If you’re selling on eBay or planning to in the near future, you’ll need to work out the best way to fulfil customer orders - which includes picking, packing and shipping. One of the options available is eBay fulfilment.
We’ll give you the lowdown on eBay fulfilment here in this guide, including how it works and the advantages for your business. This should help you work out whether it’s the right choice for your business and its customers.
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If you’re new to it, order fulfilment basically means preparing and delivering orders to customers. You can do it yourself, or you can outsource to a third party.
The online marketplace eBay has recently launched its own solution, called eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex. This is designed to make it easier for businesses selling on the platform to fulfil orders, without needing to bring in a third party provider.
eBay has teamed up with international logistics business Orange Connex, which has dedicated fulfilment centres in Leicester and Birmingham¹. Sellers send their inventory to these centres for storage, before goods are packed and delivered to customers buying online at the seller’s store on eBay.co.uk.
Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits on offer with eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex, particularly for smaller businesses:
eBay promises next day delivery with its new UK order fulfilment service, including same-day dispatch and late cut off times². This can make getting orders to customers much quicker than handling fulfilment yourself or using a third party, as orders go straight from eBay’s platform to Orange Connex for fulfilment.
Faster delivery means happier customers and a better reputation for your business, and could make your eBay store more appealing compared to your competition.
Smaller businesses are not always able to offer UK-wide or international delivery, and if they do it’s sometimes necessary to charge high shipping fees to customers.
By teaming up with global logistics specialists Orange Connex, eBay’s new fulfilment service offers coverage across the whole of the UK. And if sellers are part of the platform’s Global Shipping Program, they can integrate with eBay fulfilment services for international orders³.
One of the main advantages of teaming up with an order fulfilment provider is the enormous saving on storage space.
Growing businesses usually need more and more warehousing capacity to store their inventory. But if sellers can send their inventory to a fulfilment centre such as those run by Orange Connex for eBay, they can potentially make cost savings on storage space.
One of the unique benefits of eBay order fulfilment is that it offers multi-channel support. The service provided end-to-end inventory management on eBay’s own platform, as well as other selling platforms including your own online shop².
This makes it easier to manage fulfilment across a number of different platforms, while ensuring consistency of service for your customers.
When your products are delivered to customers using eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex, you’ll benefit from full seller protection. This means that you won’t be liable for delivery-related errors or damage.
Last but perhaps most importantly, eBay fulfilment offers an enhanced delivery experience for the customer. It’s a fully tracked service, which means that customers benefit from full transparency from the point of ordering right through to delivery. According to eBay, this helps to “Gain their trust and improve your seller rating”².
As a regular seller on eBay, the platform's fulfilment service could make a big difference to your business. It could make inventory management and delivery much easier, as everything is managed from a central integrated platform.
There are also benefits in terms of visibility and competitiveness. According to eBay, fast delivery times and clear delivery dates are among the first things shoppers look for in listings.
If you’re signed up to eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex, this will show up in search results. And being able to offer next-day delivery with late cut-off dates for ordering could push you ahead of your competitors, meaning more sales and higher ratings from customers.
An important point to consider before using eBay fulfilment services is the cost. eBay charges a flat rate fulfilment fee, based on product weight, and a storage fee². This is charged per cubic metre per month, and covers the space your inventory will take up in a Orange Connex fulfilment centre.
You’ll need to do your sums and work out whether the benefits balance out the extra cost - or whether eBay’s services could actually be cheaper than your current fulfilment processes.
At the moment, eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex is the only service available for eBay sellers in the UK. However, you can of course choose to use a third-party fulfilment service instead, or manage order fulfilment and delivery yourself.
Over in the US, the online marketplace has launched eBay Managed Delivery. This works in a similar way to Fulfilment by Amazon. However, there are no signs just yet that this service will come to the UK⁴.
If you sell worldwide using eBay, you can still make use of eBay fulfilment by Orange Connex.
You’ll need to sign up for eBay’s Global Shipping Programme⁵, which handles international postage on your behalf. This means that duty payments, customs clearance and all the other finer details of selling internationally are taken care of. You’ll simply need to post your items to the UK Shipping Centre, and eBay will handle the rest.
Once you’re part of the programme, you can integrate it with eBay fulfilment services³. This means you’ll be able to manage and track fulfilment for both UK and international orders.
eBay fulfilment services can help you streamline your delivery, but what about payments?
If you sell internationally, you’re likely to be receiving payments in lots of different currencies. This could mean losing money to unfavourable exchange rates and currency conversion fees when using traditional methods like banks or built in services of payment gateways and merchant accounts.
- A multi-currency account to receive payments in 10 different currencies for free
- Mid-market rate for every conversion - no mark-up
- Fast and secure international payments to over 50 different currencies
- A multi-currency debit card for instant business payments
- Multi-user access for your employees
With Wise, it’s easy to streamline your global financial management and cash flow by having all your overseas transactions in one account.
After reading this guide, you should be all up-to-date on eBay’s new fulfilment service for UK sellers. We’ve covered how it works and the many advantages on offer. But before signing up, it’s worth crunching the numbers to check whether the cost works for your business. Good luck!
Sources used for this article:
- ebay seller centre
- ebay seller centre
- Parcel and postal technology international blog post
- the storage place blog post
- ebay seller centre - global shipping programme
Sources checked on 17-Aug-2021.
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