How Much do Fulfillment Services Cost?

By | June 4, 2011

If you have been looking into different fulfillment services, then one of the first questions you are asking is how much do fulfillment services cost.  The problem is that there isn’t any easy answer to this question.  This is because the actual services provided can vary widely.  So the only thing you can do is identify what services you need and then start a comparison from there.  Here is a closer look at some of categories that the most popular services fall into.

The first type of service uses a blanket term known as general services.  These services the basics that every fulfillment service will provide.  Things like shopping cart integration, access to the order fulfillment system, inventory security, etc.  In most cases, these services will be set up for free and will require a minimal monthly fee.  Normally it will range somewhere between $20 and $50.  Although if you need a lot of storage space, then it can get more expensive.

The next group of services are often referred to as pick and pack or the fulfillment fee.  This group of services cover the actual product fulfillment.  In most cases, this is where you will see the highest variance in how much fulfillment services cost.  For example, some services will only have a 24 order fulfillment service, whereas others may offer less expensive solutions such as 3 day or 5 day order fulfillment.  The packing supplies which are used can also play a big role in the end costs.  Other things that may impact the cost of these types of services include CSV file uploads, packing list customization, and how orders and order confirmations are handled.

The most obvious factor that will affect fulfillment service costs is the shipping.  Nearly every fulfillment service will offer discounts on shipping based upon the volume that you do.  In most cases, you will need to ship out more than 1000+ units on a monthly basis in order to qualify for the initial discount.  There will normally be additional benchmarks that will offer further savings.  With some fulfillment services, you will have the option to choose different shipping options which can cut down on the cost, but others will only offer a single option.

The final area that will determine the final fulfillment services cost is additional services.  These can vary greatly from one service to the next.  This can include a range of things such as how returns are handled, on-premises assembly, product photography, and even additional integration projects.  Along with paying attention to how much these additional services are, you should also find out if a particular additional service for one company is a standard service of another.

By focusing on these 4 areas, it should be much easier to compare how much fulfillment services cost.  Along with finding out your monthly total, it will also give you a good idea which of these services will be the most cost effective option in the long run as well.  Ideally, you are going to expand, which means that you may end up needing to switch services at some point.  If you plan ahead, there is a much greater chance that you could avoid the time and money requirement to change from one fulfillment service to another.

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