eBay is an online shopping site based in San Jose, California that’s best known for its auctions and consumer to consumer sales. It’s also extremely popular for online merchants to use as a sales channel. eBay’s available in many different countries.
According to Wikipedia, eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the fall of 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble.
connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world. It also can be a great way to make money whether you are working from home with very little investment or you’re a reseller who sells large quantities of products.
in this article we used strategies in which you can make money selling on ebay through ebay auctions as well as what to sell to make money on ebay, but you can also make money on ebay without selling anything afterall, we also gave an indepth steps to become a successful seller on Ebay and lots more.
Table of Contents
Why Sell on eBay?
There are 182 million eBay buyers worldwide.
It’s one of the largest global online marketplaces, featuring approximately 1.3 billion product listings on any given day.
Types of Ebay Sellers
Let’s take a quick look at the different types of sellers in Ebay to give you an idea of who you might be competing with when using the service.
First Time Sellers
People dipping their toes into Ebay for the first time are usually looking to sell pre-used items.
These Ebay users pop up only when they have stuff to sell, usually items they have around the house.
This group of Ebay sellers trade during their free time and usually scales up when the business shows true potential to expand.
These are entrepreneurs who utilize Ebay to sell their dropshipped products.
Big Time Sellers
Refers to established businesses with a large customer base and significant product turnover. They typically work full-time on their Ebay business.
Where to buy products to sell on Ebay
Knowing who to source your products from and building a strong relationship with suppliers is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle if you want to have a successful dropshipping business on Ebay.
Most beginner dropshippers will probably fire up Google and try to look for a product to sell and where to source it. But trust me, that’s like looking for a teeny-weenie needle in a haystack. Not only will it be hard, but if you do find “potential” wholesalers, there’s no way of telling if the business is actually legitimate. And while you may want to give them a shot, your Scam-O-Meter tells you otherwise.
How to be a successful dropshipper on Ebay
Now that we have an overview of the process, it’s time to look more closely at the key actions you need to take to make a killing dropshipping on Ebay.
Choose your products wisely
Everyone is selling iPhones and fidget spinners, so isn’t that what you should be selling too? It’s tempting to find those lists of top-selling products on eBay and use those to start filling your store, but this is a bad move. The truth is, these products have so much competition that only the top sellers with thousands to spend on marketing and massive orders are getting the bulk of the sales.
Do Your Research
As a dropshipper, you are limited only by the inventory of your suppliers, and if you’re careful when choosing your business partners, that’s no limit at all.
Try using a listing analytics tool to narrow your focus to what’s actually selling on eBay. This tool can show you how many people are already selling the item you want to list, how they performed over time, and the item’s overall profit potential. Once you’ve chosen the type of items you want to sell, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Finding the Right Suppliers
We talk about this a lot in our blog and we don’t mind repeating it: choose your suppliers wisely. Price is important, of course, but there are other factors that come into play.
It’s crucial that your supplier is reliable and professional. As a dropshipper, you know that your lifeblood is in the fulfilment (packaging and shipping your goods). If your supplier fails you, your business won’t be far behind.
Take the time to thoroughly investigate your potential suppliers. If possible, visit their place of business to see how it’s run. You want nothing to do with a sloppy and disorganized operation.
Ideally, you’ll work with local wholesalers. If you are importing your products and visiting the supplier is out of the budget, your best bet is to find a directory of vetted suppliers to make sure they are legitimate.
Once you’ve found a potential supplier or two, start by making a few small purchases to test how fast they deliver, as well as the quality of the products and their packaging. Some buyers don’t like to deal with dropshippers. It’s therefore important to see whether your supplier will brand the products the way you want.
You will also see how well your supplier communicates with you, which is crucial once you start making sales. You should be able to track inventory and purchases easily. If any problems develop, you need the opportunity to spot them and respond before your customer has a chance to get cranky.
Understand how Ebay works
Selling on eBay is not the same as being successful on eBay. The weekend lister may do quite well with their occasional sales, but as a serious seller you want to do better than that. You need to seize every advantage available, and to do that you must learn everything there is to know about the site from a seller’s perspective.
This includes membership tiers, seller fees, listing tools, policies, feedback, ranking factors, affiliate programs and so on. Knowing how your platform works will give you an advantage over less dedicated sellers.
