Building a startup eCommerce business entails an endless string of hours and nights spent researching, designing, developing and producing your products.
This routine dedicates a great deal of time towards order fulfilment which can leave you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
Bigger companies have an excess of opportunity and funding compared to startups. This allows them to appoint employees and experts to each individual business process.
To level the playing field between big businesses and startups, there has been an influx of eCommerce fulfilment services in recent years.
Order fulfilment companies are third-party services who are dedicated to handling the processing, picking, packing and postage of items on behalf of other businesses. Using this service can optimise your business’s performance.
The range of benefits include cutting down costs, reducing long labour hours, providing a faster turnaround time for customers and giving you the opportunity to invest your time back into your business.
Using your newfound time to develop innovative products, provide a larger brand presence on your website and social media platforms. This also gives you the time to network with eCommerce experts to aid in scaling your business.
Not all order fulfilment companies are friendly to startups which is why we recommend you should only look to outsource your fulfilment process once you have had a running website for over 6 months with a healthy flow of orders each month.
James and James is a order fulfilment company that has been in operation for over a decade, giving them lots of experience in handling their clients needs.
Below we have discussed and compared the differences in our services and pricing here at Parcel Master vs James and James. Helping you take into account your budget needs, delivery preferences and other benefits.
The main difference between our services at Parcel Master compared to James and James are that we are more startup friendly. As a James and James alternative, we have a significantly less amount of time being in operation. We aim to make up for this by ensuring our company is honest, helpful and exceeds the benefits of our competitors.
Below is a list of the main differences with Parcel Master vs James and James order fulfilment.
• Here at Parcel Master we hold no minimum order quantity, whereas James and James is better suited for businesses exceeding 300 orders per month
• James and James has international fulfilment warehouses, opening the door for you to ship across america. Parcel Master ships within the UK exclusively
• Maximum security is provided for our warehouse and your products whereas James and James only provide maximum security for luxury items
• Open line of communication available at Parcel Master compared to James and James where you are likely to wait longer to receive a reply due to how large the company is
• Parcel Master is 100% flexible to your needs, James and James on the other hand have optimised their operations for small and light items
A growing business requires a lot of storage space to house all your products and their packaging. Renting storage facilities can often be expensive, while using your personal office space is cheaper but reduces the space and functionality.
To own your own warehouse would cost you rent, heating, lighting, fitting and also the process and price of hiring, training and paying warehouse staff. This is unattainable for smaller businesses.
Outsourcing your order fulfilment to Parcel Master means we handle the storage, installation, unloading and the management of the warehouse and staff. Giving you the time and space to get back to doing what you love, which we are sure isnt manual labour.
Our process is optimised to be efficient and accurate. It all starts when your goods have been shipped to our warehouse. Our hard working team then performs a quality control check on your products to make sure nothing has been damaged during transit.
Items are then barcoded so they can be swiftly located during the picking process. Logging each item with a barcode allows us to input this information on our cloud-based software.
We provide you with access to our cloud-based software at all times so you can see a live update of your inventory. This helps you see which of your products are running out and need refilling.
The next step of the process is storing the items in dedicated and organised sections of our warehouse. Once each item is allocated onto our heavy-duty shelving, our team then measures the space taken up to charge accordingly.
While our warehouse is 12,500 sq ft, you only pay for the space you use, saving you money in the long run.
Included within our warehouse and storage facilities is maximum security. This includes a palisade fence, CCTV, roller shutters and an alarm system that sends a call out to the police when triggered.
At Parcel Master we have an experienced team that handles the process of picking and packing your customers orders.
We make sure to have skilled professionals operating in our warehouse to ensure your products are handled with the complete care and efficiency they deserve.
This essentially results in our pick and pack service having a high accuracy and speed rating. This is crucial in order to keep your customers happy and gain repeat business from them.
The pick and pack process includes multiple quality checks. This is to verify that everything is included, in good condition and packaged to a high standard.
We must also mention that our team has years of experience in the eCommerce fulfilment industry as we have handled the fulfilment process of multiple other businesses, including our own ventures. Making us experts in the field.
Our pick and pack team follow a simple yet effective process to fulfil your orders. Items are first located with barcode scanners. These scanners will not let our picking team pick an item off the shelf if it is not the correct one for the order, ensuring accuracy with a tech-driven process.
Packaging is then decided depending on the size and delicate nature of each item and its individual requirements.
Taking the time to decide the packaging for each order rather than using a standard box for everything means we can choose the most cost effective packaging, saving money, space and the environment.
Once our team has picked and packed your orders, we then process the shipping.
Each individual package is evaluated so our team can select the cheapest and fastest postage service available, keeping you and your customers satisfied.
As we have experience shipping out large quantities of packages, we have developed relationships with established delivery companies. This can often afford us secure discounts on shipping rates and we are open to discussing shipping your orders internationally.
We have partnered with and used the services of multiple shipping companies including well known brands such as Royal Mail, Yodel, FedEx and TNT.
We can offer premium next day shipping and even weekend delivery within our service.
As an eCommerce business it is known that as consumer culture continues to grow so does the volume of returns. Making peace with this is the first step of our returns process. We can then focus on the important part, making sure the returns process is simple and easy for your customers.
We do our best to avoid returns with multiple order checks and technology driven accuracy.
