Ebay has announced a fulfilment service – Ebay Fulfilment Partner – for retailer clients, matching Amazon’s Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) service.
The service is a joint effort between Ebay and the Australia Post-supported Fulfilio, which has warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and offers same-day delivery in metropolitan areas.
Ebay Australia says sellers can save up to 30 percent by outsourcing their warehousing, picking, packing and delivery. It said a 500g parcel would costing as little as $5.74 for pick, pack and delivery in the same city and about a dollar more for interstate delivery.
‘We will continue to deliver sellers the lowest cost to pick, pack and fulfil their eBay orders so they can put their inventory closer to their customers and spend less time packing and more time selling,’ Ebay senior director, product and shipping David Ramadge said.
Amazon’s FBA is seen as a real competitive edge as it enables fast delivery at low freight rates – two factors smaller retailers in particular find appealing. But with Amazon currently only running one warehouse in Melbourne, and another due in Sydney later this year, the Ebay/Fulfilio arrangement appears superior to FBA.
At the same time, Ebay has updated its user agreement to restrict Ebay sellers from using third party fulfilment services – which could be seen as banning sellers from using FBA to fulfil Ebay orders. Amazon offers this service in other markets.
Ebay seems sharply focused on matching or bettering the overall Amazon Australia offer. It recently unveiled the Ebay Plus consumer loyalty program, with a range of Amazon Prime-like benefits such as free delivery and returns, and Plus Weekend – a Prime Day-style shopping event.
Ebay Plus members get access to exclusive deals such as up to 60 per cent off of popular items, early access to new products, a dedicated customer support team and double Flybuys points on all Ebay Plus purchases. Amazon Australia is yet to roll out Amazon Prime. According to research commissioned by Ebay in May, Australians spend over $71 on delivery each year, with 8 per cent spending in excess of $200. Ebay Plus membership is $49 annually whereas Amazon Prime is US$119 ($160) in the US.
Ebay has also introduced a Guaranteed Delivery, which guarantees delivery in four days or less on millions of items, with the option to search for and filter items by delivery speed.
More than 39 per cent of items in Ebay’s ‘Guaranteed Delivery’ program can now be delivered within one day, more than 71 per cent within two days, and more than 89 per cent within three days.
Customers can filter their search for items on the marketplace by delivery speed, and if the item doesn’t arrive by the delivery date, Ebay will provide free returns and options to refund the cost of delivery.
There is no additional shipping cost for items that qualify for ‘Guaranteed Delivery’.