Red Stag Fulfillment is a third-party logistics (3PL) company geared toward specialized ecommerce merchants and retailers. It provides warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping solutions to small and midsize businesses.
In our review of the best order fulfillment companies for small businesses, Red Stag scored 4.09 out of 5 based on our evaluation of 23 data points. Its special handling capabilities, excellent customer support, and industry-leading accuracy guarantees set the provider apart from the competition.
When to Use Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag’s operations and pricing are tailored to work for retailers dealing in goods that require special handling. This includes oversized and/or heavy items (like flat-pack furniture or large recreational equipment), high-value merchandise (like fine jewelry or watches), and fragile goods (like televisions and other electronics). Additionally, Red Stag is an industry leader for fulfilling hazardous merchandise, such as ammunition.
This specialization makes third-party fulfillment and logistics cost-effective by reducing spend on packing, shipping, and storing these high-maintenance goods and eliminating losses due to mishandling and damage during transit.
When to Use Red Stag
- Ecommerce retailers: Whether you’re a DTC or B2B seller, Red Stag offers tailored ecommerce fulfillment services.
- Specialized goods: If you deal in heavy, oversized, fragile, or high-value items, Red Stag is designed to handle these types of products efficiently.
- Hazardous or dangerous goods: Red Stag is the industry leader in storing and fulfilling products like ammunition.
- Amazon Sellers: Red Stag is Seller-fulfilled Prime (SFP)-eligible.
When to Use an Alternative
Red Stag charges higher pick-and-pack fees than many competitors and also charges a Small Package Fee for parcels weighing less than 16 ounces. These extra costs would add up fast for sellers dealing in small, lightweight goods with low-to-moderate margins—making the provider a poor fit. Moreover, Red Stag lacks an international warehouse network to support foreign expansion, and it can’t perform fulfillment for crowdfunding campaigns.
- Small, lightweight goods: If your inventory is mostly small and manageable goods, ShipBob’s pricing model may be more economical.
- Crowdfunding projects: Most fulfillment companies don’t work with crowdfunding ventures, but ShipMonk offers affordable batch fulfillment programs and special pricing. Read our ShipMonk review.
- Global sellers: Red Stag has a small, US-only warehouse network, whereas ShipBob offers fulfillment from eight non-US warehouses.
The Red Stag Fulfillment pricing structure is backed by a “No Hidden Fees” guarantee, ensuring transparent and predictable billing. Plus, its fees aren’t significantly different from standard order fulfillment competitors, which is unexpected for a company that performs specialized and hard-to-find services.
However, Red Stag pricing falls short in billing transparency compared to rivals like ShipBob, which provides daily, detailed billing reports. Red Stag only offers itemized invoices upon request, and at its ‘special projects’ rate.
For large, oversized goods, Red Stag’s affordable storage costs can help you save significantly. But, it’s important to note that the company charges a $1 Small Package Fee for parcels weighing less than 16 ounces.
The company automatically provides specialty services for fragile and high-value items that would cost extra elsewhere—like liability insurance and custom-fitted boxes. These benefits make Red Stag the very affordable choice for products with many kinds of special-handling needs.
Red Stag Fulfillment Pricing Itemized
What It Covers
Onboarding, account setup, stock migration, and platform integration
$14.25 per pallet
or $6.25 per non-pallet package
Inbound stock receipt, unpack, and check-in
75 cents per cubic foot
Climate-controlled storage, advanced security, and inventory management
Pick and Pack
$1.80–$2.25 for the first item, 32 cents per additional item
Picking items from inventory and packing them for shipment
Starts at 80 cents
Custom-fitted boxes and cushioning
Discounted rates available with four carrier partners
Shipping costs vary depending on the size, weight, and destination of your goods
$6 per order (plus shipping cost)
Return processing, quality check, and restocking
Versatile labor to handle open-ended additional needs, such as product labeling and supplier management
With excellent accuracy, connectivity, and operational speed, Red Stag scored highly in this category. It only lost points for its small warehouse network, which provides plenty of storage capacity but isn’t ideal for strategic distribution.