Getting to know eBay from head to toe requires time. Think of it as going back to school, with your eBay listings as the written exam. Click on everything that is clickable, take notes, check forums and ask questions.
You could make a test run with a few items that you already have on hand just to see how it goes. Consider it on-the-job training. If you make mistakes, make sure you don’t make them twice. Take notes on what worked and what didn’t, and why you think that is.
Finally, keep in mind that the customer is always number 1. You don’t want to risk getting negative feedback for selling a dicey Magic 8 Ball. Whatever happens during your test run, be honest, nice and responsive to your customers.
Steps to start dropshipping on Ebay
Once you’ve found your supplier, it’s time to make your eBay listings and start selling! Your next step is to improve your exposure so that you stand out from your competition, because there will almost certainly be plenty of it. Here are five good ways to market your eBay listings:
1. Get a PayPal Account
eBay provides protection to both buyers and sellers who use PayPal. It’s also a secure and convenient way for a buyer to pay for purchases. No wonder most eBay buyers prefer sellers who offer this payment option. Getting an account will expose your listings to buyers who filter their search for sellers who accept PayPal.
2. Price Competitively
You should keep your eye on your bottom line, of course, but you also need to make sure you compare favorably with the pricing offered by other sellers of the same or similar items. Many buyers rank their searches from lowest to highest price. As with any Internet search, the top results get the most attention.
3. Offer Free Shipping
Freebies are always attractive to buyers and one of the most compelling offers you can make is free shipping. Analysis of buyer behavior indicates that as much as 90 percent of buyers are more likely to complete a purchase if the seller offers free shipping. Many will even filter a search for only items that have free shipping.
Worried about your profit margins? No problem! Just add in the cost of shipping to the item price or bundle items to reduce shipping costs.
4. Craft Quality Titles and Descriptions
You should put some thought into writing an attention-grabbing title and comprehensive product description, and I don’t mean simply typing in all caps. Quality titles and descriptions are key factors in making money on eBay that many sellers just don’t take seriously.
Your title should be searchable, so make the effort to find out how buyers search for particular items. You can do this by typing your item into the search panel and seeing what suggestions come up. Try to add as many relevant details as possible to the title and avoid unnecessary adjectives and buzzwords.
To get started, see what keywords and phrases your supplier used to help YOU find the items you wanted. You can also look at Google AdWords to see what related keywords and phrases are sizzling on Google. Oh, and make sure you make no typos in your title; it makes it harder for buyers to find you.
5. Become a Top Rated Seller
eBay’s Top Rated Sellers are sellers recognized for providing top-notch customer service on a consistent basis. Once you’ve met the criteria, you will receive a Top Rated Plus seal and a 10% discount on final value fees on your qualifying listings.
The savings are an unbeatable perk, but don’t underestimate the value of that seal. Having this status will help you stand out from your competitors and show potential customers that you are a trusted seller.
To qualify to be a Top Rated Seller on eBay in the U.S. you must meet these criteria with your U.S.-based buyers over the most recent 12-month period:
- At least 100 transactions and $1,000 in sales
- At least 95% of transactions with valid shipment tracking uploaded within your promised handling time
- Fewer than 0.3% of transactions with eBay and PayPal purchase protection disputes closed without seller resolution
- Less than 3% of transactions with late shipping
10 Vital Tips for How to Make Money on Ebay
Making money on eBay isn’t hard, but making a lot of it takes time and effort. If you are serious about making a good (or even fantastic!) living via your eBay sales, follow these tips:
1. Understand the Costs
Listing fees, final value fees, shipping costs, marketing expenses… the list goes on, and the fees can add up quickly. It’s important to understand the costs associated with selling items on eBay. Start by listing them out, and be sure to factor them in when pricing your eBay listings. You can cut back on costs with these quick tips:
If you offer free shipping, simply add the cost of shipping to the listed price. Your customers won’t know the difference and will be more likely to buy if the shipping is “free.”
Look for suppliers who offer lower rates on high-volume sales, then try to meet their criteria for lower prices on the items you sell.
Minimize the number of costly returns and reshipments by choosing reliable suppliers.
