Selling on eBay is still a great way to make some extra money when you want to get rid of stuff around your house.
There are people who were able to get out of massive consumer debt by selling their stuff on eBay.
Then there are those who sell on eBay for a living whether they are scouting out garage sales and thrift stores every day or selling a product that they buy wholesale.
However, after selling on eBay for several months, I believe starting your own drop shipping store is a much better option.
The Biggest Drawbacks of Selling on Ebay
One of the reasons people gravitate towards selling on eBay is because you have an instant customer base.
Millions of people shop on eBay every day. There are many drawbacks to selling on eBay that I discovered after trying to make a go of it myself.
You’re At the Mercy of Ebay’s Algorithm
Regardless of how great you think your item is, it may not be seen by as many eBay customers as you would like.
There have been many items that I posted that barely received any views. I would post them for a 30-day time frame with no results.
Top sellers are often the ones that receive favorable rankings.
Sourcing Products is Difficult
Many sellers source their products from thrift stores, garage sales, and department stores. The problem is you are relying on resources that revolve around luck.
Thrift stores have random items but guess what, the owners are smart and you can bet they check all of the items they receive on eBay too.
If they come across a high-value item, they will mark it up accordingly or sell it online themselves.
You may have more luck at garage sales as most people simply want to clear out space in their homes. They probably aren’t taking the time to check for valuable vintage items.
Department stores may have clearance items but you will not likely get much for them on eBay unless they are items that are no longer selling anywhere else and are hard to come by.
Again, all three scenarios rely on luck. Were you lucky enough to snatch up that item before someone else did?
Did you get lucky getting a highly valuable item for cheap because whoever priced it didn’t realize its worth?
eBay and PayPal Fees Add Up
All businesses have some type of overhead costs. In the case of selling on eBay you can expect to deal with eBay fees as well as PayPal fees.
These fees add up quickly and can take a huge chunk out of your profits. You can try to reduce costs by paying for an eBay store.
In the end, it may not be worth it all when you add up all of your monthly expenses. Don’t make the mistake of spending what you make without allotting for the fees.
The last thing you want to do is have to pay for your eBay fees using a credit card.
Competition is Fierce on Ebay
Do you think you’ve found a cool and unique item that will sell like hotcakes on eBay? Think again. Chances are there are tons of sellers already selling the same thing.
Even if you think your thrift store item is unique, you can bet that someone else is selling the same item or something similar.
The competition is high on eBay and it will work against you if you are trying to use the platform to make a living.
Those who do sell successfully are likely working five times harder than you are in terms of sourcing their inventory.
You are at the Mercy of Customer Reviews
I’m sure you are familiar with eBay’s feedback system. eBay encourages buyers to leave seller ratings after they have purchased and received their items.
They can rate you based on item quality, shipping times, customer service, and more. If you do not have a 100% seller feedback rating, it can hinder who will buy from you.
Many customers will not deal with sellers with feedback ratings below 100%. It is one more thing you have to stress over by being an eBay seller.
One bad rating can ruin your score for months. You can still make sales but you will constantly worry about the next negative feedback that you may receive.
Why Not Use Drop Shipping on Ebay?
I thought that putting drop ship items on eBay would be the answer but alas, drop shipping doesn’t change the drawbacks very much.
You will still deal with a ton of competition. Many drop shipping companies also sell on eBay.
They are often already top sellers. You are literally a small fish in a big pond when it comes to drop shipping on eBay.
Why Opening Your Own E-Commerce Drop Shipping Store is Better
Opening your own e-commerce store and using drop shipping has many advantages over selling on eBay.
For one thing, you can stock your store with hundreds of drop ship items. Since you are using drop ship suppliers, you do not have to buy any inventory up front.
Another huge plus is that you are in control of your audience. Unlike dealing with eBay’s algorithm, you can target your buyers using paid advertising.
As long as you have an advertising budget, you can use pay-per-click ads to drive targeted traffic directly to your store.
The Drawbacks of Drop Shipping
You can expect to spend hundreds and possibly thousands on pay-per-click advertising. For many people, there simply isn’t any budget for advertising.
You must still deal with customer service. This means handling returns and refunds. Since you are relying on drop ship suppliers, you really won’t know if an item is of poor quality unless you buy it yourself.
Affiliate Marketing as An Alternative
While I think owning your own e-commerce drop ship store is better than being an eBay seller, affiliate marketing has many advantages to both options.
My favorite thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to deal with inventory, shipping & handling, or customer service.
The easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing is by creating a niche website and monetizing it using affiliate links provided to you by the affiliate company.
Another plus about affiliate marketing is that it is one of the lowest-cost online businesses you can start.
You don’t have to worry about eBay or PayPal fees, nor do you have to pay for shopping cart software.
Getting started with your own niche website can cost under $100. What I do recommend for those new to affiliate marketing is learning how to create your niche website from scratch.
There are services out there that offer ready made niche websites but they are often very expensive.
It’s best to learn how to create one on your own because you can then repeat the process over and over again.
It is an invaluable skill to have and it is not difficult to learn. Wealthy Affiliate will provide you with a free website and teach you how to build your website for free.
I am an active member myself and host my own website there. They teach the basics for free and as a premium member, you have access to web hosting, site comments, an awesome keyword tool, weekly live video classes, and so much more.
I hope I have helped you to figure out the direction to take for your own online business. The best thing you can do is try out things for yourself and form your own opinion.
However, also keep in mind some of the things pointed out in this post to save you from wasting too much time and money.