Shopify vs eBay: Where Should You Start Dropshipping?
- What’s Shopify?
- What’s eBay?
- Shopify vs. eBay – main differences
- Registration process
- Store design
- eCommerce tools
- Growth tools
- Subscription plans
- Payment gateways
- Selling fees
- Dropshipping policy
- Customer support service
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Where to start dropshipping: Shopify or eBay?
- Dropshipping with eBay and BrandsGateway
- Dropshipping with Shopify and BrandsGateway
- How does Shopify differ from eBay?
- Is it better to drop ship with eBay or Shopify?
- Can you merge eBay and Shopify?
- Learn more
Dropshippers like yourself often feel intense frustration when researching potential eCommerce platforms where they could grow their businesses. At one point during your investigation, chances are you came upon Shopify and eBay, both so similar in some sections yet so different in others.
While Shopify is recommended by many if your goal is to create and manage a website from scratch, eBay is said to be more appropriate for those who want to avoid such a responsibility and focus on selling only. However, there’s so much more to mention about these platforms than what people are saying.
Having access to well-curated information about these dropshipping marketplaces is of paramount importance when exploring their features and services. Accordingly, we’ve produced a full guide on Shopify vs. eBay to get you out of the loop and help you come off the fence.
Register for free, start selling BrandsGateway's catalog, and skyrocket your sales.
Shopify is an all-in-one web-building platform providing dropshippers with all the tools they’d need to build their online stores from the ground up. Such tools include various eCommerce tools, domain registration, unlimited product updates, a Content Management system (CMS), and many others.
The latest data reports that Shopify has been powering over 4 million online websites worldwide, which shouldn’t be surprising as the company’s gross merchandise volume has reached nearly 47 billion in 2022. With those numbers in mind, we can only expect even greater growth in the years to come.
eBay is a global eCommerce company furnishing users across the world with a selling platform where they can kick-start their businesses.
Most recent statistics show that eBay has been hosting 135 million active buyers and 18.3 million active sellers. Consequently, the gross merchandise volume of eBay is claimed to be 18.6 billion U.S. dollars. These statistics prove the platform’s incredible success and the lucrative business base it offers potential entrepreneurs.
Find more statistics at Statista
Shopify vs. eBay – main differences
As you might have already guessed, while Shopify allows you to build a dropshipping store from scratch, eBay is more of an online marketplace, offering you a space to list and sell your products. So, let’s go over all of the differences worth noting about these two eCommerce sites.
Shopify calls for signing up with an account prior to continuing to build a dropshipping store:
- Open shopify.com/signup;
- Provide your email address, password, and your store’s name;
- Click on “Create your store”;
- Fill out the rest of the information you’re asked for;
- Select “Enter my store.”
To sell on eBay, you’ll need to also create a seller’s account where you’ll be able to build your product listings:
- Open https://www.ebay.com/;
- Click on the ‘Register’ button in the top left corner;
- Choose ‘Business account’ (the personal account is recommended for those planning to sell only a handful of products) and fill out the necessary information.
- Provide all details required such as additional personal info, payment method, shipping policy, etc.;
- Choose a subscription if you’re planning on opening an eBay store. If not, you can continue to create your product listings.
Note: Dropshipping on eBay is possible both by owning an eBay store and directly choosing to list your items.
Both eBay and Shopify’s registration processes are accommodating to new dropshippers, providing them with step-by-step instructions on how to sign up and set up their accounts.
Shopify store design
Being an eCommerce site specializing in web-building, Shopify is stocked up with plenty of design tools to help you create a user-friendly interface:
- Over 100 free and paid dropshipping themes
- Customizable designs
- Mobile and desktop-optimized templates
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop web editor feature
eBay store design
Assuming you’ve decided to develop a large-scale dropshipping business, once you’ve opened an eBay store, you’ll need to design it in a way that represents your brand. Although there aren’t a lot of customization options, eBay allows you to:
- Use a banner image that’s inserted at the very top of your store’s homepage
- Create a store logo unique to your business
- Write a catchy store description
- Customizable listing templates
eBay is slightly limited in terms of store design as the platform allows dropshippers to make only a few tweaks here and there, but still provides them with a few tools to create a decent storefront. With Shopify users benefit from plenty of web design features and full liberty to customize.
