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How to Start eBay Dropshipping in the UK: All You Need To Know

How to Start eBay Dropshipping in the UK: All You Need To Know

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Including the best items to dropship on eBay

This is a complete walkthrough if you want to set up an eBay dropshipping business in the UK. We go through everything from setting up your eBay seller account right through to which eBay dropshipping software we use and the dropshipping suppliers.

eBay offers a great way for beginners to start dropshipping. Did you know that eBay itself has over 182 million users worldwide according to Oberlo?

That’s a lot of people that are looking to buy items!

What does eBay dropshipping mean?

Dropshipping means that you are buying products and selling them. Think of dropshipping as an online shop but instead of you holding the product yourself, you wait and buy it when a customer buys it from you.

This means that you don’t touch the product at all.

To find out more about how dropshipping works have a look at our post called This is How to Make Money Dropshipping in the UK. It goes into detail about what dropshipping is and exactly how it works and how you can make money.

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Online sellers

Remember that as an online seller you are responsible for any money that you earn. Have a think about where that money is going to go. Is it going to PayPal? Into a business account?

If you earn over £1000 or are self-employed you must register with HMRC even if you don’t earn anything.

Does eBay dropshipping work?

Yes, eBay dropshipping really works! It’s a great passive income driver once it’s all set up. You can make some really good money with dropshipping on eBay.

It does take time to start bringing in income though, like all passive income and you do need to treat it like a business to start with. It won’t grow into anything without some love.

eBay dropshipping suppliers

We are going to walk you through how to set up your eBay sellers account and eBay listings. This includes your profit margins and how to find your products online.

Wholesale supplier

Before you start, decide what you are going to sell. What’s your business model going to be? Are you just going to sell fashion items or a bit of everything?

For this to work, you need the very best customer service, delivery times and quality products that stand up to what you say you are selling.

Before you decide, work out the shipping costs across the country as these do differ. Are you doing down the wholesale route where you buy in bulk and they ship it out?

Are you going down the retail route where you sell other people’s products but at a mark-up?

There are pitfalls to both methods and you need to be prepared to sort any issues out or refund if needed.

We started using the retail method as the idea of finding a supplier and sorting all the product quality just seemed overwhelming. Then, when we had a few good reviews and felt more confident, we then started to design our own product.

Don’t be started to start dropshipping the retail method. Yes it means that you are selling high street products at a slightly inflated price but think of it this way; they knew how much it cost when you advertised it on eBay and were happy to buy it then. Why wouldn’t they be happy when the actual product arrived?

Selling the perfect product

Once you’ve decided what you are selling then try and niche it down as much as you can. We started selling homeware first, like tables, hoovers and other items that you’d find around home. Then, after a while, we had some data on what was selling best and what wasn’t. Niching down was the best thing we ever did!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that selling everything is a good idea. It may get you a few quick sales but won’t help you in the longer term.

How to find the product

So as above, you can use either method to sell a product. If you decide to design the product yourself then make sure that the warehouse is going to include storing your product for you while you try and sell it.

If you decide to go down the retail route then you don’t need to source the product but you do need some help managing the stock that the retailer has.

For this, we use eBay dropshipping tools like Hustle Got Real. It’s a great platform that tracks retailers’ stock levels and pulls the product from your eBay store itself when it goes out of stock. This means that you don’t have to worry about selling something that you can’t actually deliver.

Hustle Got Real also changes the price of the product if the retailer changes it and pulls through all the information.

It’s a really handy tool to have and makes listing really easy.

Try Hustle Got Real for free here and get 30 free listings to try it out*.

If you do decide to go the retail route, then please be aware that eBay’s terms and conditions are changing regularly so make sure you read them. They ask you to hold your product yourself, which for many of us just isn’t possible. Please weigh up the risks if you decide to go ahead as you could have your eBay shop closed if they find you in breach of service.

Find out more from eBay directly about their dropshipping guidelines here.

eBay dropshipping guide

If you haven’t already then go ahead and set up an eBay seller account. Here’s is when you are going to be asked to select some options.

Are you going to use PayPal or a merchant credit card account? Research both and see which one works for you. We currently use PayPal but at the start did have some issues of them holding on to payments. After a call, this was because our account was new. It did get better as they saw that we were a legitimate business.

Decide if you are going to become an eBay store or sell privately. Both come with some pitfalls.

As an eBay shop, you get charged less per sell but do have to pay a monthly fee on top.

As a private seller, it’s free to sell but eBay take a bigger cut once you do sell.

