By Reddit user /notpitching. Republished here with permission
I am a solo entrepreneur with little ecommerce experience that saw hyper growth last year and much of my time has been trying to build infrastructure as well as strategically create points of leverage by outsourcing aspects of the work I do.
As an aside I would love to see more posts by people reviewing services you are using, whether pro or con. Faire.com
If you don’t know about Faire, it’s a wholesale platform. You put your listings up like you would with EBay or Amazon or whatever. The fulfillment process is super easy though. Orders come in and you fulfill and buy shipping through the platform.
New orders are 25% commission and 15% in perpetuity after that. But you can also upload your own customers and prospects and get 0% commissions from there for life. Very happy with them so far.
If you have a lot of listings (I have 200 SKUs) they will import listings for you. Platform isn’t really great for importing things yourself. Reporting is sparse. Can't promote ourselves but other than that, very happy. Joined in July and had 300 orders since. Did $30.000 in wholesale business in the last 30 days, which is more than the year before I joined Faire.
This is a Shopify app that will create and run google ads for you. They take 5% of the revenue generated by their ads. I had no experience with social ads prior to last year and am trying to run this myself so a platform that will create all the ads for me and still allow me to run and tweak was great for me.
5% commission is NOTHING when I don’t have to do any work.Quite happy with that as well. They started some basic shopping and DSA ads and they did well. I quickly went from spending $50 a day myself on google with crap results to spending $300 a day with Okiano and getting a 3x return.
Some of their ads were not great (just due to misunderstanding my products and positioning) but it took me way less time to correct the ads they created than it would have been for me to create them from scratch on my own.
If they, or someone else did something similar (meaning do the bulk of the work for only 5% commission) with Facebook and Instagram Ads, I’d definitely be interested in hearing about it.
Rakuten Super Logistics
This is a 3PL (Third Party Logistics provider) with locations all over the US. It is a division of Rakuten, the multi-billion dollar company from Japan which is one of the reasons I picked them. I do not like them.
They are inexpensive (I believe $1.50 per order and 40 cents per item or something like that) and they do have a basic UI to interact with them. But I have not been happy. They screwed up a bunch of things that seemed impossible (shipping in boxes instead of the poly-mailers I told them to - cost me a ton of extra shipping costs).
I had a setting to block split shipments - they still split shipments. They did refund me, but I had no idea either was a problem until I got a tsunami of complaints. I have discounted combo sets. They would only ship one part from one FC and one from another so after a month I couldn’t sell the combo sets anymore because each FC only had half the combo.
It’s not uncommon to have hiccups on something like this but there was no proactivity on their end. I would assume something was fixed because they said it was and closed the case. But it wasn’t. There was a backlog of orders, some from nearly 3 weeks ago, that I had no idea about until the complaints came.
I would open a case asking them to do 10 things. They’d close the case but I would find out months later than they hadn’t done half of the things they said they did. It’s just been a mess.
You also have virtually no control over the packing slip. Which is just a horrible packing slip. It doesn’t show the bill to, so if someone buys a gift for someone else and doesn’t include a gift note, expect a ton of confused emails.
I’ve asked them to change it or visibility to when it may change. It will not change. Honestly if I knew the packing slip looked as impersonal and amateurish as it does, I would have picked another FC as a result. Now I have 10,000 units at fulfillment centers so I need to be here for a bit. Ugh.
Happy to answer any questions.