Shopify eCommerce tools
Shopify was created with a series of built-in tools that contribute to designing a store worthy of customers’ attention and which can be easily managed by both beginners and advanced dropshippers:
- Online store. Create a fully-personalized online store according to your preferences.
- Unlimited products. Sell as many products as you wish without any limitations.
- Staff accounts. Create staff member accounts.
- Domain name. Get a store domain name in just a few steps or connect your existing one.
- Free SSL certificate. Build a security network around your store with a free SSL certificate.
- Payment options. Take advantage of the Shopify Payment option or choose from +100 payment gateways.
- Discounts. Offer customers gift cards and create discounts that are automatically calculated at checkout.
- Cart abandonment recovery. Opt for sending automatic cart recovery emails to all customers.
- Sales channels. Expand your store on multiple sales channels including Amazon and eBay.
- Language translation. Make your store accessible in multiple languages.
- Currency conversion. Use the platform’s automatic currency converter.
- Reports. Get reports on your store’s sales, finances, and overall performance.
eBay eCommerce tools
Depending on how you’ll be managing your eBay sales (via an eBay store or directly with listings), eBay has developed convenient eCommerce tools to provide you with a more manageable selling process and improve traffic to your product listings:
- A large number of free listings. Users can get anywhere from 250 to up to 100,000 fee-free product listings per month.
- Convenient eBay App. Dropshippers can manage their eBay sales via the free eBay App available for both Android and iOS-based devices.
- Product wish lists. Improve your customers’ shopping experiences by letting them create wish lists and with that reduce card abandonment.
- Shopping cart feature. Furnish your audience with a quick checkout by allowing them to add their products to a shopping cart and purchase all of them at once.
- Advanced filter search. Provide customers with a more efficient product search with an advanced search tool that includes a variety of filters such as price range, currency, location, etc.
- Seller Hub. Manage your business with the help of an additional free tool that’ll provide you with an overview of all of your store’s actions, shipments, product listings, tax reports, performance analysis, and many more.
- Promotions Manager. Merchants can set up coupons, create discounts on orders, shipping, and volume pricing, and organize sale events.
- Selling Manager. eBay store subscribers get access to supplementary business features such as automatic listing scheduling, inventory tracking, sale activity reports, and others.
Shopify’s eCommerce tools collection is broader than eBay’s as the platform’s main goal is to enable dropshippers build a storefront from the ground up. eBay, on the other, is designed for sellers who don’t want to bother with creating a website but instead directly move on to selling. This is why eBay’s eCommerce tools are smaller in number and focus on providing users mostly with selling features.
Shopify growth tools
Shopify serves users with a plethora of tools for growing their business and building a highly efficient marketing plan:
- +1,000 free and paid third-party plugins ranging from marketing and product review to store management and web design apps all available at the Shopify App Store
- Built-in Shopify SEO tools that include customizable image alt text, title tags, meta descriptions, personalized URLs, automatically generated sitemaps, and more
- Built-in blog allowing you to work on your content marketing and create engaging blog posts
- Pre-made email marketing templates with exquisite designs via Shopify Email
- Opportunity to sell and promote your product on both Facebook and Instagram marketplaces
eBay growth tools
eBay is slightly a little bit behind in the marketing tools section, but still offering sellers a basic collection of features for expanding their stores:
- SEO-friendly tool Terapeak that’ll help you in finding winning products and high-ranking keywords you can use in your listings in order to give your items a chance to rank better in eBay’s own SEO
- Advertise and share your product listing on social media platforms Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter
- 6 different newsletter templates users can utilize in building their email marketing strategies
- A decent amount of third-party software providers focusing on product listing, inventory management, shipping, and order fulfillment, to name a few
Shopify will land you a hand in your growth strategy with a bunch of marketing tools, third-party extensions, and built-in SEO features. Although not as affluent in this sector, eBay can still help you expand your store’s functionality with the few third-party providers it offers, assist you with ready-to-use email marketing templates, and give you direction on how to scale the platform’s own search engine.
