Shipping from home vs. shipping with a 3PL

New Member
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For a new Shopify business, how many orders per month should one achieve before switching their shipping operations from "home" to to an outsourced 3PL?

Perhaps there are 3PLs that are cost effictive and willing to work with a small start up. I could use those recommendations too. 

Replies 5 (5)
125 13 43

Hi Chris! 

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:

  • Less mistakes
  • Less stress/pressure
  • More time to spend on other things, like marketing and customer support

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:

  • Am I struggling with fulfilling orders?
  • Is packing and shipping taking time away from everything else?
  • Do I feel lke I'm stretching myself too thin?
  • Am I wasting too much time going to the post office?
  • Is my living space being swallowed by boxes and packing tape?
  • Do I feel ready to take the next step with my business, whatever that may be, and do I feel like being confined to shipping orders is hindering it?

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

Marketing Specialist @ ShipMonk
168 6 15

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.

Our fulfillment services include:

1688 Taobao sourcing


Quality check


Order printing

order consolidation

ePacket shipping

Tracking upload

You only need to focus on marketing your shopify store, we will take care of the rest works. - Chinese dropshipping agent - reliable sourcing agent
New Member
2 0 0

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.


New Member
39 0 0

Once you start to get consistent orders then it makes sense to have someone else take care of it. I'm using 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.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator
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Hi @Chris_P,

Nick here from Shopify. 

The Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) has come into effect since you posted this topic back in 2018! I'm not sure where you are with your business now but the SFN is looking for smaller stores to bring on board with the criteria being 3 orders per day. You can see the other criteria necessary to be eligible below:


If it's something you might be interested in, you can apply here and find out more information here.

You also mentioned price, the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) charges are billed in two different ways: per fulfillment and per month. Pricing consists of the following components:

Per fulfillment

  • picking and packing
  • packing supplies
  • shipping

Per month

  • storage
  • special projects

If you have nay other questions about it, don't hesitate to reply to me in this thread with them!

Thanks, Nick

Nick | Community Moderator @ Shopify 
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