Outsourcing Fulfillment for Subscription Boxes

Jesse from Cratejoy’s SubscriptionSchool.com walks you through the basics of outsourcing shipping and fulfillment for your subscription business.

Jesse from Cratejoy’s SubscriptionSchool.com walks you through the basics of outsourcing shipping and fulfillment for your subscription business.

Outsourcing Fulfillment for Subscription Boxes – Transcript

Hey everybody! This is Jesse and you’re watching Subscription School’s very first video on shipping and fulfillment. Today, we’re at NW Paper Box in Portland OR, and we’re going to dive into the details of what it is to outsource your shipping and fulfillment for your subscription business. Let’s head inside!

So, chances are you’ve packed a few months – maybe even a year’s worth of boxes. But you’re getting to that point where space, time, and efficiency are getting hard to manage. Now’s the time to be thinking about outsourcing your fulfillment.

So what do we mean by this? Outsourcing fulfillment simply means migrating the operation of packing and shipping from your own facility to a fulfillment partner’s. This partner receives the products you’ve procured, packs your box, and labels and ships your boxes.

Now, I understand – it can seem like a little bit of a stretch to give up this part of your business.

Reluctant Business Owner: Nooooo!

Yea… But there are some serious benefits of outsourcing.  Consider this:

  1. High Quality Work (Still in the States)
  2. An Expense, Not an Employee.
  3. Minimized Expenses (Less sq ft. needed, no upkeep/supplies)
  4. Never Worry about Storage & Product Safety
  5. Build Your Business

First, when you choose a good fulfillment partner, like NW Paper Box, you can always count on quality packed boxes. Plus, you don’t have to train and retrain staff each month.

Normally, you may see a replacement rate of about 2% each month. These were the boxes that were missing items or were broken.

With a fulfillment partner, you can match that same rate or even get lower. I’ve actually seen it around 1% or less. So how do they do it?


Chris from NW Paper Box: For us, we like to know that we can be that partner. We can provide packaging, we can [provide] quality. We know that this is a product that [our customers] want to go out the door, [because we make sure] the extra touches are taken to ensure a customer experience that is really fulfilled.

In addition to the great packing, you also no longer need to deal with one of the most challenging things about business: organizing labor and having additional employees. It’s just a cost, not an operation, and that means no mess for you. Well, not as much of a mess.

This, along with the fact that you’ll no longer need to rent a commercial warehouse, maintain a large facility, or constantly worry product safety, means less overhead and fewer headaches for you across the board. And trust me, you don’t want all this in your house.


And all this leads up to the real reason you should think about outsourcing: more time to grow your business. When you stop trying to be a fulfillment company, you can focus on marketing and growing your customer base. And that’s what it’s all about.

About Jesse Richardson

Jesse Richardson is an author, educator and co-founder of several successful subscription businesses. He focuses on building engaging communities and has been described as "insanely customer centric." Find him in the Subscription School group or at his blog.

3 Responses

  1. Matthew Baker

    Are you able to share and review or recommendations of UK fulfillment partners that are suitable for subscription box companies?

    We currently have around 160 subscribers so that rules out some of the larger players in the market.

  2. Anna

    I’d also really like to know if you are aware of any UK fulfillment partners that would receive the goods, pack them and ship them. I’m starting out, so my subscription will be somewhere between 50 -100.

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