Our little run on eBay was short lived. We started to make money on eBay on a whim. Like many people, we sold stuff that we no longer used.
In the beginning, we were doing really well. Everything seemed to sell quickly. We wanted to keep going and try to create a full-time business from it.
That is when we began buying used items from the thrift stores in our area. We finally struck gold selling men’s golf shirts and pants.
However, it all was short lived. I’ve sold a couple of things on eBay since then. Personally, I feel it is even harder today to attempt to make a full-time income on eBay. I’ll explain why below.
Why It’s Harder To Make Money On eBay Today
The competition was stiff a few years ago when we were actively selling on eBay. Today, it hasn’t changed and I feel that the competition is even tougher.
It seems like many of the listings are posted by the wholesalers. This makes it difficult to compete. There is rarely an item that you can post that isn’t already being sold by a hundred other sellers.
Good luck trying to actually make a profit. Some of the competition price their items so low that it makes it impossible to sell your own item.
Fees and Shipping
eBay’s fees definitely eat into any profit that you try to make. The last item that I sold on eBay was a dress shirt. After fees, packaging, and shipping, I didn’t make very much from the sale.
I’m sure many sellers are struggling with this as well as you must price your items so low to compete and make sales. By the time you pack the item and drive to the post office to ship it, you could even be at a loss.
Listings Are Hardly Viewed
One thing that did us in when we were selling was that most of our listings were getting little to no views. It seems as though you have to pay for sponsored posts just to get any views.
eBay Favors the Buyers
I’ve read some blog posts and forum posts related to selling on eBay. eBay favoring the buyers has not seemed to change. When we were actively selling, I had one customer ruin a purse in like-new condition and claimed that it was not like the photos.
It wasn’t true as I always took accurate photos and pointed out even the smallest flaws. Long story short, I contacted eBay support to try and get our negative rating removed. They sided with the buyer.
What Can You Sell On eBay To Make Money?
I think that you can still make some extra cash on eBay selling vintage items and used items.
Otherwise, it is tough trying to make a full-time income on the platform. There is simply too much competition and you’d likely lose money on every item that you sold.
There are still plenty of people that do it. They scour department stores and buy shoes and clothes that are deeply discounted.
I’ve seen YouTube videos of sellers that have their homes and garages stuffed with inventory from thrift stores and department stores.
I’m not sure how they manage. It took forever for us to clear out the inventory we had and towards the end, we ended up giving some of it away and donating back to the thrift stores.
Some Alternatives To Making Extra Income Online
Fortunately, there are some other options for making extra income using the internet. If you enjoy eCommerce, you may like the dropshipping model.
Many people turn to sell on eBay for eBay’s audience. Unlike owning your own eCommerce store, you do not have to pay for web traffic.
However, paying for ads to drive traffic to your own store is worthwhile when you consider that your eBay listings may not be viewed by very many people unless you pay for eBay sponsored ads.
How the Dropshipping Model Works
Most eCommerce businesses require buying inventory wholesale and reselling the inventory for a profit.
Dropshipping is the opposite. You do not have to buy any inventory upfront. Instead, you find dropshipping suppliers and place the items they are selling in your store.
When a customer orders the item from your store, it is then that you pay your dropshipping supplier for the item. During checkout, you input your customer’s shipping address.
The dropshipping supplier then ships the item directly to your customer for you. You never have to touch the product. Your profit is the difference in price between what you’ve charged the customer and what the supplier charged you.
Here is a flowchart of how it works:
Locating Dropshipping Suppliers
You can do your own web search but it is a long and tedious process. You can also use a wholesale / dropshipping directory to locate suppliers.
Another option is to source products from AliExpress. They are a large online retailer made up of merchants primarily based in China. Some merchants are also based in the U.S. and other locations.
AliExpress merchants are accustomed to working with dropshippers. They carry millions of products and offer them at low pricing. There are no requirements or registration fees to begin selling.
Many dropshipping store owners use AliExpress for their inventory. It is a hassle-free and convenient way to begin dropshipping.
Owning a Dropshipping Store Versus Selling On eBay
There are many advantages to owning your own dropshipping store versus selling on eBay.
For one thing, you are not at eBay’s mercy. Many sellers deal with fee changes, eBay’s algorithm updates, customer reviews, and seller competition.
When you own your own dropshipping store, you can set your profit margins to be whatever you want. You may not have eBay’s customer base but you can target your audience with free and paid advertising methods.
You also do not have to worry about having your account closed as you are the owner of your store.
Dropshipping is a low-cost and low-risk online business model. It has enabled people from all over the globe to own their own eCommerce businesses.
How To Open Your Own Dropshipping Business
I use a dropshipping software called AliDropship. It is a WordPress dropshipping plugin. However, they also offer custom dropshipping store creation.
The AliDropship plugin turns a WordPress website into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business. If you are familiar with using WordPress such as installing it and installing plugins, you can build your store yourself.
However, you do not need experience to begin dropshipping with AliDropship. That is what makes the custom store service beneficial.
Things To Keep in Mind About Dropshipping
You will not have a built-in customer base for your store the way you would if you were to sell on eBay. However, you are able to target potential customers through paid ads.
Many dropshippers use Facebook paid advertising as well as Instagram ads. The great thing about using AliDropship is that you will not have recurring monthly software fees.
You can use the money that you save to put towards your marketing budget. Free marketing methods work well too.
It is a good idea to have social media accounts for your store as well as a blog. Over time, a blog can generate free organic web traffic.
AliDropship offers a Supreme Custom Store Package in which they also create ready-made ads for Facebook and Instagram, as well as four promotional emails.
My Final Opinion On If You Can Make Money On eBay Anymore
Overall, I think there is still money to be made on eBay part-time. If you have items lying around your home and want to make some extra money once in a while, eBay is still a good platform to sell those items.
I’m not sure if making a full-time income with eBay is worth trying. There is so much competition and many items are already priced so low it is difficult to make much of a profit.
Opening your own dropshipping store may be worthwhile if you want to eventually earn a full-time income online.
What are your thoughts about making money on eBay? Leave your feedback in the comments below.