2. Find Cheap Items to Sell
It’s okay to start small, you can grow your business while increasing your knowledge and understanding of how selling on eBay works. Many sellers start making money on eBay by selling items found in their homes.
Yard sales, flea markets and estate sales are all great places to find items to sell. You can also check sites such as Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace for freebies or cheap items that people want to sell quickly.
3. Offer Great Customer Service
This should go without saying for any business, but it’s especially true that customer feedback can make or break an eBay enterprise. A high Feedback score will attract more customers, but a low one could make them leave and never look back. There are a few things you should always do to make sure you’re offering the best customer service possible on your eBay store:
Be responsive. Try to answer customer questions and concerns as soon as possible; within a few hours, if you can. This may seem over the top, but think about it: how long would you wait for a company to get back to you before deciding to shop somewhere else?
Stay professional. Angry customers are a given in any retail setting, but the last thing you want to do is fire back with that perfectly crafted insult. Remember, those feedback comments are public! Keep a professional tone at all times and do your best to help resolve any issues your customers face, and they’ll be more likely to return to you in the future.
4. Find Reliable Suppliers
You’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle by avoiding suppliers you can’t trust. A good dropshipping supplier will ship products on time, notify you of inventory changes, and be responsive if there are any problems with the shipment.
Always research and talk to your suppliers before you do business with them. If possible, meet with your suppliers in person, or schedule a phone call. Ask questions about their policies and try placing a sample order for yourself to test the quality of their service and product. There are plenty of online resources to help you find quality, pre-vetted suppliers for your eBay store.
5. Build Out Your Profile Before Selling
Having a solid, established profile is a huge perk if you want to make money selling on eBay. It’s not a bad idea to start out by using your account as a buyer first. This way, you can build out an eBay history and have positive reviews before you start selling.
One factor that’s often overlooked is your username. This username will serve as the name of your eBay business, so choose wisely; Sw33tBunn1es12 might not give off the professional, trustworthy vibe you’re going for!
6. Use High-Quality Photos
There are two main advantages to using high-quality product photos in your eBay listings. Firstly, it will help your potential customers find what they’re looking for more easily, leading to better exposure for your store. Secondly, using accurate photos lets your customers know exactly what to expect, which can mean fewer returns from disappointed buyers.
Chances are, if you’re using dropshipping to make money on eBay, your supplier will already have high-quality product photos that you can use.
7. Set Prices Wisely
Offering the cheapest pricing options for your products might seem like the best way to get sales on eBay, but you could lose money this way. Pay attention to your supplier’s cost, shipping fees, eBay fees and your own profit goals when pricing your listings. If you do choose an auction format for your eBay listings, always keep in mind that you are obligated to provide the product, even if the auction ends below your costs, so plan accordingly when setting low starting bids.
8. Always Get Proof of Postage
Avoid problems by making sure your supplier provides proof of postage for every sale you make. This prevents potential scammers from contacting eBay and claiming they never received their orders. That postage proof could save your store if you ever need to challenge a dispute.
9. Do Your Research
Before you decide what products to sell on eBay, ask yourself, is there a market for this item? Take the time to find out just how well (or poorly) an item is selling on eBay. Seller tools such as the SaleHoo Labs can help you pinpoint top-selling items and offer valuable data such as price range and sales potential, and even help you find a list of suppliers.
10. Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Is this item worth the effort? Can I make a decent profit even after the fees, postage and packaging costs?
- Would someone purchase this item in its current condition?
- Do I feel the need to embellish the details about this item to make it more sellable?
- Is there any reason the customer would be unhappy with this item once they received it?
Think carefully about your answers and use them to decide whether or not to go ahead with the listing. Remember that the key to making money on eBay is providing a quality experience for your customers.
Some additional tips before running your dropshipping business
- Confirm shipping times prior to picking the locations you’ll be selling to
- Be clear on your shipping times – Add a shipping disclaimer
- Make a Refund Policy Page
- Set aside some money for inventory purchases
- Tap the power of social media to market your product
Who is Selling on eBay?
There are a few different types of eBay sellers. You’ve got your newbies or amateur resellers, who sell a few items at a fixed price, and then you have PowerSellers. PowerSellers are professional sellers who spend a lot of time purchasing items, packaging products, shipping and receiving goods, and managing auctions.
