Not so long ago, dropshipping from Amazon to eBay was a highly profitable and lucrative business model. The concept was simple – find a popular product on Amazon, sell it for a higher price on eBay then purchase it from Amazon and have it shipped directly to the customer. The difference between the Amazon price and your eBay selling price, minus any fees, was your earnings to keep.
However, the unavoidable flaws in the business model eventually became apparent. Not only did it become increasingly difficult to earn profit due to tough competition, but eBay began to crack down on those suspected of participating. A subsequent change to eBay’s dropshipping policy rendered the technique officially forbidden on the platform.
If you’ve been considering getting involved with Amazon to eBay dropshipping, this article will explain why it’s no longer a viable business opportunity. You’ll also find information on how to build a dropshipping business on eBay the right way, as well as a collection of answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is Amazon to eBay Dropshipping?
Amazon to eBay dropshipping is a form of retail arbitrage in which Amazon products are sold on eBay for marked-up prices, then purchased from Amazon for a lower price and shipped directly to consumers. Although a perfectly legal practice, the model has significant flaws which render it risky, unsustainable and forbidden on eBay. Unlike the traditional method of dropshipping, which involves sourcing products from a genuine wholesaler, retail arbitrage dropshipping is often considered unethical, mainly because products are sold to unsuspecting consumers for significantly above retail prices. For more information on the workings of a traditional dropship business, please read our guide on what is dropshipping.
8 Reasons to Avoid Amazon to eBay Dropshipping
While Amazon to eBay dropshipping may seem like a lucrative or attractive business opportunity at first glance, it has many underlining problems which make it highly unsustainable and short-lasting. Here’s a breakdown the most serious issues associated with dropshipping from Amazon to eBay.
1. Against eBay Terms
One of the biggest reasons to avoid dropshipping from Amazon to eBay is because it’s against eBay’s terms. At some point in 2019, eBay updated their dropshipping policy to specifically state that selling products on eBay, then sourcing them from another retailer or marketplace was forbidden. The use of the word marketplace was particularly interesting considering Amazon is one of the largest marketplaces in the world. It was clearly a direct reference to them.
With the change in policy followed a pursuit of accounts suspected of retail arbitrage dropshipping. Thousands of eBay sellers were suspended, and many profitable businesses destroyed overnight. For those who slipped under the radar, the risk of suspension was no longer worth the reward.
2. Against Amazon Terms
Dropshipping products from Amazon to eBay using the Amazon Prime service is a direct violation of the terms and conditions. As stated in the policy ‘Prime members are not permitted to purchase products for the purpose of resale or to ship to their customers or potential customers’.
Sellers using Amazon Prime for dropshipping will quickly find their Amazon accounts being suspended. It’s no surprise either. Amazon Prime is a specialist service for loyal Amazon customers. It’s designed for consumers who place a small number of orders each month, not dropshippers who order hundreds, if not thousands of products. Quite simply, Amazon cannot afford to ship out thousands of products with express delivery every month for such a low fee.
3. Copyrighted Images
While dropshipping from Amazon to eBay is technically legal, using copyrighted product images is not. Sellers participating in Amazon to eBay dropshipping often find their listing being reported to eBay by the rights owner, resulting in the immediate removal of the listing and a stern warning from eBay. Continuous violations can result in account suspension or the removal of all listings. Unless you create your own product images and write unique descriptions, copyright issues are inevitable. Furthermore, using your own images does not protect against design violations or complaints of selling unauthorised brands.
4. Amazon Packaging
Picture this. You purchase a product on eBay only for it to arrive in Amazon branded packaging with a confusing gift note. What’s the first thing you do? Most people would go directly to Amazon and search for the item, only to discover it listed for a much lower price, resulting in a negative feedback or demand for a refund.
5. Huge Competition
Back in the days when Amazon to eBay dropshipping was in its infancy, very few people knew about it. Even fewer believed it was possible to make money from it. Those that were doing it found competition scarce. It was easy to sell a £20 Amazon item for £30 or more on eBay. In time however, eBay became bombarded with Amazon listings, reaching a stage where a single Amazon item had hundreds of equivalent listings on eBay, all with the exact same product details.
The massive rise in competition led to a price lowering battle between eBay sellers. The result was diminishing profit margins and an increasing struggle to stand out from the crowd. In the glory days, a seller could make tons of sales with very few listings. These days however, sellers need thousands of listings to achieve the same levels of success.
6. Useless Tracking Info
Having tracking information is essential for disputing and winning eBay cases, particularly item not received cases. When dropshipping from Amazon to eBay, most products will be sent via Amazon Logistics. The only way to track an order sent via Amazon Logistics is by logging into your Amazon account and viewing the order details. It’s therefore impossible for any third party, particularly eBay to view and verify the tracking details.
