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How To Spot A Bad Fulfillment Company Before You Get Burned: 7 Pitfalls To Avoid

You've probably been in the eCommerce business for a while now, and you're feeling good about things.

You've built great products, founded a loyal customer base, and things are really starting to take off.

However, there's one last piece of the puzzle you need to put into place to scale your business to the next level: a fulfillment company.

Choosing the right fulfillment company can be the difference between a successful business and a total disaster.

Some fulfillment companies may make promises they can't keep. They might charge hidden fees or have long-term contracts that tie you in even if you're not satisfied with the service.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a fulfillment company, and it's important to be aware of the potential risks.

In this blog post, we'll show you 7 pitfalls to look out for when choosing the wrong fulfillment company(also some tips on finding a good one)

Long-Term Contracts

If you've ever been in a bad relationship, you know how tough it can be to break free. 

The same is true of business relationships - particularly when there's a long-term contract involved.

And, just like personal relationships, business relationships can go sour too. You may find yourself stuck with a fulfillment company that doesn't meet your needs but feels like it's impossible to get out of the contract.

If you're considering signing a long-term contract, be sure to understand what you're agreeing to and that there's an exit strategy if things don’t work out well.

As your business grows, your fulfillment needs will change, so you'll want a fulfillment company to be flexible to your needs — not one that ties you down.

That's why some fulfillment service provider like Stork Up offers flexible pricing plans, and there's no commitment required — you can cancel anytime, no worries.

Nevertheless, if you're considering signing a long-term contract with a fulfillment company, make sure you weigh all the pros and cons first. 

Unrealistic Promises

Promises that turn out to be empty? How many times has that happened to you in your personal life?

But when it comes to choosing a fulfillment company, though, those broken promises can cost you big time.

Sneaky companies will often try to lure you in with low prices and fast shipping times, leaving you disappointed when your expectations can't be met.

Signs of an unrealistic promise:

- Promises that sound too good to be true: If a fulfillment company claims it can save you an unrealistic amount of money or time, be wary. It's likely they're overpromising and won't be able to deliver.

- Vague guarantees: Be sure to get specific details about what a fulfillment company can and can't do. If they're playing smart with words and being vague about their guarantees, it's likely they're not as confident in their abilities as they want you to believe.

- Lack of transparency: A good fulfillment company will have nothing to hide. They should be able to answer all your questions openly and honestly.

- Unclear terms and conditions:  Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before signing up a contract. If you're not sure what you agree to, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.

- Fake reviews:  In today's world, it's easy to fake reviews. Be sure to do your research and read through both the good and bad reviews before making a decision.

- Pressures to Sign: If you feel like you're being rushed, you might be skeptical of what you're signing up for. A good fulfillment company will give you time to make a decision without putting pressure on you to sign a contract right away.

By keeping an eye out for these pitfalls, you can avoid working with a fulfillment company that is sneaky or isn't really about what it can provide.

Hidden Fees

You know, those additional charges that come out of nowhere can end up adding up a significant amount to your bill.

Unfortunately, some fulfillment companies will nickel and dime you with hidden fees.

From setup fees to monthly subscription fees, there are plenty of ways for these companies to sneak in an extra charge.

These hidden fees can gradually add up and eat into your profits.

That's why it's important to do your research and choose a fulfillment company that is upfront about its pricing. 

So, Before you commit to a fulfillment company, make sure you understand all the fees involved. Otherwise, you might be in for a nasty surprise down the road.

Here at Stork Up, there ain't no such surprise.

We're completely transparent and upfront about our pricing — the price you see is the price you pay and the service you get.

You'll know exactly what you're getting into, and there will not be any "surprises" down the road.

Fake Reviews

These days, the internet sees any business crystal clear. Big or small, every company is like living under a microscope online.

You can easily spot anything or find out what other people are saying about a business by doing a quick search on Google or any search engine.

