ShipMonk Review 2019: An Order Fulfillment platform

I know the drill. Finding a safe fulfillment service is always part of my dropshipping journey. This Shipmonk review unmasks what one ought to know. Any shrewd business person will do a background check to gain more clarity.

It's more of standard practice. I get the pressure of having to deal with the best order handling platform.

There are lots of similar apps that could as well, serve as an alternative. That being the case, I need to do some sort of fishing expedition. I must handpick one that won't disappoint in the long-run.

It's certain that ShipMonk was simply born out of necessity. From that point, it gives a whole new meaning as to why I should be a little curious and dig deeper. To say the least, I don't want to gamble with customers' orders. It can easily ruin the business' reputation.

I want to walk to you through ShipMonk to have sharp insights when handling orders from clients. Given the prevalence of international market demand in the E-commerce industry, I need to handle logistics like a professional. It's the only way to thrive and get good customer feedback.

It can be so overwhelming when I have to deal with both pushing traffic to my site and delivering products simultaneously.

This review is meant to give a genuine commentary about Shipmonk. Is it the platform I need to delegate my tasks to? Take, for instance, the need to handle item tracking with a lot of precision.

In my own wisdom, I thought of this post as a guide to know how the self-proclaimed cross-border order fulfillment channel ranks among its competitors.

How easy is it to integrate this app to my shopping cart?

Let's find out.

ShipMonk Review: Features

how shipmonk compares to the rest

So what this automated platform does is manage your order fulfillment bit of e-retail business.

Let me break it down.

ShipMonk has a handling capacity of up to 10,000 orders per day. If I solely rely on these numbers, it's definite that I'll know if working with them is feasible. It depends on the number of sales I'm making.

What if I only need one product to reach my customer? This is quite enticing. Shipmonk promises not to charge me extra pick and pack costs. No minimum number of orders folks!

It has low shipping costs for its potential customers. I'll discuss in detail all about pricing later in this post, just so you know.I'm scared of logistical nightmares, in particular, when handling business. How will I overcome this?

This Fulfillment service has partnered with notable carriers in a bid to make all deliveries a reality. Additionally, ShipMonk gets lots of discounts. It ultimately trickles down to reduce my shipping costs.

You can access exact shipping costs using the software's calculator. Talk of transparency at its peak. I don't want to deal with rough estimates.I'd rather be sure about how much I'm paying for.

Or does it sound trivial? Not it doesn't.

I must work with accurate figures anytime I'm dealing with products that are of different weights and sizes. Good enough, it's a no brainer.

Anything else?Yes.

It supports shopping cart integration to a wide range of global stores. Mainstream platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce just to name a few can sync so well with the Monk.

I've tested the app on Shopify to sort some inventory on a store I've been building for a client. I didn't experience any hitch per se. If I notice any queer outcomes in the future, I'll still share my bad encounter by updating this post.

Shipmonk Review: How It Works.

Let's jump right in.

What comes to mind after manufacturing my product or sourcing from a supplier? The next big step is to brainstorm and know how my stuff will reach my clients. I must hook up with an order fulfillment team.

I'll have to look for a freight service which is fruitful and doesn't dent my pockets. Remember, I need to consider making good use of discounts. I must maximize my profits; no other way around it.

This is where I leave Shipmonk to take charge. The platform constantly brags about its mighty software which integrates with over 100 shopping carts.

And guess what?

They don't charge for that. So how does this elevate my fulfillment score? Almost zero chances of picking the wrong product. Human error makes it so vulnerable for me when dealing with manual inputs.

Not forgetting that I might have to deal with massive orders. The process itself is quick and responsive. What follows is taking stock of my inventory without asking for a dime. It includes updating all dimensions and weight information to my account for billing purposes.

Their team takes photos of my goods as a quality control procedure. This helps with SKU(stock-keeping unit) identification.

Keep in mind that I want to deal with the same products sourced from my supplier. No room for small errors or else, my business ends up looking like a big joke. It explains why this step is so imperative. ShipMonk takes off the edge.

Order Processing

Their software auto checks if all products I've added to my cart are in stock. All addresses will be verified only if they're authentic. My orders will be linked to appropriate shipping methods.

So what if the above threshold isn't met? I'll receive a notification on my mail requiring an action to be taken. Nothing big to worry about.

I know you might be curious, what about packaging? The Monk will request for clear instructions on how I want it done. Let's say, I want to customize a package to have my logo, they allow me to have it done to my own specifications. Branding has always been a winning strategy for boosting sales.

That sounds quite promising!!

They actually understand their customers' needs. I can pick the most preferred carrier of choice. ShipMonk updates cheap rates through feeds from an algorithm built to help me know the appropriate shipping methods.

To be candid, I find it prudent and my risk lowered only when global carriers with good customer service are in play. I can use DHL, FedEx or even USPS which are all on the fulfillment service. I still want to pay low shipping fees so end up using such carrier options.

