ShipStation Review

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5
reviewed August 26, 2014

If you have multiple channels, such as your own website, a presence on Amazon and a presence on Etsy, it’s up to you to manage all those order individually. With ShipStation, those orders are automatically put into a master list, where they can be easily managed. More importantly, they can’t be overlooked or forgotten; the potential for human error is removed from the process.

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Can too many sales hurt your business? The answer might just be yes.

If you run an online store which sells a physical product, your ability to handle orders is limited by your size. You can only ship what you (or your team) can handle. Your ability to ship orders out quickly and accurately, however, is absolutely vital to your overall success. Unfortunately, as a small online business grows, the number of orders to be shipped can become overwhelming. To help, many online retailers turn to ShipStation.com. We’ll take a look at what ShipStation is, how it works and if it’s the right solution for you.

 

About Shipstation.com

ShipStation aims to be a complete shipping solution for any online retailer. If you ship things – pretty much any type of things — ShipStation can simplify and automate the process. It easily integrates into popular marketplaces and shopping carts, so your current system of shipping doesn’t have to change. However, the way you manage your shipping will change and, in most cases, it’ll be a change for the better.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

Here’s how it works. ShipStation retrieves orders from pretty much all marketplaces. So, all of your orders, wherever they arrive from, are consolidated for you into one easy-to-access list. Next, pre-configured shipping instructions are applied. Custom shipping labels and packing slips are printed. Your package is then shipped through the carrier of your choice.

From the moment when the order first arrives, ShipStation handles all customer communication. Obviously, if your customer wants to still talk to you directly, they can. But if the customer has a purely shipping-related question, ShipStation can usually handle it just fine without your involvement. Think of the time you can save by avoiding questions which someone else can answer for you!

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

Top Features of ShipStation

  • Cloud-based, so can be accessed from anywhere you have internet access.
  • Creates up to 500 labels in one batch.
  • Automation Rules and Product Profiles fit businesses with many users and/or locations.
  • Reduces human error.
  • Can be up and running in minutes.
ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

Most likely, ShipStation works with what you’re already using. It seamlessly integrates with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Newegg, Sears and more. It works with most shopping carts, too, such as Big Commerce, Magento, Shopify and Volusion. Integration is automatic, fast and secure.

Remember, shipping costs, including insurance, are still your responsibility. You can set ShipStation so pre-paid postage, such as with the USPS, can be automatically refilled. For post-billed services, such as services through FedEx, UPS and DHL, you’ll be billed just like always.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

ShipStation.com Prices

There are five plans. Each one includes one account at Stamps.com and another account at Express 1. All plans are run from an easy-to-use interface, with a real-time series of graphs and pie charts so you can analyze your operations at a glance.

The five plans are:

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

1. Bronze Plan – $25 a month

  • 500 shipments per month
  • One selling channel with unlimited stores
  • One user
  • Standard labels and packing slips

2. Silver Plan – $45 per month

  • 1,500 shipments per month
  • Two selling channels with unlimited stores
  • Two Users
  • Branded labels and customized packing slips

3. Gold Plan – $65 per month

  • 3,000 shipments per month
  • Three selling channels with unlimited stores
  • Three Users
  • Branded labels and customized packing slips
  • Help includes live chat

4. Platinum Plan – $95 per month

  • 6,000 shipments per month
  • Five selling channels with unlimited stores
  • Five Users
  • Branded labels and customized packing slips
  • Help includes live chat

5. Enterprise – $145 per month

  • Unlimited shipments per month
  • All selling channels with unlimited stores
  • Ten users
  • Branded labels and customized packing slips
  • Help includes live chat
ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

A shipping label is counted as one shipment. If something gets messed up somehow, and you need to re-print an existing label, that doesn’t count as part of your monthly allotment. However, re-shipping an order, which means printing a new label, does count.

What are selling channels? They’re eBay, Shopify and the like. Each one counts as a single channel. Note that your own website counts as one channel. On each channel, however, you can have as many individual stores as you like. If you’re a small store, ShipStation can easily grow with you.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

The bronze plan contains standard labels and packing slips, while the other plans let you customize those. These custom labels are great for creating branding opportunities. It’s also a great way to stand out from Amazon.

Canceling your subscription is easy and can be done directly from your ShipStation dashboard. Changing your plan is just as easy, in case you suddenly find yourself with more or less business than you’re used to. Everyone can check out ShipStation with a free 30 day trial, under no obligation.

Criticism of ShipStation

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

Online, a few complaints did pop up. Chief among them were a general clunkiness at times with Paypal integration. It’s hard to tell who is responsible: Paypal or Shipstation, although the issue does seem to be improving. There were no complaints about Paypal integration not working at all, just that sometimes the entire incoming order would be imported into Paypal as one item. This issues doesn’t actually prevent orders from being shipped or payments being received.

Additionally, another common complaint is that the system would sometimes suggest envelope sizes which don’t exist in real life. While this doesn’t affect any actual shipping, it can make for some menus which contain irrelevant items. Not a huge deal, and likely something which will be fixed in the future.

Overall, however, companies of all sizes seem extremely satisfied with ShipStation. There are a wide variety of organizations, and products, which ShipStation has shipped all across the world.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

Customer Support

Customer support is free. No matter what plan you use, you’ll always have access to their e-mail helpdesk, forums and webinars. The webinars are available both live and on-demand, and cover a variety of interesting subjects related to ecommerce.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

If you’re a Gold, Platinum or Enterprise member you’ll have access to live chat support, which is available from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. Central Time.

ShipStation monitors their system around the clock for any emergency issues.

Conclusion

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business

So, is ShipStation for you? The best way to answer that is to look at the life of your business without it. If you have multiple channels, such as your own website, a presence on Amazon and a presence on Etsy, it’s up to you to manage all those order individually. With ShipStation, those orders are automatically put into a master list, where they can be easily managed. More importantly, they can’t be overlooked or forgotten; the potential for human error is removed from the process.

Additionally, human error is removed from the process of printing labels. The address your customer enters on their end is where the package goes. Additionally, any shipping issues are handled by ShipStation, freeing you for more important issues.

If those are issues your business is facing, then ShipStation is for you. The program works great. The interface is clean and easy to use. It’s cloud-based, so it’s doesn’t take up any space on your system and is easily accessible. Overall, ShipStation is a great way to manage your organization’s shipping needs.

ShipStation.com - eCommerce Shipping Fulfillment Software for Business
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