By 2020, 16.4% of the total retail sales were generated online, with eCommerce accounting for more than three-quarters of overall retail growth. Undoubtedly, online marketplaces are becoming more and more popular as an eCommerce strategy.
From the sellers' perspective, opening up an online store on marketplaces is leveraging marketplaces' reputation and massive traffic volume without building brands from scratch.
From the consumers' perspective, buying from marketplaces means they can compare and choose from millions of products and sellers just in one place. Usually, consumers tend to be more rest assured buy from marketplaces since sellers need to comply with marketplaces' rules.
So, it is not difficult to explain why more and more people start selling products online through marketplaces as their business. Many of them are the first to enter this industry and want to put little investment in the early stage. Starting an online store without inventory is one of the strategies.
There are many global and regional marketplaces on the market; eBay is one of the biggest ones. So, is it possible that you can start an eBay store without the physical products?
After you create your eBay selling account, there are two methods by which you don't stock the physical products. Read on to know how they work.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method that Doba first put forward in 2002, where sellers don't buy and stock the products they sell. Instead, they sell products in their stores and have them shipped from the third party directly to end customers when using the dropshipping model.
In a nutshell, by dropshipping, you create the product listings and sell them on your store; suppliers will take care of warehousing and shipping.
According to eBay, dropshipping is allowed as long as the suppliers you work with can deliver the orders within the time frame you stated in your listings and make sure customers are satisfied. However, listing an item and then purchasing from another marketplace or retailer that ships directly to the customer are not allowed on eBay.
Before you choose drop shipping as your "without inventory" way to sell on eBay, we want to make it clear that it is still challenging to stand out from the large-sized sellers on this marketplace. However, thanks to our many years of experience in the dropshipping industry, we've summarized some tips to help our customers succeed in doing dropshipping on eBay.
● Make the most out of product keywords.
● There is a reason why keywords are called keywords. It's because they are the key; if you can find out the right terms and phrases to describe the items you sell, you will have better chances of getting more customers to search the keywords and finding your products.
● Today, many dropshipping platforms have automated listing functions, by which sellers can add products they want to sell to their stores with just a few clicks. Still, we've found from our customers that many of them didn't make any changes to products' title and description before adding to their stores. If you and other sellers resell the same items to the same marketplace, how will you compete with them?
● Both eBay and its customers prefer detailed product descriptions. So, we suggest you apply some effort into researching keywords and phrases to make your product description page informative while not keyword stuffing. The more detailed you are, the higher the chance products will be shown to potential customers.
● Sell what you are familiar with
● Don't try to sell anything; instead, sell items you are interested in or familiar with. If you don't know much about the products you sell, you will find yourself in an unanswerable position when customers ask about product information or ask for some suggestions, which might not facilitate a purchase. So choose a niche you are passionate about; when you have a good knowledge of your items, not only will they buy from you, but also refer their friends to you, gradually you will build up your loyal customer groups.
● Give positive feedback
● No matter what you sell, you will inevitably receive negative comments, impacting your mood and influencing other customers' views of your products. But whatever the comment is, provide a positive response. Although customers will see negative feedback, what is really noticeable is the seller's response. A poor response will only lead to customers' doubts about your service. If the response is good, customers will likely disregard the negative feedback because of your excellent customer service. There are indeed some people who will not be happy regardless of the quality of your service, while there are also customers who will make purchasing decisions based on your response.
Similar to dropshipping, order fulfillment is another way to sell without having to handle physical products. The following steps cover how to run an eBay store without inventory using order fulfillment service.
Finding a reliable order fulfillment company to work with
Send your products to the warehouse of the order fulfillment company
Technically connect your store with the order fulfillment company
The order fulfillment company sends items directly to end customers when your products sell.
Strictly speaking, dropshipping is the only way to sell online without buying inventory before you sell them.