There was a time—not too long ago—when people were making a living selling products on eBay. Before all the big retailers caught wind of eBay stores and popped up their items, undercutting individual sellers; people like you and me who used to be able to earn hundreds of dollars a day.
But, what about now? Is there still a way to make money on eBay that won’t leave you paying high shipping costs that cut into your profit? Is it even worth it to try anymore?
The answers to all of those questions is “yes.” You can still make money on eBay. In fact, thanks to something called “drop shipping,” it’s more feasible of an alternative income source than ever!
Ebay Revolutionized the Selling Game
If you aren’t hip to how eBay changed the way people made money online, here’s a quick recap. Ebay is an auction site, meaning that people can bid on items that sellers “list” on the site. Depending on the seller, there might be a minimum price that has to be met in order for the sale to go through, or there can be a “Buy It Now” price that lets the buyer forgo the auction process and just buy the product.
The sellers pay a minimal fee to list their items, products and goods on eBay with the upside being they get listed in eBay’s powerful search engine. Prospective buyers then browse through eBay and either bid on items or buy them straight away. If they are bidding, the person with the highest bid at the end of the set period of auction time “wins” the item. They then have a certain amount of days to process the payment and then the seller ships the item to the buyer.
How People Made Money on eBay a Few Years Ago
What this process did was it gave everyday people a chance to make money on their old junk, gifts they didn’t want, collectibles, etc. The possibilities were virtually endless. All a buyer had to do was take a few pictures of their stuff, write some information about it (including condition, color, etc.), list it up on eBay and then wait for people to come buy it. Then, they’d simply print out a shipping label, take the item down to the post office and send it out to the buyer. The buyer would pay through PayPal and the transaction was complete.
Of course, this was a timely process with all things considered and once bigger stores got wind of this, they were a little upset that customers could find their items for cheaper on eBay than they could at the store. This led to restrictions, lawsuits and eventually, the bigger stores opening eBay stores on the site. This greatly cut into the profitability for the “everyman,” thus leading to a decline in the use of eBay as a way to make money online.
But, that was the old way of making money on eBay. Now, there’s a new way of making money on eBay and it’s brought back the profitability and cut down on almost all of the hassle that came with the older methods of eBay selling.
As mentioned above, drop shipping is the future of online sales when it comes to eBay and individual sellers. Whether you are looking to make a living online or just looking to supplement your income, drop shipping is the future of making money on eBay.
Drop shipping is simply acting as a seller for a company or manufacturer and then receiving a percentage of the sales. This is your commission. But unlike a full-on retailer or outlet, instead of having to keep an inventory of the goods and products on hand, you are simply taking the orders. After you take the orders, you relay them to the manufacturer (or whatever company your drop shipping partner is) and then fulfill the order.
That means not only are you not storing or taking care of the merchandise, you are also not shipping. Drop shipping is completely hands off. All you are is an inbound marketer creating eBay listings so people can place orders with you. When the orders are placed, you simply alert your partner and they take care of the rest. That means no customer service, no having to deal with shipping costs, no dealing with returns—nothing except taking the order, relaying the info and then collecting your money.
Seem simple? It is! Why? Because companies make more sales with more sales representatives in the field. You are simply acting as another road to the sale, something that companies and manufacturers are finding out brings more sales and revenue in than traditional sales methods (i.e. inbound vs. outbound marketing.
How do You Start Drop shipping on eBay?
If you want to get in on making money on eBay, here’s what you do:
1. Create a seller account on eBay. You will have to pay the listing fees for the items you are selling, but this is your investment in the company.
2. Look for suppliers. You will have to find your own suppliers (i.e. drop shipping companies) to work with. Look for suppliers in the same country as your customers to make things easier. You can also go through Doba, SimpleSource or WorldWide Brands to find drop shipping suppliers for you. Just stay away from any suppliers that ask for a regular fee as that’s a sign of a scammer.
3. Pick your goods. Conduct some research on eBay through the “Completed Listings Only” search function to see which items are selling and at what price point. The higher they are selling over the price your supplier is giving you, the more profit you will make.
4. Become a retailer. Contact the supplier via email, phone or snail mail and set up an account as a drop shipper with them. If they put a custom label with your address on it, it looks more legit from the customer side, but not all drop shippers do this. You will also likely need a tax ID number for your retail account so be sure to set that up in order to get products at wholesale.
5. List the items. Next, set up your eBay items with descriptions and pictures from the supplier’s websites. Make them look professional and add your own personalized pics and descriptions if possible. Create landing pages to direct leads to your eBay items. Adjust your prices to stay competitive and profitable.
6. Notify the supplier about sales. Simply send the supplier your customer’s shipping address and then follow up with the customer to make sure they receive the package.
After this, it’s all about profit. Collect your check from the supplier and reinvest some of it in your business while enjoying the rest!