If you are thinking of creating an eBay store that sells merchandise, there are various things you should consider before doing so. The type of merchandise you will be selling is obviously one of the most important things to determine. You don’t want to sell merchandise that is also being sold by a thousand other people on eBay. If you happen to end up selling things that other people offer, you definitely need to make your store, photos, and descriptions unique to make your listing pop out.
Besides that, the next most important thing to consider before starting your store is whether or not you will be holding stock of your items, and whether you will be shipping your items to customers. Some people would rather keep stock and ship their products, but some people prefer not to. People that do not want to stock and ship their items should consider dropshipping. Wikipedia defines dropshipping as
Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. As in all retail businesses, the retailers make their profit on the difference between the wholesale and retail price.
Dropshipping can be a very good way to get your eBay business up and running in a very short time, without spending a ton of money. But, there are some downfalls to it as well. Before you think about dropshipping on Bay, there are many pros and cons that should be taken into consideration.
Depending on your business and resources, dropshipping on eBay can often be of tremendous help. Obviously the major benefit of dropshipping is that you do not need to keep a stock of your products. The dropshipper you partner with will hold all of the stock. So, if space is a concern to you, dropshipping could really help you out. Also, if you are just getting your business up and running, you may not have a ton of money to spend on inventory. Dropshipping eliminates the need for inventory, therefore reducing the amount of money you need to start your business. This will also allow you to get your business running much sooner than if you had to wait for your entire inventory to arrive, which is a huge plus.
Since you do not personally hold stock of the items you sell on eBay, you don’t have to deal with the risk that your inventory may never be purchased. Your customers will order only what they want or need, and the dropshipper sends the product directly to them. This ensures that you do not get left with a bunch of items that never sold.
At some point you may find a certain product of yours is selling exceptionally well. Maybe you would like to hold stock of that certain product and ship it yourself. In this case, many dropshippers will sell you your product in what is called “light bulk”. This term refers to a lot of 500 items or less, and allows you, the seller, to fulfill orders for that one successful product.
Like just about anything in the world, there are some downfalls to dropshipping on eBay as well. One large problem that many sellers have is finding a reputable dropshipper. When you first start the search for one, you will be amazed by how many are out there. It may be difficult to determine which dropshippers are legit and which ones aren’t. You will definitely need to do your research before deciding on one.
Often times, you may be forced to work with more than one dropshipper, depending on your product selection. This may be a source of problems with your customers, because they may get charged multiple times for shipping since their products are coming from different places. Be sure to remember that even if you are working with only one dropshipper, shipping charges should be kept reasonable. You do not want to push customers away with unnecessarily high shipping costs.
Another potential downfall to dropshipping on eBay is that the products you sell may be out of stock on the dropshipper’s end. A reputable dropshipper will let you know when a product you offer goes out of stock, but sometimes you will not know a product is out of stock until a customer orders it. If this happens, you will have to contact your customer and let them know their product isn’t available. This can easily make a customer upset, and they may never order from your eBay store again. It is a good idea to contact your dropshipper regularly to get an inventory report, that way you will always know if your products are available.
Before deciding on a dropshipper, you should have one of your proposed items sent to either you or a family member. This will let you see the quality of the shipping materials, product, and visual appeal of your item firsthand. You want the packaging to be neat and the product to be in perfect condition, and if it isn’t, that dropshipper probably isn’t the best choice.
Although making the decision to dropship on eBay may be a difficult one, at least you now know some pros and cons of the concept. The most important thing to remember is to do your research before deciding on a dropshipper. There are many scams out there based on dropshiping, and you do not want the process to end up costing you more than it would have to stock and ship the products yourself.