ShipBob has better pricing while Red Stag offers better accuracy guarantees and special handling.
This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
ShipBob is better for most SMBs with small and manageable products, while Red Stag offers better accuracy guarantees and special handling.
ShipBob and Red Stag are both small business-friendly third-party order fulfillment solutions mainly used by ecommerce sellers. Both companies work by handling product storage, inventory management, order processing, shipping, and returns on your behalf.
When it comes to ShipBob vs Red Stag, we recommend:
- ShipBob: Best overall order fulfillment solution for SMBs and small, lightweight goods
- Red Stag Fulfillment: Best order fulfillment solution for special-handling needs (including oversized, heavy, high-value, hazardous, or fragile items)
ShipBob vs Red Stag Quick Comparison
Monthly Minimum Requirement
$275 minimum spend
Around 200 orders (flexible)
United States Warehouse Locations
International Warehouse Locations
Shipping Partner Options
FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, OSM, CDL Last Mile, UDS, LSO, and OnTrac
FedEx, UPS, US Postal Service (USPS), Amazon, and OnTrac
Business-to-Business (B2B) Fulfillment
Reported Error Rate
with $50 payment guarantee for every error
Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) Eligibility
Phone, email, ticketing system - business hours, M-F
Chat - extended hours, 7 days/wk
Phone - business hours, M-F
When to Use ShipBob
ShipBob is the better third-party order fulfillment company for most growing small businesses, ecommerce startups, and retail stores expanding into the ecommerce space. Its pricing structure and handling capabilities work best for manageable, small to midsize products.
When to Use Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment excels in order fulfillment and shipping for oversized, heavy, high-value, or fragile items, and is a leading provider for hazardous goods (including ammunition). While smaller than ShipBob, its size allows for personalized service and impressive accuracy guarantees, despite a less extensive global reach.
Top Alternatives to ShipBob & Red Stag
On-demand services and space for scaling in-house fulfillment
Marketplace fulfillment and freight/logistics needs
Selling on Amazon
Fast-growing businesses needing scalability
$500 subscription or office rental lease
ShipBob vs Red Stag: Pricing
4.88 out of 5
3.75 out of 5
Onboarding and Implementation
$975 for full implementation or
$0 for self-onboarding
Discounted rates available
Discounted rates available
$35/hour first two hours, $50/hour following
$14.25/pallet or $6 per non-pallet package
$40 per pallet monthly; $10 per shelf monthly; or $5 per bin monthly
75 cents per cubic foot per month
Calculated per package based on weight and shipping distance
Charged as separate costs
Pick and Pack
First 4 picks included in fulfillment fee,
25 cents per additional pick
$1.80 to $2.25 for the first pick;
32 cents per additional pick
Included in fulfillment fee
Discounted rates available with several carrier partners (Included in fulfillment fee)
Discounted rates available with major carriers
$3 per order (plus label fee)
$6 per order
$45 per hour
$40 per person-hour
Each company’s fulfillment pricing is based on usage, so you primarily pay for the services you use. Additionally, they both offer deeply discounted shipping rates. But ShipBob and Red Stag each structure their fees differently.
ShipBob charges higher storage fees, but Red Stag is more expensive for pick and pack, returns, and receiving. This makes each solution more economical for different sellers.
- If you deal in standard, small and midsize goods, ShipBob is the more affordable option. Although its storage fees are steep, small and fast-moving goods can avoid racking up costs.
- For large, oversized goods, Red Stag’s affordable storage costs can help you save significantly. Plus, the company automatically provides specialty services for fragile and high-value items that would cost you extra elsewhere, such as liability insurance and custom-fitted boxes.
Take a look at our Red Stag vs ShipBob comparison of each major cost center below.
There’s no onboarding fee required to start using Red Stag, and your account representative will assist you with stock migration, platform integration, and account setup.
ShipBob’s Growth Plan, which aims to be a cheaper option geared toward startups, also offers free onboarding—but many of the tasks involved in the process must be handled by the seller independently.
ShipBob’s full implementation package costs $975 and employs a dedicated implementation specialist who even stays with you for 30 days after going live. This option is less affordable but can create a more hands-off experience and help avoid bumps in the road.
Both ShipBob and Red Stag charge for receiving, whereas some of their biggest competitors, such as ShipMonk and FBA, perform receiving for free.
ShipBob and Red Stag both offer full-service receiving, but the two companies charge for it differently as ShipBob charges per hour of labor while Red Stag charges per pallet.
ShipBob’s storage costs are higher than many competitors (including Red Stag). That said, it uses a storage-optimization service that regularly evaluates and improves the efficiency of how goods are stored, helping to keep usage down.
