What was once commonplace among the eBay dropshipping community was mostly abandoned in recent years due to the development of third-party automation software.
However, eBay has officially prohibited online retail arbitrage as a business model in 2019. If you don’t know what that means, basically eBay has updated their dropshipping policy to prohibit the resale of products from other online marketplaces or retailers (e.g. amazon.com, walmart.com, homedepot.com) onto their own marketplace.
If you continue to source products from other online marketplaces and then resell those goods on the eBay platform, you will be running the risk of eBay displaying your listings lower in search (throttling), loss of top-rated status, removal of listings from the site, and even account restrictions and suspension.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself what you should be doing to start selling (or continue selling) on eBay without the risk associated with online retail arbitrage. After several months of intense strategy development and coordinated process improvements, we have concluded that there are 2 viable options for sustained dropshipping success on eBay.
Your 1st option is to begin a wholesale dropshipping eBay store. If this topic interests you, please check out Wholesale Dropshipping Champions YouTube channel or request access to the Wholesale Dropshipping Facebook group. However, since Wholesale Dropshipping is not the scope of this article we will focus our attention on the 2nd option: “Manual Dropshipping”.
MANUAL EBAY DROPSHIPPING BASICS
1. WHAT EXACTLY IS A MANUAL DROPSHIPPING STORE?
Manual dropshipping is when you sell products online without the use of any 3rd party ‘API Integrated’ software while leveraging dropshipping as a fulfillment method. API stands for Application Program Interface and is the means by which eBay is able to directly communicate with 3rd party applications.
In the past, we have been proponents of API integrated software use for automation purposes. Some of the most common software functions we endorsed in the past included product repricing, tracking number uploading, and automatic product listers. Due to the fact that many of these 3rd party applications were heavily marketed and functionally tailored for online retail arbitrage (e.g. Using Amazon to dropship products to an eBay customer), we believe that eBay is actively targeting merchants who use this type of software.
Since we do not use any API integrated software with manual eBay dropshipping, we are mitigating the likelihood that eBay would be able to detect that we are using online retailers as our source.
2. HOW DO YOU REPRICE ITEMS?
One of the biggest misunderstandings surrounding manual dropshipping is the idea that there is no software utilization. There is an important distinction that must be pointed out about this topic for clarity sake. Manual dropshipping does not employ any software that connects to eBaY’s API. We do, however, use software that does not connect to eBay’s API.
The program which allows us to reprice our items and monitor quantity levels without direct API access is called Sku Grid. Sku Grid, coupled with its very own Google Chrome extension, pulls order information via email. You can set Sku Grid to run periodic stock updates which will pull the inventory data feed from your source. Sku Grid then prepares a .CSV file based on price changes at the source and quantity changes on your eBay store. It then utilizes the Chrome extension to automatically send this updated inventory .CSV through eBay’s file exchange uploader.
For our manual eBay dropshipping stores, Sku Grid is our solely endorsed repricing software. If your interested in using Sku Grid, click our affiliate link below to receive 20,000 Sku credits and a 7 day free trial: http://bit.ly/SkuGrid
3. SHOULD I LIST ITEMS ON EBAY MANUALLY TOO?
Yes, we recommend that you list items directly on eBay without any automatic listing tool. Again, any software that requires eBay API connection will put your account at risk if that software is designed or marketed for online retail dropshipping purposes.
Manually listing items on eBay gives you full control over the listing optimization process, much more so than that of existing 3rd party software. This includes optimizing titles, descriptions, pictures, promotions, and more! There is a strong correlation between highly optimized eBay listings and a greater sell-through rate.
One of the downsides of manually listing items on eBay is the large amount of time that it takes to publish each unique item. Luckily, there is a perfect solution to this problem.
The best way to scale your listing workflow is by hiring Virtual Assistants (VAs). Through outsourcing this task, you will effectively remove yourself from the arduous process of constantly listing new items. Since time is the most precious commodity, we focus on leveraging VAs to free up time. This gives us the opportunity to allocate our time more
Another advantage of hiring remote workers is the cost savings on labor. We generally pay our Filipino virtual assistants between $1.50 and $3.50 per hour. If we were to hire domestically, the expense of paying an employee at least minimum wage would eat into our bottom line drastically.
If you would like to know more about hiring and managing a team of virtual assistants, consider the Dropshipping University VA Mastery Course!
4. WHAT SUPPLIERS SHOULD I USE?
We have seen a large amount of success using obscure retail suppliers. These include some suppliers that you may have heard of, but many are not well known to the average consumer.
We tend to look for suppliers with hassle free return policies, fast shipping, and short handling times. Another preferred criterion for working with suppliers is that they have their own private label brand(s). This will make product research much easier and sniping profitable items more effective. Lastly, we find it helpful if the supplier has streamlined their tax exemption program for ease of use and access.
5. WHERE DO I START WITH MANUAL EBAY DROPSHIPPING?
The best place for you to start is by learning more about the business. We have created a video series on YouTube for this exact purpose! The playlist will help guide you through most of the initial challenges your likely to face and addresses additional questions you may have at this point.
Ready to Make a Full Time Income Dropshipping?
We have come out with an all inclusive dropshipping course called Dropshipping University. The course is filled with high-quality content not available in the Facebook group or on the YouTube channel. Manual dropshipping is explained in depth, including the tips and tricks that we’ve used to build an eBay dropshipping empire, raking in over 6 figures monthly.
From beginner to advanced, the course is a step-by-step guide made specifically to minimize the learning curve. Packed with over 7 hours of curriculum and spread over 56 sections, this course will put you on track to having your own successful dropshipping business within 1 day!