How to Dropship on eBay: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

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Woman managing her dropshipping business, how to dropship on eBay

With the boom of eCommerce, many entrepreneurs are flocking to popular marketplaces to create online stores.

eBay, with its well-established name and multitudes of active users, is one of the favorite marketplaces of dropshippers. The platform has been around since 1995 and has gained consistent traction over the years.

But with the recent trends in eCommerce, plus the changes in buyers’ behaviors and eBay policies, many are asking: Is dropshipping on eBay worth it? How exactly does eBay work? We’ll look deeper into these questions and provide you with beginner-friendly tips in the sections below.

Table of Contents

How eBay Dropshipping Works

Before we explore dropshipping on eBay, let’s learn a few basics about this platform first.

eBay can be referred to as a general marketplace and an online auction platform. Here, sellers may publish products using the Buy-it-Now option to sell them at a fixed price. This mode of product listing allows for quick deals since interested buyers can immediately proceed to checkout.

On the other hand, sellers may also post products with a starting bid and a certain bidding duration. Shoppers may place their bids before the bidding schedule closes or until the seller closes the sale with the highest bidder. Also, if a shopper is interested in your auction, they may bookmark your product to stay tuned to updates, becoming “watchers” in the process. 

In light of this, you can see that your goals on eBay could include compelling shoppers to click your product page’s “Buy it Now” or “Add to Cart” button, getting high bids, or persuading watchers to bid or place higher bids.

So, is dropshipping allowed on eBay? As long as you comply with the rules, yes. When eBay updated its dropship policies, it reminded sellers to observe ethical practices, provide quality customer support, and create value for eBay to generate more sales.

Remember that most of your operations as a dropshipper will be handled by your suppliers, but you are still responsible for the quality and timely delivery of your products. 

To familiarize yourself further with the fundamentals of dropshipping, check out our definitive guide to starting a dropshipping business.

Rules on eBay Dropshipping

Like any marketplace, eBay has standards for its sellers, including dropshippers. You will have to guarantee delivery within 30 days, ensure the delivered items are just as advertised, and not resell products from other retailers.

Following eBay’s dropshipping rules helps you protect your seller account, establish a positive brand reputation, and maintain customer satisfaction, among others. To be safe, inform your suppliers of anything that they need to know before packing and shipping orders.

30-Day Guaranteed Delivery

eBay requires sellers to deliver their goods within 30 days after an order is placed. As a dropshipper, you might not have control over the delivery time of products shipped by your supplier, so be sure to work with a vendor who has a track record of on-time deliveries.

Also, note that during extraordinary cases, such as pandemics and community lockdowns, shipping would be understandably delayed in many locations.

Products Delivered As Advertised

The products you send to your customers should be exactly the same as the product photos and description on your dropship store. With that, be sure to post real photos and avoid misleading angles or filters that could dramatically change how your products look. Also write accurate descriptions so you can set your customers’ expectations.

There’s no reward in tricking people into buying your products, and doing so will only lead to negative reviews that will surely hurt your store.

Products Resold From Other Retailers

eBay also prohibits you from selling products that you’ll have to buy from other stores. For instance, you’re not allowed to accept orders from your customers on eBay, only to buy the product from Amazon or any other marketplace that will ship directly to your customer.

This practice could annoy customers because they wouldn’t be able to track their orders. Additionally, just imagine how befuddled they could be when they order an item on eBay and then receive a package from Amazon or another store.

Dropshipping Fees on eBay

Another important thing to know is the different fees that eBay charges sellers. These involve required fees, such as insertion and final value fees, and optional fees for features that could upgrade the look of your product listings.

Insertion Fees

Insertion fees are what you pay for every listing or item put on sale on your store. Sellers are eligible for up to 200 free listings per month. But once you use these up, eBay will now start charging you insertion fees.

Insertion costs could vary depending on several factors. For instance, you’ll be charged only once for bulk listings or large quantities of a single product. However, you’ll be charged more than once or per listing if you do any of the following: relist an item, create auction-style listings for identical items, or list an item under multiple categories. 

