eBay is unarguably one of the largest online marketplaces. Every day millions of people are buying and selling products on eBay. That means the potential is huge. There are two main ways to become a success on eBay:
- Sell unique products or variations of existing products
- Purchase items and resell them on eBay
Sell Unique Products
The most difficult part of building a successful eBay business is making a name for yourself amongst the sea of existing sellers. Today eBay is flooded with thousands of sellers trying to sell you the same products. If you want to immediately stand out from the crowd and begin generating sales, you could offer products nobody else has. The best way to offer unique products is to sell items you make yourself or you acquire from a local producer. Some examples of unique products include:
- Art (paintings, sculpture, furniture, etc.)
- Home decorations
The second best option is to offer harder to find products or variations of popular products. If you are trying to purchase products for resell on a popular wholesale website, chances are someone has already beat you to the punch. By purchasing locally or buying from websites that require paid memberships, you may have a better chance of breaking new ground.
Buy Wholesale and Markup Prices
Many people on eBay make their money by marking up prices after purchasing products from wholesale suppliers. Some of the most prominent online wholesale resources include:
The key to purchasing products wholesale is getting a quality product at a cost highly reduced from retail prices. This is easier to do when you purchase in bulk. The problem with doing that is the cost to purchase large quantities of product and the risk of not selling everything you buy.
- Higher profit margins on bulk purchases
- You have more control of pricing
- Must purchase and retain inventory
- Chance to lose money on products that don’t sell
Drop shipping is the process of selling a product you don’t actually have in stock and having the supplier send it directly to the buyer without it ever coming into your possession. Some of the most popular drop shipping companies include:
These are some of the major drop shippers. If you are focusing on a specific product or product category, there may be a smaller drop shipper that offers more competitive pricing in that niche. Do the research and make sure you find reliable drop shippers before you commit!
Many people use drop shipping processes on eBay because it allows them to sell more products and take on less financial risk. However, it causes the market to get flooded with the same product being sold by thousands of different sellers.
eBay Drop Shipping Video
Drop Shipping Pros
- No inventory and less risk of not selling stock
- Minimal startup cost since you have no inventory
Drop Shipping Cons
- Less profit due to cost of drop shipping services
- Supplier determines base prices for products
Offer Competitive Prices
If you plan on trying to sell products that are currently being sold on eBay by other people, you need to have a competitive edge. The bottom line is, you need to have better prices than your competition. Some of the methods to undercut your competition include:
- Find suppliers that offer lower prices on similar products
- Offer generic products at lower prices to compete with brand name items
- Lower your profit margin and reduce total cost to the buyer
- Choose a profitable shipping strategy
If you run an eBay business that requires you to have your own stock, you need to optimize your shipping strategy. Shipping costs can make or break an eBay business. This is especially true when shipping large items or shipping internationally. Below are some common shipping strategies you may consider for your eBay business. Drop shipping has the advantage of putting the shipping responsibility on the drop shipper.
By offering free shipping on your products, you may be able to entice buyers to purchase your products over those of other eBay users. The down side to doing this is that you must pay shipping costs, which eats into your profit. But this works well if it contributes to the overall number of sales. Sometimes it’s easier to make $5 from 100 sales than it is to make $100 from 5 sales.
Buyer Pays Exact Shipping
By making the buyer pay shipping, there is less effort to price your products appropriately. But this could cause you to lose the sale altogether if another seller offers the same product with a higher price than you, but with free shipping. It’s a balancing act that takes some time to figure out.
Flat Rate Shipping
If you offer flat rate shipping, say $5 on all your products, you can share the shipping costs with your buyers. This isn’t as enticing as free shipping, but it’s typically not as expensive as the full shipping cost. It also minimizes the amount of work you need to put into pricing your products. In some cases, typically smaller products, you can make money with a $5 shipping charge. On larger heavier products you may lose money with such a low shipping charge.