The Basic Seller Strategy - Dropshipping with eBay and Amazon

We've introduced a Basic Seller Strategy for new sellers looking to build a profitable online business selling products from our catalogue through the Official Dropship Beta. This strategy aims to provide you with a better understanding of what steps you need to take in order to be selling successfully (and profitably) with the Official Dropship Beta.

So let's get started...

The Basic Strategy - The Complete Guide for New Sellers
If you're just starting out but serious about starting an Online Dropshipping Business, we suggest you first and foremost open an eBay Store since this will provide you with a storefront and a platform upon which you can build your customer base with our product range.

After launching your eBay Store, we recommend that you aim to list as many products you can (or at the very least, you should aim to list the equivalent of your free inclusive allowance) as this will ensure that you have every chance of getting off to a good start and also an eye open for any offers or listing promotions that eBay send your way. eBay are known for aiming promotional selling offers at new sellers to try to get them to sell on the site. By maximizing your listing allowances each month including taking full advantage of any promotional offers thrown your way, your Store will almost certainly pay for itself and you’ll pocket a decent starting profit for your efforts in just a few months time (yes, it takes time). 

On the other hand, if you haven't got the time to commit to this with an eBay Store, start with a Private Seller account and use your free allowances that way instead. You can always open a store later on as your sales start to grow.

Still with us? Awesome! ... let’s move on.

So we’re going to assume that you've launched your Store but it's looking a little empty since you haven't added any products yet! So let's begin building your inventory.

What To Look For?
Try to look for products which have multiple variations (i.e. colours/size) since these tend to rank higher in the search results naturally on the major marketplaces. Ensure to create multivariation listings for your products and offer as many sizes and colours as we have available. The more choice you offer, the higher your listing will rank in the initial search results.

Calculating a Profitable Selling Price
To help you sell profitably from day one each product is displayed with a "Buy price" and a recommended "Sell for" price. The "Buy price" is calculated by applying the maximum applicable discount (40%) + Shipping since this provides you with a true cost to help determine the profitability of a product. To further help you with this, we've also added "Net Margin" which shows you (as a percentage) how much profit you're actually making.

Here's a quick example taken from our website. You need to be logged in as a partner to see these calculations on our product pages.



To help you calculate your selling fees in advance we've provided some useful fee calculators which enable you to see exactly how much profit you will make based on the selling price you choose. It's a great way to quickly check your potential profit before placing your offer online. Please not that we are not endorsed or sponsored by any of these tools, nor can we guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by third-party seller tools.

Fee Calculator for Selling on Amazon
http://sellingdowntheriver.azurewebsites.net/

Fee Calculator for Selling on eBay
http://finalfeecalc.co.uk/


Next, let’s see if we’re comparable to what’s currently selling online? After all there’s no point trying to sell a product if you can’t make a profit.

Adding Products to eBay
We highly recommend getting started with eBay first. Listing an item for sale on eBay these day's couldn't be any simpler, so simple in fact, you can even do it entirely using your smartphone via the eBay Mobile app. Or, if you’re using a computer navigate to the eBay website, log in and hit “Sell an item” to begin.

1. Describe What You're Selling
The first step is to enter a couple of keywords to briefly describe the product you’re selling. This allows eBay to automatically suggest the appropriate category for your item. An example of “briefly describing” would be to enter two or three keywords such as “Wall Print”. Once you've done this choose the most appropriate category for your item as suggested by eBay.

2. Add The Product Image
Download the high resolution product image directly from the product page on our website. To do this, simply right click the product image and hit "view image" to display the full resolution version of the image. You can then right click again and save the image to your computer.Once you have saved the image, upload it to your listing as instructed.

**Mobile App users can download the image by pressing your thumb (or finger) on the image until prompted to “Save Image”.

3. Give Your Product A Great Title
This is your initial sales pitch, so really give this some thought and try to make use of the full 80 character limit since the more keywords you use, the more likely your item will be found in the search results.

4. Add Item Specifics
Try to provide as much information as you can, and ensure to enter as many of the Item Specifics as you can since this will help your listing appear more frequently in the Search Results. For most categories, certain information will be required, such as "Brand" and "Size" which are easily known. But we recommend going the extra mile and entering as many of the Item Specifics as you can as this will help your listing to show in the search results more often.

