A sit-down with a P2Pseller founder: all your questions answered

By Oleg Mikhailenko
Published in People
April 06, 2022
6 min read
A sit-down with a P2Pseller founder: all your questions answered

We took the time to speak with Oleg Mikhailenko, one of the founders behind P2Pseller, the platform to share e-commerce infrastructure that markets itself as being an answer to a stiff industry. Stirring up the ecommerce industry in the same way that Uber and Airbnb revolutionized theirs is an exciting prospect, but how does it actually work? Read on for questions and answers about the finer points of P2Pseller’s software and methods.

First of all, thanks so much for agreeing to sit down with me and talk about the more granular details of the P2Pseller model.

Absolutely, thanks for coming. This company is my passion , so any day I get to sit down and talk about the finer points is a good day.

Shall we get started then? Firstly, I wanted to talk about UPS’ product Ware2Go. P2Pseller could be described as selling a product that’s like Airbnb on steroids for shared e-commerce infrastructure such as storage spaces, warehousing, shipping rates, all the bells and whistles included. Do you worry about Ware2Go being similar enough to cause difficulties?

Great question. I think of Ware2Go as more of an indirect competitor. They operate in a similar market, sure, but the business model is rather different. Ware2Go is building an on-demand warehousing and fulfillment network, meaning that their business model is more similar to something like Deliverr’s. They have a bit of an advantage since UPS is such a giant player in the industry. What they don’t utilize is the shared economy component. Their primary focus is on building a warehousing network rather than shared infrastructure, which is also crucial to bring the e-commerce market to the next level.

P2Pseller prides itself on offering a third party logistics calculator that offers a special degree of cost transparency. Can you explain a little more about that?

Definitely. Our goal in everything we do is to allow merchants to make quick, efficient decisions by offering all the information transparently and in advance . In times like these, efficiency is key. Currently, most third-party logistics providers require sellers to provide sales volume, inventory, and fulfillment metrics in order to even begin to calculate a price. Nobody has time for that kind of bulky process these days. We let our customers directly connect their favorite sales channels so the data is automatically pulled and ready to be used and analyzed. No phone calls, no emails, no follow ups. All it takes is a few clicks and a couple minutes of your time to get an insight into your costs.

A lot of P2Pseller’s ethos is surrounded on efficiency and making sure everything can be done in just a few clicks. Listing your warehouse, integrating with shipping platforms, and the like. Why is that?

We live in an increasingly digital world. More and more traditionally-run industries are switching over to faster, more efficient methods, especially since the pandemic. Warehousing and fulfillment has been an industry that’s been stuck in the past for way too long. It’s time to bring it into the future. We plan to do that through a shared-economy approach, key software integrations, and making sure everything can get done in, like you said, just a few clicks.

So, say, if a shipping platform is integrated with the platform, you could re-cost the shipment with a new, closer warehouse without having to call anyone?

Exactly. When someone uploads one of their warehouses, they’re prompted to list values for pallet space, fulfillment services, and the dates they’re available. Users can then set filters in order to find something that suits their needs and budget constraints. With all the filtering options we offer, it’s pretty easy to find the best fit and book it fast.

So anyone can offer warehousing space and anyone can book that space. That’s pretty incredible. But what about picking, packing, and shipping services? Do sellers have to go off-platform to organize that kind of thing?

Not to worry. Merchants can get their pick and pack lists, and shipping services through the P2Pseller platform as well. Storage and operations owners can download instructions and labels straight from the website or app to make sure everything is carried out correctly.

So if a warehouse provider commits to storing product for a merchant, are they also necessarily committing to the whole picking, packing, and shipping process? Or can they choose to only be a holding warehouse?

It’s either one. We allow storage providers to select which, if any, fulfillment services they offer, alongside rates. The P2Pseller app takes care of order processing, so all that’s left for the fulfillment providers to do is download labels. On the other hand, if all a customer needs is just a place to store products, we’re happy to let providers offer that service as well.

Who’s responsible for shipping the inventory to the fulfillment provider? The customer or the provider?

