Just today eBay announced they are launching an eBay shipping supply store. This is essentially an eBay account that will be selling a variety of eBay branded boxes and mailers. They also announced that other supplies including packing tape will be appearing in the store soon. Here are some of the selling points eBay provided in their announcement:
- Boxes: Premium quality, 100% recyclable, 10 different sizes
- Padded mailers: Premium quality, two different types, several convenient sizes
- Tape (Coming soon!): Moisture resistant, low noise, high tensile strength, non-yellowing
I found it somewhat odd that they would advertise that the boxes are recyclable… I have always been under the impression that ALL cardboard is recyclable. Later they go on to sell you a bit more on the boxes by stating they are “made from at least 50% recycled fibers, and SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) Certified”.
The whole environmentally friendly stuff is a great bonus but as a small business owner I often don’t have the luxury to pay more for supplies to save a few trees. The profitability of my business depends on me making the best economic decisions and I don’t believe having environmentally friendly boxes would gain me any additional sales.
Also, these new eBay branded boxes are not the same as the co-branded USPS boxes that you used to get for free. Those boxes were priority mail only boxes. These new boxes are only marked with the eBay logo and can be used with any shipping service that you choose.
That being said, if the supplies are a good value then great I am all for it. I researched a few of the boxes and mailers, comparing the eBay store prices with prices on Amazon and Uline. In general, I found that the boxes in the eBay store are either the same price or slightly better than Amazon or Uline. However, the mailers were universally more expensive on eBay.
Additional options and competition are always welcome so of course this new eBay offering is a good thing. It is very likely prices will fluctuate as the program continues so it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. You can see the eBay shipping supplies offerings by clicking THIS LINK.
(You can read the original eBay blog post HERE.)