Explained: FBM (Fulfillment by Merchants) vs FBS (Fulfillment by Sears) on Sears
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With 130 million members Sears.com is one of the most visited e-commerce marketplaces in the U.S. and an e-commerce arm of retail behemoth Sears. Also, with 75 million active participants, its ‘Shop Your Way’ loyalty program compels customers to make repeated purchases.
The member of SYW program purchased $2 billion worth inventory in 2016 which was 10% more than the general shoppers. This makes it a perfect destination for sellers to fish for their targeted customers.
However, here the topic of the discussion is FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant or Sell on Sears) and FBS (Fulfillment by Sears), the two modes of order fulfillment for sellers who have listed their products at Sears.com.
Fulfillment by Merchants vs Fulfillment by Sears: Comparison
FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant):
Popularly called ‘sell on sears’, in this mode of fulfillment, sellers are responsible for the shipment of their merchandise listed on Sears.com. Sellers are responsible to choose their warehouse and distribution network.
Once the sellers receive the order for their merchandise, purchase order details are made available to the sellers to fulfill the order.
FBS (Fulfillment by Sears):
It is an end-to-end fulfillment service offered by Sears to the participants of the program which comprises of warehousing, picking, packaging and shipping the orders.
Being an established retailer, Sears has a vast network of the warehouse, large distribution network and great online fulfillment tools that streamline the process and makes fulfillment for sellers more efficient and affordable.
The features of the FBS (as mentioned on their website)
- No minimum duration and no minimum volume required for storing products, pay-as-you-go model
- Lower shipping rates for inbound and outbound shipping
- End-to-end control over inventory, pricing, returns and refunds
- Instant ability to handle dramatic increases in order volume
- Competitive fulfillment rate structure
|Sell on Sears (FBM)||Fulfillment by Sears (FBS)|
$39.99/month + fulfillment and
|Item appears in search results||Y||Y|
|Online catalog management||Y||Y|
|Checkout through Sears Cart||Y||Y|
|Sears Warehouse & ship order||Y|
|Eligible for Sears Customer Service||Y|
Other Fees incurred in FBS program:
|Storage Fees||$0.45 – $0.60 per cu. ft. / month|
|Pick and Pack Fees||$1 / item||$3/item|
|Order Handling Fees||$0.00||Ground = $1.50|
2-day = $7.50
Next day = $14.00
|Weight Handling Fees|
|Based on dimensional weight of the product||$0.35 / lb.||$0.45 – $1.90 / lb.|
Some common FAQs of the sellers regarding FBM and FBS
- What should be more preferable to sellers?
There isn’t a definite answer to this, it depends on the scale of the business. If you’re a small business who has →
- Businesses type where there is low no of SKUs,
- Businesses which doesn’t receive too many orders. or
- Business whose targeted audience resides in a particular geography
Then choosing FBM (Sell on Sears) is the best idea, as you have ample time to invest in picking and packing. Conversely, if you’re relatively bigger business and have figured out you’ve better things to do – marketing and customer outreach – with your time, then going with FBS (Fulfillment by Sears is a good Idea.
- How to register for these programs?
Registering with these programs is easy, you need to apply and get approved by Sears executives to participate in the following programs: Below are the links to join both the programs:
Here is the link to join Sell on Sears (FBM) program → https://www.searscommerceservices.com/interested-in-sears/
After providing information through this link, Sears team inspects and reviews your application and if found worthy it gets back to you to complete the procedure.
Link to join Fulfillment by Sears → https://www.searscommerceservices.com/fulfilled-by-sears/
- What are the pros and cons of FBS & FBM?
Both have their upside and downside:
Businesses with Small setup and low SKU prefers FBM as it needs to be cost-effective.
Sell on Sears merchants enables sellers to create their shipping policy (until and unless it doesn’t create conflict with sears shipping policy).
On the other hand, where economies of scale are involved i.e. maximize profit making by selling higher no of SKU, going with FBS is a great idea, as they ship the huge number of items so shipment/item is low. Although it doesn’t matter to small sellers as they don’t have the numbers in their favor.
- Can a seller switch their account from FBS to FBM or FBM to FBS?
Absolutely, sellers can apply and get approved to use both the programs and switch between the two as they deem comfortable. They just need to create a case with sears from their seller’s panel.
- What will be the role of any API provider in both program type?
Since in FBM (Sell on Sears), merchants are responsible for managing products (title, description, images, and SKUs), the API provider facilitates all of the functions for the sellers.
On the other hand, since merchants only need to deal with product information (title, description, and images) as the rest is taken care of by Sears, the API providers extend this service to sellers.
With lower commission rates for product categories than some other marketplaces, Sears receives a huge influx of audiences, therefore it must be one of the avenues if merchants plan to take the multichannel route.