Shipmonk Review: But how will I track my shipment?

So here's what they do to try and win my trust.

They let me be part of the whole transaction. Both I and my customer will get hold of all tracking details. Once the dispatch processing is done(packaging and SKU data scanning), we're all updated with tracking numbers.

I can monitor the movement of an order from Shipmonk's warehouse to a client's delivery address. I know this question can wildly come across your thoughts.

Are the return policies a pain in the neck? If I start dealing with large volumes of orders, trying to avoid returns is inevitable. Dealing with products that might have manufacturer defects or other issues isn't new to me.

I'll want to be so sure that I can meet all the guarantees I give clients after buying products.

So yeah. It's so convenient for me that returns, both foreseen and those that are random, all make part of the fulfillment service. What a relief for me.

I found this handy.

My inventory gets updated in real time. That saves me blood, sweat, and tears. I can simply re-order an item when it's out of stock.

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Shipmonk Review: Pricing

I know this part matters most. After all, I need to work with scalable numbers. Part of why I need to be conclusive, for you to decide if ShipMonk is competing fairly with other fulfillment services. The prices vary from one service to another. It also depends on the number of orders I'm dealing with.

So let's begin.

E-commerce fulfillment

All calculations in reference to monthly orders are clear-cut; thanks to Shipmonk's free pricing calculator. As part of the bargain, the pack and pick fees are classed in a way meant to make me save more if I make more monthly orders.

Let me make an illustration.

If I make between 0-500 monthly orders across all online stores, i'll pay $2.50 for the first item to be picked in the order. This is the only amount I have to pay even when there's only one item in the order to be picked. If there's an additional item in the order, I end up paying $0.50 after making the first item pick fee.

Suppose I want to reach out to my customers through promotional material like flyers, brochures, catalogs or even inner packaging for each order, I only have to part with $0.20. This to me is just a tiny fraction of the entire expense.

I know how frustrating it is when one has to deal with returns. It ultimately defeats the whole purpose of making successful sales. Taking note of issues like manufacturer defects or delivery of wrong products, item returns seems to be so frustrating at times.

Fortunately, return processing is part of order processing if I end up working with Shipmonk. I'd love to applaud them for including this service.

So here's how it's handled if need be. All returned items are removed from the box and either placed back to the inventory or removed competeomly from stock. The latter will rely on the condition of the item.

I have to pay $2.00 for the first returned order plus an extra $0.50 for an additional item. It's worth mentioning that all delicate items attract higher fees. This includes items that weigh more than 5lbs.

For more coherence, I strongly advise one to contact Shipmonk to get a custom quote.

Subscription Box Fulfillment

Basically, the more boxes I ship, the more I end up saving. The logic here is the same as that of calculating monthly orders. The warehouse kitting and assembling process is part of why I actually need a good order fulfillment partner.

If I make a rough estimate of about 1001 – 2500 subscription boxes, Shipmonk charges me $1.50. This amount caters for box assembling and kitting of 5 items which include the actual products, packing material, and any promotional inserts.

If I exceed the limit which is 5 items in the box, I to pay $0.10 for each additional item. Remember that return orders are part of the service plan. In such an event, calculations are made in the same manner as the pick fees.

This simply means that I have to pay $2.00 for the first return order and $0.50 for any additional item. Once the order is returned, all items are removed from the box. At this point, I'm left with three alternatives.

I can choose to have the items returned back to stock, refurbished or be disposed of entirely.

However, one is restricted to a minimum of 50 orders in each batch for the service to apply. A batch in the sense that there's a unique set of orders having the same items in them. Above all else, I can't hide my opinion that this locks out most beginners who only have few orders to start with.

Crowdfunding Fulfillment

In layman's terms, a Crowdfunding campaign is described as a platform to start up a business through raising funds from people to come up with specified products. If this technique is part of my business setup, I have to deal with clients who place orders before they're ready for purchase.

So how does Shipmonk make this possible? Let's find out.

Always keep in mind that this fulfillment service is kind enough to let me pay less if I ship more products to my potential customers.

The pricing is effective upon making a minimum number of 50 orders in each batch. I have to meet this requirement; no more, no less.

Let's assume that my crowdfunding campaign attracts between 2500-5000 preorders, getting rewards to my backers at this point is a no brainer. I only part with $1.25 for kitting up to 4 backer reward items which include products, packing materials, and promotional inserts.

However, the weight of my preorders is limited to 5lbs. When dealing with returns, the procedure is the same as that of Subscription box fulfillment. The amount is $2.00 for the first returned item and $0.50 for any additional item.

Retail Fulfillment

If I'm a wholesaler, working with a master case is the most efficient way of dealing with orders since pricing is based on weight and not per individual unit.