Final Value Fees

Final value fees are what you pay eBay when your item gets soldcalculated as a percentage of the item’s total value (including the product price plus shipping fee).

In case your buyer fails to pay, you may initiate order cancellation or apply for a final value fee credit by reporting the item as unpaid.

Listing Upgrades

These are optional, but listing upgrades can help your products stand out through added subtitles or bold fonts. The cost varies depending on your item’s price, the listing format, and the auction duration.

When you use listing upgrades, you’ll be allowed to add up to 12 photos to your listing free of charge. Also, you can manually set the auction’s start and end schedules. 

Steps to Start Dropshipping on eBay

Another important thing to know is the different fees that eBay charges sellers. These involve required fees, such as insertion and final value fees, and optional fees for features that could upgrade the look of your product listings.

Finding Suppliers

Find suppliers that can demonstrate a track record of quality products, good warehousing practices, and reliable order fulfillment. The reputation of your dropshipping store hinges on how efficient your suppliers are, so screen your prospects thoroughly before establishing any supplier-retailer partnerships. 

If you’re looking for a reliable fulfillment agent that can provide an all-in-one dropshipping solution, consider partnering with Wiio. They can handle all aspects of the dropshipping process, from sourcing good suppliers in mainland China, to purchasing, warehousing, and delivering the products to your customers. 

Inspecting Goods

This step is optional, but if you have the resources, it’s wise to check if your chosen products live up to their published descriptions and product photos. You can request a sample order, so you can see the items firsthand, as well as evaluate your suppliers’ order fulfillment process.

Ordering samples is also a good way of spotting suppliers who fake-advertise.

Recommended Reading: 5 Secrets to Consistently Finding Viral Products to Sell Without Any Fulfillment

Setting Up a Seller Account

Creating an eBay seller account is easy. Go to eBay’s business registration page, input your business details, and then hit the Register button.

Keep in mind that setting up an account comes with a set of terms and tax responsibilities. If you aren’t already aware of these, be sure to research further before registering.

Connecting Payment Methods

eBay accepts several payment methods. In choosing which ones you’d like for your store, consider which methods would make your customers more confident about transacting with you and would give them a smoother checkout experience.

Two of the most popular payment methods on eBay are PayPal and Stripe.

Creating Product Listings

Craft product listings that can catch your customers’ attention and sway them towards buying.

Make sure each product description is professionally written and accompanied by high-quality images. It’s also recommended that you use eBay’s Best Match algorithm as a guide in crafting your product pages. This way, your pages will have a better chance at ranking in search results or getting included in the relevant listing suggestions that eBay shows to their visitors.

Setting Effective Pricing

Pricing can be tricky, especially when you’re using eBay’s bidding option. To thrive on eBay’s bidding structure, make sure that your starting bid already covers the total cost of the product (including listing and shipping fees), plus a considerable markup. You can then let customers build on that bid while the auction lasts.

Managing the Store

Your dropship journey doesn’t stop at publishing products for sale. You will have to maintain and optimize your store, respond to shoppers’ inquiries, update your product listings as needed, and perform all other tasks that your business might demand from you. 

Thankfully, there are now several eBay-compatible tools that you can use to automate some aspects of your business.

Tools for eBay Dropshippers

With the various tools that you can use on this platform, it’s surprising that many are still asking if dropshipping works on eBay. It definitely works, and you can have more efficient processes with the eCommerce tools we’ll cover below.

These tools might not be absolute necessities when you’re just starting out, but they’d come in handy once your dropship store starts to grow and demand additional work.

Listing Tools

Listing tools are designed to help you create and manage product listings easily and quickly. When choosing which particular listing tool to use, it’s advisable to consider those options that allow bulk listing and editing in order to save time.

Some listing tools also allow copying information from one eBay account to another, updating prices and quantities, filtering or bulk-selecting listings, and using SEO to boost your products’ ranking in search results.

Auto Messaging

With automatic messaging, you can send simple yet straightforward reminders or responses to your customers—even when you or your store manager isn’t online to craft a personalized message. For instance, if you decide to put your eBay store in vacation mode, you can set a response that will be automatically sent to anyone who contacts your store.

