For almost a year, I shadowed shipping startup Shyp for an article in our current issue featuring the Most Innovative Companies. I followed along as the company expanded its pickup service to Los Angeles, converted its contractors into employees, revamped its branding, and decided to suspend operations in Miami.
It was all absorbing. But the single move Shyp made that mattered most to me was its announcement last December that it had struck a deal to pick up, pack, and ship items for eBay sellers. Today, the company is saying that it’s bringing this service to Los Angeles, along with its existing markets in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. (That’s all the cities where Shyp is available at the moment.)
As in its standard form, Shyp’s eBay integration lets you use the Shyp app to summon a courier who will arrive within 20 minutes via bike or car and whisk away your items. The company will professionally pack them and select the most economical and efficient way to ship them: FedEx, UPS, USPS, or whatever. You don’t have to take a photo of an item, as you normally do; Shyp snags that from your eBay listing. The company even waives the $5 pickup fee it normally charges, which means that I can’t think of a reason not to use its service if you live in a Shyp city.
I’ve sold goods on eBay for eons–off and on, but mostly off. By using Shyp, I avoid digging up a box, packaging up products, and standing in line at the post office, all of which add up to the single most time-consuming aspect of being an eBay merchant. Which is why I’ve sold more items on eBay in the past few months than I have in years.
In my experience so far, Shyp has performed exactly as promised. Couriers have usually arrived in more like 10 minutes than 20, and the handoff process is incredibly quick. I was a tad nervous about entrusting the service with the stuff I’ve been selling–mostly fragile old magazines, collectible gizmos, and other delicate items–but I’ve gotten only praise about its packaging from my customers.
The only oddity that I’ve encountered is that eBay’s listing process doesn’t know anything about Shyp. When I’m putting up an item for sale, I guestimate a reasonable shipping fee. And in the current form of the integration, Shyp’s app knows the price I specified, and that’s what I get charged. It’s easier to imagine a deeper integration that would let a seller choose Shyp when listing an item, specify how speedy the shipping needed to be, and get a custom estimate of the cost. Shyp says the current phase of its eBay partnership will continue through June, whereupon the two companies will figure out their next steps–and as a happy customer so far, I hope that they make this cool offering even cooler.