So what's the master case all about? Let me break down the jargon.

It's a handling unit which has in it smaller inner packs known as multi-pack units but of the same item. A clear example is a carton full of cigarette packets. A master case has its own SKU and this makes it easier for both parties.

Once my items are picked, they'll not be open them to remove any inventory. What's more convenient is that I can calculate all costs depending on the number of SKUs and handling units.

The shipping rates calculator allows me to get accurate figures per order based on the weight and number of Master Cases. Take for instance  1 unit of a Master Case which weighs 3lbs, I'll only pay a total of $2.50 per order if no special instructions are included.

If I need to add special requirements, the price for the same weight will be $7.50 per order.

What about the pick fees?

The first SKU Pick fee is $2.50 for the first item in the order. I'm not charged any extra amount if there's only one item in the order. Once I transact orders with two or more items, I only need to pay $0.50 for any additional item. This is after I've paid the first item pick fee.

For all items which exceed 10 units but of the same SKU, the additional item pick fee is significantly reduced to $0.25 which in turn lowers the wholesale pricing.

Lastly on this segment.

All additional documents or special instructions attract a fee of $5. Such documents may be a specific packing fee, a commercial invoice or carton labels that are attached on the shipping box.

Amazon FBA Prep Pricing

So how seamless does it get?

To begin with, Shipmonk promises to adhere to stringent guidelines set by Amazon. After all, Amazon's fulfillment network is one of the most advanced and has proved to be reliable for most businesses.

These rules are meant to regulate how receiving of items is carried out. The preparation services include helping me get the FBA SKU which is a product identifier for all items fulfilled by Amazon.

The pricing here varies depending on the amount of time it takes to prepare a single unit. The other factor to be relied upon is the number of units.

The figures will further escalate if I need both labeling and fragile wrapping of the items. Shipmonk allows me to add further instructions to sort any extra needs.

Back to maths.

Let's presume that it takes 20 seconds to prepare a single unit. In addition, I have like 100 units to be prepared. If I need them to be labeled, the total cost for that will be $35. If I include fragile wrapping, the cost will increase to $85 per order.

I can decide not to choose any of the above services. Here, i only pay $25 per order.

Storage Requirements

To make faultless retrieval of my products from the warehouse, each Product SKU will have to be stored in a different location. Below are the warehouse costs;

Small Bin

Price:$1/month-

Dimensions: 12″ x 7″ x 4.5″ or .22 ft3

Medium Bin

Price:$2/month

Dimensions: 23″ x 15″ x 10″ or 2 ft3

Large Bin

Price-$3/month

Dimensions: 16″ x 14″ x 18″ or 2.3 ft3

X-Large Bin

Price-$4/month

Dimensions: 16″ x 20″ x 24″ or 4.4 ft3

Pallet

Price-$20/month

Dimensions: 40″ x 48″ x 55″ or 61 ft3

The site gives me easy access to make inquiries if I prefer a custom quotation.  There might be some extra costs here and there though.I need to consider how taxes will get sorted. International shipping can get a bit sketchy sometimes. It happens mostly when I have to deal with different rates all the time.

Shipmonk attempts to resolve this through their Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) solution. It integrates with my store's checkout.

A customer pays the item which is all inclusive of shipping and duty and taxes. One exciting thing to count on is the option to display duty and other hidden costs at checkout.

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Shipmonk Review: Serving My Needs Better

This is where it gets crucial. It's easy to sign up. During my first interaction though, I wasn't impressed with their email support system. I expected an automated notification to confirm my account.

Instead, the system generates a pop-up message. It informed me that they'll get back real soon. I waited for so long to hear from them. In spite of that, I'm pleased with how they let me and my customer know anytime there are delays with my shipment.

They give detailed reasons for that too. Also, I can access the live chat support. It works 24/7 and I get to have all my queries answered promptly. They've included an official email and a phone number.

This is suitable for international clients.

Shipmonk Review: Final Words

Back to the biggest question.

Is Shipmonk the most elite fulfillment service? Let me answer in two ways. First, all the services offered here are quite affordable. I will recommend this to most beginners. Secondly, it offers high caliber services similar to high-end fulfillment platforms.

Based on these two factors, I can make a sound choice depending on my needs. I'm impressed that it's possible to have the packaging customized to my own specifications. This boosts my brand's worthiness towards its end users.

However, I noticed several complaints from clients who reported continual billing discrepancies.

In case you experience such issues, I advise that you make a claim and ask for a detailed billing report to make a reconciliation.

Looking at the larger picture, I'm certain that ShipMonk wouldn't frustrate my business. Even if things went south, it will not entirely paralyze the logistics since there are measures to mitigate such occasions.

Desirae Ojdick

Desirae is a passionate freelance copywriter, guest blogger, and a content creator. She takes her time to study all current trends related to the e-commerce industry.