I have been on Ebay as an Ebay seller off and on for around a decade or so. I tend to get on the platform every holiday season selling around $400 to $500 in goods from around the house for some quick holiday cash.
At one time I was selling more regularly on Ebay but I shifted gears and went toward a private storefront which helped me grow my business (back then) to five figures per month in a few years.
So, here I am, staring at Ebay.
I decided to go for it!
This is my story of finding a winning product and scaling it to $7,000+ per week.
What Am I Going to Sell?
So, I’m thinking and thinking.
I know I’ll be dropshipping because it’s easy, low startup, and a bunch of other benefits. Not to mention, I’m very experienced with dropshipping and I have dropshipped on multiple ecommerce stores successfully over the years.
The benefit of dropshipping on Ebay is:
Tons of exposure
Get paid quickly
First, tons of exposure
Then, quick payment
Next, you get paid by PayPal, instantly!
After a buyer purchases, I get the money and buy the product to direct ship to the consumer.
Piece of cake, right?
I thought long and hard about what I could sell.
I considered what pain point I could solve for consumers.
What was a hot seller?
What made sense?
What was a smart product?
It finally hit me.
Probably one of the fastest product ideas that came to mind and I went for it.
What happened next…
Less than 24 hours later, a sale happened.
Then 48 hours in, I had almost a dozen sales.
Ok, ok, something is starting to happen.
Then, more and more sales poured in.
I was 4 days in with a $7,000+ balance.
Approaching 5 days in and I get a message from Ebay saying I’m nearing the $10,000 mark and I should prepare for having my money held unless I withdraw the balance.
Super exciting feeling!
What did the money look like?
Now, just because I had $7,500 in my balance on PayPal doesn’t mean that’s how much I made.
That was just the revenue.
I had around a 25% profit margin, so that means I get to keep around 1/4 of that money.
I was totally happy with that.
I had successfully closed part of the gap in my income.
Now all I had to do was fulfill those hundreds of orders.
I Had a Plan..
I would work super hard night and day to get orders fulfilled.
My supplier had around a 2–3 day turnaround time, which aligned with the processing time I listed in my Ebay listing.
This means as soon as an order came in, I needed to place it with the supplier ASAP.
Then, this happened….
This is what can happen when you dropship on Ebay.
First, if you go from making zero sales on Ebay to A LOT OF SALES, or zero sales on PayPal to A LOT OF SALES, PayPal may (likely) hold your money.
It’s kind of like a check in to make sure you can handle the growth your business is receiving.
They also want to make sure you're legitimate and not a scam.
So this happened to me, at about $1,100 in.
What’s the big deal?
Well, PayPal was holding the money I was going to use to fulfill the orders.
With that money held, it proved difficult to fulfill orders.
I spoke to multiple Ebay representatives and they put me through a 7-point verification process and promised that my hold would be dropped once 8 orders they randomly picked were successfully delivered.
Ok, good news there (I thought).
All the orders were shipped and the delivery time was 4 to 7 days.
On day 8, and no change in shipping status from the supplier, I started to worry.
What happened next?
First, it took 3 weeks for those 8 orders to deliver (yikes).
And, during that time, the supplier of my product stopped producing it.
So then I was faced with trying to find an alternative supplier who could produce the same item.
While picking the product, I prepared for the worst up front, so I had 6–7 backup suppliers that produced the same product, already in my back pocket.
Unfortunately, all 7 of those suppliers were sold out of the product I was selling with long times for replacement.
Full panic set in.
What the heck am I going do?
Where are things now and what actually ended up happening?
This last part details the demise of my Ebay account.
And a caution to you to NOT do what I did.
Thankfully, I still have my Ebay account, though it’s in a status where I can’t add new listings.
Because the money was held (and is still held at the time of this writing), and because my supply vanished, I ended up cancelling all the orders.
It was a couple hundred orders which is a lot, but better than thousands of orders.
I got a bunch of upset customers (rightfully so) with a handful of them leaving negative ratings dropping my previous 100% feedback score.
What I Takeaway from this Story
First, this doesn’t make me think dropshipping is dead or that it doesn’t work on Ebay. It absolutely works and the sales prove it!
But, my supplier and Ebay was not a great match.
My Ebay account will be restored soon and will I dropship again?
Will I dropship on Ebay?
Ebay dropshipping has been a gray area for many years but, it appears now that they do not support dropshipping.
So, while dropshipping is a business model you can use in your own private storefront or other marketplaces that allow it, I would not recommend Ebay dropshipping.
Now, smarter and wiser, and learned from my mistakes.
Here are some recommendations if you decide to Ebay dropship
First, pick a reliable supplier.
Second, pick a supplier in the same country as you!
If you’re selling to U.S. customers, make sure your supplier is in the U.S.
Even though mine was, I question if they really were, considering the super long shipping time.
Three weeks for a U.S.-shipped order, even with slowed shipping times is still pretty long.
That’s really it.
It boils down to the supply chain.
I hope this has been educational to you.