Starting out as a convenient shopping alternative, eCommerce has quickly become the dominating force in the retail space, and understandably so. Not only does it allow consumers to shop globally from the comfort of their home, but it also presents an uncapped earning opportunity for ingenious entrepreneurs.
If you want a slice of this lucrative pie, consider starting an eBay dropshipping business. With Doba, you can easily find thousands of dropshipping suppliers and millions of products in a convenient online catalog, so all you have to do is figure out how to set up your eBay online store. Luckily, we can help you with this as well, - let’s get started!
eBay Dropshipping: All You Need to Know
Before diving into the intricacies of eBay dropshipping, let’s take a step back to review how eBay works, and what dropshipping is all about.
What is eBay?
eBay is an online auction platform that allows merchants to sell their products to consumers around the world. Similar to other eCommerce marketplaces like AliExpress or Amazon, eBay’s user base has been steadily growing, reaching an astounding 187 million global users by 2021.
The high volume of consumers using the platform is expected to grow in the future, attracting online sellers who look to expand the consumer base for their products.
How Does eBay Work?
On eBay, you can find and bid on virtually anything - from makeup and cosmetic products to high-end jewelry and even cars.
Like in a regular auction, eBay sellers post their products with a certain starting bid. The lower the initial bid, the more likely it is that multiple shoppers will bid on the product. The seller also sets a specified period of time for which the auction runs, until the highest bidder finally lands the purchase.
Alternatively, eBay sellers can add a “Buy It Now” button on their listing page to allow customers to purchase the product at a fixed price, without bidding.
What is Dropshipping?
In a dropshipping business model, a merchant or business owner resells the products provided by the supplier. Here, the supplier does most of the job, creating, storing, and shipping products on behalf of the business owner. This ensures that the merchant himself has more time to focus on things like customer service and marketing to grow the brand in a shorter period of time.
One important (and often challenging) aspect of running a dropshipping business is finding reliable dropship suppliers who can provide high-quality products. The good news is that Doba contains a catalog with millions of products so that you can find the products that fit your niche exactly and organize them in custom lists.
Can You Dropship on eBay?
While dropshipping itself is absolutely legal, the eBay platform comes with its own dropshipping-related policies. As such, eBay dropshipping is technically allowed given that you “fulfill orders directly from a wholesale supplier.” This means that if you purchase your products in bulk from wholesale suppliers, you can safely promote them on eBay.
On the other hand, you aren’t allowed to dropship products from other online marketplaces like AliExpress or Amazon, and eBay policies are clear on this: “purchasing the item from another retailer or marketplace that ships directly to your consumer is not allowed on eBay.” In other words, you cannot list something on eBay, purchase it from Amazon, and then ship it directly to your eBay customer.
Why Dropship on eBay: 6 Advantages to Keep in Mind
If you still aren’t sure whether dropshipping on eBay is worth your while, consider these important advantages:
No upfront investment. Perhaps the largest advantage of any dropshipping business is the fact that you don’t need to purchase inventory in bulk and store it somewhere until you make a sale.
Easy to get started. Because you don’t need to invest in the stock, you can get started on eBay with virtually no money at all. All you need to do is register an eBay Seller account and use Doba to find a supplier willing to dropship on your behalf.
Reduced marketing efforts. Dropshipping on eBay means that you can save on standard marketing avenues: millions of eBay users will see your listings with standard listing optimization.
Instant access to a global audience. eBay is one of the largest and most well-known online auction sites in the world, which means that it has an established, loyal customer base. By using eBay for your dropshipping business, you will receive access to this vast audience with essentially zero work from your side.
Unparalleled flexibility. An online dropshipping business can complement your standard 9-to-5 job with flexible work hours and no attachment to a specific location. You can work on your eBay business from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet.
Easy growth. Scaling a dropshipping business is generally much easier than doing the same with a standard online store. Just think about this: as you sell more, your supplier needs to package and send out more orders. Most of the work will fall on them, and you will avoid the costs involved in a typical expansion, such as additional staff wages, more office space, warehouse rental, and more.
How to Dropship on eBay: Step-by-Step
While somewhat restrictive, the marketplace does allow one way to dropship on eBay: to buy bulk inventory from a wholesaler upfront. You can then negotiate with the wholesaler for them to ship products out on your behalf.
While you will likely get rejected by most suppliers, eBay dropshipping isn’t impossible. Here is what you need to do:
1. Set Up an eBay Seller Account
The first step to getting started with dropshipping is to register an eBay Seller account. You could even create an entire eBay store if you wanted, but it isn’t necessary, - just keep in mind that there will be listing fees involved.
There are different eBay websites for different countries around the globe, so make sure you sign up for the correct website, depending on where your target market is.
2. Choose Your Dropshipping Suppliers and Their Products
Next, you need to complete your research and decide what types of products you want to sell on eBay. Once you choose your items and corresponding dropshipping suppliers, reach out to them to see whether they would dropship to your customers. In addition, make sure that the supplier agrees to attach a custom return label to each package listing your brand name and address so that the customers know that the package is coming from you.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider using Doba - the best eBay dropshipping software that allows you to choose among thousands of top eBay dropship suppliers and winning products. You can then batch-list the selected items and sync orders with your eBay account to make your dropshipping business that much easier.
3. List Your Products on eBay with a Mark-Up
Taking your time with properly listing products is the key to the success of any eBay dropshipping business. Remember, you will be competing with other merchants using the same suppliers and selling similar products, so you need to find a way to stand out from the competition.
Upload professional high-quality photos of the items, - you can usually take them from the supplier’s website or make your own. Also, spend the time writing detailed product descriptions and optimizing your listings to improve search visibility.
Another important aspect of a product listing is the right price point: it needs to be low enough to remain competitive, but high enough to generate sufficient profit for you.
4. Pass Your Customers’ Details After Making a Sale
Every time you make a sale, make sure to contact your wholesale supplier and provide them with your customers’ shipping information. Keep in mind that while the supplier is in charge of packaging and shipping the product directly to the buyer, eBay will still hold you responsible for the safe delivery of the item within the specified time frame.
Find Reliable eBay Dropshipping Suppliers with Doba
When starting an eBay dropshipping business, it all comes down to finding the right dropshipping suppliers you can trust. With Doba, you will gain access to thousands of vetted suppliers based in the United States and around the world who provide fast shipping services and competitive prices. In addition, our eBay dropshipping software allows you to batch list the products and sync orders directly with the suppliers to make your life even easier.