Selling Merchandise from Drop-Shippers on eBay

A drop-shipper is a business that stocks merchandise, sells the merchandise to you (the eBay reseller), but ships it directly to your customer. By using a drop-shipper, you transfer the risks of buying, storing, and shipping merchandise to another party. You become a stockless retailer with no inventory hanging around — often an economical, cost-effective way to do business.

The following steps outline the standard way to work with most drop-shippers on eBay:

  1. Sign up on the drop-shipper’s website to sell their merchandise on eBay or in your web store.

    Check out their terms before you sign up; make sure there’s no minimum purchase.

  2. Select the items from their inventory that you want to sell.

    The supplier gives you descriptive copy and photographs to help make your sales job easier.

  3. Post the item online and wait (fidgeting with anticipation) for someone to buy it.

  4. As soon as your buyer pays you for the item, e-mail the drop-shipper (or fill out a special secure form on their website) and pay for the item with your credit card or PayPal.

  5. Relax while the drop-shipper ships the item to your customer for you.

  6. If all goes well, the item arrives quickly and safely.

You make a profit and get some positive feedback.

The drop-shipper’s website provides you with descriptions and images. Fine. But you and everybody else who sells that item on eBay will have the same photos and descriptive copy. Do yourself a favor and get a sample of your item, take your own pictures, and write your own description. Then at least you have a chance at beating the competitive sameness on eBay.

Drop-shipping works especially well for web-based retail operations. web stores can link directly to the drop-shipper to transmit shipping and payment information. When you’re selling on eBay, it’s another thing. There’s more competition and you can’t list hundreds of items at no additional cost.

Listing items on eBay costs money and may build up your expenses before you make a profit. You can’t just select an item from a drop-shipper and throw hundreds of auctions on eBay without losing money. That is, unless your item is selling like gangbusters at an enormous profit. If that were the case, there would be another eBay seller buying directly from the manufacturer and undercutting your price.

It’s one thing to sign up for a free newsletter — or even to register with a particular site — but it’s something else to have to pay to see what the drop-shipper intends to offer you. You should not pay anything in advance for the opportunity to check out a drop-shipper’s merchandise.

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