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Is eBay Dropshipping Dead? (3 Amazing Facts Why It Is Alive In 2024)

June 11, 2024

eBay dropshipping is not dead because of its extensive customer base, a growing number of sellers, and vast product listings. As of Q2 2023, eBay boasts over 135 million active users worldwide, providing a large pool of potential buyers. Also, over 18.3 million sellers and over 1.7 billion listings show a thriving marketplace. These factors show eBay's potential for dropshipping success. It shows that the platform still offers many opportunities for sellers.

Zain Shah says eBay dropshipping is not dead. He explains it's a fulfillment method that needs specific skills. Although competitive, it can be profitable if you learn skills like product research and marketing. Dropshipping isn't easy or a simple copy-and-paste job, but those who spend time learning can succeed. Shah also stresses the using tools, like AutoDS, for product management. He also stresses the using free social media, like TikTok, for organic marketing.

eBay dropshipping is not dead. Trevor Zheng's journey proves this. He made his first dollar at 14 with eBay dropshipping. By 19, he had over $1.5 million in sales. Now, at 21, he's reached over $5.5 million. Daveyy also sees opportunities for eBay dropshipping. He aims for $100k in monthly sales and finds eCommerce in 2024 full of potential. Even though eBay is not his focus, he still sees its value. These stories show that eBay dropshipping is still profitable and worth pursuing.

eBay dropshipping is still alive but has changed significantly. Today, automation and technology are key. The traditional method of manually sourcing products and placing orders is outdated. Modern tools like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce streamline the process. Some long-standing dropshipping companies have high sales and continue to thrive. But, most of them struggle and often fail. This shows that success in dropshipping now relies heavily on using the right technology and strategies.

eBay dropshipping has lower profit margins, usually between 10% to 30%, due to high competition, eBay fees, and supplier costs. Shipping delays and returns also add to expenses. In contrast, a local lead generation business is more profitable and passive. You can generate leads for businesses like plumbers and electricians. You do this by creating websites that rank high for local services. eBay dropshipping needs you to stay active and manage inventory. In contrast, local lead generation creates passive income through SEO-optimized websites. They need little upkeep once set up. You can earn $500 to $3,000 per month per website by charging businesses for leads This makes local lead generation more lucrative and less demanding than eBay dropshipping.

This article will present three amazing reasons why eBay dropshipping is not dead in 2024. Additionally, we will provide major tips to help keep your eBay dropshipping business thriving. It also discusses three hidden dangers that sometimes make eBay dropshipping appear as though it's already dead.

3 Amazing Facts Why eBay Dropshipping Is Not Dead

1. eBay Has a Huge Customer Base

eBay has 138 million active buyers, making it the second most visited online marketplace in 2022. It is behind Amazon, according to Business of Apps. This vast customer base offers many potential buyers, raising the chances of sales for dropshippers. With millions of users searching for products daily, the opportunity to reach them is unmatched. This broad reach can help dropshippers sell many products. By having a built-in audience, it reduces the need for external ads, and allowsyou to focus on improving their listings and services. eBay's high traffic helps dropshippers make steady sales and makes their business more scalable.

2. eBay Has Cheaper Platform Fee

Dropshipping on eBay has cheaper platform fee that makes it attractive to both new and experienced sellers. According to AppScenic, you only need to pay a small fee when you sell something on eBay, and you get 200-250 free listings to start. This means you can list many products without incurring costs, allowing you to test the market and find successful items with little risk. Additionally, an eBay store subscription starts at just $21.95 per month, which is much cheaper than the costs of selling on Amazon or starting a Shopify store.

These lower fees are crucial for dropshippers, as they help maximize profits. With fewer overhead costs, sellers can price their products competitively while still making healthy profits. This flexibility can lead to more sales and better business sustainability. eBay's low fees also allow dropshippers to reinvest savings into other parts of their business, such as marketing or inventory, fueling more growth and success.

3. eBay Supports Dropshiping Automation

eBay supports dropshipping automation that boosts efficiency and saves time and money. These tools automate key parts of the business, making operations smoother and reducing manual work. For example, AutoDS processes orders from your eBay store to your supplier automatically. It cuts down on manual input and errors. AppScenic ensures quick and accurate order fulfillment. Additionally, DSM Tool syncs inventory levels in real time to prevent overselling and stockouts. SkuGrid monitors supplier stock levels and updates your eBay listings to reflect changes. It ensures accurate stock information.

