ShipBob's Pricing & Fees

We're breaking down ShipBob's pricing and various fees to help you better understand how they work with fulfillment clients.

Picking the right 3PL partner is an important choice when start or running an eCommerce brand. While most 3PL's fee structures are generally the same at a high level, it's important to have a full picture. ShipBob is one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers in the United States. They offer warehousing and fulfillment services to eCommerce brands of all sizes. ShipBob has worked hard to become the first option you think of when you think eCommerce Fulfillment. They advertise everywhere, have a flashy website, and claim to work with 7,000+ brands. While ShipBob's size gives them some advantages, such as access to low-cost shipping rates, their lack of flexibility and poor customer support make them a difficult partner for many small businesses. Also, just because a 3PL is large and has better buying power on packaging, postage, etc doesn't always mean they're going to pass those savings on to you.

Our goal here though is to breakdown their fees as best as we can with publicly available information. We're going to be biased by nature which is why we try to highlight fees and stick to facts.

We'll start with the fees you'll encounter prior to starting and then detail fees to work with them.

1) Implementation/Onboarding Fee

There isn't much publicly available information on their onboarding fee and from our research it doesn't seem to be a flat fee that's charged the same for every customer. From a public review with ShipBob affiliate links it appears it can be as high as $975. This fee is the fee you'll pay to open an account and start the process of onboarding. According to ShipBob, this fee covers an "Implementation Engineer" who works with you for the first 30 days.

Note: ShipBob has released a "Growth Plan" which has no onboarding/implementation fee which is available to brands with less than 400 orders a month. You have to onboard yourself with this plan with their public guides, customer support, and some office hours where they try to assist multiple brands at once.

2) Receiving Fees

Receiving fees help to cover the work required to verify inventory numbers, inspect them, and put the product away into pickable locations. Receiving is an incredibly important part of the fulfillment process and you want to ensure your 3PL has a thorough process here. If not, it can lead to overselling, lost product, damaged product, etc. ShipBob charges $25 for the first two hours and $40/per person-hour after the first two hours. It can be difficult to know what you'll be paying with hourly fees as there's a lot of factors that go into receiving products.

3) Storage Fees

Outside of pick/pack fees and postage, storage fees are generally the next largest. Some 3PLs charge storage as cubic where they take your products dimensions and bill you for the space they occupy. ShipBob charges by location where each SKU has to have at least 1 unique location. This helps to prevent pick errors. They charge $40/pallet, $10/shelf, and $5/bin per month.

Their locations are significantly smaller than ours at Simpl.

4) Account Fees

ShipBob doesn't have any ongoing account fees. Some 3PLs bill account fees as a standalone fee and others try to bundle it into other fees. In general, these aren't too common.

5) Account Minimums

ShipBob's growth plan doesn't have any minimum order requirements or spend. With the growth plan though, you don't have access to any salespeople on the frontend or account managers once you get started. It's all self-onboarding and self support.

6) Returns

ShipBob charges $3/return which helps cover return processing, inspecting, and restocking the item to it's proper location for the next order.

7) Shipping

ShipBob bundles their pricing for pick/pack and shipping. It's difficult to tell what you'll pay per order based on their public calculator as it only gives ranges. This may vary account by account.

8) Special Project Fees

ShipBob charges $45/person-hour for any special projects that aren't within their standard scope. This makes it difficult to know what you'll be paying as you don't know how efficient the employee is, etc.

9) Packaging Materials

Generally 3PLs either bill you for packaging materials at the time of use with a small markup or bundle them into another fee. ShipBob has opted to bundle into their order fee. They do only offer a limited amount of boxes that you can use which can lead to your product going into larger packaging than needed and you paying more based on the dimensional weight. It's important to work with your 3PL to find the best packaging for your product.

10) Pick and Pack

When your 3PL is picking a customer order, they generally have to go to multiple bins/locations to retrieve inventory depending on the number of items in that order. ShipBob gives you 4 free picks (included in the order fee) and each additional is $.20 per item after the first.

11) Inserts

if you want to add promotional inserts, marketing materials, coupons, etc ShipBob requires you to have them all barcoded and treats them as an item. With that, they are billed as a pick. There's no additional fees for inserts unless you go over the 4 free picks in which case it's $.20 per item after that.

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