Hello everyone! I lurk most of the time but have been here for a few years. I am a 23 year old college student and have spent the last two years fine tuning a method I learned here on BHW. When I first joined, all of the internet terminology made no sense at all. Reading almost every method confused me. Although, there was one method seemed to make sense to me, which had to do with eBay and Amazon. Having prior eBay selling experience, I decided to give it a try. This method, which many have named the eBay to Amazon Drop-ship method, alone helped me pay for my first two years of college without a doubt. Now, this method has been covered to some extent, but not for a while. I always see misconceptions and false information thrown around from people who have either never used this method or didn't spend enough time with it.
The point of this thread is to give back to the community, clear up a bunch of rumors and help some of you get started if nothing else has worked for you thus far. If you have a question please ask in the thread, PLEASE DO NOT PM ME.
Before I get started, I just wanted to say, I will show a little bit of proof in this post. Although, I will not go out of my way to prove anything to those who don't believe any of this information is true. If you don't want to believe me or take the time to try this method, then just move on. Thanks! :)
*Disclaimer* - I am from the United States and all of this information is based on this location alone. I have no knowledge of this working elsewhere, although I'm sure someone can confirm if it is possible or not.
Needed for this method - (eBay account, Amazon account, Paypal account, Debit/Credit card)
Part 1 (The Idea): If you don't understand the concept of how this idea works, please search around the forum first. In essence, you are finding items on Amazon that you can sell on eBay with a mark up price, so that after eBay and Paypal fees, you have a net profit left over. If this doesn't make sense, please do some more reading here on BHW.
Part 2 (eBay Acct.): I used my personal eBay account that was created around 3 years before this started, although I don't see the need to obtain an aged account. Just work up slowly to build your selling limits. I started with the lowest selling limits and was upgraded by eBay automatically after a very short amount of time.
Part 3 (Amazon Acct.): You can go two directions with this step. Many sellers elect to only list items that are above the $35 free shipping limit. With this step all you need is your average Amazon account. Although, you may choose to use an Amazon Prime account. If you choose to use an Amazon Prime account, you will ALWAYS end up losing your Prime benefits at some point for reselling activity. I advise that you use a different account if you have a personal one. BUT WAIT, PRIME ACCOUNTS COST MONEY RIGHT?! That doesn't matter. This is quite simple to deal with even though many of the people I see on BHW don't seem to see how easy this is. Not only that, but having a Prime account will help your sales DRAMATICALLY. (See step 6.5 to see why)
Make a new account and sign up for Prime with a 30 day free trial. Directly after this select that you do not want to pay for the 1 year of Amazon Prime after the 30 days are over. After each 30 days expire, repeat this step. I have never lost an Amazon Prime account within those 30 days, the only time I have lost Prime benefits is when I first started and used my own personal Prime account.
Part 4 (Paypal Acct.): Get yourself a verified Paypal account and attach it to your eBay account if it isn't already.
Part 5 (Finding Items): The goal here is to find items on Amazon that you can sell on eBay for a higher price. Consumers are lazy and usually purchase from places they are comfortable with or have used before, this reason alone is why this method is even possible. Many times I see people state that if you see an item selling at a lower price than you would like to sell at on eBay, to move on and find another item. THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE!
Just because an item sells a few times at a lower price than you would like doesn't mean you should avoid it. Many times, those sellers have been lazy or used automation to set up their listings (I will touch on this in a later step). Therefore, if you provide a more detailed listing and proper title, likely your item will show up for more search results and your item will sell at a higher price. As I just stated, consumers are lazy, if they see an item they think is a good price, they will likely purchase it instead of trying to find a better price. NEARLY 50% OF THE ITEMS I SELL ARE NOT THE LOWEST PRICE ON EBAY.
I set a strict but vague limit for myself when listing items. I must make more than $7 after Paypal and eBay fees. If I find that the item is a hot seller and sells more often, I am fine with making less per item, but never under $5 profit per item.
Set a specific profit margin and stick to it.
Part 6 (Listing Items): The key to this step is a proper title and a detailed listing. People want to be informed when they look at your listing and most will not message you for further information, they will just move on. This is where I disagree with many other people who use this method. The common belief is the more items you can list, the more money you make. First, selling thousands of items at a time will take a TON of your time when having to deal with customer inquiries and keep orders fulfilled each day. Falling behind on this will hurt your feedback score and reputation.
If you do it the way I do, it is much less stress and easier to contain and maintain. I currently only have around ~150 items listed right now. Partly because I have listed 1000s of items over the past two years and these 150 items are all regular sellers.
Not only do I disagree on listing tons of items, but I disagree in the way many people list their items. There are a ton of automation methods available in the IM community and I strongly advise you don't use them. Any seller I see using these programs have unoptimized titles and listings for their items. I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU DO EACH LISTING BY HAND. Yes, this will take a while but the end result is worth your time and money. You could even outsource this process if you want, as long as it is done correctly.
One last tip is to generally look for items that are not widely known or sold on the internet. Many times, there are suppliers who have connections with popular items and sell at prices you will never reach. Aim for items that you would only find on Amazon and not many other places.