Shopify subscription plans
Depending on what you need to grow and manage your dropshipping store, Shopify offers at your disposal three subscription plans, all of which include the same fundamental eCommerce tools but also include a few different functionalities:
- Shopify starter – $5/month – perfect for dropshippers that don’t want to build a whole eCommerce website, but rather prefer to create a very simple store and sell via social media, email, or SMS.
- Basic plan – $32/month for monthly charges or $24/month for annual charges – recommended for beginners looking to launch a fully-fledged dropshipping store and it comes with all the basic elements that’ll allow them to do that.
- Shopify plan – $92/month for monthly charges or $69/month for annual charges – a great choice for dropshippers planning to expand their store and are in need of an extra set of features such as a few more staff accounts, eCommerce automation, or smaller transaction fees.
- Advanced plan – $399/month for monthly charges or $299/month for annual charges – a great investment if you’re looking to expand to 15 staff accounts and use advanced report builder and third-party calculated shipping rates.
- Shopify Plus – starts at $2,000/month – something to think about if you’re operating a big company and are in need of additional help.
Note: Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. After the trial is over, you’ll be asked to choose your preferred subscription package. You can also decide on a plan during the free trial as well, which will be charged and activated once the trial expires.
eBay subscription plans
As previously mentioned, in order to dropship on eBay, you don’t need to necessarily purchase an eBay Store subscription plan. However, if you do, there are a few packages you can choose from:
- Starter Store – $7.95/month for monthly charges or $4.95/month for annual charges – a great decision for newbies on the market trying to get their first product listings live.
- Basic Store – $27.95/month for monthly charges or $21.95/month for annual charges – should be checked out by dropshippers looking to significantly increase their listings.
- Premium Store – $74.95/month for monthly charges or $59.95//month for annual charges – a smart decision for merchants that plan to list an even more extensive product collection and benefit from free listings in selected categories.
- Anchor Store – $349.95/month for monthly charges or $299.95/month for annual charges – excellent for high-volume dropshipping businesses.
- Enterprise Store – annual charges of $2,995.95/month – an option for even larger enterprises that deal with a large volume of sales.
Both Shopify and eBay offer multiple subscriptions designed for both new dropshippers and experienced sellers. eBay’s plans are significantly cheaper but come with a smaller range of eCommerce features. Shopify’s packages may be a bit on the pricey side, however, you’ll get your money’s worth regarding the large number of tools each plan offers on top of which you also get a free trial.
Shopify payment gateways
Shopify offers a rich choice of payment providers, counting over 100 unique dropshipping payment gateways. If you’d rather avoid setting up external payment methods, the platform provides you with their own payment solution – Shopify Payments. However, if you still like to have the option to manage your payments, there are plenty of third-party gateways you can choose from such as:
- Amazon Pay
eBay payment gateways
eBay has been working to incorporate a few payment gateways and is now allowing sellers to use the following payment options:
- PayPal Credit
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Credit card and debit card
- Checks, money orders, cash on pickup – for some categories only
In addition to offering their own payment provider, Shopify has extended that collection to +100 methods. eBay’s payment solutions aren’t as versatile but will still get the job done and offer your customers a pleasant shopping experience.
Shopify selling fees
Shopify obligates merchants to pay transaction fees that vary depending on which plan they’ve subscribed to:
- For stores with a Basic Plan – 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction
- For stores with a Shopify Plan – 2.6% + 30¢ per online transaction
- For stores with an Advanced Plan – 2.4% + 30¢ per online transaction
Note: These charges apply only if you’re using third-party payment providers. Sellers using Shopify Payments are exempted from paying transaction fees.
eBay selling fees
eBay subjects sellers to a few fee payments regardless if they own an eBay store or have chosen to list items without a storefront:
- Insertion fee. The insertion fee refers to the listing fee of $0.35 USD that sellers must pay for each product they list with the exception of a few product categories you can check out here. However, each merchant does get 250 free product listings a month and will be required to pay an insertion fee only if they exceed that number.