For example: eBay Ellen — an amateur reseller — has a lot of clothing. She’s a fashionista who goes through trendy clothes quickly. To make extra cash, she turns to her closet and sells her gently used designer threads under a fixed-price listing.
Video Game Vince is a gamer and comic book collector — and a PowerSeller. He scours the internet for comic book collectibles and video game action figures to resell. He has a thriving business on eBay dedicated to reselling exclusives and hard-to-find gaming/comic book merchandise.
Whether you’re a newbie or a PowerSeller, you can flourish in this time of growth of the secondhand economy, getting your products in front of a global audience with eBay.
What Should You Sell On eBay?
Three categories that sell particularly well on eBay are:
- Auto parts,
- Used goods, and
While some eBay sellers focus on a niche product, others follow the trends to sell what is popular at the moment. This will require a bit of research on your part.
Find out what’s trending.
One way to find out what’s hot in the marketplace is to see what is trending on eBay. You can use this tool from eBay to see what buyers are searching for.
Another resource for researching seasonal trends and historical data is Google Trends. You can use it to help gauge consumer demand and determine the best time to list and sell your product.
For example, let’s say your business sells snowboards and snowboard accessories. Type in “snowboard” on Google Trends, and you’ll see a spike in web search volume in late November through early December.
Price your products.
Once you’ve determined what you want to sell, you’ll need to do your research and price your items competitively. You can use the eBay appraisal tool to determine the value or trending price of a particular item in a specific category.
eBay Selling Format
When eBay first launched in 1995, it was a true peer-to-peer marketplace built on auctions. As it evolved, however, eBay introduced an alternative to the auction with its “buy it now” feature. There are pros and cons to each selling method — the one that will work best for you is highly dependent upon your individual business.
eBay rose to fame on its auction-style sales. You run a traditional auction for a specified number of days. At the start of the auction, you list an opening bid, and then buyers will bid up from the opening price. When the auction comes to an end, the highest bidder wins.
This type of selling works great for someone like Video Game Vince because he deals in unique, collectible items. Passionate fans of the comic book genre will feverishly bid up the pricing, allowing Vince to pocket a nice profit.
Pro tip: Set a reserve price — or, the lowest price you are willing to accept for the item. That gives you the control to ensure you don’t sell the item until you can get the amount you believe it is worth.
Also known as the “Buy It Now” method of selling, this enables the seller to declare a fixed price for an item. eBay shoppers know the exact price up front and can buy it immediately — no bidding necessary. This style of selling is efficient and convenient, as there is no haggling or waiting for an auction to end.
Developing Product Descriptions for eBay
On eBay, shoppers search for products using keywords. You can optimize your product description by making sure to include relevant keywords and product identifiers.
Write detailed product descriptions that include these attributes:
- Brand (“Nike”).
- Style or model (“Air Zoom Pegasus”).
- Model number (“Galaxy S10”).
- Color (“Black”).
- Size (“Men’s size 12,” “extra wide,” or “Women’s 8”).
It is imperative that you structure your product attributes similarly to the words and phrases users are typing into their eBay searches. For example, instead of your product title being “Converse Chuck Taylor Shoes,” a more optimized title would be “Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes, Size 9 White.”
You should also be very transparent about any product defects the item may have, and disclose any issues or flaws related to the product.
Additional information to mention:
- What are the item dimensions?
- Does it require batteries and are they included?
- What accessories are included?
Using product identifiers in your listings can help increase your item visibility, which in turn will help optimize sales.
When buyers look for items on search engines like Google or Bing, those search engines look for specific data called product identifiers. eBay requires product identifiers when you list branded products in new or refurbished condition in certain categories like consumer electronics and health and beauty. You can find a comprehensive list of categories here.
Product identifiers are made up of three elements:
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN).
- Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). A GTIN can include the Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), Japanese Article Number (JAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
eBay uses product identifiers to help buyers quickly find items during a search. When you include product identifiers in your listings, your product will be eligible for higher search visibility — on eBay as well as outside search engines.
It will also be eligible for special price alerts (e.g., when your listings are priced below the trending price) and included in more deals and promotions.
Adding product identifiers is highly recommended to maximize your potential on eBay through better product placement and better SEO data for search engines.
Product attribute guidelines and best practices.
