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eBay Dropshipping: Learn How To Dropship on eBay Today

10 min read

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business solution that allows companies to sell products online with little to no overhead costs.

Several major online marketplaces allow sellers to use dropshipping, provided they can guarantee safe and timely shipping. This includes eBay, which has over 18 million active sellers on its platform and over 135 million buyers. That makes eBay, the original online marketplace, still one of the largest digital commerce spaces today.

Entrepreneurs looking to break into eBay’s lucrative marketing space can do so with dropshipping. It’s relatively easy to do, although it is important to be aware of eBay’s rules regarding dropshipping and order fulfillment.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about eBay dropshipping, as well as how to dropship on eBay with no money.

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eBay’s Dropshipping Policy

If you read some user reviews about dropshipping on eBay, you may come away thinking it’s complicated or can’t be done. But this is not true. Learn how to dropship on eBay without getting banned.

What is true is that eBay has a firm policy about re-selling certain items on their marketplace. As eBay’s dropshipping policy states, “listing an item on eBay and then purchasing the item from another retailer or marketplace that ships directly to your customer is not allowed on eBay”.

What this means, essentially, is that sellers can’t buy an item directly from another retailer, like Amazon, then immediately resell it to their own customers. Violating this rule will result in punishment, which could mean account suspension and reduced ratings.

However, dropshipping is permitted on eBay. The difference is that, with dropshipping, retailers buy their products in bulk from a supplier to facilitate a purchase.

When using eBay dropshipping, the seller is responsible for handling the customer’s transaction. Their order information is then sent to the dropshipping supplier, who handles the shipping and handling. However, eBay’s policy stipulates that the seller is responsible for shipping quality. So it is important to work with a reputable, highly-rated dropshipper.

How to Start Dropshipping on eBay

As for how to start dropshipping on eBay, the process is fairly straightforward. The first step is to create your eBay seller account. Then you can set up your eBay store exactly how you want. eBay provides a detailed guide on how to create a store.

Once your store setup is complete, you can start selling whatever items you intend to sell. If you have not already conducted research into what to sell, now’s the time to do that. When using dropshipping, you want to choose items that have a high-profit margin. The best way to do this is to identify items that are in high demand, but don’t have much market competition.

Once you know you want to sell, choose your dropshipping supplier and create your product listings. When searching for potential dropshippers, pay attention to their inventory and their fees. Obviously, you want to make sure your dropshipping partner can provide the items you want to sell. But some dropshippers charge different rates for their products and services.

Your goal is to be able to sell your products at a competitive markup price to maximize profits.

How to dropship on eBay from AliExpress

One of the most well-known and widely used dropshipping providers is AliExpress. If you want to know how to dropship on eBay from China, AliExpress is probably your best option. AliExpress is based in China, and has an extremely large inventory of items, ranging from clothes, to furniture, to electronics. This is one method of how to dropship from China on eBay.

eBay sellers are able to buy products wholesale from AliExpress using a dropshipping agreement. Buying products individually from AliExpress and shipping them directly to your customers could be in violation of eBay’s dropshipping policy, mentioned above.

But as long as you follow eBay’s rules about dropshipping, AliExpress is a highly reputable dropshipper for eBay sellers. Learn more about how to dropship from AliExpress.

How to dropship on eBay for free

Dropshipping is preferred by many retailers because it is highly affordable. In some cases, it is technically possible to dropship on eBay for free. Sellers should be aware of eBay’s listing fees.

Sellers are allowed up to 250 free listings per month. Any listing beyond that 250-item limit comes with a small $0.35 listing fee. As long as you do not create more than 250 listings, you can technically list any product for free.

On top of that, some dropshippers, like AliExpress, allow free use of their service. Of course, sellers still need to pay for the products they buy in bulk from their dropshipping providers. But as long as you sell your inventory for a profit, you are guaranteed not to lose money with dropshipping. So while dropshipping is not exactly free, it is often the lowest-cost way to start an online business and sell on eBay.

Of course, you may still spend money on other aspects of your business, like marketing, research, and building a website. But the extremely low overhead costs of dropshipping allow you to focus your spending on these other areas.

How to Find Items to Dropship on eBay

If you want to maximize your profits, you’ll need to know how to find items to dropship on eBay. Researching what items to sell is often the most challenging part of operating a dropshipping business. This is because dropshipping items usually come with very low-profit margins. This, unfortunately, comes with the business model of dropshipping on eBay.

Because dropshipping has such a low barrier of entry, dropshipping businesses tend to have heavy competition. This means prices need to be kept low, or else competitors will be able to beat your store to sales.

But items also need to be sold at a markup in order to make a profit. In highly competitive areas, there is often a very small margin between the original wholesale price and the markup price.

Because of this, the most effective strategy for any dropshipping business is to identify high-demand, niche products. Conducting market research into what to sell on eBay is an essential step for any dropshipping business. If you can identify items with high demand and low competition, you should easily be able to build a successful partnership with a dropshipping provider.

eBay Dropshipping Pros and Cons

Now that you understand the basics of dropshipping on eBay, you may be wondering whether it’s right for you. To help you decide, here’s a quick breakdown of some of the pros and cons of dropshipping on eBay.

Pros of starting a dropshipping business on eBay

  • Extremely low overhead costs.
  • Free listings for smaller inventory (under 250 listings).
  • No need to pay for or worry about manufacturing, storage, or shipping.
  • Extremely wide range of products available for dropshipping.
  • Easy way to start a business with no or little money.
  • Frees you up to focus on growing and improving other areas of your business.

Cons of starting a dropshipping business on eBay

  • eBay’s product resale value is strict, and violations can result in harsh penalties.
  • Sellers are still responsible for shipping quality, even though shipping is handled by third-party vendors.
  • Can be highly competitive.
  • Typically low-profit margins.
  • No opportunity to establish a unique brand when selling generic items through a third party.
  • Shipping or product issues can make customer service difficult to manage.
  • eBay’s restricted item list prevents the sale of certain types of items.

Is Dropshipping Right for You?

That’s everything you need to know about dropshipping on eBay. Whether or not a dropshipping business is right for you depends on your goals and financial situation. For entrepreneurs looking to establish a business, dropshipping can be a great way to get started.

Want to learn more about starting an eBay store? Check out Ecwid’s helpful guide on How to Sell on eBay for Beginners.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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