Here are the factors that contributes to Red Stag’s score for quality and functionality:
Red Stag’s fulfillment services come with access to its proprietary cloud-based dashboard, called RSF OPS. The software is mobile-friendly and all info is updated in real time. Plus, it provides helpful reporting capabilities, including demand forecasting, inventory planning, shipping stats, and upstream production.
However, users criticize the software for being less user-friendly than they would like. It’s sometimes described as too data-forward, with an interface that prioritizes function over form.
Sellers also have the ability to create and edit products/SKUs, return merchandise authorizations (RMAs), advance ship notices (ASNs), and manual orders. Plus, its web-based WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) allows you to see the location of any item or order in Red Stag’s facility in real time.
Red Stag maintains three warehouses in two general locations: Knoxville, TN, and Salt Lake City, UT. There are no international warehouses at this time.
The company’s third warehouse launched in Sweetwater, TN, (about 40 miles from Knoxville) last year. It brings an additional 4.5 million square feet of space and 3,500 employees to Red Stag’s infrastructure.
Each client’s inventory can be distributed across the two locations depending on geographical demand. Red Stag has plans to open additional fulfillment centers in Los Angeles, CA, and Harrisburg, PA in the future.
This small warehouse network isn’t ideal for distribution or expansion, but it achieves two-day ground shipping to 96% of US addresses and three-day ground shipping to 99%.
Red Stag boasts one of the lowest error rates in the industry—only 0.02%, which breaks down to just one mistake in every 5,000 orders. Furthermore, 99.96% of orders ship on time. The company uses a strong employee incentive program and integrated automation to ensure these high levels of accuracy.
Regardless of its accuracy rates, Red Stag offers a 100% guarantee on its services. For every mistake it makes, it pays to fully correct the problem plus issues a $50 penalty payment to the client.
This guarantee can make a big difference in your bottom line—especially when dealing in high-value merchandise. Most fulfillment providers, such as ShipBob, have a policy that reimburses the cost of their errors up to $100 per order. In that case, if a mis-pick or shipping error squanders a valuable product, you’re either left with a hefty deficit or a complicated and lengthy claim process.
Other companies, such as ShipMonk, don’t insure your goods in their care. Your options are to add their warehouse(s) to your own policy and eat the expense or risk financial loss. Red Stag is fully insured, protected, and guaranteed to cause zero shrinkage or error.
Same-day fulfillment is available with Red Stag with a highly competitive cutoff time of 5 p.m. Orders received after that time are fulfilled the next day.
Inbound order receiving has a 48-hour guarantee, which is significantly speedier than competing fulfillment providers. For comparison, ShipBob promises to receive inventory within five days of arrival, and FBA has been known to delay receiving for multiple weeks. Red Stag also offers cross-docking to speed up processing for items on backorder.
Red Stag’s customer service facility is open 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. Each account with Red Stag is serviced by a dedicated representative. The relationship between each customer and their rep begins with a thorough training period to establish the specific needs of the client and their inventory.
My test calls were all answered promptly (without being put on hold) by a helpful representative based in Tennessee. Many competing providers outsource their customer support staff to call centers in India or South America, which often leads to difficulties with communication and issue resolution.
Clients also have the option of visiting and touring Red Stag’s facilities in person, which is a unique offering.
Red Stag provides free, quick, and mostly two-way compatible integrations with leading ecommerce tools. For platforms lacking ready-made integrations, custom API connectivity is available at an extra cost.
Here’s a current list of Red Stag’s available integrations:
- Ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and shopping carts: 1ShoppingCart, 3dcart, Adobe Business Catalyst, Amazon, BigCommerce, Buy.com (Rakuten), Choxi, Ecwid, FoxyCart, Goodsie, Linio, Magneto, Newegg, Nexternal, OpenCart, Overstock, PrestaShop, Sears, Shopify, UltraCart, Volusion, Wayfair, Weebly, WooCommerce, Yahoo Stores, eBay
- Freight, shipping, and supply chain solutions: CommerceHub, ReadyShipper, ShipStation, SPS Commerce
- Multichannel software: Brightpearl, ChannelAdvisor, Linnworks, Monsoon, Solid Commerce, TradeGecko
- Operations, inventory, and order management: hybris, OrderMotion, osCommerce, Spree Commerce
- Payments, accounting, tax, and financing: Celery, NetSuite, PayPal, QuickBooks
- Marketing and CRM: Brandboom, ClickBank, Keap (Infusionsoft), Salesforce (Demandware)
Red Stag offers robust specialty services that mainly cater to specialized product handling. The company provides advanced security, liability insurance, custom-fitted boxes, and more.