- Final value fee. The final value fee is charged as a percentage of the product’s final selling price plus $0.30 USD per order. It varies from 8% to 15% depending on the item category.
- International fee. Dropshippers with registered addresses in the U.S. will incur an international fee calculated as 1.65% of the total sale in case they deliver outside the country. On the other hand, for dropshippers residing in the rest of the world, the international fee varies significantly depending on the location starting from 1.35% to 3.3%. For more accurate numbers, you can inform yourself about here.
- Currency fee. U.S.-based dropshippers are charged a 3% currency conversion fee, while for those operating outside the U.S., it goes from 2.5% to 3%. Check out the more specific numbers here.
Note: In the case of dropshipping via an eBay store, some fees may be different based on the subscription package you’re using such as the insertion fee:
- For stores with a Starter Plan – $0.30
- For stores with a Basic Plan – $0.25
- For stores with a Premium Plan – $0.10
- For stores with an Anchor Plan – $0.05
- For stores with an Enterprise Plan – $0.05
Take a look at the rest of the fee changes in eBay’s Store Selling Fees section.
eBay obliges sellers to pay a couple of types of non-optional fees. Shopify charges only a transactional fee when using alternative payment methods and no fees when subscribed to Shopify Payments.
Shopify dropshipping policy
Shopify is one of the most used platforms by dropshippers across the world as it offers them extremely convenient conditions to manage their businesses. On top of that, it provides them with a highly protected selling environment, obliging all users to respect the rules of Shopify’s dropshipping policy among which are:
- Comply with the product safety regulations
- Act in accordance with the selling laws of your country
- Keep an eye on potential product recalls
- Make sure your products adhere to the Shopify copyright policy
- Display accurate delivery information
- Present a current refund policy
eBay dropshipping policy
Dropshipping on eBay is another popular strategy many sellers opt for. The platform is welcoming to dropshippers and regulates this fulfillment method according to eBay’s dropshipping policy which includes:
- Dropshippers aren’t allowed to purchase products from another retailer who’d ship them to customers as well
- All orders are required to be processed by suppliers offering wholesale services
- Shipping times should be met and all orders delivered safely
- Product returns need to be managed with if requested by customers
- Merchants are obliged to pay all fees charged by eBay
Both Shopify and eBay provide dropshippers with a safe selling platform and similar dropshipping policies they need to comply with. However, eBay’s policy is slightly stricter in comparison to Shopify in terms of requiring dropshippers to partner up with wholesale suppliers only.
Check out: Best eBay suppliers
Customer support service
Shopify customer service
Shopify stands out significantly in section, offering plenty of ways dropshippers can get in contact with the platform’s customer support team. The service is available 24/7 and members of the client service can be reach by phone, email, and live chat.
User support is further furnished via the Shopify Help Center where sellers have access to a vast database of material on eCommerce and dropshipping-related topics. Alternatively, the Shopify community is always online to consult you in issues you might be experiencing.
Note: Take a look at these Shopify Apps for Customer Support.
eBay customer service
eBay also has a well-developed customer support service, with its agents available to dropshippers via phone and live chat assistance disposable every day of the week between 9 AM and 6 PM CET.
In terms of helpful material, eBay has a massive library of beginner’s guides and articles about running and managing a dropshipping business on the marketplace. Additionally, the eBay community allows you to reach out to fellow merchants and start a conversation with expert sellers.
eBay and Shopify have developed similarly accessible customer service systems to help out users avoid any unnecessary hassle. However, Shopify’s customer team is somewhat more reachable as it can e contacted 24/7. eBay’s support members are available for chatting within working hours but still offer clients great assistance.
Advantages and disadvantages
To give you an overview of everything we discussed in this article, let’s make a comparison between Shopify and eBay by weighing up the pros and cons of both platforms.