5. Add A Description
Informative product descriptions which detail the intended purpose and application of our products can be found directly on our product pages. As an Official Partner Seller you are licensed to re-use these product descriptions in your own listings and may (at your own discretion) alter the original product description for use how you see fit. In fact, this is highly recommended. Please consider however that when making changes to your product descriptions, please refrain from adding misinformation about the products (i.e. get in touch if you need more information about our products first) as this may cause confusion and cause complaints from your customers later on.

6. Setting Your Price
Unless you already have a specific idea about on how to markup your products so that you make a profit, set your price to the "Sell for" (as shown on our product pages) since this automatically adds the Shipping Cost into your price. By doing so, you'll instantly gain a competitive advantage when you offer Free Shipping. Since you've built the cost of Shipping into your selling price, you already know you're covered. We also recommend that you enable the "Best Offer" option (if it is not already enabled by default) since this will attract more interest in your products by allowing potential buyers to make offers on your items.

7. Accepting Returns
As a Private Seller, you don't have offer a returns policy although doing so may provide a slight competitive advantage.

8. Submit Your Listing Live
Congratulations! You're now ready to sell your item. To complete your listing just hit "List Item" an you'll be live within seconds! 

Now just sit back and... NO!.. Absolutely not!

You're not going to make any money selling just one or two items, you need to keep going and list as many items as you can. Don't sit around and wait for your first sale, just keep listing until you reach your maximum listing allowance for the month and I can assure you, the sales will come.

Continuing adding as many more products as you possibly can and make sure to use your entire free allowance (at the very least). If you do this we almost guarantee you'll be on the road to success very soon.

So now you know what to do and what to expect, you're thinking easy right? Well in fact, it really is easy, it just takes some time and effort on your part to get going, and that's where the majority fail.

Now that we've got you this far, let's share some useful tips on how to manage your listings once they are live.

Managing Your Listings
It would be naive for you to think that you can just add a hefty margin, sit back and wait for the sales to roll in? Not quite... To be successful your need a plan of action, something you can follow, tweak and then repeat over and over once you've hit the sweet spot.

Understanding eBay Search
Did you ever notice how listings at the top of the Search Results have thousands of people "watching" them? This is because eBay rewards listings with higher search visibility based on the overall performance of a listing over a period of time. Almost like a scorecard for listings. eBay measure this performance using various metrics including the most obvious (i.e. sales history), and also factors such as price and user engagement which includes the number of "watchers" a particular listing has accumulated over a recent period of time. All of this data is ultimately what determines how well your listings rank in the eBay Search Results meaning your listings are constantly being evaluated and will be competing against others to be the most visible.

Avoiding Listing Stagnation
Now I bet your first thought is huh?... Yes, "Listing Stagnation" is not the prettiest of phrases and rightly so, because you'll want to avoid falling foul of it as much as you possibly can. So before we tell you how to avoid it, let me share with you exactly what it means.

The phrase "Listing Stagnation" is not widely known, since it's something we've coined having been actively selling as a business on eBay for over 13 years. The phrase refers to something that happens when a listing becomes "lost" or "stagnant" because it no longer receive any page views. The reason for this is unknown but we think it has something to with eBay's search algorithm. What we do know is that eBay will promote a newly listed item high up in the search results for the first 24hrs, to basically "give it chance". After a period of time the listing will begin to place lower and lower in the same set of search results, unless either of these three things happen...

  1. The listing makes a NEW SALE
  2. The listing gains NEW WATCHERS
  3. The price DECREASES
What this means is that over a period of time your listing will begin to receive less and less page views unless the item makes a sale, the number of recent users who have added it to their watch list increases, or the price decreases.

Undoubtedly you'll always find items which won't sell, and since that's to be expected, don't worry about it. The route to success it not to wonder why... but to formulate a plan, find what works and repeat it.

Let's get you started...
If you haven’t already please register free for our Official Merchant Programme using the registration form here. Once you've created an account you’ll get complete access to exclusive pricing across the store with easy-to-understand profit calculations for every product. We'll also invite you to join our Seller Support Channel which provides you with dedicated live chat throughout the day with an actual account manager. The level of support we offer for our global partner sellers is simply unrivaled. Find out for yourself and join us today, it's easy to start and it's absolutely free.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns with regards to any of the information provided above, please leave a comment below.

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