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Dropshipping

eBay Dropshipping: How Does it Work?

Nedina Gjorgjieva
11 minutes

Founded in the mid-1990s, the platform that initially was planned to function as an auction web, soon turned its course and became one of the largest eCommerce marketplaces for selling and buying anything you could think of. We’re talking of course about the one and only eBay. 

Having generated annual net revenue of 10 billion USD in 2021 as predicted by Statista, the platform is the place to be, if you’re looking for getting into the eCommerce industry. With a global audience at its fingertips, low business investments, and great opportunities for scaling, eBay seems to offer the perfect selling conditions many entrepreneurs are seeking.


Find more statistics at Statista

Luckily, the platform welcomes everyone interested in a side hustle or even building a whole business based on a variety of eCommerce models, including dropshipping. If you ever wonder how eBay dropshipping works, if it’s worth the effort, and what products one could sell, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll concentrate on satisfying all of your curiosity and giving you a complete tutorial on how to start your eBay dropshipping business.

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What’s eBay dropshipping?

eBay dropshipping is an eCommerce method used by dropshippers to sell their products on the platform with the help of a dropshipping supplier. Just like with the traditional model, with eBay dropshipping entrepreneurs don’t have the burden of handling a physical space for storing and packaging the goods. Instead, they use the services of their suppliers who tackle these chores, allowing the dropshippers to focus on growing their business. 

What’s the eBay dropshipping policy?

In order to be able to dropship on eBay, it’s crucial to grasp the platform’s dropshipping policies. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • eBay doesn’t allow purchasing your products from another retailer who’d also be delivering them directly to your customers; 
  • The platform allows for dropshippers to sell items only if the orders are processed by wholesale suppliers;
  • Dropshippers are responsible for regulating the shipping times and making sure orders arrive in time;
  • All sellers are required to pay listing fees as well as additional product fees.
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What products should I sell on eBay?

Having an abundance of product categories, eBay permits dropshippers to sell almost anything. However, not all items will bring you the same amount of sales and profits. So, consider the following suggestions to make the most of your eBay dropshipping business.

What products to sell?

When choosing what to sell, take into account the following items:

  • Clothing and accessories. As one of the biggest industries with revenue expected to surpass 1 trillion USD by 2025, selling fashion goods will never become a fruitless business idea. Luxury goods, particularly, are always in demand, so take a look at these high-end profitable items to sell.
  • Jewelry and watches. This category pretty much goes hand-in-hand with the clothing one as no outfit is complete without some bling. The luxury watches and jewelry market has been especially on the rise, earning well over 60 billion USD in 2022.
  • Cosmetics. Cosmetic goods are one of those products that are constantly requested from customers. According to Zippia, in the US approximately 50 billion USD are generated by this category alone each year, thus making these products a worthy business investment.
  • Electronics. Electronics are another product category you could sell on eBay. This segment of the market is projected to reach 900 billion USD by 2027, which shows promising chances of earning good profits by selling electronics.
  • Collectibles. Although this category’s revenue isn’t as high as the clothing one, collectibles sales are still expected to generate 692 billion USD by 2032. In fact, one can easily merge these two categories by selling vintage clothing pieces or apparel items from previous collections many people would like to buy.

What products to avoid?

Although the platform offers an extensive choice in product categories, there are a few items eBay has put policy restrictions on, which need to be followed carefully:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal items 
  • Food items
  • Art pieces
  • Vehicle products

In order to avoid any inconveniences, it’s best to skip such products, or avoid these dropshipping niches in general, and have in mind their prohibited and restricted items list.

How much does it cost to dropship on eBay?

When dropshipping on eBay, there are two main types of fees the platform will charge you:

  • Insertion fee. The insertion fee is your listing fee which is 0.35 USD for each product you list for almost all product categories with a few exceptions you can check out here. However, you do get 250 free item listings each month and will be charged the insertion fee only if you exceed that number.
  • Final value fee. Whenever an item is sold, eBay will charge you a final value fee as a percentage of the item’s final selling price and an additional 0.30 USD per order. The fee can vary from 8%-15%, depending on the product category.

Benefits of eBay dropshipping

Dropshipping on eBay brings plenty of benefits droshippers can enjoy, allowing them to build and grow the business they’ve imagined to have. 

Easy to manage

Dropshipping on eBay requires little to no previous knowledge or experience. Running a store on the platform is easy, simple, and quite straightforward. The setting up process involves only a few steps that won’t take a lot of your time. 

Minimal expenses

eBay dropshipping offers you the opportunity to dropship by investing minimal capital. The platform allows you to create a seller’s account for free and provides you with all other benefits of dropshipping: no requirement to manage an inventory, no shipping duty, great scalability chances, and endless work flexibility.

Exposure to a huge audience

Estimated to have over 180 million active users worldwide, dropshipping on eBay exposes your business to an immense audience of customers. Over its 27 years of existence, the platform has accumulated a large number of loyal consumers, meaning you’d be selling to customers that you know will be coming back and make multiple purchases.

Drawbacks of eBay dropshipping

eBay dropshipping does have its own disadvantages as well droshippers should keep in mind. Nevertheless, they won’t necessarily make managing your business harder, but you’d have to implement a few adjustments and rely on tips on how to prevail over them.

Dropshipping restrictions

Because of eBay’s policy we’ve discussed above, dropshippers might find selling on eBay slightly limited and controlled. However, most of these restrictions are put to protect both dropshippers and buyers from selling or purchasing counterfeit goods or products that go against the platform’s rules and distinguish between fake and original items. As long as you follow their regulations, you shouldn’t experience any inconveniences and be able to dropship completely carefree.