Red Stag’s storage costs are much lower than ShipBob’s, which helps make the service affordable for large products. However, products that sit in Red Stag’s warehouses for longer than 180 days incur an additional long-term storage fee.
ShipBob charges $40 per pallet/month for storage, along with smaller bin and shelf options. If a pallet averages 31.1 cubic feet of space, this evens out to a cost of about $1.29 per cubic foot. Red Stag charges 75 cents per cubic foot.
ShipBob charges one variable fulfillment fee for each order, which includes pick and pack (up to four items), basic packaging materials, and shipping costs. Meanwhile, Red Stag charges for each of these cost centers individually. Both companies offer volume discounts.
Red Stag’s pick-and-pack fees are pretty steep, which reflects the company’s focus on special handling. However, ShipBob’s fulfillment fees are custom-quoted, so it’s difficult to directly compare.
Red Stag charges a Small Package Fee of $1 for parcels that weigh less than 16 ounces. This cost would add up fast for sellers dealing in small, lightweight goods with low-to-moderate margins, making ShipBob a less expensive choice in these scenarios.
Both companies provide similar discounts for major shipping carriers, although ShipBob delivers consistently more aggressive two-day rates.
ShipBob vs Red Stag: Quality & Functionality
5 out of 5
4.1 out of 5
Reported Error Rate
with $50 payment guarantee for every error
Order Turnaround Time
Shipping Partner Options
Number of US Warehouses
Number of International Warehouses
Prebuilt Native Integrations
International Cross-border Shipping
Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) Shipping
ShipBob has a widespread global warehouse network, which is a big benefit for businesses expanding internationally. It also offers more integrations and shipping options than Red Stag. However, Red Stag has 100% accuracy guarantees and superior efficiency measures that beat ShipBob.
Expand below for more info on ShipBob’s overall quality and functionality:
ShipBob reports high levels of accuracy but does not offer a 100% guarantee like Red Stag. The company uses sophisticated in-house technology throughout its packing and shipping workflows to achieve 99.96% of orders shipping on time and a 99.95% accuracy rate. It also promises to complete inbound inventory receiving within five days of arrival.
It’s worth noting that ShipBob receives a large number of negative reviews citing frequent processing delays and order errors, which don’t align with the company’s reported accuracy rates.
ShipBob clients have the flexibility to choose from multiple fulfillment centers within the company’s network of 35 locations, enabling strategic placement of inventory close to their customer base. This results in low shipping costs and fast delivery times.
Additionally, merchants can use any of the company’s global warehouses to provide their target foreign markets with fast and affordable shipping through local fulfillment.
ShipBob operates fulfillment centers in the following non-US regions:
- Melbourne, Australia
- Sydney, Australia
- Toronto, Canada
- Western Poland
- Manchester, UK
- Birmingham, UK
- Swindon, UK
- Dublin, Ireland
ShipBob enables users to offer two-day shipping across the US using just one of its fulfillment centers. The company partners with nine US carriers and also facilitates cross-border international shipping. Additionally, ShipBob provides DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) shipping services for international orders, ensuring transparent costs for shipping, tax, and duties at checkout, which can avoid unexpected fees upon delivery.
ShipBob has a larger number of prebuilt native integrations than Red Stag. This is especially helpful for sellers wishing to branch out into additional marketplaces:
- Ecommerce platforms and marketplaces: Shopify, Shopify Plus, Amazon, BigCommerce, eBay, Magento, Squarespace, Square, Walmart, Wix, WooCommerce, and NetSuite
- Operations, inventory and order management: Brightpearl, Brij, ChannelApe, Cin7, Cogsy, Cymbio, Fulfil.io, Inventory Planner, Linnworks, Logicbroker, Order Desk, PackageBee, Shypyard, Skubana, SPS Commerce, and Zentail
- Returns management platforms: Happy Returns, Loop Returns, and Returnly
- Freight and shipping solutions: DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS, AfterShip, Anvyl, Echo Global Logistics, EasyPost, FlavorCloud, Flexport, Freightos, Route, Rush, Shippo, and ShipStation
- Ecommerce marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and customer support: CartHook, CheckoutChamp, EcoCart, Gorgias, Klaviyo, Octane AI, Okendo, Omnisend, Ordergroove, PageFly, Privy, Quartile, Recharge, Rise.ai, Sezzle, Shop Circle, Simplr, Skio, Smartrr, TalentPop, Tydo, Zaius, and Zip
- Custom packaging and design solutions: Arka, Noissue, Packhelp, and Packlane
- Branding, marketing and web development agencies: adQuadrant, Blanka, BVACCEL, eHouse Studio, Envoy, Eventige, Hawke Media, Priceless Consulting, The Stable, MuteSix, ROI Revolution, and SeaMonster Studios
- Accounting, tax, and financing: Avalara, Avask, Bookkeeper360, Canusa Logistics, Clearco, DSP Insurance Services, Firstbase.io, Go Global Ecommerce, Kickfurther, Mercury, OFX, Rho, SimplyVAT, TaxJar, and ZonKeepers
Red Stag Fulfillment
Expand to read about the factors that contribute to Red Stag’s quality and functionality:
Red Stag offers a 100% guarantee for on-time fulfillment, as well as the most aggressive same-day fulfillment cutoff time in the industry (5 p.m. local time on the same day).
