I haven’t made many updates to the site recently as I’ve been focusing mainly on my latest make money online scheme… eBay dropshipping. EBay whatshipping I hear you say, well let me explain!
If you’ve never heard of dropshipping before, then simply explained the following happens:
- You advertise a product somewhere
- Someone buys the product from you
- You buy a product from a manufacturer
- They send the product directly to your buyer
Simply put, you make money by charging more for the product than the manufacturer sells it to you.
There are a heap of benefits from setting up this kind of business model, as opposed to a traditional store where you ship your own products, including:
- You don’t need to invest a lot of money upfront, as you only buy a product when someone buys it from you
- You never need to handle any stock
- You don’t need any storage facility
- You don’t need to worry about posting and distributing your items
- You don’t need to handle returns as these are sent directly back to the dropshipper
Basically you are just acting as one massive middleman, who passes the product from the buyer to the seller.
You’ll find examples of dropshipping everywhere from niche websites, to Amazon and EBay and strangely enough some of the large high street stores are actually just big dropshipping agents.
Yes, that’s right, if you buy from some of the UK’s major retailers, you’ll find that their products are bought and shipped directly from a third party…. That’s dropshipping.
EBay Dropshipping - David Vu Course
In most cases dropshipping will involve building up a relationship with a dropshipping supplier, however, there is actually a much simpler way to do this, which I learned about on David Vu’s course: eBay Drop Shipping with No Inventory Guide
The approach that is taught to you on this course, is that you don’t need necessarily to bother with a dropshipping supplier, and instead you can just sell products from any online retailer.
That’s right you can simply go to a major retailer like Argos, or Walmart in the States and resell their products on EBay, and if you add a decent enough markup, you’re going to make some money!
How Does eBay Dropshipping Work?
David Wu’s model is quite simple:
- You list a product on EBay with a mark up of 40% on top of the retail price
- You optimise your product titles so you can attract as many people as possible
- You sell a product, deduct 10% EBay fees and 3% Paypal fees
- You get to keep the remaining cash
Why Would Someone Buy a More Expensive Product from you?
Ok, so the reality is that the products that you are selling are going to be a lot more expensive than the same product listed either directly at the source, other websites and even other EBay sellers, so you’re probably thinking why on earth would someone buy your more expensive product?
Well there are a couple of reasons really:
1 – People are stupid and lazy – Most people will only buy a product from the first 5 listings that they see on EBay, so if you have good feedback and well optimised titles then there is a good chance you’ll be in this top 5. People who come to EBay are still under the mindset that they are getting a bargain, so won’t always check other sources online before purchasing on EBay.
2 – Reach – If you use the full 80 characters available in your product title field and optimise your title, then you will reach a lot more people than other listings for the same product might reach, which could mean you would appear as the only listing for certain search terms. For example the following title [insert example] would reach a lot more people than this one [example]
3 – EBay's Global Shipping Programme – This is something that EBay recently introduced and most EBay sellers do not take advantage of yet. If you click a checkbox to sell via the Global Shipping Programme this means that your product will also be listed on other EBay sites around the world and you will be listed as an International Seller. You would have seen examples of this on listings before where it would say ‘Shipped from China’ for example. The good thing about this is that all you have to do is pay the postage to the UK EBay distribution centre, and they will pay the rest of the charges around the world.
Are Retailers Happy with this?
Well, in truth a lot of the retailers aren’t so happy for you to resell their products and a lot of them will cancel your order if you send it to the Global Shipping Programme address.
I find this a bit bizarre really, because you are giving their product free promotion and sending sales to their websites, so why on earth would you try to limit this?
I guess the reason is that they still want to retain a certain amount of control over their pricing policies so aren’t so keen with this practice.
In the past I’ve used Argos, John Lewis and Homebase without a problem
However, if you do a bit more digging there are plenty of other suppliers out there who will be willing to ship your products.
There’s nothing illegal about this practice, but you want to make sure your supplier doesn’t mind you selling their products, otherwise you might be stuck in a situation where someone buys a product from you and you can’t fulfil their order.
How Much can you Earn from eBay Dropshipping?
I’ve only be doing this for about 3 months now but I can say that it does actually work.
The graphic is from my actual account and so far I’ve sold over 30 products in the last 2 months. If you take out eBay and Paypal fees you'll probably make about 20% of the sale price.
The beauty of this money making tactic is, that the more products you list, the more you’re likely to sell, so you just need to beef up your store with as many listings as possible.
Realistically I think you need to have about 1500 products in your store to be able to make £1k a month from this business model.
The idea is then that after you get to a certain threshold you can then keep scaling up and pay a Virtual Assistant to do a lot of the mundane chores such as listing products, fulfilling orders and even providing customer service.
2018 Update: I currently have about 4000 products in my store and am making about £500 a month profit after I take out expenses. This isn't a huge amount, however, I invest very little time in this at the moment. I have a team of listers who add the products for me and all I day is deal with customer service and managing the orders.
How Much Time do you Need to Invest?
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to success and like any other way of making money online, you’re going to need to put in the hours.
Once you’ve chosen the product to add, it typically takes about 10 minutes to add a new product listing to eBay and to correctly format the titles and source the images.
On top of this you’ll also be spending time on the following:
- Buying the actual product (10 mins per sale)
- Uploading tracking numbers and comms with the buyer (10 mins per sale)
- Answering customer service and product enquiries
- Managing stock levels (Yes, even though you’re not stocking any products you need to ensure that the retailers don’t run out of stock, otherwise you’ll be left with no product to ship)
What are the Drawbacks of eBay Dropshipping?
This all sounds great so far, but there are a number of things that aren’t so great when you get involved in this:
- If you don’t have an old eBay account and need to set up a new one, then you are initially limited to listing only 10 products. You can contact eBay to increase this limit after one month, and then every following month you’ll need to contact them again, which is a minor irritant
- It takes a long time and is a really laborious task to source products, copy their pictures, add all the product details and optimise your listings titles
- Trying to monitor stock levels is a major pain and you’ll often find that you’re supplier is out of stock, which can leave you having to source the product from a more expensive alternative or a less reliable source, which could risk your reputation
- Once you start building up your eBay dropshipping empire, you’ll quickly realise that this is going to tie you down too. One of the key metrics that eBay uses to give your seller rating is whether you ship your products out within your specified timescales and how quickly you can add tracking numbers. Basically this means that you need to be able to get access to the internet at least once per day, or risk running behind on orders and affect your ratings.
Overall, out of everything I have been looking into this year, I really would recommend this way to make money online for a number of reasons:
- You’ll be able to make your first sale really quickly, which is really motivating to see how you can make money out of nothing really easily
- You won’t need to fork out loads of capital to buy stock, as you only buy something when an order comes in
- You get to learn how eBay works and also which products will sell well, which can be an essential education for other money making strategies
- It has potential to become fully automated once you build the business up to a certain level and can be generating the ultimate goal of passive income.
The best thing about this is that you can get started in next to no time and it won't cost you anything, so what are you waiting for?
Give it a go and let me know how you got on!!!