Dropshipping is proving to be one of the viable ways people can make online these days. For some sellers, getting started with eBay dropshipping is a perfect choice.
If you don’t already know what the whole dropshipping concept is all about, there are basic dropshipping resources you can access.
You can also turn to our extensive guide on what is dropshipping.
Simply put, it is shipping orders on behalf of someone. As a dropshipper with eBay, eBay can ship your customers’ orders directly to their doorstep. eBay is a marketplace where merchants can sell virtually anything online.
Now, should you take a shot at eBay dropshipping this season? What is the eBay dropshipping business model all about?
Get Help with our eBay Dropshipping Guide
We put together this comprehensive eBay guide to help our readers fully understand what to expect from the eBay dropshipping business model. We discuss the specifics and the difficulties that people may come across if they decide to go the eBay dropshipping way. We look at the various options available to get around the challenges and have a success dropshipping on the marketplace.
With the new eBay dropshipping policy taking effect, dropshipping on eBay is becoming a no-go area for many sellers. Coming from the backdrop of the new policy, eBay is giving sellers a stern warning and threatening to remove listings from search, remove sellers completely from their site or rank them lower if they have enjoyed the high-ranking status as an old user.
However, with the challenges, you can still be a profitable seller on eBay if you take to the rules and work diligently without cutting corners.
Vital Tips for Selling on eBay
eBay’s over 179 million users make it attractive for sellers. But the truth is, you have to put in some work to get the desired results. As with every other e-commerce website, eBay is not without its pros and cons.
The pros are: it is not difficult to get started, no marketing of sort is required with its strong user base offering high traffic potential. While the cons being the listing fees, customization limitation, and constant need for monitoring.
That said, you can be a successful seller on eBay with the following helpful tips:
1. Ensure stock availability
One common mistake most drop shippers make is not keeping tabs on the availability of the stocks they have listed on their store.
Customers, especially those you have taken time to build a strong relationship with can stop patronizing your store when there’s consistent failure to deliver resulting from the unavailability of the products you still have listed on your store.
2. Avoid Unreliable Suppliers
Suppliers who are not professional about their business can get you into trouble with your customers. It can be frustrating to be dealing with a supplier who consistently fails to fulfill orders to your customers.
Know that there are different types of people online and this doesn’t exclude suppliers. Make sure to properly evaluate and screen those you are planning to work with before you engage with their services.
Dropship supplier directories like SaleHoo can give you insights into how to find the best suppliers and can help you develop strong business relationships.
Poor-quality products and late deliveries are some negatives to this type of suppliers. You don’t want that. You will always be the one to shoulder the blame when things go wrong with your customers. That is the bitter truth. Customers don’t have dealings with your suppliers even when they are the cause of the problem.
You can work around the problem with shipping times and delays if you partner with suppliers based near you and near your customers. In the common case, these would be suppliers from the US and the EU. You can find those in supplier directories like Spocket, for example.
3. Build Good Lasting Relationships with Customers
Making lots of money even when there is a low-profit-margin for products can still be achieved with repeat orders when you have a couple of loyal customers.
Consistently making sales through repeat customers can increase your profit margin considerably. Build a good reputation with your customers by offering reliable services that your customers will be happy to use and purchase.
4. Do all to Fulfill Orders
This is the very place where you can show everything good about your services with dropshipping on eBay. If you’ve made sure to have your stocks available, delivering efficiently should be the next important thing in your business strategy. Agreed, this is not totally within your control.
It lies in your hands, however, to have a good relationship with your suppliers to not fail in this area. Your supplier should provide you with regular updates on orders. If you’re dealing with an unreliable supplier, you should do what’s necessary – let him go and end your partnership.
Understanding the Ebay Dropshipping Policy update
The newly updated eBay dropshipping policy is where sellers will have some difficult time on eBay dropshipping. The policy brings in some restrictions. The eBay dropshipping policy states that orders should be fulfilled directly from a wholesale supplier on eBay.
You are not allowed to resell items from another retail store. This means you can’t list an item on eBay and buy from Amazon to fulfill the order to your eBay customers. This adjustment to their policy came from the backdrop of customers complaints to eBay on orders.
According to reports, some customers were furious to discover the package they got after buying from eBay has an Amazon package label instead.
A section states that purchasing a product from a retailer elsewhere or marketplace that’ll ship to your customer directly is not allowed. This doesn’t mean dropshipping is not permitted on eBay, No. You can dropship on eBay by following the rules.
What to Look for in eBay Dropshipping Suppliers?
Your success with eBay dropshipping is based on two key factors of finding the supplier that will fulfill your orders efficiently, and the quality of the customer service you’re able to provide for your customers.
There are wholesale suppliers all over the Internet. You can take an alternative in local suppliers who are proven to be reliable.
The quality of your supplier is very important to your success with dropshipping on eBay. Choose right. To help you further, here are things to look out for in order to make a good choice:
- How long does it take to ship orders made? You need to know this to be at peace when orders are made. Suppliers who can’t stand up to their words on this will cause you to lose customers.
- Does the supplier make provisions for choices in shipment methods? Expedited shipping can be a good addition most of the times.
