The Ultimate Guide to Ebay Drop Shipping in 2020

Find out the best products, tactics and strategies for dropshipping on eBay with our comprehensive ecommerce guide.

Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
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The Ultimate Guide To Succeed Selling in 2020

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.

Introduction

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:

  • The cost to get started is low where one can do a strong launch at less than $300. Some even went into the eBay dropshipping business with no money
  • It is relatively risk-free primarily because you don’t necessarily have to have inventory on hand especially if you have done your research and built solid relationships with suppliers.
  • Save lots of money on marketing. While you can certainly do some supplementary marketing, being on the eBay platform alone gives you access to a massive number of potential buyers.
  • There are tons of resources online to guide you through starting up all the way to dropshipping growth. And because of this,
  • When something might not be working or isn’t growing the way you want, you are never left hanging and it is simple enough to adjust your strategy.
  • Over the long term, there’s immense potential to scale and make this a steady source of income. Although we suggest starting small, there’s virtually no limit to the number of products you can dropship 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.


Is dropshipping allowed on the eBay platform?

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.

Amazon vs eBay

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

Select your best seller

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.

1. What you care about, what you understand

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.

2. Your target market

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.

3. Focus on what sells

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”.

4. Find holes and fill them

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.

5. Consider high ticket and/or high profit margin items.

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.

6. Mix it up with fast turnarounds

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.

7. Branded vs unbranded? Go for unbranded.

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.

8. Focus on wants and not needs

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.

Related:Top 10 Sites Like eBay – Find The Best eBay Alternatives For 2020

Reliability

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?

1. Reliability is the name of the game

Reliable business inventory

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

Reliable shipping shows care for customers

Reliable communication - Shopify is a prime example

2. The best place to start is still Google

  • a. Just type in your product name or product category and add “dropshipper” or “drop shipping supplier”
  • b. Be sure to get information from several suppliers so you can filter which ones are legit, professional, reliable

3. Use Directories

4. Get in touch with them and grab as much information as possible

  • a. What are their fees?
  • b. What’s their inventory like?
  • c. Do they have case studies you can read?
  • d. Are their sales reps knowledgeable?
  • e. What kind of shipping options do they offer?
  • f. What kind of communication and support can you expect once you’re in a business relationship with them?

For more info, check out our in-depth guide on how to find AliExpress suppliers .


Start listing

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:

  • Choose three to five keywords and use them strategically in your product listing.
  • But do not keywords-stuff. Use keywords naturally, enough to tell search engines what your listing is about but also just enough so readability doesn’t suffer.
  • If your product comes with an ISBN or UPC, include them in your listing right alongside your product name.
  • Include a section about shipping and returns so your customers know what to expect
  • Post as many professional-level pictures as you can. If you have pictures of people using or interacting with your products, use those. Be sure, too, that your images are mobile-friendly.
  • You are optimizing mainly for your target market. Ask the right questions when brainstorming and make sure the answers to your questions are clearly incorporated into your eBay product listing.
  • Social proof matters. Make sure to include testimonials and such in your listings. Potential customers trust what has already been proven elsewhere.
  • Finally, optimization isn’t a one-time thing. Spend as much time as possible in the beginning, but keep refining your listing according to data. If you’re earning enough after some time, consider listing upgrades and feel free to engage with a professional listing expert for help.


Test out some selling tactics and strategies

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.

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Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
Published
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