Product attributes define the relevant and important facts about a product — such as brand, style, size, and color. You can often find product attributes listed as product “specs,” or specifications.
eBay defines a set of item specifics for each category. Product attributes are created by mapping the product specs to the item specifics of the eBay category.
Providing a very detailed set of item specifics will create a complete set of structured data that allows the search engine to locate and filter products. This improves the relevance of search results to what users are typing in their search queries.
If applicable, include the dimensions of the item in the attributes. The product dimensions should specify the size of the actual product, not the packaging size.
Multi-packs and bundled products.
Here are some important details to remember when creating the attribute list for a multi-pack or manufacturer-created bundle:
- The attributes for a bundled product should include the product identifier(s) assigned by the manufacturer to the bundle.
- Attributes for the bundled product should use the manufacturer’s GTIN number for the bundle. Don’t use the GTIN of the base product or any of the products within the bundle.
- The attributes for a multi-pack must include the product identifier(s) assigned to the multi-pack by the manufacturer.
- The attributes of a multi-pack must specify the GTIN of the specific multi-pack being described.
Another tip is to include product variants on one page instead of multiple. We’ve seen that eBay is starting to group products by GTIN, so this will be increasingly more important in your set-up.
Managing Your Product Listings
Once you’ve decided to jump into the eBay marketplace, how should you manage your product listings?
You could use spreadsheets if you only have a half-dozen items listed, like eBay Ellen. However, if you have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of products, a spreadsheet will be too complicated, unwieldy, and inadequate.
A feed management platform, used in conjunction with an ecommerce platform like BigCommerce, can make your listings much more manageable.
Would-be eBay merchants often ask: “Can I take my existing product feed on Google Shopping and use it on eBay?” If your products are listed on an ecommerce platform like BigCommerce, feed management platforms can take the existing product feed, put it into the correct format and export it to eBay.
Managing Your eBay Orders
It’s critical that you manage your orders carefully and monitor your inventory. You never want to be in a position where you are listing out-of-stock items on your site.
With feed management platforms, orders are updated and synced to your online store. It’s important to keep everything in sync with the shortest lag-times possible, especially if you have low inventory of an item selling across multiple marketplaces.
Here’s an example of how feed management platforms can help:
A client needed help with managing orders for two marketplaces: eBay and Amazon.
This client had multiple products that were low in stock, and they wanted to avoid running into an oversold situation — which can get sellers suspended from eBay. Feedonomics was able to solve this problem by intelligently controlling inventory on multiple channels.
eBay Best Practices
The best practices listed here are much the same as best practices you should follow on any marketplace, as well as on your ecommerce site. But they will be particularly important on eBay, as you’ll need to differentiate yourself from competitors also selling on the channel.
Here are some general tips, with more information to follow:
- Ship within the expected timeframe.
- Process your orders in a timely manner.
- Respond to customer questions promptly.
- Ensure that you follow the return policy listed on eBay.
Take high-resolution photos against a plain white background to make the products stand out. Make sure the lighting is sufficient to feature the item and its relevant details.
Try taking shots of the product from different angles, and get some close-up shots as well to highlight details. Don’t use props — that will only distract your shoppers.
Fast, low-cost shipping.
Cost and speed are top of mind for eBay buyers. Over the years, buyers’ expectations have increased, and they are more frequently looking for free shipping.
Fun fact: 71% of products purchased through the eBay marketplace are shipped for free.
Offer competitive shipping prices (low-cost or free shipping is best) to appeal to more buyers and increase your chances of a sale.
eBay offers five different return policy options for you to choose from:
- No returns accepted.
- 30-day buyer-paid returns.
- 30-day free returns.
- 60-day buyer-paid returns.
- 60-day free returns.
It goes without saying that the most attractive return policy for the eBay buyer is free returns.
Strong customer service.
The reviews are in — literally and figuratively! The best way to avoid bad eBay reviews is to maintain good standing with your customers by having customer service.
There is no doubts that eBay will continue to make more efforts in the online business hemisphere. Although it is not a giant like Amazon in terms of dominance, it still remains as one of the most popular online retailers available.
Hence there are lots of oppurtunies in Ebay Auctions, You can make money strategically on Ebay using some of the tips we posted in this article.