eBay intros managed fulfillment service for online sellers

eBay said the delivery service will be available to merchants using any online platform and marketplace, suggesting a broader revenue strategy for the service over the long term.

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eBay on Wednesday introduced a bevy of new seller tools that aim to help online merchants better manage their business, including Managed Delivery, a forthcoming shipping, logistics and fulfillment service that's meant to give sellers access to the next day and two-day delivery times.

The cost and complexity of shipping are considered a barrier to growth for many merchants, but with this managed fulfillment service, eBay said it would be able to offer high-volume sellers lower-cost shipping and shorter delivery windows for their customers. 

Similar to Amazon's fulfillment network, eBay plans to utilize warehouses strategically located across the country as a way to bring inventory closer to customers and reduce delivery costs. 

However, eBay noted that it's not building out its fulfillment hubs a la Amazon. Instead, sellers will store, pack, and ship their products through third-party logistics partners managed by eBay. Perhaps more importantly, eBay said the service would be available to merchants using any online platform and marketplace, suggesting that eBay's got a broader revenue strategy for the service over the long term.

"A common request we hear from our high-velocity sellers is to help make delivery of high-volume items easy and fast," eBay CEO Devin Wenig said a statement. "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."

eBay also noted that Managed Delivery would "result in hundreds of millions of eBay branded boxes and packages being placed on front porches across the United States within the next few years," boosting the company's identity as a consumer shopping destination. Managed Delivery will launch in the US next year.  

Meanwhile, eBay also announced multi-user account access, which lets sellers add employees to their account for sales purposes without giving away full account access. eBay claims it is among the first e-commerce companies to enable this feature at scale, beginning with this roll out in the US. eBay said it's also giving sellers access to Terapeak's pricing insights in a new Research tab within Seller Hub.

Additionally, eBay's taken some steps to increase seller protections. eBay said it would offer two new financial protections that address invoice credits and partial refunds and another protection that make it easier for sellers to report buyers who violate eBay policies.

"Our sellers have told us that we need to do more to have their backs when they do everything right, but something still goes wrong," said Wendy Jones, eBay's SVP of Global Operations. "We're committed to making significant investments in protecting our sellers." 

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