When it comes to cross-border e-commerce business, inventory management and order shipping can be daunting and frustrating for online merchants. Working with a fulfillment partner is the key step to alleviate the headache of inventory management and global shipping, and to subsequently improve efficiency and customer service. In this article, we will compare three typical order fulfillment companies – Shipwire, Amazon FBA and ChinaDivision in terms of services and cost, to help you find out which is your best choice.
Order Fulfillment Service Pricing Structure Comparison
To start with, let’s have a look of the general pricing structure (additional cost or surcharge is not included) of the three companies.
(The general pricing structure of ChinaDivision, Shipwire and Amazon FBA)
Generally speaking, the standard pricing structure of an order fulfillment company consists of storage fee, pick & pack fee and shipping fee. In addition to these costs, there maybe additional fees for integration, returns handling or surcharge for overweight/oversize, long term storage, intercept order etc.
ChinaDivision, a China-based order fulfillment company, is characterized by a transparent pricing structure as the above, no minimums, no hidden fees or a series of surcharge. ChinaDivision also offers free warehousing for the first three months, which is a good news for start-ups or small and medium-sized business. In addition, unlike Shipwire and Amazon FBA, ChinaDivision charges a relatively lower pick and pack fee (only $0.5 per order), which is not calculated by per item. Taking advantage of the good relationship with a wide range of shipping carriers, ChinaDivision enables a discounted last mile shipping worldwide.
Amazon FBA is claimed to be a world-class fulfillment service provider, who helps both Amazon and non-Amazon sellers. Its pricing structure sounds complicated, which depends on product categories and product sizes. Also, fulfillment fees for orders on Amazon.com differentiates from orders on multi-channel platform. Besides pick and pack fees, weight handling fee is payable according to the outbound shipping weight. There are also multiple additional fees such as special handling fees for oversize items, additional storage fees (>6 months), prep services fees etc. For 2016 FBA fee changes, please view the Amazon.
Shipwire is a fulfillment company notable for the breadth and integration of its services with existing e-commerce platforms. However, it’s also known for a daunting tier pricing structure for order handling, which offers volume-based discount only. Besides, Shipwire requires a Minimum Monthly Account Billing of at least $500. For start-ups, who sell products with low unit price on eBay, Amazon or other marketplaces, and are not yet flooded by a ton of orders for the time being, they may not expect to enjoy the discounted order handling fees.
( Shipwire pricing levels based on volume)
The Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA, Shipwire and ChinaDivision
Below is an analysis of pros and cons of using Amazon FBA, Shipwire and ChinaDivision order fulfillment services. Realizing their advantages and disadvantages helps to determine which one is your best choice.
Amazon FBA Advantages:
1. Prime members have free Two-Day shipping, and all Amazon.com customers can get free shipping on orders over $35.
2. Amazon handles all returns and takes charge of customer services.
3. Amazon FBA is also applicable to other e-commerce platforms.
Amazon FBA Disadvantages:
1. Amazon logo packages, Amazon customer service, not good for your own brand building.
2. Commingling merchandises, you can’t control product quality.
3. Complicated fulfillment costs and hidden costs
Amazon ships products from whichever of their nationwide facilities can get the item to the buyer the fastest. This is why their advanced process is so efficient. However, when using FBA, all your orders are packed in Amazon branded boxes instead of your own brand. All the problems are solved by Amazon customer service as well. You enjoy the hassle free Amazon fulfillment service without notice that you are loosing your own brand and customer base at the same time. What’s more, Amazon combines qualifying products from different sellers for processing and shipment, this is why you cannot control the product quality and gets customer complaints often.
1. Top-notch integration technology
2. Overseas warehouses
1. Minimum Monthly Account Billing is required
2. Higher order handling fees
3. Delayed customer services
Shipwire requires a minimum cost of $500 per month, which is tough for small start-ups. You cannot meet that monthly requirement or enjoy any discounts unless you ship hundreds of orders everyday. As a large fulfillment system with overseas warehouse, Shipwire however, is frequently complained for sending the wrong packages or delayed shipping. When customers try to reach out to the Shipwire customer support, they often end up with long time waiting and problems unsolved.
1. No minimums
2. Free warehousing for 90 days
3. Transparent pricing
4. Customized value-added services for brand up-grading
5. China sourcing services to help you purchase Made-in-China products.
1. Not world-famous as FBA and Shipwire
2. Dedicated China-based warehouse, no overseas warehouse
As an expert provider of warehousing and order fulfillment services in China, ChinaDivison is dedicated to helping crowdfunding creators and e-commerce online sellers purchase from China and ship worldwide. Based on the world factory China, ChinaDivision makes the most of this favorable location, thus can efficiently locate suppliers and shorten the supply chain. In addition to getting you connected with a multitude of Chinese suppliers and abundant resources, ChinaDivision can also help to smooth the communication between Chinese suppliers, thus greatly remove the obstacle of linguistic and cultural difference. From sourcing to warehousing, order handling and global shipping, you don’t need to touch anything. You just focus on marketing and selling.
ChinaDivision ships orders directly from China to your customers worldwide, which helps to reduce lead time and improve your customer satisfactory. As an alternative to Amazon FBA and Shipwire, ChinaDivision is outstanding in terms of customized value-added services for brand up-grading, professional customer support and streamlined China order fulfillment service.
We’ve discussed the pricing structures, advantages and disadvantages of the three leading order fulfillment companies. So before making a decision to choose the one suitable for your business, remember to think about the following questions first:
1. How do they charge?
2. Are there any minimum requirements?
3. Where are my suppliers or customers mostly located at?
4. What is my business size?
If you are a start-up, it could be a hard time to use Shipwire for your order fulfillment. You would rather do it by yourself to save cost. If your business is already on the right track and you are thinking about promoting your own brand, Amazon FBA maybe cannot help since they are actually branding themselves when shipping your orders with Amazon branded packages, nothing about your company information. As an alternative to Shipwire and Amazon, ChinaDivision will be more suitable for start-ups, small and medium-size business in providing China warehousing and fulfillment services. Understanding your own specific needs and pros and cons of the above companies can help you better identify a good match for your business.