Category Archives: Shipping & Fulfillment

Advice on ecommerce order processing from running a warehouse to using marketplace shipping programs.

FedEx and UPS Shipping Contract Negotiations: Your Checklist to Getting Them Done Right

Ten hot tips from Brian Gibbs to make sure you don’t pay sky-high prices, when you sign up or renew your contract with FedEx or UPS

This post is by Brian Gibbs, President of Refund Retriever, a company which audits shippers’ FedEx or UPS accounts for late deliveries and billing mistakes, using their own in-house technology. They also help with contract negotiations, and provide a range of shipping reports to help sellers analyze their activity and get better prices.

What do most small businesses do when their shipping contract comes up for renewal? That’s right, they just resign themselves to rising prices and tougher terms, and sign on the dotted line.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Shipping is a competitive industry, and you can make carriers fight for your business. But how do you do that? FedEx and UPS each have very complicated contracts and it’s hard for online sellers to understand all the variables that exist within those terms.

Here’s how, through contract negotiations, shippers can lower their rates, reduce their shipping spend and improve profitability. There’s no reason for ecommerce merchants and online sellers of any kind to continue overpaying for freight and small parcel shipping.

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Ecommerce Fulfillment: How to Choose a Strategy and Service Provider

From in-house fulfillment and Amazon FBA, to dropshipping and 3PLs, we evaluate each model to help you pick the right one for your business

Imagine the scenario: you’re a multi-channel ecommerce seller, surrounded by stock, wondering how you’re going to get orders out. You sell a whole range of SKUs, that vary in size and sales volume, and aren’t sure whether fulfilling all your orders yourself will be possible.

While self-fulfilling orders does have merit, it’s not the only way to do ecommerce fulfillment. There are several other strategies, each with their own pros and cons, that are worth exploring.

So, in this post, I’ll look at the different ecommerce fulfillment strategies that are open to sellers, from in-house fulfillment and Amazon FBA to dropshipping and using independent 3PLs. I’ll explain how each model works, the pros and cons of fulfilling orders using each approach, and the types of businesses which are best suited to each model.

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eBay’s Global Shipping Program: Pros, Cons and Alternatives

Matthew Ferguson channels his inner GI Joe and comes to the rescue again, armed with advice on the best way to ship eBay orders overseas.

Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

Hello,

I wonder if you can help me!

I’ve been selling rare action figures and collectibles domestically on eBay for three years and have just started offering my products on some of eBay’s global marketplaces.

I’ve recently tried using the Global Shipping Program for my overseas orders, and I quite like it. So far it seems easy to use, and I’ve had no hassle shipping my goods abroad.

I’m not totally sold on using it long-term though, as I have a feeling that I could make more money if I shipped the orders myself directly.

So, my question is this: What are the main advantages and disadvantages of using the Global Shipping Program and is there a better alternative that I should be using?

– George, Atlanta

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How to Choose an Amazon FBA Prep Service

Alex Knight looks at FBA prep: why it’s important, why sellers decide to outsource, and how to choose the right FBA prep service

Preparing your inventory for FBA can prove frustrating. You’re running low on stock at the Fulfillment Center, orders are pouring in but you’ve hit a bottleneck – you can’t prepare your inventory quick enough to meet demand.

At this point, you decide it’s time to outsource your FBA prep to a third party but there’s so many factors to consider that you’re a little lost. You’re essentially handing responsibility for part of your business over to a third party, so you want to be absolutely sure you’ve considered everything and made the right decision.

To help you decide, we’ve explained what FBA prep is, identified why many sellers choose to outsource it and explored some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an FBA prep service.

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The Future of Distribution Part II: Product Distribution in Emerging Markets

Jake Rheude asks if emerging markets will leap ahead of the developed world, and be the first to implement drone-base distribution networks

This post is by Jake Rheude, the Director of Business Development and Marketing for ecommerce fulfillment company Red Stag Fulfillment (RSF). When the owners of e-retail businesses could not find a high-quality fulfillment partner, the decision was made to build their own, and the result was Red Stag Fulfillment. This post was originally published on the RSF blog as The Future of Distribution Part II.

This is Part II of a series dealing with the Future of Distribution. Part I detailed the history of distribution and how the manufacturing, wholesale and retail segments developed, only to be supplanted with the integrated approach pioneered by online sales companies such as Amazon. Part II applies the same analysis and forecasting to emerging markets.

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