Shopee has become one of the biggest E-Commerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia. Nowadays, it can also be found in countries like Korea and Taiwan.
Thus, Shopee operates in Asian countries where Lazada currently doesn’t have a presence.
Increasingly more cross-border sellers wonder how they can start selling on Shopee. Often, they ask how they can fulfill and ship orders to clients in so many countries.
In this article, you’ll learn the following:
- What shipping options are available for Shopee sellers?
- 3rd party fulfillment centers
- Fulfilled By Shopee (FBS)
- How can sellers offer free shipping on Shopee?
- How can customers track orders?
- How do sellers manage returns and failed deliveries?
What shipping options are available for Shopee sellers?
Shopee doesn’t have a mature logistics infrastructure for global cross-border sellers. At least not in comparison to Lazada and major Chinese E-Commerce platforms, like Tmall Global and JD Worldwide.
Its services are mainly to serve sellers in China, at least at the moment.
This is not strange as most of the products sold online in Southeast Asia are in the lower price range, manufactured in- and sold from sellers in China.
Shopee Logistics Services (SLS)
Shopee Logistics Services (SLS) was solely created to connect logistics partners in Southeast Asia with sellers in China. This is disadvantageous for overseas sellers who don’t operate from China.
It’s said that by using SLS, Chinese sellers can reduce shipping costs with up to 30% compared to regular market rates. Parcels can be delivered within 3 days.
This is something that will most likely change when the middle classes grow in Southeast Asian markets and people get a bigger appetite for non-Chinese products.
Shipping options for global cross-border sellers
Global cross-border sellers currently have two options when shipping products with Shopee:
- Use 3rd party fulfillment centers overseas and that take care of order pick-up, inbound management, storage, pick & pack and delivery
- Use Shopee’s in-house fulfillment solution, Fulfilled By Shopee (FBS)
3rd party fulfillment centers
You can find plenty of fulfillment centers in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, that take care of overseas fulfillment.
Some examples are:
- Easyship (Hong Kong)
- UFL (Hong Kong)
- Zhenhub (Hong Kong)
- Stashworks (Singapore)
- Ezycommerce (Singapore)
These companies can pick-up your goods at ports, take care of storage, quality control, pick & pack and outbound deliveries.
The following steps are normally included when shipping products:
- The provider is integrated with different online platforms
- You get a quote from different couriers
- Pick a courier based on their cost and delivery lead time
- Tax and duty estimation
- Create a shipment
- Request a pick up from the courier (if they offer free pickup)
- Generate a label
- Track your shipment
Shopee Supported Logistics (SSL)
You should preferably use logistics providers that are integrated with Shopee’s platform. These companies fall under the category of Shopee Supported Logistics (SSL).
By doing this, it will be easier to arrange shipments and you can track the shipments in Shopee Seller Centre, or via the Shopee app.
Shopee also provides free shipping for companies who use any of these logistics companies.
In the event of returns, be sure to select a courier that can manage returns, as this is not always an option.
Fulfilled By Shopee (FBS)
Shopee has started to offer its in-house fulfillment services called Fulfillment By Shopee (FBS). Some of the benefits of using FBS are:
- Shortened fulfillment times
- Solves the issue of limited storage space
- Helps sellers with no fulfillment capabilities
- No fees for the first 3 months
- Waives past fulfillment penalty points
- Minimizes chances of getting new fulfillment penalty points
Let’s look at the criteria to use FBS and how much it costs.
a. FBS requirements
Fulfilled By Shopee (FBS) is only available for certain overseas sellers. Due to Shopee’s lack of fulfillment capabilities, companies are only accepted through invitation.
And as far as I know, Shopee doesn’t have a centralized warehouse for cross-border sellers, like Lazada has in Hong Kong.
As mentioned on Shopee’s website, FBS is currently only available to top brand principals and distributors, as well as key sellers on Shopee with high sales volume and those who lack fulfillment capabilities.
Hopefully, this will change in the future as FBS has competitive rates and let Shopee take care of order inbound, quality inspection, storage, pick & pack, shipping, returns, and refunds.
b. FBS costs
Looking at FBS Malaysia, Shopee starts to charge RM1.85 (USD 0.44) per item excluding GST as fulfillment fee, after the first three months. Withdrawal fee will remain free of charge.
If you keep stock for more than 30 days, they might charge you additional costs later. Yet, they will inform this 30 days in advance.
Another benefit of using FBS is that Shopee can give you discounts of up to 40% for the fulfillment cost, depending on how much you sell. To get the discount, you should discuss with your account manager.
c. Delivery time
Shopee has appointed various local shipping companies in local markets. One of the biggest is NinjaVan, which Lazada also uses.
The general shipping time is 2-8 days, while express delivery will reduce the shipping time to 1-3 days.
Packaging materials and techniques differ depending on what products you sell. I’ve included the general guidelines as stipulated on Shopee’s website below.
Basic packing tips
- Wrap the item in 2-3 rounds of bubble wrap
- Pack accessories separately
- Choose a box or pouch that is bigger than the package
- Fill the extra material with filler material
- Tape the openings and seams of the box or pouch
Special packing tips for clothes
Clothes are not fragile and don’t require a complex packaging procedure:
- Fold the clothing so that it fits into a pouch
- Wrap with cement or parchment paper
- Pack the clothing into the pouch and seal it
Special packing tips for high-value electronics
Products such as tablet computers, laptops, monitors and TVs are fragile and should be packed carefully.
- Use a sturdy cardboard box that is slightly bigger than the item
- Place accessories in a separate plastic bag
- Use styrofoam padding to fill the space between the item and the box
- Tape the openings and the seams
For more information, you can visit Shopee’s website.
Shopee will store your products at a local warehouse. When you receive an order, the warehouse will process the order, manage pick & pack and ship the product earliest possible.
If you use FBS, Shopee will use its own appointed logistics companies, such as NinjaVan.
As mentioned above, the rates are competitive when using FBS and you pay RM 1.85 (USD 0.44) per item in Malaysia, at least. You can also enjoy discounts of up to 40% if you sell in high volumes.
How can sellers offer free shipping on Shopee?
To offer free shipping, you need to have a valid pickup address that’s covered by any of Shopee’s appointed courier companies.
You’ll see if the indicated pick up address is covered by any of the couriers and serviceable for Shopee’s Free Shipping Promo.
Also, the products must have the right measurements and fit inside the official packaging provided by the partner couriers.
How can customers track orders?
Orders can be tracked in Shopee Seller Centre or the mobile app.
With that said, you need to use a logistics company that’s integrated with Shopee’s platform and fall under the category Shopee Support Logistics (SSL).
If not, you’ll need to track the order with the help of your 3rd party fulfillment center or separate courier company.
How do sellers manage returns and failed deliveries?
If you receive a refund request, you can either accept or dispute it.
If you choose to accept the refund, it will be processed directly and transferred back to the buyer. However, no parcel or return tracking number will be sent to sellers for the returned product.
The buyer will need to input your return shipping address, if not done before. Upon doing this, the buyer shall send the product to the return shipping address you provided and input the tracking number to the refund case.
When you’ve received the product, you can accept the refund directly or raise a new dispute, in case you disagree or there are new problems with the product.
If the buyer doesn’t input a tracking number for the returned parcel within 3 days, Shopee will cancel the refund request.
Keep in mind that you must choose Dispute Return or Refund within 5 days after the buyer input the return shipping information.
If you haven’t received the parcel within 5 days, simply choose Dispute Return. Otherwise, the buyer will be automatically refunded.