Furthermore, Red Stag is open to customizing its facilities for unique needs like added security measures, temperature control, storage amenities, or other special handling, Red Stag will accommodate the right client.
It’s one of the few 3PLs eligible for Amazon Seller-fulfilled Prime (SFP), making it an alternative to using Fulfillment by Amazon and adding a significant advantage. However, the company doesn’t offer batch fulfillment, making it unsuitable for crowdfunding campaigns.
Red Stag’s specialty services include:
Red Stag’s operation is focused on oversized, heavy, high-value, and/or fragile items—providing the best processes and tools for handling these high-maintenance goods.
Its warehouses are designed, laid out, and priced for bulky merchandise (which contrasts with most competing fulfillment companies that excel in working with small, lightweight products). Employees are specially trained to handle goods of this nature, and they’re equipped with high-tech tools to aid in intake, picking, and packing.
The standard materials offered by Red Stag at the packing phase are composed of heavy-duty cardboard—fortified to be supportive and protective for large, fragile items. A variety of tape and dunnage is also available to optimize packaging. Each order is measured with a dimensional scanner that creates a custom-fitted box to ensure safe transportation.
Red Stag offers discounted rates with four shipping couriers. This is typical of a fulfillment provider since shipping companies provide volume discounts to partners like them. The distinction between Red Stag and its competitors is in the type of shipping it does in bulk—oversized and heavy packages are charged at a different rate, so your discounts on these shipments will be greater.
Red Stag’s security protocols begin with background checks for each employee and metal detectors at every entrance and exit of its facilities. Once on the property, comprehensive security cameras monitor, record, and store footage from every square foot of operation.
Multiple redundant security systems are connected to numerous power source backups, creating a failsafe for any circumstance. Plus, the company’s website, software, and stored data are protected by advanced web security with 100% uptime, maintained by a dedicated team.
Red Stag scored moderately in our ease of use category. It was awarded points for its scalability and impeccable operation transparency, but the company’s 200-order minimum and business-only customer service hours are substantial drawbacks. We also took into account user reviews describing Red Stag’s fulfillment software as unintuitive and not user-friendly.
Here’s a summary of the factors we considered:
- Risk-free Trial: You can use Red Stag’s services for 30 days to test the waters and determine if it’s a good fit for your needs. If you decide against continuing, you won’t be charged any fulfillment fees for services used during the trial period.
- Onboarding: Red Stag has a dedicated onboarding team to guide new clients through a seamless migration process with minimal hiccups and downtime.
- Support: Red Stag’s client support platform uses a 24/7 ticket-based system, allowing you to report issues as soon as they occur and stay up-to-date on progress toward resolution.
- Error Policies and Guarantees: The company guarantees 100% accuracy and zero shrink, backed by full compensation plus a $50 penalty payment to the client.
- Transparency: Red Stag’s operational transparency is very high—the software provides visibility into each order as it moves through the fulfillment process and allows you to track shipping with every carrier.
- Billing: Red Stag’s billing isn’t as transparent as competitors like ShipBob, which offers daily, itemized billing reports. Red Stag only provides such invoices on request, and charges a “special projects” rate for them. However, the company does have a “No Hidden Fees” guarantee and a straightforward pricing structure.
- Customization: If Red Stag doesn’t supply an amenity your products require (like climate-control or gated secure inventory storage), its team is open to accommodating the right client.
Red Stag excels in offering specialized services at an affordable rate, earning it top marks in our Expert Score. This is corroborated by user reviews and my own interactions with the staff. The company’s risk-free 30-day trial and compatibility with Amazon sellers also boosted its score.
However, it falls short in areas like batch fulfillment, freight management, dropshipping, and startup programs, limiting its appeal for certain modern ecommerce businesses.
What Users Say in Red Stag Fulfillment Reviews
Most of the Red Stag Fulfillment reviews available online were left by employees of the company. However, existing user feedback offers a comprehensive view of its fulfillment partnership. Client support consistently earns praise for courtesy and promptness, while service accuracy is also highlighted. European users value the company’s flexibility in fulfilling North American sales.
