wnDirect helps eBay sellers trade further afield

Sep 04, 2013

wnDirect has been shortlisted in the DHL Fulfilment Initiative of the Year category in the Retail Week Supply Chain Awards for an initiative it has developed for eBay. The wnDirect international delivery solution will enable smaller companies operating on eBay to sell their products further afield. In May 2013 David Cameron said "If we increased from 1 in 5 small companies exporting to 1 in 4, we would wipe out our trade deficit in one go." The wnDirect eBay partnership is certainly a step in the right direction.

To date eBay's SME merchants have been unable to leverage the resources of their much larger rivals and have been limited to two delivery options; consumer mail services which are often slow and can be unreliable or express delivery services which are aimed at the B2B market and, as such, come with a cost prohibitive price tag. Realising that this represented a significant barrier to their growth eBay decided to broker a deal of behalf of its sellers which would offer a third delivery solution.

Despite only launching at the beginning of April 2013 numerous eBay sellers are going live with the wnDirect service each week. The service will be promoted to its top sellers on the platform soon.

Stuart Hill, MD of wnDirect said: "In order to make this service attractive it was vital that it was cost effective. By partnering with domestic carriers BA and Virgin and using approved local couriers in destination countries we have been able to put together a service which around half that of express services, but is comparable on delivery times. A 2kg express delivery parcel going to USA from the UK typically takes around 2 days and costs in the region of £50. We could send that same parcel for £12 and it would arrive within 4 days[i]."

In addition to being cost effective the wnDirect service also offers many of the functions only usually seen with premium express services - such as tracking and the ability to advance calculate duty.

Stuart Hill continues: "Duty, or fear of duty payments, is a huge barrier for smaller businesses when considering shipping their products abroad. Many people consider the perceived headache of customs and duty to not be worth the potential benefits. By using our delivery system the entire process is managed on their behalf. An order is placed and the buyer then automatically receives an email, in their own language, which contains the amount of duty to be paid along with any other requirements. The orders are held at the point of origin until this step has been completed which means there are no delays due to customs issues nor does the seller have to pay for unnecessary returns."

[i] These figures were calculated using the costs and delivery times of three major delivery service competitors

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