Tools like SaleFreaks handle price optimization. It adjusts prices based on market trends and competition. It keeps you competitive without constant manual adjustments. AutoDS also implements dynamic pricing strategies to maximize profits while maintaining competitive pricing. AppScenic streamlines payment processing, ensuring quicker transactions and reducing payment errors. AutoDS manages payments efficiently, providing a smooth transaction experience for customers. These tools allow eBay dropshippers to focus on growth by making their operations efficient and profitable. It proves that eBay dropshipping is far from dead.

3 Tips Make Your eBay Dropshipping Business Alive

1. Connect With A Great eBay Dropshipping Supplier

Your wholesale dropshipping supplier is the glue of your online business. So you want one who sells high-quality products. But you also need a large product base, so you don't run the risk of a single point of failure. (This could happen if you only have one drop shipping supplier). So you should work with a minimum of three).

But you need to find the best ones for your business—wholesalers who can offer fast times with a decent shipping cost. Again, the goal is to provide your customers with a stellar shopping experience. (And stay within eBay's guidelines). But a few popular options include wholesale drop shipping suppliers like:

eBay Wholesale Supplier Options:

You can also do your own Google search and contact the manufacturer directly. Or spy on another eBay dropshipper with software like JungleScout or ZikAnalytics to find out who they're using. You can also attend trade shows or leverage directories like SaleHoo or SourceLow. But take the time to vet your suppliers and consider factors like:

  • Do they sell high-quality products for competitive prices? (To minimize returns or run the risk of negative reviews). 
  • Do they have excellent product reviews? (Listed on wholesale websites).

You need to gain insight and an understanding of the quality of the products they sell. So do your research around things like:

  • Are people happy with this product?
  • Does it match its item description?
  • Is it a proven product that has been selling?
  • Does it have a proven track record?

You also want a US dropshipping supplier (don't consider using a Chinese supplier, as your shipping times will be way too long for eBay).

china shipping

Look for ones who have trackable numbers and information. (To allow your customers can track their products). But can also provide fast, efficient customer service and a reliable return and refund policy. (But be sure to get good conditions).

Then you can provide the same quality service to your buyers. Plus, you want suppliers who can give practical payment options. Remember, it needs to be convenient for your business and your eBay customer.


The goal is to secure suppliers who communicate well—one who will keep you abreast of the product's status, price, and stock availability. Then you stay in compliance with eBay. And you provide the customer with the best shopping experience possible.

2. Pay The Platform

You might have to pay to play if you want to make money as an eBay dropshipper. And there are two options to consider. But one of the fastest ways to get dropshipping stores to the top of the page is to invest in paid listings. For example, eBay offers promoted listings for dropshippers who are willing to pay for more eyes on their products.

But you need to sell a good product-one that people are actually searching for right now. So do your research with software like Terapeak. And find keywords people are searching for on eBay. (If you get it wrong, you won't make sales). You can also use sites like:

Where To Look For Products To Sell On eBay

  • Google Trends

  • TikTok Made Me Buy It

  • Alibaba's Most Popular Sellers List

You want to look for things like: 

  • Is there a product online going viral?
  • Can you find an obscure item people want to buy?
  • Is there a gap in the market you can capitalize on?

Your other option is to influence eBay SEO and find favor with the platform. So you need to understand customer psychology. For example, most customers will click the first product listing. While others only buy the lowest price available. 

But if you price your items slightly lower than the competition and can make more sales, you'll rank higher on eBay's search engines. Then, you'll be awarded by the platform algorithm. And your listings will rise with every sale you make.

Then you can raise your price ($1 at a time) until you reach your desired profit margin. Of course, you might have to take a loss or only break even until you get to the top. But once you're at the top of the page, you'll get more views and make more sales. 

3. Leverage eBay Deals & Discounts

The average eBay customer shops on the platform because they want a deal. They enjoy finding the best price (especially when buying a new product). And eBay allows them to compare multiple listings at once. So, if you're going to sell more wholesale products, you need to take advantage of pricing strategies like:

Multi-Buy Offers

For example, instead of selling one item for $25, consider selling 3 for $60. (Note: this only works with products people typically buy in bulk). 

Run A Sale

Use eBay's Markdown Manager tool to run a sale. Not only do the customers love a deal. But you'll make eBay's algorithms happy. As a result, you'll get positive reviews, more sales, and an increase in your seller account standing. 

Offer Volume Pricing

Let the customer make you an offer. (Don't forget to include your own bid). 

You can also employ pricing breaks with things like:

  • Discounts For Bundles  
  • 'Frequently Bought Together' Items
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over XXX
  • use eBay Coupons

Remember, you have a ton of competition. So the more you can improve your standing and drive your listings to the top, the more money you can make as a drop shipper. 

