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Blog / Beginner's handbook / A Beginner’s Guide to eBay Dropshipping: How to Get Started in 2024

Beginner's handbook

A Beginner’s Guide to eBay Dropshipping: How to Get Started in 2024

A Beginner’s Guide to eBay Dropshipping: How to Get Started in 2024
Sandra Ķempele

By Sandra Ķempele

10 min read

Are you looking to start a dropshipping business but don’t know which marketplace to go for? Enter: eBay dropshipping.

Why eBay, you ask? With a whopping 1.2B monthly visits, eBay stands as the second largest marketplace for online sellers. When dropshipping on eBay, you can tap into this massive customer base and sell products seamlessly, all without physical inventory.

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of eBay dropshipping and what’s allowed

  • Pros and cons of dropshipping on eBay

  • How to start selling print-on-demand products on eBay

If you’re ready to explore the world of eBay dropshipping, read on for some actionable tips. Let’s get started!

eBay dropshipping is an ecommerce model where sellers act as intermediaries, listing and selling items on eBay without the need to store inventory. Instead, sellers partner with third-party dropshipping suppliers who handle product storage and shipment directly to customers. 

Dropshipping reduces financial risk and logistical complexities, making it appealing for online sellers who want to start a low-risk, high-reward ecommerce business.

Yes, dropshipping is allowed on eBay, but it has certain restrictions. 

eBay dropshipping policies state that sellers can’t dropship from other online retailers directly to eBay customers. eBay’s dropshippers are only allowed to source products from a wholesale or print-on-demand supplier, not another retail site.

Most importantly, eBay emphasizes the importance of timely shipping, reliable tracking information, and quality customer service. Following these dropshipping guidelines will help you maintain a positive shopping experience and eBay policy compliance.

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Dropshipping on eBay can be profitable, but you have to account for various fees. That includes eBay listing fees ($0.35) and final value fees (up to 15%) based on the product’s sale price and shipping costs. Sellers are allowed up to 250 free listings per month, but final value fees can significantly impact profit margins.

Additionally, sellers opting for an eBay store subscription should factor in monthly store fees. There are also extra costs if you’re not meeting minimum seller performance standards.

So, is dropshipping worth it? Yes, but profit margins can range anywhere from 5% to 30%. Successful dropshippers often focus on selling high-demand, high-value products.

Picking reliable dropshipping suppliers, selecting profitable products, and setting competitive prices—these are all essential ingredients for maintaining healthy profit margins.

The standout advantage of eBay dropshipping is minimal upfront costs compared to traditional retail models. You don’t need to worry about stocking or managing physical products.

What’s more, eBay enables integration with Printful, a print-on-demand and dropshipping service. Printful helps online sellers create custom dropshipping products, including apparel, accessories, and home goods, all without the need for inventory.

When a customer makes a purchase from your eBay store, Printful automatically fulfills and ships the order on your behalf. The direct Printful integration makes it easy to scale your online business without the constraints of physical stock.

If you dropship on eBay, you can count on a large, established customer base. With 129M active users, eBay sellers gain immediate exposure to consumers actively searching for new products. Coupled with Printful’s worldwide fulfillment centers, it’s easy to start selling to a broad, international audience.

Plus, eBay’s long-standing presence in the ecommerce industry has earned a sense of trust and credibility among consumers, especially for its secure transactions and buyer protection policies like the Money Back Guarantee. As an eBay seller, you also benefit from this established trust.

Buyers often turn to eBay to find rare, discontinued products or vintage collectibles. That can present challenges for some dropshippers struggling to compete in a market that places a premium on uniqueness.

What’s more, competition can be fierce, especially for popular products. When you’re dropshipping on eBay, pricing wars and slim profit margins are very common, so it’s essential to find profitable dropshipping niches.

Another thing to note—eBay fees can eat into your profits. Pay attention to insertion fees for listings and final value fees. For most categories, the final value fee is 13.25% of the total sale amount up to $7,500 (calculated per item), plus $0.3 per order.

Finally, eBay dropshipping businesses need to stay informed to avoid disruptions. There are specific regulations regarding eBay dropshipping policies and strict seller performance metrics. Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to eBay seller account restrictions or even suspensions. To be safe, you should provide accurate information about product sourcing, keep a low transaction defect rate, and maintain reasonable shipping times.

Has weighing the pros and cons helped you decide in favor of eBay dropshipping? If so, it’s time to learn how to set up your Printful account, select products for your eBay store, and start dropshipping on eBay.

Sign up with Printful

You can sign up to Printful using your email address, or log in with your Facebook, Apple, or Google account. Having a Printful account is completely free—you only pay when customers buy from you.

Connect your eBay account to Printful

If you already have an eBay seller account, it’s easy to connect it to Printful. 

First, log in to your Printful account. In the Dashboard, click Stores > Choose platform > find eBay and click Connect.

a screenshot of a phone

Source: Printful

You’ll land on a page with a step-by-step video tutorial. Click Connect to eBay.

a man looking up at the camera

Source: Printful

Then, sign in with your eBay seller account and click Agree. You’ll return to Printful’s connect page, where you’ll need to fill in general info and click Continue.

That’s all—you’re ready to dropship on eBay with Printful!

Select products

Print-on-demand production means you can choose from 340+ products available in Printful’s Product Catalog.

From custom sportswear to tech accessories, let’s explore some trending products you can sell on eBay with print-on-demand.