If you can’t provide tracking information to prove that an item was delivered, eBay will always side with the buyer. Providing a screenshot of the confirmed delivery, a tactic many tried, won’t work either. Screenshots are easily manipulated, leaving eBay unable to take them as fact. It’s also unrealistic to expect an eBay associate to login to your Amazon account and check the tracking details. Doing so would only result in bringing your retail arbitrage practices to their attention.
7. Volatile Prices
Millions of Amazon products change in price every day. Many more run out of stock or disappear from the marketplace entirely. That’s part of the nature of being a marketplace, sellers come and go. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to keep your eBay listings up to date with accurate stock levels and prices, even with the use of dropshipping software or tools. The mixture of third-party sellers makes it tedious for software to accurately monitor prices and stock.
8. Third Party Sellers
A lot of people don’t realise that Amazon is a marketplace. Millions of Amazon products are sold and fulfilled by third-party sellers rather than by Amazon themselves. When dropshipping, it can become extremely messy dealing with multiple sellers at a time, particularly when it comes to delivery times, returns and price/stock tracking. In fact, some of the most popular dropshipping software solutions struggle to efficiently track Amazon stock and prices due to the sheer volume of third-party sellers. It’s much simpler to source products from one supplier with the same shipping, returns and payment policies than multiple sellers with varying policies.
The Alternative to Amazon to eBay Dropshipping
These days, the only way build a compliant, sustainable and long-lasting eBay dropshipping business is by sourcing products from a genuine wholesaler or trade only supplier. Sourcing products from Amazon, or any other retailer for that matter, is no longer acceptable. To be clear, dropshipping is still allowed on eBay, but only when its done in the correct way, by sourcing products from a genuine wholesaler or trade-only supplier. For more information, read our extensive eBay dropshipping guide complete with frequently asked questions and details on how to find real wholesale suppliers.
Amazon to eBay Dropshipping FAQ’s
The following FAQs provide instant answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Amazon to eBay dropshipping. If we missed a question or you require some additional support, please feel free to contact us directly.
Is Amazon to eBay dropshipping legal?
While the process of dropshipping Amazon products to eBay is perfectly legal, using product images and descriptions for which you don’t own the copyrights is not. The true copyright owners are well within their rights to report you to eBay which could result in strict penalties such as account restrictions or suspension. Although unlikely, copyright owners also reserve the right to take official legal action. Therefore, unless you create your own images or acquire permission from the copyright holder, using Amazon images to sell on eBay is risky and illegal.
Does eBay allow dropshipping from Amazon?
No. As of 2019, dropshipping products from Amazon, or any other retailer for that matter, is against eBay’s policy. Failure to follow the policy could result in strict penalties such as account restrictions or suspension.
What if I’m already dropshipping from Amazon?
If you’re already dropshipping Amazon products on eBay, you should make it a priority to gradually end your listings and replace them with dropship products from genuine wholesalers or trade only dropshipping suppliers. Removing all listings sourced from Amazon or any other retailers as soon as possible is a must. Please see our eBay dropshipping guide for more information on building a sustainable eBay dropshipping business.
What happens if my eBay account gets flagged?
If your eBay account gets flagged for retail arbitrage dropshipping, the most common course of action by eBay is to enforce restrictions. If your account is restricted, it means your listings will be hidden from the search results, leading to a sudden decline in sales. Other common restrictions associated with flagged accounts include losing the ability to create new listings and being unable to use certain eBay features.
What should I do if my eBay account is already flagged?
If your eBay account has been flagged, you should open a new account and close the flagged one. Restrictions will usually only apply to that one specific flagged account. Therefore, opening a new one is the best course of action. As far as I know, there’s no way to have the restrictions removed from your existing account.
What should I do if I get suspended from eBay?
Unfortunately, if you get suspended from eBay, it’s extremely difficult to start selling again. The only option is to create a brand-new account with a different name and different PayPal account. However, even with new accounts, it’s possible for eBay to link them to your previously suspended account based on your location. Therefore, switching IP address is also advisable.
Conclusion: Amazon to eBay Dropshipping is DEAD
With increasing hurdles to overcome when dropshipping from Amazon to eBay, the business model is fast become obsolete. Damaging action from eBay including mass suspensions and account restrictions render the business highly risky. Ever advancing techniques to detect those participating in such practices make it impossible to stay under the radar. Whether it’s today, next week or next year, eBay will eventually penalise your account. Taking all the flaws into consideration, it’s safe to say, Amazon to eBay dropshipping is a thing of the past.