While returns do bring unexpected costs, they also present the opportunity to provide outstanding customer service which in return may make them decide to return to your business in the future.
We handle returns however you instruct us to, whether that means including return shipping labels with every order or including them in a digital email for the convenience of your customers.
Our team is equipped to deal with sending out replacements if needed and if returned items are in good condition we can add them back into your inventory, saving you from wasted products.
Our returns follow a simple process. Once a return is requested, we then arrange the order shipping.
Tracking information is shared with you during this. The order is then scanned onto our system and after a quality check, the order will be refunded or replaced.
James & James are a global company which means they have a wide network of fulfilment centres across the UK and USA to choose from.
Once James & James have added you into their order fulfilment software, you then have access to integration and the opportunity to organise your inventory and get it sent to one of their fulfilment centres.
After your stock has made its way to their warehouse, it is then checked, barcoded, photographed and weighed so all the correct information can be entered into their system. This process also captures the best before dates for any food or cosmetic products so the team can discard these products accordingly.
This inventory information is accessible to you from their cloud based software.
At James & James there are two storage options they offer. Depending on the size of your items you can choose between ‘pick storage’ which is paying for the space of each item or ‘pallet storage’ which is a fixed weekly rate.
This can add up fast if your business specialises in larger items.
To begin the picking and packing process, the team uses the pre logged information for each SKU to efficiently find the correct products for customer orders.
Orders are then sent to the packing stations which feature a selection of materials helping thempick the most cost-effective option for each order.
After packaging is selected, the team then securely packs and labels the orders before handing them over to the shipping department.
Throughout the pick and pack process, real time updates are available to view.
Using their order fulfilment software, all orders processed at James & James are allocated to the fastest and cheapest shipping options available.
Within the James & James shipping process, they provide the opportunity to ship products across the USA alongside the UK.
James & James also provide tracking information for both you and your customers. This allows you to monitor the shipping process and be certain everything is on time and isn’t lost.
Using James & James’s cloud-based software, customers can access ViewPort. A link to access ViewPort is given to each customer once an order has been shipped out.
Using ViewPort gives customers the ability to request a return online. A shipping label is then sent to the customer and you are notified of the return process.
During this process customers are asked a reason for their return which in turn gives you insightful information on which areas of your business need to be addressed.
The team aims to process returns as quickly as possible so you can refund your customers faster and get your products restocked.
Now that we have explored what services are included at Parcel Master vs James & James, it is also valuable to assess the pricing of both.
At Parcel Master our storage is cheap and cheerful at only £10 per bin and £15 per shelf. This allows small businesses and startups to outsource their fulfilment without worrying about excessive pricing.
Each order requires a team member to ‘pick’ it before it is packed. This is charged at £1 with a 30p charge for any additional items that need picking for the order.
When the order is ready to be packed, it costs 10p per mailer while cardboard box’s start from 40p.
We pride ourselves on providing the best service for all of your customers making sure all orders are correct, of a high quality and delivered damage free to your customers. While this helps to massively reduce returns, it does not eliminate them.
Here at Parcel Master we want to make the process of a return as stress free for you as possible which is why we only charge £1 per item. This means returns are affordable, so when they do occur, it is nothing to worry about, we’ve got you!
• £10 per storage bin
• £15 per storage shelf
• £1 per pick
• 30p per additional pick
• 10p per mailer
• 40p starting price for cardboard box
• £1 per returned item
At Parcel Master there is no MOQ. This means you pay for the space you use and each order that we process for you rather than a large fixed price.
The pricing of Parcel Master compared to James & James is undeniably different due to the size of our companies, client base and fulfilment process.
James & James charge per cubic metre for their warehouse storage instead of per shelf or bin. Their storage services are fixed at 95p per cubic metre, per day. This can quickly begin to add up depending on how large your products are.
At James & James they charge £1.40 for the first item picked and then an additional 30p for each item after that. Parcel Master is a great James & James alternative as our packing fees are 40p cheaper. This may seem trivial but small fees add up over time and can end up costing your business a lot of money.
Packaging prices start at 67p for a cardboard box at James & James, which again places them as the more expensive option.
Each item that needs returning is charged at £1.85 and each additional item included in the order is charged at 55p.
• £1.40 per pick
• 30p per additional pick
• 67p starting price for cardboard box
• £1.85 per returned item
• 55p per each additional returned item in the order
• 95p per cubic metre of storage
With James & James it is vital to keep in mind that they require an initial set up fee and a monthly account management fee. You will also have to pay for each sales channel you choose to connect. Prices can be reduced depending on your order volume, this is perhaps an advantage if you own a larger business.
Another thing to be aware of is the experience of previous clients. Zalberg left a review on Trustpilot in 2021 stating that ‘James and James is all about taking your money and not offering any service. We have storage fees that goes up 12k a month’.
This review gives an insight on how the prices at James & James can easily begin to stack up and their customer service can be incredibly hard to get in touch with.
Now that you have had the opportunity to to assess Parcel Master vs James & James order fulfilment services and our respective prices, it is in your hands.
Parcel Master stands in a great light as an alternative to James & James as our services are dedicated to providing you and your customers with an accurate and care driven service. Helping to nurture your business as it grows. This appears to be something James & James lacks according to reviews left by their customers on Trustpilot.
Our services are also significantly cheaper, making us the affordable choice for any business.
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