The Story Behind eBay Valet And Alternatives You Can Use
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes.
So, you’ve created amazing, optimized listings on eBay, and they’re starting to get attention.
Suddenly, you need to make sure that your items are getting to the buyers quickly and painlessly - one of the key drivers of customer satisfaction on the eBay platform.
For some, getting a large volume of items from storage into the mailboxes of the buyers in a timely manner is a logistical nightmare.
Furthermore, some ecommerce sellers just don’t want to deal with the administration involved with listing and selling items online. That’s fair enough, too - it can be a great deal of effort. The true extent of the work that goes into being a successful ecommerce seller is often glossed over in success stories.
eBay Valet was released in 2014 to provide a solution to this conundrum for eBay sellers. But it didn’t last long.
Read on to find out what happened to eBay Valet, and what alternatives now exist for eBay merchants who don’t want to deal with fulfilment.
In this eBay valet guide, we’ll explore:
- What was eBay valet?
- Where did it go?
- eBay valet alternatives
- eBay fulfilment options
- Third-party fulfilment options
- Using Amazon FBA as an eBay seller (it’s possible!)
- The accounting automation every serious eBay seller needs
What Was eBay Valet?
eBay Valet was a comprehensive sell-it-for-you service run by eBay.
People could send their items to one of eBay’s warehouses, and they would take care of creating the listing, taking photos, writing the description, communicating with customers, and shipping and handling.
Basically, it enabled people to participate in the eBay marketplace without having to actually do a whole lot on the platform.
The fee for this service ranged from 20% to 75% of the final sale price.
eBay Valet launched in 2014 to mixed reviews, and closed in 2018 amid some confusion.
Why is eBay Valet no longer running?
eBay has had some troublesome times with their consignment programs.
The exact reason that eBay Valet was discontinued isn’t clear, but eBay offered the following statement on its closure:
“We are always looking to provide the best experience for our customers. We’re focusing on simplifying the selling process and invite you to sell at eBay.com/sell or try our consignment program for luxury handbags and wallets, eBay Authenticate.”
Based on the eBay seller community’s feedback, it appears they may have had some difficulty with quality control of the listings.
Conjecture doesn’t make a lot of sense - the problem of finding a speedy, seamless consignment service remains, so let’s dive into what options exist for eBay merchants now that eBay Valet isn’t a thing anymore.
eBay Valet Alternatives
What made eBay Valet unique was the way it went beyond fulfilment.
Yes, they would store, select, and ship the items. But they would also take care of photographing and listing the items, as well as answering customer queries.
For the seller, eBay Valet was the very definition of “hands off”. All they needed to do was send the item to one of eBay’s Valet locations, and wait for their cut of the sale.
There hasn’t yet been a replacement for eBay Valet. So, are there any alternatives?
Yes and no. It depends what you’re selling, and what your expectations are.
Here are a few eBay Valet alternatives that we’ve found.
eBay Fulfilment Options
eBay Consignment Center
eBay Consignment Center hosts a small number of third-party sellers selected and trusted by eBay.
This could work for you if your items fit in to one of the 12 consignment categories on offer:
- Collectible Toys
- Sports Memorabilia
- Sports Cards
- Art Pottery
The sellers are all industry experts with in-depth knowledge on their category. If you do not see your category here, you can try contacting eBay to request a consignment category for your particular item/s.
By selecting your category, you’ll open up a drop-down further down the page which tells you a bit about the seller, and gives you the option to contact them directly.
Because these sellers are independent, the range of their services differs. Some take care of the sale end-to-end, and the logistics will look different depending on the item. You’ll enter your own negotiations with them to figure out your expectations and the cost of their service to you.
eBay Quick Sale: Phones and Tablets
eBay launched Quick Sale in 2016 to make it easier for people to sell phones and tablets.
It won’t help eBay sellers in other categories, but it can make things simpler for people who want to get rid of their phones quickly.
Quick Sale currently has two categories:
You’ll be prompted to enter the details of the device to determine its current offer amount. From there, you can print out a free shipping label and send it to eBay. Once it’s received and verified, you’ll get paid.
Quick Sale could work for one-off and high volume phone and tablet sellers alike, but sellers don’t have any control over the offer amount.
eBay Global Shipping Program
For US sellers with international buyers, eBay’s Global Shipping Program is free to use and takes the hassle out of selling overseas.