The company has a 0.02% error rate—meaning just one out of every 5,000 orders they fulfill experiences a mistake. On top of that, Red Stag offers a 100% accuracy guarantee: If an order is shipped with the wrong item or quantity, the company will fix the mistake for free, comp the shipment for you, and pay you $50 for the inconvenience.
Red Stag’s inbound order receiving has a 48-hour guarantee, which is much speedier than ShipBob.
Red Stag has just three warehouses in two general locations (Memphis, Tennessee, and Salt Lake City). While it achieves two-day ground shipping to 96% of US addresses, it’s not ideal for distribution or expansion.
The company plans to open future fulfillment centers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles.
Unlike ShipBob, Red Stag doesn’t have any non-US fulfillment centers to achieve local international fulfillment.
Red Stag works with five US shipping carriers to achieve two-day shipping. International orders can be sent using cross-border shipping to non-US addresses but, unlike ShipBob, DDP services are not available.
Red Stag offers fewer integrations than ShipBob, but all come with plug-and-play connectivity that requires no technical skill to use. The company also offers application programming interface (API) capabilities for custom integrations with new platforms:
- Ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and shopping carts: 1ShoppingCart, 3dcart, Adobe Business Catalyst, Amazon, BigCommerce, Buy.com (Rakuten), Choxi, Ecwid, FoxyCart, Goodsie, Linio, Magento, Newegg, Nexternal, OpenCart, Overstock, PrestaShop, Sears, Shopify, UltraCart, Volusion, Wayfair, Weebly, WooCommerce, Yahoo Stores, and eBay
- Freight, shipping, and supply chain solutions: CommerceHub, ReadyShipper, ShipStation, and SPS Commerce
- Multichannel software: Brightpearl, Channel Advisor, Linnworks, Monsoon, Solid Commerce, and TradeGecko
- Operations, inventory, and order management: Hybris, OrderMotion, osCommerce, and Spree Commerce
- Payments, accounting, tax, and financing: Celery, NetSuite, PayPal, and QuickBooks
- Marketing and CRM: Brandboom, ClickBank, Keap (InfusionSoft), and Salesforce (Demandware)
ShipBob vs Red Stag Fulfillment: Special Services
3.25 out of 5
3.95 out of 5
Reporting and Analytics
Special Product Handling
Amazon SFP Eligibility
FBA Prep Service
Packaging Customization Options
Custom Packaging Creation
Custom Branded Gift Notes
Subscription Box Fulfillment
Crowdfunding Reward Fulfillment
Red Stag’s business model is built around providing hard-to-find, mission-critical specialty services that may not be necessary for every business. ShipBob offers better customization options, as well as unique features like freight assistance and dropshipping programs.
ShipBob offers a number of robust services for importers, such as its end-to-end managed freight program and warehouses that can facilitate duty-free imports through Section 321. It also has a retail dropshipping program that can help merchants expand their customer base easily and cost-effectively.
Customization & Branding
ShipBob and Red Stag offer many of the same basic customization options. But for the purpose of brand-focused customization, ShipBob is the better choice.
ShipBob allows you to train fulfillment staff by sending videos demonstrating how you want each custom-packed order to be done. Other customization options include:
- Custom sender labels that display your brand name
- Customizable gift notes
- Use of branded packaging
- Marketing inserts
Red Stag can make custom-fitted boxes in-house, whereas ShipBob can’t create custom packaging. That said, Red Stag’s packaging approach is geared towards providing the most protective and economical fit for your goods rather than visual branding.
For your Amazon orders to qualify for Prime, they must be shipped through either FBA or a service with SFP eligibility.
