.

    I then did a price comparison – Global Shipping vs Royal Mail International.

    For one of my items Global Shipping were charging for example to French buyers £10.20 and Royal Mail Standard is £2.95.

    ok – GSP is tracked, has insurance etc which RM Std does not have.

    So I changed my listings back to RM International Standard and international orders are picking up again 🙂 No foreign buyer has reported ‘items not received’ so all is good 🙂

    GSP is far to expensive for relatively low priced items eg under £20 sale price

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