My name is Bea, and I work at a 3PL that is cost-effective and willing to work with small start-ups! a lot (thousands of orders a month). Welcome to ShipMonk, your destination for all things fulfillment, operating in Florida, California, and soon to be the NY/NJ area. We work with companies that ship very little (tens of orders a month) to quite
I now work in the PR/Marketing department, but I used to work in sales, so I dealt with small business owners all the time. Let me approach the first part of your question: what monthly volume should one achieve before outsourcing? The answer is that you can outsource at any time. We actually have a blog article called "9 Signs You're Ready to Outsource Fulfillment," which hopefully can narrow down your options. It's up to you to decide what's important to you and what you would like to prioritize.
For example, here are some pros to outsourcing fulfillment right away:
Of course, you might end up paying more, at least initially, by outsourcing to a fulfillment center. That's just the reality of it. Time saved and money saved don't manifest in the same way. With the way pricing is set up at ShipMonk, I'd say that waiting until you have around 100 orders or so is what would make most sense. Of course, every fulfilment center is different, so if you end up going with someone else, you'll find that you might need more (or less) orders for it to be financially viable.
Your best bet though, in my opinion, is to think less about a specific number and more about your efficiency and how you're doing right now. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
That, to me, makes a lot more sense.
P.S. If you'd like more information on fulfillment, ShipMonk in particular, please don't hesitate to call us at (855) 222-4601 or email us at email@example.com.
If you dropship from China, you can think about 86deal, work with startups, fixed fulfillment fee with personalized fulfillment services which could save you lots of time and money.
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Once I was doing 20+ orders a day seemed the right time to outsource for me. 3PLs have shipping discounts that help offset some of the costs, but the time I can devote to growing my business now vs packing up orders is priceless. Selery Fulfillment does a good job for me- they work with a lot of Shark Tank companies & cost effective.
Once you start to get consistent orders then it makes sense to have someone else take care of it. I'm using librexpress.com to fulfill all of my orders. They have shipping discounts and they take all of the headaches from shipping my orders. All I have to do is just run my ads and re-order the products.