Not so long ago, dropshipping from Amazon to eBay was a lucrative and profitable business model. The concept was simple – find a product on Amazon and sell it for a higher price on eBay. The difference between the Amazon price and your eBay price was your earnings to keep.
However, the unavoidable flaws in the 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 sustainable dropshipping business on eBay the right way.
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.
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 I will outline the most critical problems that can arise when dropshipping from Amazon to eBay.
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 made it clear that the practice of “dropshipping,” or selling items on eBay while sourcing them from another retailer or marketplace, was prohibited.
This use of the word “marketplace” is especially intriguing because Amazon is, in fact, one of the world’s largest marketplaces. Obviously, they were the intended target.
There has been a crackdown on accounts that may be engaging in retail arbitrage dropshipping since the policy shift. Overnight, eBay banned thousands of sellers, destroying many successful enterprises.
The possibility of suspension was no longer worth staying under the radar for those who had managed to do so.
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.
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. Additionally, design infringement complaints or claims of selling counterfeit brands can still be made even if you use your own images.
Think about this. You purchase a product on eBay only for it to arrive in Amazon-branded packaging with a confusing gift note.
Just what is it that you do right off the bat? Most people would go directly to Amazon and search for the item, only to discover it listed for a much lower price, resulting in negative feedback or demand for a refund.
When dropshipping from Amazon to eBay first began, not many people were aware of the option. Even fewer thought it could actually be profitable in any way.
Few others were engaging in this activity, so profits for the existing players were high. It was simple to make £30 or more by reselling a £20 Amazon product on eBay.
However, as time went on, eBay was inundated with Amazon listings, to the point where a single Amazon item could have hundreds of equivalent listings on eBay, all with the exact same product details.
Due to the sudden increase in competition, prices on eBay have dropped dramatically. As a result, profit margins shrank and companies found it harder to differentiate themselves.
A seller could make a ton of money with very few listings back in the good old days. However, in order to be as successful as they once were, sellers today need thousands of listings.
Useless Tracking Info
Not having tracking information makes it very difficult to dispute and win eBay cases, especially those involving items that were never received. When sending goods from Amazon to eBay as part of a dropshipping operation, Amazon Logistics is typically used.
Logging into your Amazon account and viewing the order details is the only way to see the status of an order processed by Amazon Logistics. As a result, nobody, not even eBay, can see or verify the tracking information.
Ebay will always side with the buyer if you cannot provide tracking information to prove that the item was delivered. Many people have tried proving delivery by showing a screenshot of the confirmation, but this strategy has failed as well. Images captured on a computer screen are so easily manipulated that eBay cannot rely on them as evidence.
To ask an eBay worker to verify your Amazon order status by logging in and checking the tracking information would be unreasonable as well. Your retail arbitrage practices would only be exposed if you did this.
Prices for millions of items on Amazon fluctuate frequently. As a result, many others become unavailable or are taken off the market entirely.
As a result of the fluid nature of the marketplace, some vendors may temporarily disappear. This means that, despite using dropshipping software or tools, you cannot keep your eBay listings reflecting the most recent stock levels or prices.
Since there is a wide variety of vendors, it is difficult for automated systems to keep up with prices and stock levels.
Many people are unaware that Amazon actually operates as a marketplace. Many of the millions of products sold on Amazon are actually sold and fulfilled by independent sellers.
When dropshipping, it’s easy for things like delivery times, returns, and tracking prices and stock to get out of hand if you’re working with multiple sellers at once.
In fact, the sheer number of Amazon third-party sellers makes it difficult for even the most popular dropshipping software solutions to keep up with stock and prices effectively.
One vendor with consistent shipping, returns, and payment policies is preferable to juggling multiple vendors with varying policies.
The Alternative to Amazon to eBay Dropshipping
Buying from a real wholesaler or trade only supplier is the only way to build a legitimate, long-lasting eBay dropshipping business today.
Finding supplies on Amazon, or any other retailer, is now unacceptable. It should be made clear that legitimate dropshipping, in which products are sourced from a wholesaler or trade-only supplier, is still permitted on eBay.
Read our comprehensive eBay dropshipping guide for answers to frequently asked questions and suggestions on where to find genuine wholesale suppliers.
Amazon to eBay Dropshipping FAQ’s
We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dropshipping from Amazon to eBay so that you can find quick answers right here. We hope this answers your questions, but if you have any others or need any help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Is Amazon to eBay dropshipping legal?
It is not illegal to dropship Amazon products to eBay, but it is illegal to use Amazon product images and descriptions for which you do not own the copyrights.
The rightful copyright holders may file a complaint with eBay, which could result in severe actions like the suspension or limitation of your account.
Official legal action on the part of copyright owners is also possible, though highly unlikely. Thus, it is risky and illegal to use Amazon images to sell on eBay unless you create your own images or acquire permission from the copyright holder.
Does eBay allow dropshipping from Amazon?
As of the start of 2019, it is against eBay’s policy to dropship products from Amazon or any other retailer. Strict penalties, such as account restrictions or suspension, may be imposed for policy violations.
What if I’m already dropshipping from Amazon?
If you are currently dropshipping Amazon items on eBay, it is highly recommended that you transition to only selling items from legitimate wholesalers or trade only dropship suppliers.
Any listings that were sourced from Amazon or any other retailers must be removed immediately. If you’re interested in learning more about how to create a successful eBay dropshipping business, check out our comprehensive dropshipping guide.
What happens if my eBay account gets flagged?
The most common response from eBay is to impose restrictions on your account if it is suspected of being used for retail arbitrage dropshipping.
When your account is restricted, your listings are no longer visible in searches, which can cause a significant drop in revenue.
Some of the other common limitations placed on flagged accounts include a lack of access to the eBay marketplace and the inability to post new items for sale.
What should I do if my eBay account is already flagged?
If eBay flags your account, you should create a new one and delete the old one. Usually, flagged accounts will have their restrictions applied only to them.
Therefore, it’s recommended to start a new one. To the best of my knowledge, there is currently no way to have the limitations lifted from an already existing account.
What should I do if I get suspended from eBay?
If eBay ever bans you from selling, good luck getting back in the game. A new account must be made under a new name and paid for with a new PayPal account if this is to be avoided.
However, eBay may still be able to correlate your new IP address with the one associated with your suspended account. This is why changing your IP address is recommended.
Conclusion: Amazon to eBay Dropshipping is DEAD
The business model of dropshipping from Amazon to eBay is quickly becoming irrelevant due to the growing difficulty of doing so.
Because eBay can take damaging action, like mass suspensions and account restrictions, doing business on the platform is extremely risky.
Because of the constantly improving methods used to identify those engaging in such activities, it is now impossible to remain undetected.
At some point, eBay will take action against your account, and that time could be today, next week, or next year. Taking into account all the problems, it is safe to say that dropshipping from Amazon to eBay is no longer practiced.