Work it out and find out which one would be best for you.

We started selling privately in till we reached our 30 free listings with Hustle Got Real. Then, we started an eBay shop. The downside to this was that we already had some good reviews that we couldn’t move to our shop which made it harder again to launch. The good thing was though that we got a taste of dropshipping on eBay without it costing us anything upfront.

Decide which one will work for you by reading eBay’s listing prices here.

If you decide to go with a shop then eBay will move you to their Selling Hub which helps walk you through how to start.

eBay seller front screen

Think of a niche name that describes the shop and set up your profile including your returns policy. The more information you can give, the more a customer will trust your shop.

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Your first listing on eBay

Once your shop is approved, it’s now time to list. For this example, we are going to use Hustle Got Real. You can list 30 listings for free using our link here.*

Log-in to Hustle Got Real. This is where you can pick which country you are selling to. We only sell in the UK so we leave it on that. By changing the top right will filter results.

Hustle Got Real Dashboard

Click on List Now. This brings up loads of suppliers that you can use through Hustle Got Real. Click on the one you want to list and have a look for a product. We normally use eBay to help us too. What are people searching for right now? Start by listing those items.

Hustle Got Real retail list

At the start, it really just about finding your niche, what sales, and getting those good reviews that help to push you up the rankings a little bit.

Once you have found something, using the Hustle Got Real Chrome Extension, click it and it will pull all the information into eBay and Hustle Got Real for you.

Read it through and check that it’s correct. You may need to change the listing title or the price yourself. We change all our listings to Buy It Now only. We found that this helps cut of time wasters or having to set a starting bid that is never met.

You can make Hustle Got Real do this for you by clicking on Settings > Monitoring.

Hustle Got Real settings

Refresh eBay and you’ll see your listing on the main page. This may take a few minutes though so don’t panic if it’s not there straight away.

That’s your first listing in and you are now an online seller!

You don’t have to use Hustle Got Real. You can enter all these details manually by going to Create Listing > Single Listing and filling out all the details.

Help page with Seller eBay dashboard

This is when, depending on how many listings you have, it could be worth having an eBay store as the more listings you have the more chance you have of a sell.

Remember to ask every customer who has had a successful delivery to leave you a review. You can do this through eBay itself.

Is dropshipping legal in the UK?

Yes, dropshipping is legal in the UK. As long as you are supplying the customer with what you said you would, for the price you agreed then dropshipping is legal.

Each dropshipping platform does have it’s own terms and conditions so make sure you read them before you spend any money or you may risk having your account shut down.

Pros and Cons of eCommerce dropshipping

Like all online businesses, there are pros and cons.

Some of the positives to dropshipping are that:

It’s easy to start – Don’t feel like you need loads of website experience or computer skills to get started. You really don’t! Because you don’t have the physical products yourself means that you don’t have to worry about paying to house any items, shipping costs, tracking the products ready for HMRC, worrying about returns or managing stock levels. All that is done with your supplier.

You can drop ship anywhere – We only dropship in the UK but you can drop ship anywhere. Remember to check any tax rules though.

It’s cheap to start – You don’t need to outlay anything if you decide to start selling privately as we did. The only downside to that is that any reviews you get can’t be moved to an online store.

Some of the cons to dropshipping are:

Selling fees – Depending on if you are an eBay store or private seller then the fees change. Work it out first as eBay can take a big chunk of your profit margin if you haven’t done your numbers right.

Cost of product – Regardless of which method above you are using, there will always be someone cheaper than you. You could start by selling your product the cheapest and that could work to get you some reviews and sales. The issue is that it will hit your profits so decide what is more important right now.

Availability – You need to know that your product is in stock. Hustle Got Real is great for this or if you own and store your product in a warehouse then you should know that it is there and how much you have. There is nothing worse as a customer when you buy something then have to wait because it’s really out of stock.

If as a seller you can source high quality goods and ship them out within good time then dropshipping really can become a passive income earner that you can do from home.

Laura x

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more money making ideas from home, including ways to freelance, start a blog or even earn from your phone, then head over to my making money section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 money making posts dedicated to helping you earn more from home and become more financially stable as a family. There’s also tips in my Money Saving Mums Facebook group. You could also pop over and follow my money making Pinterest boards for lots more ways you can earn money from home; Money Making Mums and Working from Home Jobs for Mums.

If you are looking to start eBay dropshipping in the UK then here is our step by step guide to making money at home by Laura at Savings 4 Savvy Mums

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