Ross Boguslavski

11 September 2023

1 min read


If you are keen on starting a dropshipping business, but seeking to keep expenditure to a minimum, ebay dropshipping may suit your needs perfectly. This option makes it possible to skip creating a custom site, as you can easily open up a store on ebay and start selling.

Moreover, you will have access to a ready-made buyer base to save money on promotional activities. But before you decide to take the plunge, you may have questions about how to dropship on ebay, its advantages and disadvantages, and whether it is a good fit for your business. This guide to ebay dropshipping will answer your questions, give you insight into whether eBay dropshipping is the right choice for your business and provide an in-depth walkthrough on how you can secure suitable suppliers as well as keep profits healthy.

Let’s get started!

What is ebay dropshipping?

Dropshipping on ebay is a money-making enterprise with a minimal financial investment. This is an attractive idea for those who don’t have a lot of capital to begin with. How does dropshipping work? With this model, sellers buy products from wholesalers, add a markup price, and then resell them to buyers on the ebay marketplace.

Dropshipping is a way of doing business where you don’t need to keep the products you sell in stock. This is how it works in a few words:

  1. Your customer makes a purchase from your ebay store.
  2. You then buy that item from your dropshipping supplier.
  3. Your supplier ships the item directly to your customer. You don’t have to process the order or keep a product in stock at any point.

We’ll get into the details of each step in this article, but that’s the basic idea. You can start a business with very little money and sell products to customers without ever handling, storing, packing, or shipping those products yourself! That’s why more and more new sellers are getting into dropshipping in the world of online sales.

Why dropship on ebay? Let us tell you about the benefits of commencing an ebay dropshipping business:

  • Low risks. The venture has low risk since no upfront investments are affected when stocking products, and goods are bought only when customers place orders. Hence, this reduces the commercialized risk of being unable to sell any items.
  • Time-saving. This also saves you time as you do not need to worry about packaging and inventory, as the dropshipper usually takes care of these tasks.
  • Wide selection of products to sell. You have the potential to make a success out of your dropshipping business as there are millions of different items you can choose from various dropshipping categories. You can easily access product marketplaces like AliExpress and instantly add any item to your store. Doing this will provide you with many established products rather than having to create your own.
  • Access to a large audience. With eBay raking in more than $22 million worth of sales last year, you have excellent access to an array of buyers and customers, making it possible to get a piece of the pie.
  • Optimised processes. By utilizing automation techniques, most of the dropshipping duties can be automated. The remaining will be establishing an account on ebay, listing available products, and interfacing with a merchant.

One of the drawbacks of dropshipping is that you are not in charge of the stock or transportation, which can lead to problems with communication and prolonged shipping times. This can be a major source of annoyance for consumers and damage your business’s reputation. Furthermore, you may end up paying more for items since you’re using a middleman, which could lessen your profits. Once you are aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of the dropshipping business model, you can decide if this method is suitable for your virtual store — and consider which websites you want to utilise.

How To Dropship On ebay For The First Time

Dropshipping on ebay is a straightforward process. This is a guide to how to go about it:

Examine ebay Dropshipping Policies

How to dropship on ebay without getting banned? First, read and remember key rules from ebay’s Dropshipping Policy. You have to fulfil customer orders via a supplier if you are going to dropship on ebay. According to ebay’s rules, listing an item on the platform and buying it from another store that sends the product directly to your customers isn’t allowed. If you break this rule, your listings could be canceled or hidden, and your profile might be suspended. Also, sellers must pay listing fees of each item, even if they don’t make sales, and ensure that orders get to customers within 30 days.

Create an ebay seller account

To begin dropshipping on ebay, you must have an ebay account. You have the option of either a business or a personal account, and if you do not have one, the registration page will guide you in creating it and selecting the plan you need. Once your account is ready, link your bank account to receive payments and fill in all other details, such as store name and shipping carriers.

Finally, make use of the eBay app to connect your store to Shopify or other platforms and thus manage stock levels, communicate with purchasers, and deal with returns via the same dashboard.

Research profitable products to sell

This is a key moment when launching ebay dropshipping business. Choosing the right products is the greatest determinant in the accomplishment of your dropshipping enterprise. Therefore, you should devote your energy and time to pursue lucrative choices. Check the ebay categories from the list below to gain ideas and see if you can locate similar items for less than the suggested retail price from vendors like Doba or AliExpress.

The best ebay Dropshipping Niches To Sell are:

  • Home & Garden (building materials, kitchen appliances),
  • Health & beauty (vitamins, dietary supplements, fragrances),
  • Clothing, shoes & accessories
  • Smartphones & accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Videogames
  • Headphones
  • Pet supplies
  • Toys & Hobbies

Items that are light and sell quickly are usually the most practical to dropship, so contemplate discovering items in the specified categories. Additionally, you need to investigate the return rate of each product — products with a low return rate are less likely to cause obstacles with your consumers.