We ask customers to ship inventory to the fulfillment provider themselves, through full truckloads or LTLs. Since a storage provider can be any space that’s underutilized, a lot of them may not have access to the means to transport inventory on their own. Merchants have no need to worry, though - we’re currently working on integration with LTL carriers, and in the future we plan to let customers create LTL shipments through the app itself.

Let’s talk a little bit more about shipping. How does that work, exactly? Does the fulfillment provider handle everything, or does the merchant have to set something up in advance? Is there infrastructure in place to be able to accurately price shipping cost per transaction?

We’re looking to support integration with a number of carriers. Assuming you connect your account with that shipping carrier with your P2Pseller account, the app can then automatically process the order. The customer can then track transaction history, including the price for each and every label, under the ‘Billing’ section. The billing section still requires a bit of polish, but we are able to charge customers directly via ACH, check, or wire transfer and update their account balance in real time.

Once you connect your Amazon or Shopify account, you’re able to get all your data. Sales performance, delivery cost comparisons, geographical order concentration, and so on. You’ve stated that this data results in lower shipping costs for merchants, but is this the result of zone or origin changes, or is this representative of an actual reduction in prices?

Cost savings will obviously be different for each customer depending on order volume, but let me give you an example. Our software has the capability to calculate shipping costs based on the customer’s order and fulfillment history. So if, say, a customer had shipping costs of $750k over the last three months, we’d be able to offer, for example, a 10% cost saving assuming they use the P2Pseller app to process the shipments. We can do that by analyzing any inefficiencies related to the shipment costs and offer better combinations for the rates for specific customer needs.

Let’s say the worst happens and some of the goods are damaged. How does liability work? Who holds responsibility for the goods while they’re in the warehouse? How does insurance work in a third-party storage situation like this? Customers want to be assured that their products are safe.

This is an excellent question. At the moment, we’re still exploring various options when it comes to liability distribution for our services. At present, we’re strongly considering passing the liability to fulfillment providers, but the final decision has yet to be made.

Is it possible to manage multiple stores under one account? Many customers have multiple selling channels, and would like to be able to monitor each of them individually while also having the capability to see everything as a whole.

Most definitely. If a customer has multiple shops, even multiple shops within one channel, we have the ability to process that. Let’s say a given customer has three Shopify stores, five Ebay stores, and three Walmart stores. We’re able to process orders from each of them simultaneously and update inventory levels in real time to make sure nothing is double-sold. It’s the same case for multiple carrier accounts. A customer can choose to integrate their own UPS account, but will also have access to, let’s say, P2Pseller’s accounts for oversized, heavy, or especially small products, to make sure they’re getting the most efficient combination.

On that note, are customers able to consolidate billing plans for small packages, freight, full truck load, and LTL shipping under a single account number?

Absolutely. Consolidated billing is something we provide, alongside detailed information including the carrier account number for each and every shipment.

And customers are able to track shipments from start to finish? Even if problems arise?

We want our customers to be well-informed. If any sort of problems or anomalies during shipment will rise, we want that information to be available as soon as possible. Customers will receive notifications should any packages be lost, delayed, or not picked up on time, thereby sellers have an opportunity to find out about any delays or anomalies in shipping schedule before their end clients and prevent the negative feedback.

Thanks again so much for your time. It was great to really get down to brass tacks and discuss where things are right now and where you hope to go.

Like I said, this company is my passion. I’m always ecstatic to have the opportunity to talk about these finer points. Things are always moving and changing, so we’ll have to talk again sometime, so I can give you the full update on how things are progressing. Great things are ahead, and I’m excited to share them with everyone.


Previous Article
Covid 19 Shipping Difficulties

Oleg Mikhailenko

Co-Founder, CEO P2Pseller

Related Posts

Amazon workers condemn unsafe, grueling conditions at warehouse
March 14, 2022
5 min
P2PSeller Logo
© 2023, Modern Trading Technologies, Inc. USA, California. All Rights Reserved.