Dropshipping for eBay and Amazon
How to find real dropshippers that will work with small eBay and Amazon Sellers
By Skip McGrath
Understanding Dropshipping for eBay and Amazon
Dropshipping is selling something you don’t own. That may sound illegal – but it’s not.
Dropshippers are companies that offer merchandise for sale that will ship the merchandise directly to your customer once you pay for it. Here is how dropshipping works:
You find a company that agrees to dropship. You list their merchandise on eBay, Amazon or your website for sale, without first purchasing it.
When the item sells, you collect the selling price (retail) and the shipping cost from you customer.
Now you send the wholesale (lower) price + the shipping and handling fee to the dropshipping supplier.
The supplier then ships the item to your customer.
Your profit is the difference between the retail and the wholesale dropshipped price
Disadvantages of Dropshipping for eBay and Amazon
Lack of control – When you dropship, you are at the mercy of the shipper. They control the packing and shipping experience. If they pack and item improperly or take too long to ship, the customer will blame you -not the dropshipper. Poor service from a dropshipper can negatively affect your customer satisfaction ratings on eBay and Amazon.
No control over inventory – If a dropshipper fails to warn you about their low inventory level, you may sell an item that they cannot deliver. This puts you in a very bad position with eBay and Amazon. If it happens too often you could find your account suspended or closed.
Both eBay and Amazon require you to ship quickly -and to post tracking within 24 hours. In my experience, very-very few dropshippers can or will do this.
Advantages of Dropshipping for eBay and Amazon
No up front investment in products – When you sell dropshipped products, you don’t pay for merchandise until it sells. This eliminates tying up money in inventory.
Eliminates risk – If something doesn’t sell, your only risk is the listing fees.
Product depth and variety – When you buy products to resell, you are limited in the number and type of products you can sell by the amount of cash or credit you have to purchase. When you dropship, you can list many more products for sale.
There are two types of dropshippers and it is important to understand the difference:
Manufacturers or Master Distributors
Let’s look at each type before you decide what kind of company you want to work with.
1. Dropshipping Aggregators — Aggregators, also known as Dropship Warehouse Companies, are basically middlemen. They advertise heavily on the web claiming to have millions of brand name products you can sell online. Many of them also offer pre-made websites loaded with these products. These companies list products in a virtual warehouse that other, real wholesale companies, have in stock. Aggregators don’t really stock any products. Their inventory is truly virtual.
If you sign up with one of these companies, you will learn that most of the merchandise they offer is already selling on eBay or Amazon for about the same price they are offering it to you. I have been selling on eBay and Amazon successfully for over 15 years, and in my opinion, although there are some exceptions, it is very difficult to make money on eBay with these types of drop shippers.
In general, these companies make their money from membership fees and/or dropship handling fees. When you order something from them, they order it from the real wholesaler, mark up the cost and/or charge you a fee. Because of this it is very difficult to make any money as they have already made a big piece of your profit.
2. Dropshipping Manufactures and Master Distributors — There are hundreds of actual manufacturers who will dropship. Some of them do it directly while others use the services of a master distributor. When you work directly with a manufacturer of the product, or their master distributor, then you are getting the lowest price available. This is where you can make the most money on eBay or a web site.
It is not well known, but there are thousands of manufacturers who will dropship for you. I currently work with several companies who will dropship for me. We list several of these manufacturers in the member’s area of our website for people who purchase our eBay and Amazon wholesale sourcing manuals at www.skipmcgrath.com. You can also find dropshippers in the Thomas Register. But, the best place may be to attend wholesale trade shows such as the ASD Wholesale Trade show held in Las Vegas every March and August or the various wholesale trade shows that are held all over the US and Canada.
If you would like to learn more about dropshipping and how to find legitimate companies that will dropship, read about the The Wholesale Buying System.
Skip McGrath is a Top Rated Seller on eBay, and a large seller on Amazon. He is the author of numerous books about selling on eBay and the Internet. He publishes The eBay & Amazon Sellers News, the oldest and largest free newsletter for home based eBay and Amazon sellers.