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What is unique about ShipBob?

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is a popular US-based eCommerce order fulfillment service provider that specializes in shipments over 5 pounds and offers a 100% guarantee for their 48 hour dock-to-stock time, order accuracy, order speed, and inventory accuracy. The service combines cloud-based fulfillment platform with excellent operations to take care of your order fulfillment needs for fragile, high-value, and oversized goods, items above five pounds, and products that need customization or light assembly before shipment.

The service utilizes FedEx’s expansive logistics and transportation network to ship oversize and heavy products at considerable discounts. In addition, Red Stag employs state-of-the art quality control solutions to video-track their warehouses and packing locations to prevent theft, packing mistakes, and shipping damage. If an error is recorded in their service, they pay clients $50 for each occurrence.

What is unique about Red Stag Fulfillment?

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takes on a different approach in the industry and plays the role of matchmaker between sellers and 3PLs. Backed by a dozen years of research into the logistics industry, it boasts of having the expertise of finding the right fulfillment company for your outsourcing needs. FulfillmentCompanies offers a free online matching service for sellers in search of credible and reliable logistics companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The service pre-screens 3PLs and takes a detailed look at their pricing, storage and order processing systems. Vetting fulfillment companies is quick, taking only a few minutes and clicks and you get quotes from pre-screened suppliers. You’re matched with 3PLs that meet your requirements and specific needs.

The service charges the supplier who pays a small lead fee once a match is made, hence it remains free for you the seller to use. The service is most beneficial if you are completely sold to the idea of outsourcing fulfillment and want a fast and simple way to find the best fulfillment service for you. An independent assessment and unbiased information goes a long way in ensuring that you get the right match to your unique situation. In addition, the service provides a nifty calculator tool, allowing you to determine and measure for yourself the cost between in-house and outsourced fulfillment.

What is unique about FulfillmentCompanies?

Fulfillify is built on a robust mobile-responsive technology platform designed to help eCommerce companies provide customers with ordering, storage and delivery services. According to the service provider, they ship on average over 75 million items annually, delivering products to end users all over the globe. The Fulfillify platform is easy to set up and use, allowing users to monitor their orders, inventory and products in real-time using any device. Having access to product data and information at all times is an integral feature of the service which also integrates with users’ existing eCommerce and shopping cart systems.

Option Decay

Novice options traders are usually disappointed if they try to profit from Theta decay over the weekend. If the underlying doesn’t move, options prices typically open on Monday unchanged from the Friday close. Commentators explain this phenomena noting that market makers, not wanting to be stuck with Theta losses over the weekend, discount prices, overriding their models before the weekend to move their inventory—just like a fruit vendor would.

I think the market makers are right for the wrong reason. Their computer models are (or at least were) based on calendar day assumptions—which assume option decay during the weekend. By overriding their models they are pricing according to what really happens—no decay when the market is closed.

Annualizing factors

For longer term expectations of volatility it doesn’t matter much which approach you use. For options expiring a month from now the differences in implied volatility are only a few percent between the 365 vs 252-day models. However, for shorter expirations the differences can be dramatic.

The chart below compares per minute values between the two annualizing approaches and shows the percentage difference. The calendar based approach is the black line and the green line is the market time. Notice how the difference peaks at Monday open and drops to near agreement at Friday close.

This “ weekend ” effect is sometimes visible in the CBOE’s VIX index and is pretty dramatic with their shorter term VXST SM index—not surprising since this index is based on SP 500 (SPX) option prices with at most 9 days until expiration.

There are good reasons to use a calendar day approach to annualization. It isn’t sensitive to holidays, unexpected market stoppages, or differences in trading calendars between countries. I expect that’s why it became a de facto standard in the implied volatility world. But the rise of shorter term volatility products like weekly options has shifted the volatility landscape enough that I think we need to at least know what is technically correct.

An analytic approach to a solution

Normally we take a shorter term (e.g., daily) volatility and multiply it by the appropriate annualizing factor to get the annualized volatility. Since the annualizing factor is the thing in question I decided to take the historical annual volatility for the last 64 years of the SP 500 and divide it by the daily volatility to solve for the actual historical annualizing factor.

First I validated this approach with a Monte Carlo simulation 1 that computed the theoretical annualizing factor for a simulated 64 year market period—and then repeated that exercise 10000 times to get the statistics of the calculation. I then applied the same calculation to the SP 500’s returns 2 over the last 64 years. The result:

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