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The Shipwire Blog/Opinion: My Vision For Shipwire – "Change-The-Game"!

Opinion: My Vision For Shipwire - "Change-The-Game"!

Shipwire’s goal is to let retail businesses focus on growth by removing the hassle of shipping and storage. It is time that cash-strapped Web retail businesses had a global network of warehouses that can be plugged into their Web sites with no up-front fees, no long-term contracts, and straight-forward storage and shipping pricing.

The small business Web retail revolution has been evolving for 10 years.

  • 1996 eBay® created a marketplace and spawned an industry of home eBay sellers.
  • 2000 Yahoo!® Stores gave businesses an easy-to-use online store.
  • 2002 PayPal®, experiencing record growth by solving the online payment problem, is acquired by eBay.
  • 2003 Google Adwords® makes finding new customers easy and cost effective.
  • 2005 Chinese trade barriers are loosened making it easy for importers to source manufacturing and bring product into the Los Angeles Port.

Internet giants have created an amazing ecommerce ecosystem for Web retailers to plug into. Yet, at the end of the day, small Web retailers are still spending immense amounts of time struggling with shipping inventory out of small warehouses, storage units and their garages. Solving this problem is the last piece of the Web retail puzzle.

For the past 10 years THE dominant restriction on small business retail growth has been warehousing and order fulfillment. Prior to Shipwire, Web retailers were caught in a business catch 22 – To grow, businesses needed to invest precious capital in warehouse and inventory management. More growth meant more capital with longer payback horizons. More sales meant more time and investment in order fulfillment. In 10 years no service made importing, storage and order shipping as easy as using PayPal, eBay or Google.

In, 2007 we launched to provides Web retailers with a storage and shipping solution that allows them to completely eliminate the hassle of storage and shipping. We are getting great feedback from our customers. One quote that really embodies my vision, and the reason for shipwire, is from Don at Skyroll, “When I found Shipwire I felt like the last piece of our Internet business had snapped into place.” Please read his and other case studies.

Shipwire is out to “change-the-game” and empower small Web retailers to grow while reducing hassles. (Posted by Damon, CEO)


  • Stephen 10/10/10
    "Solving this problem ... [of] shipping inventory out of small warehouses, storage units and their garages ... is the last piece of the Web retail puzzle" Shipwire is an amazing service which, frankly, makes my business even possible. But having the monumental task of fulfillment taken almost completely off the etailer's hands reveals another missing piece of the puzzle: supply-chain sourcing. Using paypal for orders, shipwire for storage and fulfillment, and aliexpress for sourcing, a 1-man shop can sell basically any generic product and compete with any other seller, big or small - without ever seeing the product; this is huge. But this is only for generic products. When a small business wants to sell a branded or special-designed good, they are back to no-rules, by-email negotiations with manufacturers who usually don't speak English very well. This increases costs and risks. More directly, in BOTH cases above, Shipwire (by no accident) does not handle importing of goods. Thus, any business striving to be more than just another eBay flea shop must run the gauntlet of forming a multinational corporation, paying fees, taxes, and customs, in addition to the harrowing challenge of just arranging purchase of goods and hoping that that works out. Am I complaining? No - I love Shipwire. But there is still a major pain point needing to be solved. When competing with, say, Dell (who also does not design any of their products, just good marketing and supply-chain management) is so easy you can do it from your living room, then a new Golden Age of truly free-market competition will be born, where marketing and customer service reign supreme - not "who can afford to work with suppliers". The new "sourcing" tab on Shipwire is a good start - but what we really need is to be able to select any product on alibaba, customize defined options, click Buy, and have it sent to Shipwire warehouses globally - without ever becoming the importer of record or arranging ASNs. Thank you for providing this space for feedback.

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