Should You Run Your Shopee Store Yourself or Hire an Operating Unit? The Pros and Cons

4 December, 2023 by
Should You Run Your Shopee Store Yourself or Hire an Operating Unit? The Pros and Cons
Lameco JSC

Hey friends! Have you been thinking about starting your own Shopee store but not sure if you should run it yourself or hire an operating unit to manage it for you? I totally get it, it's a big decision and there's lots to consider.

Well, you've come to the right place because in this blog post I'm going to break down the key pros and cons of running your Shopee store yourself compared to hiring an operating unit. By the end, you'll have a much better idea of which option is best for your situation and goals.

Let's dive in!

Running Your S​hopee Store Yourself

First up, let's look at the main pros and cons of managing your Shopee store on your own:


  • More control and flexibility - You make all the decisions on product selection, pricing, promotions etc. You're in total control.
  • Higher profit margins - You don't have to share any revenue with an operating unit. All the profits are yours.
  • Learn critical ecommerce skills - Running your store yourself is a great way to learn important skills like digital marketing, inventory management, customer service etc.
  • Personalized service - As the owner, you can provide a personalized, hands-on service to your customers.


  • Time consuming - Managing all aspects of running an online store is extremely time consuming. Can you commit the 10+ hours per day required?
  • Steep learning curve - There's a lot to learn when running an ecommerce business. You'll need to skill up in many areas.Increased risks - 
  • Without the expertise of an operating unit, there's higher risks of issues like excess inventory, marketing mistakes etc.
  • Potential burnout - Taking care of everything yourself can lead to stress and burnout. Running a business solo is hard!

So in summary, going solo gives you more control and higher profit potential, but also requires a huge time commitment and involves more risks and learning.

Hiring a Shopee Operating Unit

Now let's explore the key pros and cons of hiring an operating unit to manage your Shopee store:


  • Saves time - Experienced operating units handle all the day-to-day management and operations for you.
  • Expertise - They have extensive knowledge of ecommerce marketing, logistics, inventory etc. You benefit from their specialized skills.
  • Growth support - Operating units can help you scale your store much faster than doing it alone.
  • Reduced risks - With professionals managing your store, there are fewer risks like overstocking and marketing errors.


  • Less control - You need to rely on the operating unit's decisions regarding products, branding, promotions etc.
  • Lower profit margins - Operating units charge a % of sales, so your net profits are reduced.
  • Potential communication issues - Miscommunications can happen if you don't align on goals and strategies.
  • Less personalized service - Customers interact with operating unit staff instead of directly with the store owner.

The main trade-off is you get less control but much more support and expertise from an experienced operating unit compared to running your store completely solo.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

As you can see, there are compelling reasons to consider both options. Here are some key questions to ask yourself when deciding:

  • What are your main goals? If generating maximum profit is critical, self-managing makes more sense. If you prioritize growing a sizable business faster, an operating unit would be preferable.
  • How much time can you commit? Be realistic about the 10+ hours per day required to self-manage successfully. Do you have the bandwidth?
  • Do you enjoy hands-on work? Running everything yourself is best if you like being in the day-to-day details. If not, outsourcing the work is better.
  • Do you have relevant experience? Consider your current skills and knowledge. If minimal, an operating unit reduces the risks and learning curve significantly.
  • What level of control do you need? Assess how comfortable you are delegating versus needing to be in charge of everything.
  • Can you afford an operating unit? The revenue share fees range from 10-25%. Factor in these costs before deciding.

Getting the Best of Both Worlds

The good news is you don't necessarily have to choose just one approach. Many Shopee sellers start off self-managing their store and then later hire an operating unit once their sales volume increases.

This allows you to keep full control in the early stages while also benefiting from an operating unit's expertise later on if growth stalls or you wish to scale aggressively.

You may also decide to hire an operating unit but remain highly involved, having frequent discussions with them to align on strategy and make key decisions together. This hybrid approach gives you helpful support while still maintaining control.

So don't think you need to fully commit to one or the other. Focus first on launching and validating your store yourself. Then down the track, consider whether delegating some or all the operations could help boost your growth.

In Summary

Deciding whether to fully self-manage your Shopee store or hire professional support is an important strategic choice. I hope breaking down the key pros and cons of each approach makes the right decision for your situation clearer.

Just remember: Running your store yourself allows full control and maximized profit potential, but requires lots of time and has steeper risks. Hiring an operating unit saves time, provides expertise and reduces risks, but results in less control and lower margins. Consider starting off self-managed, then potentially delegating to an operating unit later to accelerate growth once your store gains traction. A hybrid model where you outsource some but not all operations can give you helpful support while maintaining control.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm always happy to provide advice based on my own experiences. Just drop me a message.

Thanks for reading and best of luck growing your thriving Shopee business! Let me know how it goes.

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