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Ebay plays a card from Amazon’s deck with third-party end-to-end fulfillment

Every day in the U.S., eBay sellers ship roughly 1.5 million packages. Going forward, busy eBay merchants will have a new way to fulfill orders. Sellers won’t have to schlep to the post office to score Priority Mail-branded shipping material (free when you ship with the USPS premium service). Sellers can also be spared packing and lugging sold goods to the post office. eBay’s Managed Delivery service recently broke out of its successful pilot run and is now available to high-volume eBay sellers.

Similar to Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon program for third-party merchants, eBay’s Managed Delivery service has benefits for sellers, customers, and eBay itself.

If you’ve sold more than a few random items on eBay, the pain of procuring and storing shipping material is a common aggravation. eBay merchant ratings depend on fast service and prompt shipments. Discovering you don’t have the right size boxes or containers can chew up profits and destroy any remnants of fun left in the process. The time and energy consumed in packing goods correctly and safely and getting the boxes to the post office or other delivery service is a hassle for any small-scale business and a significant business cost for even moderately busy enterprises.

Managed Delivery is for high-volume sellers (an undefined quantifier), but the benefits include proximal inventory, faster delivery, and lower costs. By using eBay’s eco-friendly branded packaging for Managed Delivery, sellers will benefit from the implied association with the larger company.

Buyers who purchase eBay goods from sellers who use Managed Delivery will enjoy faster than average delivery for popular products. All shipments will be trackable, and buyers will be able to take advantage of more sellers offering free shipping.

And eBay also stands to benefit from the Managed Delivery program. When eBay shopper satisfaction improves with faster shipping from Managed Delivery program sellers, eBay will share the glory. The Managed Delivery program could also prove to be a healthy additional profit center: While eBay won’t handle the fulfillment itself, it will use “expert logistics partners managed by eBay,” according to a company release.

Certainly, eBay executives will be looking forward to the prospect of a good portion of the company’s 1.5 million daily shipments going across the country in distinctive eBay-branded boxes. When Gateway Computers grew quickly in the 1980s, the company’s shipping boxes had eye-catching black and white Holstein cow graphics. Amazon’s brown boxes emblazoned with its almost-a-smile logo are a more contemporary example of brand marketing.

“A common request we hear from our high-velocity sellers is to help make delivery of high-volume items easy and fast,” said Devin Wenig, eBay President and CEO. “Managed Delivery will be a competitively priced logistics solution for businesses selling high-volume goods in popular categories like electronics, home and garden, and fashion. The implementation of this service will dramatically lessen the shipping burden on sellers, while improving the shopping experience and making unboxing fun for buyers.”

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