ShipBob is not SFP-eligible. So to sell on Amazon, its users must either:
- Participate in the Fulfillment By Merchant (FMB) non-Prime program for their Amazon sales, or
- Have ShipBob prep and send a portion of their inventory to FBA, where it can be fulfilled for Prime orders.
ShipBob has an official partnership with Walmart Marketplace and is eligible for the site’s “2-Day” badge, which can be a viable alternative to selling on Amazon Prime.
Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag offers robust specialty services that cater to specialized product handling—including advanced security, liability insurance, custom-fitted boxes, and more.
The company also extends a great deal of flexibility to its customers, offering to work with your business to develop custom solutions.
Customization & Branding
Red Stag and ShipBob both offer similar customization options, such as using your own packing materials and inserts, with storage costs for these materials. However, Red Stag adds a pick fee for custom packaging, unlike ShipBob.
Red Stag has the advantage of producing in-house custom packages tailored for maximum support and shipping efficiency, ideal for fragile or oversized items. That said, it has many of the brand-focused customization options that ShipBob does (like gift notes and custom shipping labels).
Red Stag is a qualified Amazon SFP provider, making it the better option for Amazon sellers or multichannel merchants that rely on Amazon for a significant portion of their sales. The company can also perform FBA prep.
ShipBob vs Red Stag: Ease of Use
4.23 out of 5
3.45 out of 5
Liability Insurance on Inventory
Flexible Special Services
Software Functionality and Interface Usability
Monthly invoices; visibility by line item
5 to 6 invoices per month; unitemized
Hidden Fees Reported by Users
Termination of Services
Phone: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time
Live chat: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days a week
Phone, email, ticketing system: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time
Dedicated Account Service Rep
Ease of use is a focus for ShipBob and Red Stag alike. ShipBob offers better fulfillment software and more custom service channels, while Red Stag’s support and billing practices are more highly rated in user reviews.
Expand below for a look into the factors that contribute to ShipBob’s ease of use:
ShipBob delivers sophisticated fulfillment software packed with easy-to-use features as well as a wide range of integrations.
Its fulfillment software can generate reports on peak fulfillment times, promotional impact, expense breakdowns, revenue from orders shipped by day, sales by channel, forecasted demand, sales and quantity of orders by zone, and much more.
In addition to helping you track your stats, it maintains up-to-date reports on the company’s own performance and that of major shipping carriers for accountability and market research purposes.
ShipBob gives its customers itemized invoices on its easy-to-use billing portal, making them generally easier to manage. However, ShipBob users have reported experiencing hidden charges and overcharges.
ShipBob has the makings of a high-powered customer service setup. Its support hours are much better than that of Red Stag, and the average response time reported by the company is incredibly fast.
But many ShipBob users report poor issue resolution from the provider’s client support team. Reviews sometimes mention that customer service is partially outsourced and communicating with ShipBob’s hired call center (reportedly in India) is often difficult.
Red Stag Fulfillment
Expand below to read about Red Stag’s ease of use:
Red Stag’s multipurpose fulfillment software is mobile-friendly and all information is updated in real time. But users criticize the software for being unintuitive and less user-friendly than they would like. It’s sometimes described as being too data-forward, with an interface that prioritizes function over form.
You can use Red Stag’s cloud-based dashboard for insights into demand forecasting, inventory planning, shipping stats, and upstream production.
Unlike ShipBob, Red Stag only provides itemized invoices upon request. Moreover, the act of preparing itemized invoices is charged at a “special projects” rate.
The company has a “No Hidden Fees” guarantee and a clear pricing structure, helping make this barrier less inconvenient. From what we can see, no Red Stag users have reported experiencing hidden fees or being overcharged by the company.
Red Stag pairs each account with its own dedicated customer service rep. This allows the employee to get to know your business, inventory, staff, and customers, which encourages smoother interactions.
Red Stag’s customer support is only available during regular business hours only. That said, user reviews commend Red Stag for its impressive customer service team, and so far there isn’t a single criticism of Red Stag’s customer support in any published review.
ShipBob vs Red Stag: Expert Score
ShipBob and Red Stag are both high-quality, user-friendly third-party logistics (3PLs) that scored highly on our comprehensive evaluation. The best choice for you greatly depends on what type of business you have as well as the characteristics of your products. Ultimately, Red Stag scored higher in our Expert Review, earning a perfect rating for its services, value, usability, and popularity.
ShipBob Expert Review
ShipBob’s advanced infrastructure makes enterprise-level order fulfillment accessible to online stores of all sizes. In addition, its robust fulfillment software and extensive special services make ShipBob stand out among its competitors.