Having a good read on review sites or business profiles on social media platforms, you can get a well-rounded idea of what a business is really like.

Check out some reviews and comments, and you will find out if it is the right one for you.

A bad review or two is not necessarily a deal breaker.

But if you see a whole bunch of negative reviews, it's probably best to steer clear. Bad reviews can be a sign of poor customer service, delayed shipments, or other problems.

However, those reviews you are reading might not always be accurate. Some companies hire people to write fake reviews to boost their ratings.

So, how can you tell if the reviews you're reading are genuine?

Here are a few things to look for:

- Is the review detailed and specific?

- If the reviewer seems genuine and tends to be more neutral than blindly just positive or negative?

- Does the reviewer have a social media profile?

Bottom line: Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt and do your own research before making a decision.

Slow Shipment

No one likes to wait, especially when they're waiting for a product they've already paid for.

Unfortunately, delayed shipments happen from time to time. And often, it's the fulfillment company that you are blaming.

Anyone who has ever experienced a delayed shipment knows the frustration that comes with it — Whether you're waiting for an important package or a highly-anticipated product, a delay can ruin your plan and, well, your entire day.

There are some good possible explanations for why your shipment was delayed:

Understaffing, poor organization, low productivity, and a lack of automation(check out our latest G2P automation solution here)are all potential causes.

Whatever the reason, it's important to choose a fulfillment company that can get your product to your customer on time, every time.

Bad Customer Service

Let's face it; we've all been there.

Say you're looking for a fulfillment service, and you find one with great reviews that seems to fit your needs.

But when you reach out to them, they take forever to get back to you, or they're just really unprofessional and seem like they don't care about your business.

Will you still want to use their services? Probably NOT.

Your fulfillment company should be an extension of your own business, so you need to be confident that they will treat your customers well and positively represent your company.

So how can they treat your customers well if they can't even be bothered to respond to your inquiries in a timely manner?

It doesn't make any sense.

When you're considering a fulfillment service, pay attention to how they treat you first. Do they answer your questions quickly? Do they seem interested in your business?

It's important to choose a fulfillment company that has excellent customer service and is communicative and responsive.

Otherwise, you might find yourself dealing with unhappy customers and lost sales.

In fact, poor customer service is one of the most common complaints about fulfillment companies.

And it's often the reason why businesses decide to switch to a new provider.

Don't let poor customer service be the downfall of your business. Choose a fulfillment company that will treat your customers right.

Lack of Technology and Integration Capabilities

In today's business world, traditional fulfillment companies are struggling to keep up with the demands of eCommerce businesses.

They often involve too much manual work and lack the integration capabilities businesses need to stay competitive.

For example, traditional fulfillment companies have to manually enter all of your orders because they are not connected with your shipping cart backend system.

You see hiccups and headaches, right?

Not to mention, when your orders are being fulfilled manually, it is not only slow but there's a higher chance for errors.

So why put yourself through all of that when there are fulfillment companies out there that offer cutting-edge technology and seamless integration?

Stork Up can keep up with your business and help you scale as your business grows.

We automate the pick and pack process by employing the latest Goods-to-Person (G2P) technology, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to fulfill orders and mitigates the risk of human error.

How Geek+ Goods-to-person picking system helps disinfection of inventory?

When choosing a fulfillment company, be sure to ask about its technology and integration capabilities. 

Otherwise, you might find yourself working with a provider who can't keep up with your business.

Wrapping Things Up

There you have it! A few things to look out for when choosing a fulfillment company.

Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be sure to find a provider that's a good fit for your business.

Or, you can save yourself some time and partner with Stork Up.

We offer a technology-driven fulfillment solution that is fully customizable and scalable to meet the needs of your business.

Ready to learn more? Get in touch today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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How To Spot A Bad Fulfillment Company Before You Get Burned: 7 Pitfalls To Avoid

You've probably been in the eCommerce business for a while now, and you're feeling good …
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