You also have the option of incorporating email marketing into your eBay strategy. Emails, especially those that instantly confirm your customers’ transactions with you, can help create a good impression for your store. You may also craft personalized emails to thank your customers and send them promotional messages about other products they might get interested in.

Feedback Management

Positive reviews can boost your eBay dropshipping store’s reputation. This is why it matters to gather feedback from satisfied customers whenever possible. Even negative feedback matters since these will help you find ways to improve your business and potentially generate more sales.

You can use feedback management software to create surveys that your customers can use to send comments or suggestions. But of course, you have to consider that it can be challenging to invite customers to fill out feedback forms. Oftentimes, you’ll have to come up with ways to motivate them, like through rewards in the form of coupons and vouchers.

Order/Shipping Trackers

Shipping trackers will update you on the delivery status of each item purchased from your store. When choosing a tracker, it’s ideal to select a tool that could inform you of the specific status of deliveries, like failed delivery attempts, shipments held at customs, untrackable items, delayed items, packages sent to wrong addresses, or successful deliveries.

When you know the details of every delivery, you can easily update your customers and win their trust in the process. However, be sure to coordinate with your suppliers before using any tracker to make sure that your systems are in sync. If your supplier uses ePacket, there might be no need to use a tracker. 

Offers Manager

Offers Manager can help turn your store’s watchers into paying customers. How? This software can send discounted offers based on the specific rules that you’ve set, such as the discount value, product quantity, and the custom message to be sent out. 

Whenever a potential buyer clicks on your product and adds it to their watch list, this tool will do the work of compelling them to make a purchase. Plus, you may also manage multiple eBay accounts with this tool.  

Price Monitoring Tools

Price monitoring tools help you check the product prices of other sellers and then update your store’s prices. They help in making sure your prices are competitive as well as compelling to shoppers, especially those who want to save money on their purchases.

Automatic repricing also saves you time. Just imagine how many hours you’ll need to update hundreds or thousands of product prices manually!

Price monitoring and repricing tools aren’t for free, and they’d charge you higher the more listings you have. In most cases, you can get offering plans for up to 100, 1000, and 10000 listings. Take note of their repricing frequency as well since some tools update prices more often or faster than others.

Sourcing Tools

Sourcing or product sourcing tools can help you find the most profitable products to sell. They are optimized for product discovery because they can analyze your competitors, provide sales data or estimates, and show which product niches are most profitable right now.

Title Optimizers

Tools that help optimize your eBay product titles can improve your sales. They work by scanning your existing eBay product titles and presenting suggestions for revision. You get to know which keywords to use for your titles, remove duplicate keywords, punctuation marks, or unnecessary characters, and edit your title to the suggested length. 

Custom eBay Templates

You can further improve your eBay dropshipping store by using template designers. These tools let you customize your listings with colors, fonts, and other elements that are more on-brand.

Professionally designed templates can help your store stand out by making the header, navigation menu, testimonials, and other sections more eye-catching. 

Depending on your chosen branding, you may opt for a template that features plenty of colors, fonts, and quality images. And of course, you’ll have to ensure compatibility with mobile devices since most shoppers shop through their phones.

Management Tools

As your dropship store grows, you will need to expand your team by hiring virtual assistants or specialists who can help scale your business. You’ll also need to effectively manage your growing team, and you may do so with the help of management tools that can help you create, assign, and track tasks. 

Most management tools are accessible through both mobile and desktop, so you can easily track and communicate with your team wherever you or they may be. Some popular management tools are Asana, Trello, and ClickUp.

In Summary

We’ve pretty much covered what you need to know on how to dropship on eBay. As you set up your store, be sure to take note of the platform’s rules, fees, and the tools or software that you can use.

When you need a refresher on eBay dropshipping, simply go back to this guide and then implement your way to establishing your dropship business.

Wiio Dropshipping is an all-in-one dropshipping platform that sources, purchases, warehouses, QAs, and fulfills dropship orders from China for you. Want to integrate your eBay account with your Wiio store? Check out this guide



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