3 Hidden Dangers Why eBay Dropshipping Looks Like Dead

1. eBay Active Users Are Decreasing

Recent trends show that active eBay users are declining, raising concerns about the viability of dropshipping on eBay. According to Business of Apps, eBay had 138 million active users in 2022, down from 159 million in 2021, a 13% decrease. This trend continued in 2023, with active users dropping further to 135 million.

This consistent decline in user numbers hurts dropshippers by reducing their potential customers. Fewer people using eBay means a smaller market for their products. It leads to lower sales and more competition for a shrinking pool of buyers. Fewer users looking at listings reduce visibility. This makes it harder for dropshippers to get attention and keep their business.

2. eBay Has a Really Stiff Competition

Dropshipping on eBay faces a significant challenge: intense competition. The competition is not just from other dropshippers but also from the sheer volume of sellers and listings on the platform. According to David Curry of Business of Apps, eBay has over 18.3 million seller accounts and 1.7 billion active listings. Dropshippers typically have lower margins than traditional retail models. Intense competition forces them to cut prices so much that it becomes unprofitable. The many listings make it hard for dropshippers to get noticed. Without much marketing or optimizing for eBay's search algorithm, new listings can get lost easily.

3. eBay Receives Scamming Issues on Reddit

One major reason why eBay dropshipping seems dead is the rampant scamming reported on Reddit. For example, a buyer purchased two guitar bodies and two guitar necks from an Asian seller on February 5th. Despite several days without tracking info, the seller finally claimed the items were shipped but provided no details. More days passed, and the seller gave conflicting shipment information. Eventually, tracking showed the items shipped on February 20th, 15 days after payment. By March 17th, the items hadn't arrived, so the buyer opened a dispute with eBay on the 20th. eBay responded with a blurry delivery photo of two small boxes, too small for the ordered items, and sided with the seller. PayPal also sided with the seller, despite the buyer being overcharged $240 for combined shipping, not separate as charged.

Another case involves a buyer who spent $4,000 on a computer but noticed a discrepancy between the storage listed in the title and description. The seller blamed eBay's AI and offered a $300 refund, which the buyer accepted. Despite receiving tracking info, the shipment weight seemed unusually low. When the package arrived three weeks later, it contained a $100 Zara jacket instead of the computer. Unable to reopen the "not as described" case, the buyer reported the seller to eBay but received no update. Since the purchase was made with a Visa debit card, not PayPal, the buyer is now considering a chargeback from the bank. These issues hurt buyer trust and can scare off dropshippers from using eBay, fearing similar scams and poor support.

Is It Too Late To Start eBay Dropshipping?

It's not too late to start eBay dropshipping. And it's not dead. But the way it used to work is dead. The platform has evolved over the years. So you need to stay on top of those changes. You need to do product research and find profitable items that people want to buy.

Use software like ZikAnalytics to see how well other sellers are doing on eBay. (Or if they're actually dropshippers as well). The key is to buy low and sell high. Plus, you need to optimize your listing for eBay's Best Match with things like:

  • Keyword In The Title & Subtitles When Possible
  • High-Quality Images & Detailed Descriptions
  • Positive Reviews & Clear Return Policy

You can also leverage eBay-promoted listings. They're quick and easy to set up with an upfront flat fee. Three options include:

eBay Promoted Listing Options:

  • Promoted Listings Standard

  • Promoted Listings Express

  • (Superior) Promoted Listings Advanced

Additional ad costs include a percentage of the sale price (excluding shipping and taxes) with varying price options. And ads are based on the length of your auction and item category. So, for example, for a standard ad, if you sell a product for $50 and your ad rate is 5%, you will pay $2.50. 

Is Dropshipping Banned On eBay?

Dropshipping is not banned on eBay. But in 2024, the rules have changed. Unfortunately, a lot of dropshippers were advantageous. So the platform tightened its eBay policy to minimize proliferation and now only allows wholesale dropshipping.

But as a dropshipper, you're still responsible for shipping within their guidelines. So if you don't comply, you could receive a lower seller rating, buying restrictions, loss of buyer power, or even account suspension. But eBay wants you to sell on their site. (They make a profit from every sale you make with your online store).

So to stay in favor, you need to follow the rules. But there are a few reasons why sellers get banned from the platform. A few prime culprits include: 

Not keeping your seller metrics in line: eBay bases them on shipping, negative reviews, return rates, etc. Plus, eBay evaluates you periodically. So if you're not staying in line, you could get suspended. But here are a few tips to help keep your eBay account in compliance: 

How To Keep Your eBay Account Compliant

  • Meet eBay's standards around delivery times and processes.
  • Adhere to the requirements of the platform on returns and exchange policies. Meet eBay's standards around delivery times and processes.
  • Your eBay customers can still provide honest feedback about your transaction afterward.

