Delivering the goods for eBay

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eBay says all data taken was nonfinancial and not confidential.
eBay says all data taken was nonfinancial and not confidential.

Shipping is an important element for success in all e-commerce businesses, but it is especially crucial for eBay and its community of sellers and buyers.  That is why eBay turned to Pitney Bowes when the e-commerce powerhouse wanted a shipping solution to streamline the process for its sellers.

“Shipping is such a hot topic for eBay because it's so fundamental. For small sellers, hobby sellers, or even if you're a power seller, you have to be able to physically get your product out the door and to its destination accurately and quickly,” says Megan Higgins, director of e-commerce sales and marketing for Pitney Bowes.

Challenge: To maintain credibility within eBay's community, sellers need to ship goods sold fast. Both eBay and its seller community wanted a seamless, online solution that made quick work of the shipping process.

Solution: Pitney Bowes developed an online postage tool in concert with eBay that provides everything sellers need to ship their goods to buyers. EBay manages the user interface components, while Pitney Bowes is behind the scenes providing USPS shipping labels and all associated services.

“There's no download. It's all Web-based,” Higgins says. “The tool prints labels, either on standard paper or label stock, and it also offers address cleansing services and tracking. So, it's a pretty robust offering and a huge benefit for the eBay seller community.”

The solution is integrated into eBay's Web site and shipping payments are made directly within the seller's Paypal account when the shipping transaction is completed.

Results: So far, Pitney Bowes' solution for eBay has handled hundreds of millions of transactions for millions of sellers. When Higgins attended a regional eBay sellers event recently, it was clear user adoption had taken hold when she asked sellers about shipping.

“Everybody raised their hands when asked, ‘Do you use the eBay shipping label system?' It's really an incredibly valuable tool for them, and it enables them to conduct their business more efficiently and sell more items online,” she says.

Higgins says buyer experiences have been positively impacted, too. Sellers don't have to worry about re-typing addresses and potentially making errors, and that along with address cleansing ensures the buyer receives the items purchased in a timely fashion. Timeliness and accuracy builds trust for the seller within the eBay community, which in turn builds sales volume and transactions.

“It's been a win-win for everyone,” says Higgins. “The model for eBay is to help their community be successful. The more successful their sellers are, the more successful eBay becomes. They want to make sure eBay continues to be the number one online marketplace. This solution helps eBay achieve that objective.”

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