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Best Dropshipping Platforms: eBay vs. Shopify vs. Amazon

7 min read

It is easier to get into the dropshipping business when you know which the best platforms to dropship on are. One of the best dropshipping platforms for beginners are eBay, Shopify, and Amazon. Dropshipping on them presents multiple opportunities for newbies to build their own online stores.

We carried out for you an easy comparison of eBay vs. Shopify vs. Amazon dropshipping platforms. Let’s see what is the difference between them and which platform would be the most beginner-friendly.  

What is dropshipping? 

In the dropshipping model, you sell products online but you don’t hold the stock and don´t handle the logistics of shipping them to your buyers:

Although, one of the main tasks for the dropshippers is to get good visibility for their products, so they can reach the customers online. The ways how to do it varies on the specificity of different eCommerce platforms. 

Platforms to dropship on: eBay vs. Shopify vs. Amazon 

In our comparison of Amazon vs. Shopify vs. eBay dropshipping, we will focus on the next components:

  Inventory Advertisement Budget Simplicity Profit potential
eBay Dropshipping Not required Not required Very simple, automated with DSM Tool Low
Shopify Dropshipping Not required Required, usually costs hundreds or thousands of dollars Complicated, requires knowledge in design, analytics and advertising Very high
Amazon Dropshipping Required, usually costs hundreds or thousands of dollars Sometimes required Harder than eBay, requires knowledge in import/export, but easier than Shopify High

Now let’s speak about each type of dropshipping more in detail.

Dropshipping on Amazon

The main reason to choose Amazon as the platform to dropship on is its huge customer base. Amazon accounted for 49% of the eCommerce market share in the USA in 2018.

Is dropshipping on Amazon allowed?

Amazon technically allows dropshipping, nevertheless, it has strict rules for such a business model. The peculiarity of dropshipping on Amazon is that you can sell any item that was already sold by someone else. Basically, you just need to be able to offer it to your buyers and identify yourself as a seller (in shipping, packing, invoices,etc.).

The risk in choosing to start dropshipping on Amazon FBA

Because of its policy, when you start dropshipping on Amazon, you buy the inventory ahead and send it to the Amazon fulfillment center (aka FBA). The product will appear on the Amazon site. There is no need for you to build your own website for your online shop. 

Moreover, many new FBA sellers choose to launch their products by sending samples to influencers or paying for advertising on the Amazon platform. These are further financials to take in account if you want to start dropshipping on Amazon.

Is it easy to start dropshipping on Amazon?

Because you don’t need to build a website, like with Shopify, it is easier to start selling on Amazon. But you might find eBay to be even easier because on Amazon you go through a verification process before you can start selling, while on eBay the process usually happens 3-4 months after you made your first sale.

Is Amazon FBA profitable?

Yes, it is very profitable if you do it right. The simple rule of business that the higher the risk the higher the gain applied here. Amazon and Shopify both offer, together with a higher risk, a higher chance of making big figures. 

 

Dropshipping on Shopify 

Shopify Is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms where you can dropship on. To do so, firstly, you will need to build your store there (to build your own website on their platform with the help of Shopify). Then, you will have to advertise your store to track potential buyers.

Do you need inventory to dropship on Shopify?

Shopify is a dropshipping-friendly merchant platform. When you dropship on Shopify, you don’t need to buy or hold the inventory. Again, you will be a digital marketer, who presents the product and when the order comes, contact the supplier. Exactly your supplier will ship the goods to your customers.  

Why is Shopify the most risky business model?

Tthe main peculiarity of dropshipping on Shopify is that you need to earn traffic, hence, you need to invest in the advertisement campaigns to get potential buyers. You are the one who will promote your business and build your own brand.

It makes it the most risky business model because unlike inventory with Amazon FBA that you can at least sell in some loss, advertising wrongfully can cost a lot, and sales aren’t guaranteed.

Shopify dropshipping is the hardest business model to operate

Dropshipping using Shopify dropshipping requires design, analytics, and advertising knowledge. These are all important to gain, no matter which platform you will choose to start from.

But learning all of which as the same time is generally harder then learning it gradually as your business grows, which eBay and Amazon allows you to do by offering both the facility (the store) and the traffic (the marketplace visitors)

eCommerce platforms for dropshipping

Dropshipping on eBay 

eBay is the second biggest eCommerce platform in the world after Amazon. At the beginning of 2020, it counted 183 million users. can it really be the best option for dropshipping beginners?

It is easy to start dropshipping on eBay

In comparison with Shopify and Amazon, eBay offers an easy and very quick process of creating a seller account there. This is already a major reason why it is such a beginner-friendly platform to start dropshipping business.

Besides, you don’t need to build your own website and invest in web design (compared with Shopify dropshipping). Once you become a seller, your eBay store is acting like your website.

Additionally, with eBay, you can use the free automated dropshipping software DSM Tool, which works with Chinese, USA, Canada, Australia, and European dropshipping suppliers. With this software, you can list the products on eBay in a matter of seconds and it will monitor them and update around the clock. 

A profitable business model with a $0 advertising budget

Starting dropshipping on eBay, there will be no need to spend money on the advertisements to get potential buyers (though, you still can do it). Instead, you get buyers by using the concept of retail arbitrage and by optimizing your listings for eBay SEO to get into the first eBay search pages. That is how potential buyers find your products.

Do you need inventory to start dropshipping on eBay?

No. Just as the Shopify dropshippers, eBay dropshippers don’t hold any inventory. They present the product on their eBay selling accounts or eBay seller stores, and after getting a sale, they contact the supplier, who ships this item directly to their customers. 

The downside of dropshipping on eBay

The main downside is that it’s just not as scalable – you can’t build your own brand, and since it is not in compliance with the eBay dropshipping policy you have to work with a limited amount of traffic.

Less traffic means fewer potential buyers which means eventually less potential profits. Once again, the business rule of risk-return applies here as well.

The very low risk makes dropshipping on eBay probably the most beginners friendly business model, but if you choose to start with it you should take into a count that in order for your business to grow you will have to learn other business models as well.

Conclusion

If you have no prior experience in digital marketing, and you are not willing to risk a lot of money in the process of trying to build your own business – consider starting dropshipping on eBay.

If you do have some experience in digital marketing and the funds to finance the venture, Shopify and Amazon can offer higher potential for profits.

We made this overview of three big eCommerce platforms to dropship on: eBay vs. Shopify vs. Amazon. Each of them presents multiple opportunities to start a dropshipping business and grow it.

We hope it helped you to decide which dropshipping platform to choose and which challenged and possibilities you can face on it.

Best of luck!

Written by Diana Velyka

Diana joined DSM Tool in 2019 as a Customer Success Manager and helped thousands of e-commerce owners to run their online shops. Today, she is a part of the content team of Dropship Academy where she focuses mainly on the drop shipping research to help the global entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world, playing the guitar and learning languages.

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