In what is sure to be a contentious move eBay Australia have made changes to their fulfilment policies banning any third party fulfilment “in situations where it could be confusing for eBay customers”, which in effect rules out both fulfilment through Amazon FBA and orders sent by any other retailer or marketplace.
With Amazon’s recent announcement of FBA for Australia – Amazon’s storage and fulfilment service which can be used for both Amazon orders and those made through other channels – this is a clear play by eBay to combat the growing threat of Amazon’s arrival down under.
In other regions such as the United States where Amazon & eBay have both been in operation for years, FBA fulfilment has become the foundation of many sellers entire online business and used to facilitate easy multichannel selling for small businesses without the need for heavy investment in warehousing and fulfilment services.
There has yet been any indication that eBay intends to replicate this ban outside of Australia.
Whilst clearly an attempt to slow down Amazon’s market entry, the decision is not without it’s commercial costs. Sellers using FBA to fulfil eBay orders increases the variety and price competition of products on eBay and whilst the target is clearly Amazon, the blanket ruling effectively puts an end to retail arbitrage and dropshipping in most of its current forms in Australia.
Any form of retail arbitrage or drop shipping where fulfilment is handled by another marketplace or retailer, or where the product is delivered with ‘branding’ from a competing marketplace or retailer is now effectively banned.
This will surely anger the large number of online entrepreneurs whose entire businesses are based on the now outlawed practices, but only time will tell if this move will hurt or help eBay in the long run or do much if anything to slow down the threat of Amazon’s entry to
For more developments as they come, or to share your thoughts, head to our Facebook Mastermind Group Codisto Super Sellers and join the conversation.