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Dropship: How to List Thousands of Items on eBay for Sale With One Click

Updated on July 30, 2015

Average $15 Profit Per Order Less Than 1 Minute Order Processing

I have just quit selling on eBay after 10 years. I was slow to realize that I am not a customer service type of person. For two months, I completely ignored emails coming from eBay. One night when I tried to run my inventory update program and found that my download from eBay has a size 0! I only then realized that my 2000 eBay listings have all been removed! My seller account was suspended when my feedback rating slipped all the way down to 96%. I did not bother to appeal because that was sort of what I wanted - to quit eBay selling.

With my experience, I might be able to offer some useful technical advice.

During the 10-years, I have actually focused on something different from selling - the technologies of automation. I was able to automate shipping label printing (even for most international orders). I was able to at one point adjust item prices everyday (by pennies) depending on sales results. I was able to upload/update thousands of listings using dropshippers' inventory. I had around 8000 items listed on eBay for sale at the peak.

However, eBay changed their search algorithm. My search rank dropped significantly based mostly on 2 factors: my feedback ratings, and mostly the amount of fees I was paying eBay (a devastating "negative feedback"). They always tell you the cliché such as how important keywords are. Obviously though, if I were eBay, I would want to put items that sell well on top of the search results.

So how do you easily list a lot of items for sale? (This works even if you are just an individual.)

eBay File Exchange - can be profitable if used correctly

The eBay File Exchange program is good for volume selling. It is perfect for dropshipping. Of course, you have to have the right suppliers first. I have tried 20-30 dropship suppliers during the years. Most of them are quite useless because of competition plus there are always countless naïve newbies who do not know how to calculate fees and sell for a loss. In the past few years though, I did successfully work with a few suppliers.

eBay File Exchange allows you to upload a text file (more specifically a CSV, comma delimited text file) which contains columns of information including item title, description, image URL, return policy, Paypal pay-to, handling time, ship-from zip, etc. Everything you see when you open an item page is included in the file. I cannot say their manual (or the tool itself) is well written. It takes a while to get it to work. For example, a tricky part is that you have to remove all the quotes from column headers and save the csv file as text (using a text editor instead of MS Excel or OpenOffice). PSPad is a good (free) text editor to use. By the way, OpenOffice is also free.

Combining the eBay File Exchange with eBay API, you can fully automate the entire process, if you use dropship. (Obviously if you have inventory, you will have to pack orders. For dropshipping, you only need to get on suppliers website and place orders.)

How I do it

  1. Get an eBay token for use with their API. Use the API to download your eBay listings.
  2. Download supplier's inventory (update). Compare items to add new items or remove items that are out of stock. (I have programs that do this. The program takes supplier's cost, calculates eBay/paypal fees, and marks up a certain percentage from the item costs from the supplier.)
  3. Upload the new CSV file through File Exchange which will remove out-of-stock items, and update inventory count.

It usually takes just minutes for the thousands of items to show/update on eBay.

On a side note, eBay prefers free shipping. (They put free-shipping items on top.) The most profitable sales will be multiple-unit orders, because essentially buyers are paying multiple shipping charges. (There is no combined-shipping discount because it's "free shipping!") I had a few sales that actually gave me 100% profit just a few months ago, when customers paid $2000 and half of it was my profit. It all comes down to the right suppliers.

A quick note about dropshipping: dropshipping is an easy way to start or expand your e-commerce even with limited capitals. You can avoid inventory risk and the hassle of customer service. Dropshippers ship items directly to your customers only after your customer pays you and you pay the dropshippers. See below a short video demonstration of how dropshipping works.


It is not hard to expand your eBay selling with eBay File Exchange, API, and some programming plus good, profitable dropshippers. This can all be done without inventory and by just one individual.

ebay file exchange & dropshp
ebay file exchange & dropshp | Source

Dropship Video Demo


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    • profile image

      Shawn 14 months ago

      If you are dropshipping on eBay a great tool to help automate the process of ordering from suppliers such as Walmart, Wayfair, Aliexpress is Dropship N Paste (Google it) - it eliminates the need of copying each part of the address by hand and autofills it into your supplier. Saves hours of time!