- Is there a provision to check quality control? Get to know this to avoid bad reviews from your customers.
- Find out if you’re allowed to use the supplier’s resources like photos, product descriptions, and specifications without infringing on any rights.
- Know the shipment scope of the supplier. Will they ship globally or only to specified countries? You don’t want to be limited by location restrictions, would you?
Luckily, if you find the right partner for your supply, contact them and let them know your intention as a retailer. Don’t forget to carefully read through the company’s dropshipping policy.
How to Dropship on eBay?
Dropshipping on eBay is easy. You only need to take simple steps to get started. Here they are.
Step1: Decide your Product
You’re not going to sell any product because someone is manufacturing it. You want a product that people are interested in buying. It is always good to focus on a particular niche. Market research is good to help with finding what people are interested in.
You can make good use of Google Trends to find trending products or simply take a closer look at stores you like and admire, to see what are their best selling products. A tool for that can be NicheScraper, for example.
You can do the market research on your own or employ the services of professional market researchers to help out. However, here are some of the bestselling products in recent times:
- Organic tea
- Waterproof bags
- Sports bra
- Bluetooth headphone
- Phone cases
- Men’s watch
- Baby carrier
You can get more ideas about dropshipping products by researching more on products. Check out the top trending products of 2019 that came out of our product research.
Step2: Find a Reliable Supplier
Your supplier can make or mar your success in dropshipping. Make this step a very important one. You already know what to look for in a supplier before engaging the services of one. Be very careful who you work with on this.
Don’t hesitate to use dropshipping directories like SaleHoo or WorldWide Brands. Some even offer feeds, listing tools, and product lists for people who want to start dropshipping on eBay. A great example of such a tool is Wholesale2B.
Step3: Sign Up and Set up a Selling Account on eBay
Setting up your eBay selling account should take you only a few minutes. But take note of some important matters in the settings. The Seller Information Center of eBay should help you with some guidelines for your store. Also make sure to:
- Choose a good catchy account name. It shouldn’t be scary or offensive. Prevent your potential customers from ditching your store for another.
- Setup your payment method. PayPal and credit card are common.
- Setup a profile page that fully describes what your store is all about. Put out all policies guiding your operation.
Step 4: Create Listings for each Product
Put up your eBay listings next. Your selling price and buying options such as auction and Buy It Now should be considered.
Step 5: Manage your Store
It takes more to run and manage a store than the initial setup. Apply all the stated principles of fulfilling orders, attending to customers, and responding to their complaints. Maintain a good relationship with your customers and suppliers to keep your store afloat and profitable.
Know that to dropship on eBay is a bit different from what happens with similar websites or your personal store. You are required to purchase large inventory upfront from your wholesaler.
You can thereafter come to terms with your wholesaler to ship the products out to your customers. Buying inventory upfront may be a bit risky here considering the worst case scenario – if no one buys the product from you.
What is eBay Arbitrage?
Arbitrage in its simplest terms means buying products at very low prices and selling at high prices in a store to make a profit. Arbitrage can be practiced on third-party retail websites or on your own store. So, it doesn’t necessarily contain the element of third-party handling the shipment and fulfillment of order processes. A dropshipping business model incorporates all of these.
For instance, you can buy an item for $20 on Amazon and sell the same for $40 on eBay. If you do your calculation right, you can make a good profit in multiple sales using this business model.
However, the question needs to be asked if the practice is legal on eBay considering the adjustments made on the company’s policy on a related business model.
As explained in the policy, eBay arbitrage is seriously under the company’s scrutiny. Many sellers are threatened of being banned while others may have a reduced ranking when such activities are noticed.
The eBay dropshipping policy doesn’t allow buying from another marketplace and using eBay to fulfill the orders. You can have a way around this though.
Buy your products and send them over to a fulfillment service provider you have to employ. They will do all the shipment processes on your behalf. The packaging and monitoring of the inventory will be done by the company.
Is dropshipping on eBay Worth it?
Now, knowing what goes with the eBay dropshipping process, will you go for it? The question of whether it is worth the effort is a personal one. The fact that it is somewhat different from the traditional dropshipping business model makes it less attractive. You have to buy an inventory as seen with the updated dropshipping policy.
But you also won’t have to worry about driving traffic to your store with paid advertising, as eBay has a huge client base.
The conventional practice involved in the whole dropshipping process has been altered in eBay dropshipping. It puts the seller against challenges that are a bit different.
Another thing you should consider with eBay dropshipping is that you don’t own your customer base. Everything you’ll be doing will be towards helping eBay grow its business instead of building yours.
Retargeting customers to make more sales is equally a difficult one to handle. Email list building is also not possible with eBay dropshipping. Your delivery doesn’t bear your store markings but eBay’s.
You should know where the decision favors by now. eBay dropshipping is a great opportunity but it may not work for the majority of people who desire to take advantage of it.
But don’t despair, you have options. Weigh the pros and cons carefully. If you want to avoid the hassle and expenses driving traffic to an independent store for dropshipping or simply don’t want to be bothered to set up your store and you find it too difficult, you can always consider dropshipping on eBay.