Part 6.5 (Titles/Description/Images): I am going to give you some examples of great titles and how to properly provide a description. Many sellers that list by hand and using automation strictly use the same title Amazon provides for the item as the title on eBay. Once again, THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. For example, if you were to list a Shower Curtain, many times Amazon just states "(Shower curtain+design+size)" in the title. If you want to list one on eBay, you would add those but also includes words like (New, Modern, Bathroom, Bathtub, Classy, Simple, Waterproof, Bath, Decor, etc.). Use as many words as you can until the title is full!
When filling out the description, include as much information as you possibly can. Include size, model #, material, power usage, battery type, etc. the more the better.
Use every image available on Amazon for your item. People love pictures.
THIS IS NOW WHERE HAVING A PRIME ACCOUNT KICKS IN! Prime members get FREE 2-Day Shipping in all of the US.
In your pictures and/or titles, advertise FREE 2-Day Shipping! Buyers will spend more on your items for this alone! Not only are people lazy, but they are impatient!
Part 7 (Ordering): When you make a sale, you now need to buy the item from Amazon. Order your item using your Credit/Debit card and the billing address the card requires. For the shipping address, copy and paste the address of your buyer from eBay. That's it! Very simple.
Part 8 (Misconceptions): By now you might have some questions or concerns. I will try to address them here with ones I commonly see. Later on, I will add more once others respond to the thread.
1. Will buyers get mad when they see an Amazon box or see the invoice?
I have never in two years and 1800+ feedbacks had a customer be mad about the box. Once or twice I have been asked if the item came from Amazon. Considering I have some common sense and a creative mind, I explained that I use the Amazon shipping service called "Fulfillment by Amazon". This is a real service, but it does not really work the way I am explaining, but hardly no one knows this so it works with customers. Keep in mind I have been asked this twice in two years.
Also, some of you seem to be living in the past. If you have ordered anything from Amazon in the past two years, you would know that almost no items come with invoices whether you select the "Gift" option or not. They stopped doing it to save paper. If you are worried, just select that item each time. Your buyer will never get an invoice.
2. Isn't this method risky because items can be often Out of Stock on Amazon?
With this method you will find that POPULAR items sell out often. Staying away from these items like I advised will really help with this. Although, you will still experience being out of stock. I have developed a great way of handling this. Some of you may have heard of this, it's called CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Being a nice and understanding seller will help you with this method. If you respond and communicate with your buyers in a timely fashion, this wont be an issue. I will provide an example on how I deal with items being out of stock.
First I message the buyer saying something like, "Hello, I deeply apologize but my supplier misinformed me on how many of these were available for sale. As much as I would like to wait for more to arrive, I felt the best thing to do was to refund you instead. I apologize again and have a nice day." Second, I provide them a refund right away.
Doing this has resulted in ONE negative feedback from a stubborn buyer that was convinced I refunded them only to re-list the item at a higher price, which was not true.
Part 9 (Scaling): As I stated above, the key to this method is acquiring a good amount of high quality, regular selling items. If you need ideas for items to sell, copy and paste the titles of Amazon items into eBay and make the same listings as other buyers but MAKE YOURS BETTER. The total amount you want is up to you. I could easily increase the amount of items I have active, but I like only needing to spend an hour per day fulfilling my orders and communicating with customers. That is the reason this method is so great for someone in college like myself.
Part 10 (Returns): This is another feared part of this method by many people but its not a big deal at all. It is up to you to choose if you allow returns. I choose to offer them to give the customer some confidence in my items. Amazon will accept anything in a return almost so why not? If a customer claims they don't want an item, that means they have to pay return shipping. To complete this, go to your Amazon account a request a return for the item in question. They will give you the address of the return department, in which you give to the buyer. Once Amazon refunds you, you then refund the buyer.
If something is defective with the item, reply quickly to the customer, apologize and state you can provide a free return shipping label along with refund or a free replacement. Then, ask for a return of the item on Amazon, but in this case state that something is wrong with it. They will provide you with a return UPS shipping label for free. Screen capture this label and crop just the label itself. Save as an img file and then send this in an email to the buyer (To find their email, go to the Paypal transaction, it will be there). The reason you use email is because eBay shrinks the label if you try to send it through their message system. Explain that is why you sent the label to their email and explain to them the instructions on how to return the item. From here, refund the buyer or send a replacement after Amazon sends you the refund.
Part 11 (Proof): I am not going to state specific earnings or anything like that. You should know by now that I wouldn't waste my time sharing this detailed tutorial of a method if it didn't work. As I stated above, I paid for two years of junior college with my earnings. For the big skeptics, here is a screen cap of my eBay sales in the last 60 days.
There is no need for more proof than that. The ones who take this information and earn with it will benefit and those who don't believe in it can just move on, doesn't matter to me :)
I do not think I'm the best at this method, it is simply an explanation of how I have conducted this business over the past couple years. I felt I needed to share my knowledge and clear some things up about it.
I apologize for the length, but it is the only way I know how to teach. I have to be detailed and methodical if I am going to share something like this.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below, I will check back a couple times a day and ask any questions that you have.