    • profile image

      Than1ce 2 years ago

      Hey can you add me on skype?I have some questions

      thanos.yo Greece

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 2 years ago

      I havent done ebay for quite a few years now, so i am not sure about the fees now. Yes, you pay the listing fees for each item you list for 30 days. However there were 3 different levels of ebay store subscription. for highest-level subscription, it was $0.03 per item i think.

      not only that all market places are flooded with dropship items, but also many ebay newbies were selling at a loss. I thought some of them did not know how to calculate the fees or shipping costs. the problem however exists everywhere, e.g., amazon, pricegrabber, etc. However, many sellers are still doing well. I think there are factors other than pricing that determines where buyers buy. Some of them might not sort by the price. for one thing, default sort most likely has something to do with your performance. another strategy often used (like in the grocery stores) is to have a few very cheap items (deals) and make it up with upsales.

      there are some costs that are unavoidable such as listing fees or dropship memberships. they become minor when you get the selling going. however, you can start with some free dropshippers. some of the free ones i used include wallpaperforwindows, xs depot (games), DSDI (you can talk to them to drop the fees, i never paid them fees. they were negotiable), kole imports (crafts). pam america bedding might not accept new dropship anymore.

      you can also find free dropshippers here

    • profile image

      Nor 2 years ago

      Hi g37752, Thank you so much for this great info. I am researching hard at the moment as wanting to give aching hubby a break from working and thought as a stay at home wife Dropshipping might be a go to help.

      So would really love to know when you list all at once for example 1000 items, does it mean you will be charged by ebay 1000 insertion fees at once also?

      I have looked at different big names dropshipping companies, it seems that ebay is already flooded by their products so a bit hard to choose which one. So would you advice to go for the big ones or we have to searched harder to find those not so well known dropshippers? Sorry not too sure what to ask. I am looking to sell not the same same products. A bit confused with so many advices and directions. I would really love to hear from you knowing that you have done this successfully. Thanks so much. Any suggestions would really help us so much. God bless. Nor.

    • profile image

      Lakiesha 3 years ago

      Shoot, who would have thgohut that it was that easy?

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 3 years ago

      glad to be of help :)

    • profile image

      joe 3 years ago

      thank you for this

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 3 years ago

      i never used photobuckets or the like. i upload all images to one of my sites. see my other article about the web hosting company i use so in the file exchange file, i just put in the image paths on my site.

      for dropship items, i get the image paths from the dropshippers provided spreadsheet files. copy the image column. save as a text file .txt. you can then type in the file path in your browser for example, c:\ebayfiles\images.txt get firefox plugin called "downthemall" and whola 10s of thousands of images are downloaded to your computer! use FileZilla to upload all the images to your web hosting server.

      if you are doing serious ebay selling, web hosting cost $10-$20/mon is nothing. forget about photobucket! with a web hosting server, you can also host numerous other websites. if you sell on ebay why not put all the items also on your own site? a domain name only costs you $10 a year. minimal investment i would say.

    • Young Yuen profile image

      Young Yuen 3 years ago

      Hi g37752 thank you for the sharing.

      1. is there any photo sharing online album that i can download all the photo link as excel ?

      as i would like place the photo link in the excel to upload items by ebay file exchange so that i can upload items in bulk.

      2. do you know picbackman?

      it it a software that can automtically upload photos from pc to smugmug or photobucket.

      however, photobucket only allow me to create 200 albums while smugmug only allow me to create 300 albums

      do you know any photo sharing company that allow me to host unlimted by picbackman?

      or do you know another good auto upload photo software ?

      million thanks !!

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 3 years ago

      here are a few dropshippers that have worked for me: (window films) (paintball supplies) (multiple dropshippers and wholesalers, all categories)

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 3 years ago

      you dont need any software. all you need is to subscribe to ebay file exchange which provides a template. the upload file can get tricky. you might need to play with it a little. i do use openOffice spreadsheet to do the simple calculation. with the spreadsheet, you can manipulate a column of numbers by simple arithmetics.

    • profile image

      Ebay Seller 3 years ago

      Please can u tell me what software you used?

      Calculate cost and transfer inventory into a file exchange csv upload file.

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 3 years ago

      data upload shouldn't have anything to do with the design.

    • Darren Stock profile image

      Darren Stock 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Great article. Do you know if you can upload a listing design template using this method. I would like to use a template similar to my store theme.

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 4 years ago

      you can also find dropship or wholesale suppliers here

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 5 years ago

      sorry for the late reply. i posted a few dropshippers below.

    • profile image

      Hope 5 years ago

      hey man i really like your advise i would like to have a session with you via sykpe please add me @ hope bushe (business)

    • profile image

      sean 5 years ago

      Hi, could you tell me some dropshipping companys?

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 5 years ago

      Sorry, I did not know I haven't attended to my account for that long..?

    • profile image

      Momin 5 years ago

      Need your help

    • g37752 profile image

      g37752 5 years ago

      I dont know if life is complicated or it's just a difference between men and women:

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 5 years ago

      Just reading your hub, although interesting, reminds me of how complicated it seems to me to sell on eBay, at least for an average type computer user such as myself, and how complicated my life already is. Thanks for the reality check!


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