You may also want to know what products to avoid dropshipping on ebay. Every day drop shippers conduct product research as one of their tasks. It can be made simpler by avoiding certain dropshipping products that bring a greater risk of returns, fraud, and security issues. To help out, we have created a list of products that should be avoided when dropshipping or selling online:

  • Handmade Food (baked products, candies, etc.)
  • Drones
  • Shoes
  • Fragile products
  • Used cosmetics and perfumes
  • Embargoed goods
  • Adult only products

Choose your dropshipping suppliers

Once you have decided which products to dropship on ebay, look for a supplier selling those goods at a discounted price. This is paramount as the acquisition cost affects your business’s cash flow. Ensure your supplier has a warehouse in your target market or can provide the estimated delivery time. These dropshipping suppliers for ebay are verified wholesalers. They are also content to sell their items in smaller batches and even just one piece.
Here is the list of some suppliers to take a closer look at:

  • Doba
  • Aliexpress
  • Alibaba
  • Salehoo
  • Megagoods
  • Costway
  • Sunrise Wholesale
  • Mirage Pet Products
  • BigBuy
  • Worldwide Brands

Set a price for your products

Making money from dropshipping on ebay is possible when you leave a gap between the cost of purchasing an item and the price for its resale. Your selling price should not be too low or too high. You want the price to be low enough to make it appealing to customers and high enough to create a worthwhile return. For instance, it will be hard to make a big profit if the item is only one dollar more expensive than what you bought it for.

What you should consider to determine the product price:

  • Average selling price (check your competitor’s prices)
  • Product cost
  • Business expenses (shipping & marketplace fees, listing costs, etc.)
  • Profit expectation

Setting an effective price is an art rather than a science. Check what other similar vendors are offering and use this data to help you decide on your prices. Adjust the price until it is competitive and profitable.

Create your ebay listings

It may take a while to craft thorough and well-rounded listings. If you have multiple items to sell, an ebay bulk listing tool would be beneficial to save time and avoid mistakes. Even if you purchase your supplies from the same vendor and cover the same wholesale costs and ebay dropshipping fees, you must differentiate yourself from other retailers to attract potential customers. Utilise pricing and listing as methods to draw their attention and convey your value. In the description of your listings, include words that may be used by your desired buyers when searching for those products. After your listings are arranged, you can then start selling on ebay.

And pay special attention to the following points — they all influence how likely the ebay algorithm is to show your products to potential customers:

  • Product titles
  • Product Description
  • Product images
  • Client’s reviews
  • Shipping & Return policy

Share order information with suppliers

The ultimate objective of ebay dropshipping is to get the order information to your suppliers when a customer makes a purchase. After every sale, you should contact your supplier and provide them with buyer’s delivery details. Although your supplier is responsible for packaging and delivery, you’re still accountable for the secure delivery of orders.

How Much Does It Cost To Dropship On eBay?

When it comes to the cost of dropshipping on eBay, it can be a bit of a mixed bag.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about the costs:

Free Listings

When you’re just starting out, eBay gives you a nice little bonus: 2 free listings for items valued at up to $500. If you’re a business seller, the number of free listings depends on your subscription. All in all, these freebies make it super easy to get started without any risk or cost!

Subscription Fees

Now, let’s talk about ebay subscription fees. Basically, if you’re running a business on ebay, you’ll need to pay a subscription fee. There are five different subscription plans:

  • Starter Store: $7.95 per month
  • Basic Store: $21.95 per month
  • Premium Store: $59.95 per month
  • Anchor Store: $299.95 per month
  • Enterprise Store: $2999.95 per month

If you’re just dipping your toes into ebay selling, you can start small and upgrade as your profits grow.

Insertion Fees

Each subscription plan comes with a certain number of free insertion fee listings. The higher your subscription level, the less you pay for additional listings. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Starter Store: 250 fixed price listings + $0.30 per extra listing
  • Basic Store: 1000 fixed price listings + $0.25 per extra listing
  • Premium Store: 10,000 fixed price listings + $0.10 per extra listing
  • Anchor Store: 25,000 fixed price listings + $0.05 per extra listing
  • Enterprise Store: 100,000 fixed price listings + $0.05 per extra listing

Final Value Fees

After insertion fees, you’ll need to think about final value fees. These are fees ebay charges when you sell something on their platform. It’s a percentage of the total sale amount (item price + shipping) plus a fixed charge of $0.30 per order. The final value fee percentage depends on what you sell. For example, if you have a Starter Store and you sell men’s shoes, you’ll pay 8% per item if the sale is over $150 and 12.9% if it’s under $150. If you have a Basic, Premium, Anchor, or Enterprise store, you’ll pay 7% per item if the sale is over $150 and 12% if it’s under $150. Ebay automatically calculates and charges this fee upon completion of a sale through eBay Managed Payments.

Promotional Fees

Lastly, there are promotional fees if you want to stand out on eBay. Having a solid marketing strategy is key when dropshipping, and eBay offers promoted listing features: Promoted Listings Standard & Promoted Listings Advanced. These features help get your products in front of the right people, but they come at a cost. If a sale happens because of the promotion, it’s listed as a separate transaction, so you’ll need to consider this cost along with the other fees when you’re figuring out your profit margins.


If your business desires to exist on ebay and create additional money, then engaging in the dropshipping technique might be beneficial because of its simplicity and low-risk factor. Smaller ecommerce companies may have significant advantage by reaching a major group of consumers without having to construct it from the ground up. However, there’re a number of issues that come with dropshipping on ebay, such as finding and developing associations with dependable manufacturers, tackling fulfilment obstacles, and out-competing sellers providing similar items. Furthermore, the listing fees may accumulate and subtract from your benefit margins.

If you’re looking to have more authority and autonomy over your online sales and distribution, ebay dropshipping may not be the best option. Certain sellers would rather focus on strengthening their brand in the long run and achieving greater profits with their own online stores. For some businesses, ebay dropshipping may only be utilised as a portion of their online business, and their main point of emphasis is on other channels.

Ross Boguslavski

Written by

Ross Boguslavski

Extremely executive managing director running the best multichannel eCommerce agency in the world!

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