However, ShipBob’s high storage costs take away from its affordability, which is something that must be considered for sellers dealing in large or slow-moving goods.
ShipBob User Reviews
|ShipBob Users Like
|ShipBob Users Don’t Like
|Ease of use and simple onboarding
|Customer support issues
|Software functionality and interface
|Delayed receiving and order fulfillment
|Low shipping costs
|Hidden and unexpected charges
ShipBob reviews range from high praise to strong criticism. Positive feedback highlights good customer service and efficient software. Negative reviews often mention operational issues, such as delays, mislabeling, and mishandling, along with concerns about packaging size, hidden costs, and poor customer service. Recently, ShipBob faced social media backlash for alleged overcharges, errors, and inventory retention issues.
Red Stag Expert Review
Red Stag delivers hard-to-find special services on top of highly efficient fulfillment operations while staying affordable and accessible to small businesses. Plus, the company is very popular among its users and offers a risk-free 30-day trial. This value earned Red Stag a perfect rating in our Expert Score category.
Red Stag User Reviews
|Users Don’t Like
|Operational accuracy and speed
|Previous shipping limitations (now resolved)
|Responsive and courteous client support
|Difficulty obtaining a quote
|Reduced customer complaints
|Fulfillment software interface not user-friendly
Most online feedback for Red Stag Fulfillment comes from employees, but user reviews are almost entirely positive, praising responsive support and accurate order fulfillment. European clients value its efficiency with North American sales. Truckers often commend Red Stag for quick loading and unloading, aiding inventory management.
ShipBob vs Red Stag Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The more expensive option depends on your business’ needs. Red Stag is more cost-effective for large, oversized, and fragile items while ShipBob is better for smaller and more manageable goods. Red Stag charges more for pick-and-pack services because the company prioritizes special handling. Meanwhile, ShipBob charges higher storage fees.
ShipBob and Red Stag are third-party order fulfillment providers that manage storage, order processing, and shipping for retail businesses. Their process involves receiving and sorting inventory at the fulfillment center, storing it, processing customer orders, picking, packing, shipping each order, and handling customer returns.
ShipBob offers third-party fulfillment with a tech-driven, enterprise-level infrastructure suitable for all business sizes, boasting a global warehouse network and various programs for importers, dropshipping, and independent warehouses. In contrast, Red Stag, a smaller company, focuses on personalized customer experiences with a 100% accuracy guarantee and specializes in handling high-value, hazardous, or oversized merchandise.
How We Evaluated ShipBob vs Red Stag Fulfillment
To help small businesses find the best fulfillment partner for their store, we compared Red Stag vs ShipBob in terms of pricing, functionality, specialty services, and ease of use. Our retail and ecommerce experts also weighed in and evaluated each service.
20% of Overall Score
This category examines the providers’ pricing transparency, billing transparency, and billing predictability. ShipBob scored higher largely thanks to its itemized billing format, but Red Stag’s No Hidden Fees policy appears to create better user satisfaction.
30% of Overall Score
In this category we evaluated the quality of service and functionality of each company by weighing critical details like order turnaround time, shipping partner options, size of fulfillment center network, integrations list, and accuracy rate. ShipBob’s wide global footprint of 39 total warehouses helped it take the lead in this section, along with its extensive list of integrations.
15% of Overall Score
We awarded points for the availability of special services like climate control, international shipping, custom packaging elements, Amazon features, and different types of assembly. Being crucial to ecommerce operations, return handling and reporting/analytics were prioritized. Red Stag was the winner in this category, with better options for Amazon sellers and products that require a variety of special handling practices.
15% of Overall Score
This score considered customer service accessibility along with scalability, software usability and operational transparency. ShipBob was the victor here, thanks to its user-friendly fulfillment software and its extended customer service hours with fast response times. Red Stag’s customer support is rated better in user reviews, but its clunky software held the company back in this category.
20% of Overall Score
This score combined our retail and ecommerce experts’ final evaluation of value, usability, and standout features with scores from real-world users on trusted third-party review sites. Red Stag was the winner here with a perfect score—the company offers hard-to-find special features, solid value for the money, and excellent popularity among its users, especially when it comes to customer support and ease of use.
When comparing Red Stag vs ShipBob, both provide fulfillment services for small to midsize businesses (SMBs), and there are many similarities between the companies’ pricing, features, and services. But, ultimately, each platform is built to accommodate different business needs, which makes a direct comparison tricky.
Looking for something else? To find more fulfillment options that fit your business, visit WarehousingAndFulfillment.com. It’s a brokerage service that matches you with compatible providers, and it’s completely free to use.