eBay to sell branded shipping supplies

The end could be nigh for eBay purchases arriving in dubious packaging – in the US anyway. The online auction giant has announced it will soon launch a branded supplies store that will sell eBay branded boxes, envelopes and tape beginning in the US and then reaching other territories soon after.

The eBay Shipping Supplies store will be operated by a third-party fulfilment partner with a licence to use the eBay trademark.

The new store will begin by offering eBay sellers recyclable boxes in ten different sizes, Jiffy Bag type bubble mailers, ‘polyjacket’ mailers and eBay branded tape.

“We’re not only excited to introduce eBay branded shipping supplies to our customers, but to do so in a cost-effective, eco-friendly and convenient manner that satisfies the needs of our sellers,” said Manish Joneja, Head of North America Shipping Business for eBay.

At the moment, eBay sellers just use their own packaging. This can result in some fairly interesting packages being delivered to the seller, whether badly over protected for their fragility or in packages that fall apart in transit through the delivery network. Where eBay has recently cracked down on poor packaging through a feedback process, the new branded packaging should be just enough for what is needed and if effectively marketed could well be used by the occasional eBay seller.

This won’t mark a fundamental change in business or boost revenues for the online marketplace, but it will make eBay’s brand more visible as packages are being delivered to customers. It should also help standardise the packaging for what is after all a decentralised (atomised?) business model with no fixed means of packaging and delivery of goods.