EBay Joins the Shipping Wars With Plans for Its Own Fulfillment Network

'Managed Delivery,' available in 2020, will let sellers ship and store at its warehouse

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EBay's 'Managed Delivery' rolls out in 2020 in the U.S.
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EBay’s plan to bring more sellers includes starting a new fulfillment network to let sellers store products at warehouses and enable faster and easier shipping.

The service, dubbed “Managed Delivery,” is set to roll out in the U.S. in 2020. EBay now joins Shopify in trying to compete with Amazon and lure sellers away from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and instead, bring them onto their own platforms by offering cheaper rates.

“We don’t want to win a fast shipping game; that’s not the point,” said Devin Wenig, president and CEO of eBay at eBay Open, the company’s sellers conference. “Our winning value proposition is the inventory you provide, not shipping, but that doesn’t mean shipping isn’t important.”

With more than 180 million shoppers on the site that spend $100 billion annually, it makes sense that eBay is taking matters into its own hands and handling warehouse and shipping inventory for its sellers. Similar to Shopify’s fulfillment service, eBay plans on working with existing logistics partners for a discounted rate for its sellers. To bring sellers away from FBA, eBay’s added on a series of seller and buyer protections, such as package tracking and protections against any bad delivery experience, like if a buyer claims an item wasn’t received or came damaged.

“EBay succeeds when our sellers succeed,” said Stuart Reichenbach, senior director, shipping at eBay in an interview with Adweek. “By creating a cost-effective way for sellers to meet rising consumer expectations, we’re confident the end result will mean faster delivery time, lower shipping costs and happier customers.”

And then of course, operating fulfillment means the potential to up eBay’s brand game. With a fulfillment network, homes across the U.S. will end up with eBay-branded boxes, as opposed to unmarked, run-of-the-mill brown ones. Wenig said eBay’s the second-largest customer of the U.S. Postal Service and that about 15% of every USPS shipped package is an eBay item.

“Imagine millions of eBay boxes showing up on people’s porches every day,” Wenig said. “Our business is hidden in plain sight.”

EBay now joins the growing competition against Amazon to not only bring customers faster delivery, but also bring sellers out of the ecommerce giant’s hold. Considering 1.5 million packages are sent by eBay sellers in the U.S. every day, it’s a chance for eBay to grab market share.

“Our end goal is to enable small- to medium-sized business to better compete in the market by getting products in the hands of their customers faster—and to create an overall more positive shopping experience for customers,” Reichenbach said.

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