One of the easiest ways to get started on eBay is drop shipping. Drop shipping is when you have the manufacturer or wholesaler ship directly to the buyer without having to ship it to you in between. You don’t have to hold inventory nor order large amounts from a wholesaler, and you save a lot of time and effort all around.
How does drop shipping work? Where do you find drop shippers? What are the pros and cons?
The Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping
The main benefit of drop shipping is that it lets you get a foot into the industry. It allows you to start shipping to customers without having to go through many of the hassles that ordinarily come with buying from wholesalers.
You also get the benefit of having wholesalers take care of all the shipping for you. They’ll package everything, put on all the postage labels, and ship it for you. They’ll often also process refunds and restock refunded items.
There are drawbacks, however.
Drop shipping cuts into your profits. Drop shippers charge a drop-shipping fee. In the beginning, this fee is worth paying because of all the hassles it’ll save you. However, in a low-margin industry as eBay often is, it’s very difficult to compete with competitors who aren’t paying that drop shipping fee.
At some point in your eBay career, it will become cheaper to warehouse and ship yourself. When that time comes, make the transition.
Where to Find Wholesalers Who Drop Ship
Finding drop shippers can be a little tricky. There are many scams in the industry. These usually come in the form of people trying to sell you drop shipper lists, which are almost always bogus.
There are two primary ways to find drop shippers.
One method is to use an eBay-certified drop shipper directory. Unlike other lists, these lists have to adhere to very strict quality guidelines about the listings in their directories. One such directory is World Wide Brands.
The second method is to subscribe to trade journals and industry magazines. These are the magazines where wholesalers and manufacturers will often advertise. Call up wholesalers and ask if they drop ship.
In the past, very few wholesalers drop shipped. But as the internet grew in popularity, many now realize how much more business they can get by catering to lower-volume online merchants.
Go directly to the source by using industry journals and magazines for the market you want to get into. That way, you’re also competing with fewer other marketers – provided you can find a niche that isn’t in other drop-shipping directories.
In short, drop shipping on eBay takes less effort and money to get started than buying wholesale. It does cut into your profits a bit, but that can be remedied in time. Find your drop shippers by using eBay-certified directories or by looking at ads in trade journals.