Trying to save on fees: The platform algorithms will know if you try to make a deal or employ 'behind-the-back tactics.' And you will get caught.

veRo issues: Selling intellectual property rights or high-risk items (like one-off or highly bootlegged or suspicious stuff, high-end stuff like sneakers, Gucci purses, etc.). 

There are certain products you just can't sell on eBay. So do your research. Plus, you need to be able to verify or have proof from a wholesale supplier. So you need to connect with a reliable supplier who can guarantee quality and fast shipping. A few options include:

But remember, the customer belongs to the platform. And they're not going to be happy if you don't provide their customers with the best shopping experience possible. eBay's biggest concern is that you or your dropshipping business will give a bad experience to their customer. So if you mess up, you risk their brand, which isn't going to work in 2024

"More than 17 million sellers use eBay to sell their products". Forbes

Plus, as an eBay dropshipper, you have zero control over the platform. Their customers-their rules. So you're doing all the hard work selling profitable products, providing fast shipping times, etc. But you could still get banned. Or worse, have your account shut down. And with that kind of risk and legwork, why wouldn't you instead invest in a model like local lead generation?

One where you control every aspect of your business? You own the sites, the tracking number, and the leads. And the customer belongs to you. Plus, once you're site is at the top of Google searches, you own prime real estate. And you're providing a service that people actively search for every day. So, you get high-quality leads that you can sell to small business owners who are more than willing to pay for a piece of the pie. 

Is eBay Dropshipping Still Profitable? 

Yes, eBay dropshipping is still profitable it if you're looking for a low-cost, low-risk side hustle. However, you need to be a savvy shopper and find products as cheaply as possible. Items you can get a decent profit for are but are in demand. Consider that the average eBay customer shops on the marketplace because of things like:

  • The best deal 
  • Unique or obscure products
  • Trusted platform
  • Only shop on eBay
But Home Depot offers over a million products, and so many items haven't even been listed yet. Plus, that's only one of the hundreds of places you can use to source cheap stuff to sell. So you can make $100-$1000+/day with the eBay dropshipping model if you're willing to invest the time and effort.

But again, you need to sell a ton of items and products that have a decent profit margin. And the goal is to get your listings to the top. So you need to stay in compliance and increase your seller rating. But you can leverage tactics like buying gift cards and using cash-back sites or points.

And connect with wholesale suppliers who give you the best price and customer experience possible. But if you can find an untapped market or a unique product to sell. Then you can still make money with the model.

Conclusion: Why You Should Consider Lead Generation If You Want To Make Money In 2024?

I understand the appeal of eBay dropshipping. It's the dropshipping business model's most low-risk and low-cost option (much less than owning a Shopify store). But I need help understanding why you would invest that much time and effort in something where you have no influence. Think about it. eBay controls every fundamental aspect of your business. From your product listings and what you can sell. To their expectations around customer service.

Plus, the consumer belongs to eBay. So not only are there no loyal customers, but you're not likely to generate recurring sales. Plus, the competition is fierce. So you need to always be on the hustle. Or stay one step ahead of trends and find the best products to sell if you want to make sales. But with lead generation, natural barriers like location and a learned skill set minimize the competition. And you don't need a ton of upfront capital to start.


Take this site above, for example. I built this site in 2015 for a total cost of $500. But this site has been making me $2000/month for seven years. Plus, because this lead gen site now sits at the top of Google, it's almost entirely hands-off. So not only have I secured a passive income.

But I've been able to buy back my time. (Plus, this site is only one of over 80 I own). It only takes around 6-weeks-6 months to rank your sites. Then you find a small business owner who wants to grow and sell your leads for a piece of the profit. And with profit margins sitting around 95%. Those numbers make a lot more sense to me.

eBay dropshipping isn't dead. Yet. But there have been significant changes to the platform, and they're not done. In fact, in Australia, Amazon FBA isn't allowed at all. So it might only be a matter of time before dropshippers in North America face similar restrictions.

You have zero control over the platform, and the customers belong to eBay. So as a store owner, you either do it their way or no way—another reason local lead gen is a better way to make money online. If you don't comply with eBay's rules, you could have your listings banned, face the wrath of their algorithms, or even have your account suspended. But if you stay in line and can find products to sell, that will make you a decent profit. Then eBay dropshipping isn't dead, and it's still a guaranteed way to make money in 2024.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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