This service handles the requirements of customs and imports on behalf of Bay sellers who meet their criteria. The items are sent to eBay’s dedicated center, and everything is processed there.
You (the seller) are still responsible for the listing and for customer relationships, but eBay’s Global Shipping Program will navigate the administrative maze of international shipping.
Third Party eBay Fulfilment Options
eFulfilment Service (EFS)
For sellers wanting to keep eBay as their marketplace and look elsewhere for fulfilment, there’s eFulfilment Service (EFS).
EFS is a global ecommerce and traditional fulfilment solution with a special branch for eBay sellers.
While they won’t help with the listing process, EFS takes care of:
- Product inspection
- Inventory storage
- Order fulfillment
- Returns processing
- Kitting / assembly
As a company whose sole purpose is to help with fulfilment, EFS has a strong reputation amongst merchants.
They offer integration with eBay as well as a host of other online sales channels, making them a good option for multichannel sellers.
Whilst their website looks like it was built in the 90s, EFS are often lauded for their general technical agility and personalized service. Their customers are happy, and that’s what matters for a fulfilment service.
You can contact them via their website.
Deliverr is a third-party US fulfilment service that has a special branch for eBay sellers.
You’ll still be in charge of your listings, but this service takes care of storing, packing, and shipping your items. It integrates with a range of platforms besides eBay, and also has a special “fast & free” badge that can be applied to your listings to make them stand out.
You can work out how much the service will cost you by using their cost calculator.
Sellery is a multi-channel warehousing and fulfillment service that is easily integrated with eBay Stores.
Their point of difference is that they don’t promote themselves on their packaging or any other materials - the business is designed to be tailored to the seller. They appear flexible in their service, which is configured to provide sellers with a personalized experience.
Sellery has a range of pricing options, but this service is probably best for medium to large volume sellers - at the time of writing, their monthly minimum is $500, and the remainder will be billed if you come out under.
eBay Integration with Amazon FBA
Is Amazon FBA better or worse than eBay Valet was?
Well, it promises less for a start - listing and customer relationship management (unless directly related to an order in transit) are still up to the seller. This means that Amazon’s fulfilment service can focus on just that: Fulfilment.
What is Amazon FBA?
Fulfilment by Amazon is - you guessed it - a fulfilment service offered by Amazon. The seller still managers the listings and customer contact, but Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships the inventory.
Using Amazon FBA for eBay fulfilment
You can use Amazon FBA to manage fulfilment of your eBay sales. To do this, you’ll need an account in Amazon Seller Central.
This service is primarily designed for sellers who have an Amazon account and want to sell on multiple channels, but can work the other way too.
Amazon’s warehouses are perfectly set up to handle large volumes of orders coming in and going out, and their network is global, meaning that it truly does make storage, shipping and fulfilment easier than doing it yourself.
However, there are still some things to keep in mind:
Things to keep in mind when using Fulfilment by Amazon
- No matter what platform you’re selling on, items will arrive at their destinations in Amazon packaging.
- This may prompt buyers to compare what they paid for the item with Amazon’s pricing.
- It may also put off buyers who deliberately avoid Amazon in favor of other platforms.
- Fulfilment is more expensive for items not sold on the Amazon platform - eBay sellers will pay a premium.
Love Automation and Getting it Done Right?
If you’re the kind of person who is thinking about third party fulfilment, you probably like to save time and stress where you can.
And if you think fulfilment is a bit of a nightmare, then you’ll probably appreciate software that can keep you in control of your business finances. All of those fees, taxes, and deposits add up, and account statements from eBay don’t necessarily make it easy for you to get a clear picture of your margins.
A2X reduces your accounting admin by posting all of your transactions in neat journal summaries, straight to your accounting software. A2X also organizes your accounts via the accrual method, which means that you get an accurate picture of how your business is performing month by month, regardless of when the money actually arrives.
Ready to simplify?
Also on the blog:
- Best Things to Sell on eBay in 2021
- 34 eBay Tips to Help You Sell More Products
- How to Save Time with eBay Automation
- eBay Global Shipping Program: Everything You Need to Know
- eBay SEO Guide: Tips, Tools & Strategies for Success
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