Most negative reviews come from former employees, not service users. A handful of customer reviews described wishing that the fulfillment software was more user-friendly, and some early critiques mentioned a limited shipping network (Red Stag now partners with FedEx, UPS, USPS, Amazon, and OnTrac). One recent 1-star review cited difficulties in obtaining a service quote and issues with sales reps.
|Users Like||Users Don’t Like|
|Operational accuracy||Previous shipping limitations (now resolved)|
|Responsive and courteous client support||Difficulty obtaining a quote|
|Reduced customer complaints||Fulfillment software interface not user-friendly|
Methodology: How We Evaluated Red Stag Fulfillment
To assess Red Stag and other 3PLs, we focused on factors crucial to small retail and ecommerce businesses. We examined third-party Red Stag Fulfillment reviews, user ratings, articles, and the company’s own content.
For missing information, we contacted the company posing as potential customers. We also directly evaluated their client support and ease of use. Finally, we scored Red Stag on a 23-point scale based on industry experience, reader surveys, and competitor attributes, considering functionality, scalability, and transparency.
30% of Overall Score
We assessed service quality and functionality based on key aspects like order turnaround time, shipping partners, fulfillment center network size, and accuracy. We also looked at how each company integrates with ecommerce platforms and tools.
Red Stag excelled in this area, gaining points for accuracy, extensive integrations, and speed, but losing some for its limited warehouse network.
20% of Overall Score
We favor companies that publish pricing openly to save time and promote transparency. Since direct cost comparison can be difficult between providers that charge on a custom-quoted basis, this score focuses on pricing transparency and billing predictability.
Red Stag scored well due to its “No Hidden Fees” policy and clear pricing, but was marked down for billing transparency.
15% of Overall Score
We evaluated customer service, software usability, and operational transparency, placing importance on dedicated service reps and support availability. We also considered order minimums and scalability to suit small businesses.
Red Stag lost points for limited customer service hours and a 200-order minimum, but scored well for scalability and operational transparency.
15% of Overall Score
Points were given for special services like climate control, international shipping, and custom packaging. We prioritized return handling and analytics reporting and checked for Amazon Prime/SFP eligibility.
Red Stag was docked for its lack of climate control and international warehouses, but earned points in this category for its robust services centered around special handling.
20% of Overall Score
This score combined our retail and ecommerce experts’ final evaluation of value, ease of use, and standout features with scores from real-world users on trusted third-party review sites
We gave Red Stag high marks here for its overall value, ease of use, and robust specialty services— plus its impressive reputation among its users.
Red Stag Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Red Stag is a good fit for small to midsize businesses that sell physical products online. Its services are most economical for hazardous, high-value, heavy, fragile, or oversized products—which competing fulfillment companies aren’t built to efficiently handle.
Red Stag Fulfillment was founded in 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee. It has grown significantly since then, adding two fulfillment centers and thousands of additional employees.
Red Stag Fulfillment reviews from customers are hard to find because most online ratings were left by company employees. Furthermore, the company doesn’t have a listing on popular, trusted reviews sites like Trustpilot, G2, or Capterra. That said, The vast majority of Red Stag user reviews are 5-star ratings that cite excellent customer support and fulfillment services.
Red Stag Fulfillment provides inventory storage, order processing, fulfillment, and shipping services, primarily for ecommerce and retail businesses. It focuses on special handling for hazardous, heavy, oversized, high-value, and fragile items.
Red Stag is a specialty company that was founded to fill the gap in the fulfillment industry for certain types of high-maintenance products. For this reason, it’s not the ideal solution for every retailer universally.
Outsourcing fulfillment of heavy, oversized, fragile, or high-value merchandise can be difficult, expensive, or both— which is why Red Stag is the best option for sellers in this category. Its services save clients significant money on shipping, storage, and processing costs and reduce spend on shrinkage and losses.
If you’re still unsure whether Red Stag is right for you, try visiting WarehousingAndFulfillment.com to compare your specific needs to 500+ pre-screened companies. It helps find the best fit for your business at no additional cost.