Custom t-shirts

T-shirts are wardrobe staples we all know and love. Naturally, custom t-shirts are a popular choice for buyers seeking a personalized touch that standard, mass-produced apparel often lacks.

Increasingly, shoppers are looking for products that are unique and tailored to their tastes. Whether it’s fandom-related designs or slogan tees catering to niche interests, dropshippers who sell custom t-shirts can target a diverse range of customers.

Custom hoodies

When it comes to custom hoodies, invest time and effort into creating high-quality visuals. Eye-catching graphics, unique illustrations, and clever slogans can set your products apart in the competitive marketplace.

If you aim for healthy profit margins, be aware that embroidered designs and all-over prints often command higher prices. Although hoodies are popular year-round, plan for spikes in demand during the colder winter months.

Sportswear

For many shoppers, sportswear isn’t just about hitting the gym; it’s part of an active lifestyle. Whether you’re catering to yoga enthusiasts or runners, eBay dropshipping allows you to offer a wide range of products, including baseball jerseys, leggings, athletic shorts, and much more.

Plus, you can help customers complete their sporty look by selling fitness accessories like gym bags, water bottles, or workout towels with matching designs. From motivational quotes to team logos, it’s good to customize for various styles.

Wall art

People are continually looking for ways to refresh and update their living spaces, so interior design pieces are in high demand. With Printful, you can sell canvas prints, large framed posters, or even metal prints with your original designs.

When looking for new wall art items, shoppers pay attention to practical details like size, framing, and shipping options. But interior design pieces are often conversation starters, so don’t shy away from giving some additional context. What’s your design about? What inspired you? Be open to sharing your design story; it might help you make the sale. 

Tech accessories

The constant turnover of tech products has created a steady demand for tech accessories, including phone cases, laptop sleeves, mouse pads, and even custom earphone cases.

In today’s tech-savvy landscape, consumers are looking for accessories that mirror their personality and unique style. That’s where custom designs come into play, allowing you to craft personalized, eye-catching tech gear.

For some design inspo, check out how this eBay dropshipper designed a custom laptop sleeve with the text “You’ve got this!” and a winky face on a white background.

a laptop with a face on it

Source: eBay

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Create your designs

Creating designs with Printful is a straightforward, user-friendly process. Once you’ve picked a product, you’ll be prompted to upload your design or use the built-in design tool.

You can use Printful’s Design Maker to add text, images, or shapes to your product. Adjust colors, fonts, and sizes to match your vision. The design tool makes it easy for sellers, even without graphic design experience, to bring their creative vision to life.

If you have some graphic design skills and prefer using software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Canva to create artwork, make sure to export your designs in high resolution. You’ll also need the file formats to be in PNG, JPEG, or SVG.

Next, select the technique for your design. If you sell apparel, you can choose between different types of printing and embroidery to customize your products.

Before finalizing your design, use the preview feature to see how it’ll look on your chosen product. Once you’re happy with it, you can push the product to your eBay store.

Write effective listings

Your listings need to achieve 2 goals: capture buyers’ attention and help you get discovered on eBay.

To do this, research and add relevant keywords to your listing titles and item descriptions. Go for phrases that your target eBay customer might use when searching for similar items. Keyword-optimized listings are proven to rank higher in search results.

Keep the description concise and easy to read. Add detailed item specifics like size, color, style, fit, etc. An effective listing should help shoppers decide whether to buy your product, so answer any potential questions in advance.

On top of clear descriptions, you’ll need high-quality photos. In fact, eBay has found that product listings with better image quality are more likely to sell. The good news is—you don’t need to invest in an expensive setup. You can whip up some true-to-life product mockups using Printful’s Mockup Generator.

Finally, set a competitive price. If you don’t know where to start, check out this eBay research tool to see what similar items sold for in the past 3 months. 

Market your products

By this point, you’re well-equipped to start dropshipping on eBay. But how should you promote your products? And where should you focus your marketing efforts?

For starters, establish a brand identity for your eBay store. That means having a recognizable logo, consistent color schemes, and a clear message. Branded dropshipping can help build customer loyalty and set you apart from competitors.

Then, try to attract attention to your store by offering seasonal promotions, discount codes, or bundled deals. Whether it’s a percentage off, a buy-one-get-one-free offer, or free shipping, these incentives stand out in search results and encourage shoppers to explore your eBay dropshipping store.

What’s more, eBay has built-in promotional tools that help sellers create and manage discounts, volume pricing, and codeless coupons. Take advantage of this to streamline the promotion process and maximize return on investment.

Eager to reach a broader audience? Try sharing news of your latest product designs and promotions on social media. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are popular choices for online business owners to post visually engaging content. Make sure to add popular hashtags (e.g., #ebayseller and #ebayfinds) to increase the discoverability of your posts.

In conclusion, eBay dropshipping holds great potential for sellers looking for a dynamic, low-risk ecommerce model. Armed with dropshipping business ideas and insights on product selection, we hope you’re confident to start dropshipping on eBay.

Printful’s integration with ecommerce platforms like eBay simplifies the process, letting you focus your efforts on what drives sales—product design and marketing.

If you’d like to run a successful eBay dropshipping business, keep an eye on market trends, refine your product listings, and have fun experimenting with new design ideas. 

Happy dropshipping!

author

By Sandra Ķempele on Dec 18, 2023

Sandra Ķempele

Guest author

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.

Sandra is a freelance writer and educator with a background in art and communication. She holds an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, and in her free time enjoys reading, museum visits, and outdoor adventures.