Competitive environment

Having the reputation of one of the largest and most successful eCommerce marketplaces, it’s an understatement to say that the competition is fierce. But despite that, there’s always a way to come up on top regardless of how dense the market is. 

Roll up your sleeves and carry out eCommerce competitive analysis. See what the competitors in your niche offer and try to improve your products. For example, if you’ve chosen to sell fashion items, opt for unique high-value clothing and accessories that not a lot of sellers usually offer, such as those from luxury fashion brands.

Listing fees

For every product you list, eBay charges you listing fees as well as selling fees for every successful purchase. Luckily, the platform does offer free listings each month, as mentioned above, which are of great help for dropshippers. 

Is eBay dropshipping worth it?

Yes, eBay dropshipping can be worth it. Although it does come with a few stumbling blocks, eBay is still a great platform to pursue an eCommerce business on. With easy access to a seller’s account, low expenses, and a chance to sell to millions of loyal customers, eBay provides dropshippers with a favorable selling environment. 

How do I start to dropship on eBay? 

To start dropshipping on eBay, the platform requires you to follow only a few simple steps that involve opening a business account and setting up your product listings and other relevant details. 

STEP 1: Create an eBay seller account

We start by signing up on eBay as a seller:

  1. Open https://www.ebay.com/ and click on the ‘Register’ button you’ll find on the top left corner of the website;
  2. Choose between a personal or business account depending if you’re planning to sell as a side hustle or have in mind to grow a full-blown business;
  3. Fill out the required information such as name, email, password, and location (only in case you’re creating a business account).

STEP 2: Set up your eBay account

Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Create’ button, you’ll be redirected to the eBay homepage to complete your account:

  • Navigate to ‘My eBay’ which you’ll find in the top right corner;
  • Provide your country of origin, street address, and phone number;
  • Set up your business policies including shipping methods, payment models, and return policies by heading over to Bizpolicy.ebay.com and clicking on ‘Create policy.’

STEP 3: Create your product listings

Finally, it’s time to start listing your products by sticking to the following steps:

  • Go back to your account’s homepage and click on ‘Sell’ in the top right corner;
  • Enter your product’s name in the search bar;
  • Fill out the product’s title, subtitle (optional), category, second category (optional), UPC (if available), and the product’s condition;
  • Insert your product photos;
  • Provide item details and description;
  • Take care of the shipping details by choosing the ones you’ve previously set up in the business policy section;
  • Click on ‘’List item.’

STEP 4: Connect your account with your dropshipping store

In case you have an already existing dropshipping store on Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, or other similar alternative platforms, you can connect it to your eBay account and set up eBay as one of your sales channels. For example, let’s see how can you set it up on a Shopify-based online store:

  1. Download the eBay app from the Shopify App Store;
  2. Provide your Shopify store details;
  3. Click on ‘Add Channel.’

The process is similar for most of the other eCommerce platforms as well.

Bonus section: what are some eBay selling strategies?

To give you a head start in your eBay dropshipping journey, we’ve gathered a few selling tips for dropshipping to land you a hand in getting your business off the ground.

Upload credible photos

Since online shopping can be restrictive when it comes to visualizing the products, photos are probably one of the most important parts of your listings you need to pay attention to. They’re the only way for customers to receive an accurate product presentation. Thus, the more detailed and attractive your product photos are, the more customers you’ll engage. You can use photo editing apps to make them stand out even more.

Work on your product descriptions

Besides the photos, product descriptions are the next closest thing to helping customers see a genuine image of how the items might look like. Consumers always find it helpful when sellers provide them with meticulous product information. So, try to invest a little bit more effort in coming up with tempting descriptions.

Ensure on-time delivery

Slow deliveries can have a major negative impact on customer retention. According to Khoras, 65% of customers would switch to your competitors because of a poor shopping experience. For that reason, go over the shipping schedule with your dropshipping supplier, make certain they offer acceptable delivery times, and ship worldwide in order for you to be able to expand your eCommerce business internationally.

Dropshipping with eBay and BrandsGateway

To dropship to your highest potential, you need to partner with a dropshipping supplier, such as BrandsGateway, that’ll allow you to elevate your business by selling products of the utmost quality and will supply you with the necessary resources for dropshipping. Offering clients the opportunity to stock their virtual stores with luxury clothing, BrandsGateway can help you conquer the eCommerce marketplaces, including eBay, and make a name for yourself.

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You can sell BrandsGateway’s products on eBay by installing the eBay app on Shopify, Wix, Shift4Shop, or WooCommerce – for all of which this supplier offers automated plugin solutions and a Shopify app. Once that’s done, you can continue to set up your eBay account and listings by following the steps we’ve provided you in the previous sections and start building your eBay presence.

FAQ

Yes, dropshipping is allowed on eBay. The platform allows dropshippers to list items by paying an insertion fee and a final value fee, both of which can vary depending on the type of product.

Yes, you can still dropship on eBay in 2022. With the eCommerce industry becoming more and more developed, you have great chances of earning profits while dropshipping on the platform.

eBay allows you to make a seller’s account for free. However, you’ll have to pay listing fees for each product you wish to sell. The good news is that you can list up to 250 items for free per month.

You can start dropshipping on eBay by setting you a seller’s account for free.

Unless you’ve breached their policy, eBay doesn’t ban dropshippers for no reason.

In a word

eBay dropshipping is a perfect choice for both beginners that wish to tap into the eCommerce market and experienced dropshippers that are looking for ways to reach a wider audience. This guide will lead you through all the steps, inform you about all the do’s and dont’s, and provide you with tips to set up your business for success.

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About the Author

Nedina Gjorgjieva

Proud bookworm, passionate content writer and devoted Arctic Monkeys fan. Always in the mood for travel and sightseeing.

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