Dropshipping on Shopify: Pros and Cons
- Fully-customizable web storefront, allowing you to have huge control over your store’s design and introduce your brand in a way that it’ll capture attention and provide a premium user experience
- Long list of eCommerce and marketing tools, including built-in SEO service and thousands of third-party plugins available on the Shopify App Store
- Affordable subscription plans providing you with a good run for your money as they’re all equipped with basic web-building tools and are considerate for dropshippers on a budget
- +100 different types of payment gateways, giving dropshippers a chance to pick out from an extensive collection of payment providers or opt for
- Significantly low transaction fees which can be avoided with the platform’s transaction-free payment solution – Shopify Payments
- Constantly available customer support service that’s reachable via phone as well as email and live chat for those who prefer written communication
- Most templates aren’t free
- Not all subscription plans come with a rich collection of advanced features, therefore, you might need to go over budget sometimes to invest in third-party extensions
Dropshipping on eBay: Pros and Cons
- Easy and extremely quick eBay store setup without needing to spend a lot of time or money on design features
- Manage your dropshipping business with the help of a great set of tools and build an enjoyable shopping environment for your customers
- Economical pricing plans with zero insertion fee listings starting at 250 fee listings per month and essential eCommerce features to assist you to get the ball rolling
- Well arranged customer service system accessible by phone and live chat as well as a material-rich database full of self-serving articles, guides, and tutorials
- Highly limited store customization
- Multiple types of compulsory fees
- Strict dropshipping policy requiring sellers to follow certain guidelines
Where to start dropshipping: Shopify or eBay?
After going through this massive showdown between Shopify and eBay, we can confidently report that both eCommerce sites can serve as good options for dropshipping. Ultimately, your choice depends solely on your dropshipping business plan and how are you planning to manage it – whether you prefer to launch a full-blown store or would rather stick to online marketplaces and a much simple store setup. Having this in mind, here’s what we recommend:
Shopify is a good choice for:
- Dropshippers planning on building an independent online store with a unique store domain and looking for an SEO and eCommerce tool-rich platform in order to expand their ventures on a full-scale
Note: For a thorough step-by-step tutorial, check out our guide on How to Start Dropshipping on Shopify.
eBay is a good choice for:
- Dropshippers interested in operating a more basic and simple online store without the need of using any type of advanced SEO equipment and eCommerce features and don’t necessarily want to build a brand.
Note: To get an even more comprehensive explanation of eBay dropshipping, read our guide on How to Start Dropshipping on eBay.
Dropshipping with eBay and BrandsGateway
One of the main things that’ll help you thrive on highly saturated eCommerce marketplaces, such as eBay, is partnering up with an excellent supplier. BrandsGateway can offer you a great deal that involves selling luxury clothing of impeccable quality and high demand.
If you have a website based on Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, or Shift4Shop, you can start listing BrandsGateway’s products by installing the eBay app in your store and benefit from automatic inventory and order forwarding. In other cases, the supplier offers a CSV file that gets updated every 4 hours.
Dropshipping with Shopify and BrandsGateway
If your intention is to launch a Shopify store, BrandsGateway is here to provide you with a premium dropshipping and wholesale service. With this supplier, you’ll be getting exquisite clothing items to sell, great profit margins to work with, and a fully automated dropshipping system among many other features.
BrandsGateway’s Shopify plugin is available for installation via their convenient Shopify App and can be set up in a few steps:
- Sign up at https://brandsgateway.com/register/.
- Go to https://apps.shopify.com/brandsgateway-app.
- Click on ‘Add App’ and install the BrandsGateway App in your Shopify store.
- Choose a dropshipping package.
- Import BrandsGateway’s product catalog.
Shopify is an online platform specializing in web-building, while eBay is an eCommerce marketplace where you can directly list and sell your products without the need of owning an online store.
Both eBay and Shopify are good eCommerce places to attempt dropshipping. The former is mostly recommended for dropshippers seeking to focus less on store building as eBay is much less equipped with design tools. The latter is a great option for merchants searching for a platform to launch and operate a full-fledged online business and have extra time on their hands to set up a website from start to finish.
Yes. You can easily merge eBay and Shopify by opening a Shopify store and installing eBay as one of your sales channels via the Shopify App Store. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to list all product from your Shopify store on eBay as well.