Find out the best products, tactics and strategies for dropshipping on eBay with our comprehensive ecommerce guide.
eBay dropshipping remains such a lucrative business model even more so with the recent events that took the world by storm. In fact, if you’re looking to make that big move into e-commerce, there might not be an easier way.
eBay is a pioneer of ecommerce marketplaces and ever since it was launched in 1995 remained one of the market leaders, amassing over 180 million active users in 2020. Unsurprisingly, with such a vast customer base, eBay attracted sellers from all over the world, including dropshippers.
Consider the following facts about dropshipping on eBay:
So how does one get started? What things should you consider when picking products to dropship? How do you find a supplier? We tackle these and more in this article so read on.
In short, yes it is. As long as you're able to guarantee “ safe delivery of the item within the time frame stated in your listing .” However, it is important that you know all of the relevant eBay policies when it comes to dropshipping.
Whilst dropshipping on eBay isn’t banned per se, it is however, restricted. Dropshipping on eBay is permitted, provided that you use wholesale suppliers to fulfil your orders. This means that you need to purchase items in bulk in order to comply with eBay’s dropshipping policies.
For instance, if you were planning to use ecommerce retailers, such as Amazon or AliExpress to fulfil your orders, then you’d be going directly against eBay’s dropshipping policy, as “buying products from other retailers or marketplaces and then shipping directly to your customer is not allowed on eBay .”
This means that a traditional model of dropshipping, where you purchase single items on AliExpress and re-sell them for a mark-up, on an order-by-order basis won’t work on eBay. eBay is very strict when it comes to their dropshipping policy, going as far as removing listings and lowering ratings of those sellers who fail to comply with this policy.
Dropshipping from Amazon to eBay used to be the bread and butter of many dropshippers. There was even specifically designed arbitrage software for that purpose, such as PriceYak, which made it really easy for eBay sellers to dropship items from Amazon.
However, that didn’t last very long, as eventually eBay customers started to realize that they were being overcharged. A common scenario would emerge where customers would order an item from eBay, only to later receive that same item wrapped in Amazon packaging . This naturally hurt the eBay brand, which led them to tighten their policy on dropshipping.
Now that you know all of the intricacies of eBay dropshipping, it’s time to get started! Here are some vital steps to take to get started with eBay dropshipping. (Read through till the end for some bonus startup tools you might find useful.)
Kick things off with the bare minimum and then scale from there
As with any new venture, a good rule of thumb would be to start simple so you don’t get overwhelmed with all the moving parts of the operations. Plus, starting with as little variables as possible gives you a proper perspective into what you might actually need moving forward instead of wasting time in the beginning and realizing half of what you’ve implemented, you don’t actually need.
No need to pack your things up and move to a new city. In fact, you’ll want to keep your day job at least until you’re making significant revenue from dropshipping alone.
You don’t need a new machine with all the latest technology. You get to use your existing laptop and work off your kitchen table or at a coffee shop.
As for what you actually need to get started, there’s really not much to it other than these three components:
Find out how safe selling on eBay really is
You have a virtually endless number of options here that you don’t have to start from scratch. For instance, with SaleSource you can find virtually millions of winning products in every imaginable category. Check out these tips on how to find drop shipping products to sell on eBay.
This is perhaps the best place to start. Grab a piece of paper and start jotting down what you’re passionate about, what you’re interested in. These are things you might be able to sell quite well because you understand them.
Who you’re selling to is just as important as what you’re selling. If you took the first tip above to heart, then half the battle is won. All you have to do now is grab as much information about your targets as possible--what are their demographics, what makes them click on stuff online, where they’re at, etc.
Check out categories with products that sell well Are these selling like pancakes because of a trend? Or are these the type that sells well now and will continue to sell well in the future?
These don’t have to sell to every living human. Find products that might be of interest to smaller communities or target segments but have considerable potential for repeat sales over time.
Check out other platforms and see which items have lots of “sold”.
This particular tip will pull you far from the highest selling items on eBay where there’s too much competition and might even be saturated. And it takes you much closer to customers who will see you as their go-to store.
High ticket items mean higher profit margins and given the fees involved in drop shipping in general and selling on eBay specifically, you’ll earn more this way over the long haul.
Populating your product line with a mix of high ticket items and products that sell quickly despite low margins is a good strategy, too. Apart from the obvious positive consequence this brings to cashflow, this allows for more transactions and reviews which the eBay algorithm loves.
No need to compete with big brand names or eBay drop shipping sellers who focus on selling branded items. Selling unbranded but otherwise quality items, you a piece of the pie while providing additional value, i.e. lower price, to your customers.
The top-performing drop shipping niches, among others, are power tools, tech supplies, lifestyle products, and beauty supplies. Look for wants and figure out a way to bring them closer to your target customers.
You now have a firm understanding of what products or product categories to sell. Now you need to know where to source these products. You want to build a very strong, mutually beneficial relationship with your suppliers. But where do you start and how do you find them?
Good to excellent products - allows you to compete at a high level
Regularly refreshed - this means you rarely have to worry about manually adjusting the availability of the products you have listed
For more info, check out our in-depth guide on how to find AliExpress suppliers .
Great, so at this point in the whole process of getting started with eBay dropshipping, you have your products down and have a system on how to source them. It’s time to get them listed on eBay.
If you went with the suggestion to keep the initial line to just one or two products, then this shouldn’t be a big task. But we propose spending as much time as necessary to ensure that your listings are optimized fully right from the get-go.
Here’s a list to give you an idea of what we mean:
We mentioned above that there are lots of available resources for you to grow as an eBay dropshipping business. Once you’re all set up and running, be sure not to drop the ball in growing your listings or store. Stay on top of your listings through frequent but straightforward monitoring. And implement sales and marketing strategies along the way.
eBay dropshipping is certainly not the most beginner-friendly form of dropshipping, because you’re required to purchase items in bulk. However, if you pick your niche right, it’s still a relatively low-cost way to build experience, test targets, trial products, and gather data for scaling later on.
And doing it on eBay minimizes most of the startup pains one might encounter elsewhere.
We hope this article helped you in figuring out if eBay dropshipping is for you and how to get started. If we missed anything or you would like us to write about some specific concerns about dropshipping in general, please let us know.