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eBay Sales 101 - How To Make A Profit Without Spending A Penny

Updated on May 17, 2015

In this hub, I will show you a system I have used to turn over a profit without a single expense except for final value and listing fees.

I developed this system after I learned about drop shipping, now let me tell you how much I distrust these drop-ship suppliers. If I ask my friends for a drop ship supplier, everybody will say "I don't even know what that is", I've never come across a reputable drop-ship supplier who has reviews available elsewhere online other than their own website. If you know any reputable suppliers, I welcome you to leave a comment with their website and company name!

So, because I don't know any reputable sellers, I'm not about to offer my card details to them. It took me two years to use Amazon for the first time! I don't trust the internet all too much.

But after all, I trust eBay and Amazon. My parents use eBay themselves and have done since I was a child but they'd never used Amazon, I only used them after they featured in the news a bunch of times and brought out a documentary...

So, I decided...

Why not sell on eBay and use Amazon as the drop-ship supplier?


What is eBay?

According to the dictionary:


  1. buy or sell (goods) through the eBay website.

EBay is an online marketplace similar to Amazon and e-bid, where you can buy items driectly from other sellers or companies (such as Argos). They also host a range of collections and special offers.

If you do it properly, you can become an eBay millionaire within three years without even spending a single penny.

That is to say 100% profit from the outset.

Note: This means, you do not spend a penny during start-up but eBay will charge a final value fee and sometimes listing fees for the said item regardless of whether they sell.

So, what am I saying?

Well, let me tell you how I do it.

I sell an item (yes, it exists and yes it gets sent) and I get paid then I send the item and they receive it. But how do I get free items?

Well, the easy and simple answer is you don't.

Allow me to introduce you to the term "dropshipping".

From the dictionary...




gerund or present participle: dropshipping

provide (goods) by direct delivery from the manufacturer to the retailer or customer.

"we drop-ship 2,955 bestselling speciality products"

Don't be fooled...

This method means you do not spend a penny on drop-ship suppliers.

You don't spend a penny on membership fees.

And the 'drop-ship' supplier will be more than happy to facilitate the providings, so to speak.

So, why am I telling you?

Well, the reason is this... the items I sell on eBay, I doubt you will sell the same. I'm not going to tell you what to sell or even what I sell, there's plenty for everyone to sell though so read on to find out who this supplier is, you'll be blown away.

The Method

First, you find your item you want to sell on eBay, you find it costs more to buy on eBay than it would cost you to purchase from the said-supplier.

This difference is your PROFIT and if it costs more on eBay than it would cost to buy from the supplier, then that's a great start.

If it is the other way round and it costs more from the supplier than on eBay, well you want eBay to become the supplier.



Wait, what? So, the drop-ship supplier is ALSO a marketplace?!

Well, yes.

By now, you're dying to know who it is... right?

First thing's first...

First, you need to make an account on eBay which can be done by going direct to the eBay website and clicking Register, and then you need to set up your selling account which can be done by following the tutorial video below, and then we shall reveal our supplier.

And then the actual method.

So, who is this mystery supplier?

Let me tell you, it's no mystery and if you haven't already guessed, then prepare to kick yourself.

Allow me to introduce...



Look, that's it.

So, make an Amazon account (and a seller account if you wish, video will be found at the bottom of this hub).

Now, how do we do it?

Did you guess Amazon was the drop-ship supplier?

See results

So, how do we make the magic happen?

In this capsule, I will be using an example which will regard a set of 4.7m Multi-Purpose Aluminium Step Ladders.

For the purposes of this example we will be using: 4.7M Multi Purpose Aluminium Extension Ladder Step Tray which costs (Buy It Now, which is usually best) £64.80 ($100.07) on eBay.

Now, on Amazon, the similar product (both of which are unbranded, which also works in your favour) costs less (see below) at only £56.33 ($86.99).

This is actually a VERY popular item with over 3000 units (items) selling a month.


That's a profit of £8.47 (or $13.08)!

So, how exactly do we make millions and what do we need to bear in mind?

Firstly, the profit has to be large enough to still be in the green after fees.

You can also charge your customers p&p (even if Amazon offer free super saver delivery on orders over £10)

And my third piece of advice, for your security, is only sell items you find on Amazon which are fulfilled by Amazon otherwise, if your buyer isn't happy it is on you and Amazon will only refund you without any problems within 3-5 working days so long as the item was fulfilled by them. This way, even if they claim it was damaged upon delivery, you can claim a refund from Amazon whilst they return the item to you for you to send back to Amazon.

Now, how do you actually get the item without having to pay?

There are two options, one of them does mean you pay for it via credit or debit card when the buyer pays via PayPal and leave the money in paypal (I don't know if Amazon accept PayPal payments or not, but this is more secure than PayPal, in my opinion but this will make your eBay transactions easier to deal with if you keep your income in your PayPal account until it needs to be withdrawn and spend only from your debit card) and the other is to withdraw the PayPal funds to your credit or debit card and pay for the item.

Now, when it comes to payment, you change the delivery address to your buyer's address. And then, that is all that is required.

I would personally (for higher value items), order the item to my address and send it via Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For as Amazon Fulfilment couriers do not ask for a signature and there is no real proof of delivery. Although even if the buyer claims non-receipt, you can relay this back to Amazon and they will reward you a refund within 3-5 working days too.

This is why Amazon are by far the best drop ship suppliers, in my opinion, because it is low risk and safe and you don't have to spend a penny to make a pound.

I welcome any comments, suggestions or questions and I am happy to help in any way you need.

Aside from Drop-Shipping, what else is there?

With the birth of the World Wide Web, now seemingly an age ago, it brought about the potential of millions of new ways to earn money from setting up an entirely online business with 0 overheads to simply buying and selling online or running Multi-Level-Marketing businesses such as Avon or Amway or Herbalife.

Other ways include:

  • Competitions
  • Paid Forum Posting (Such as GiffGaff community forum)
  • Paid Searches
  • and even by Monetising a Blog or through the many hundreds (maybe thousands) of affiliate schemes out there, the ones I use are Amazon, eBay and Google Adsense. I even monetise my hubpages.

The earning potential is massive online. Whether drop-shipping is right for you, or it's simply monetising your blogs (or hubs) or answering paid surveys online, there is an option for everyone.

Always remember, however, to bear in mind any rules and terms and conditions in regards to any website which allows you to make money.


If you find that the item sells for more on Amazon then it does on eBay, then buy the item from eBay and have it ordered to your home.

Then sell it on Amazon and when someone purchases it, you send it to the buyer or when the item is listed, you can send it to the Amazon fulfilment centre who will facilitate the sale for you.

I don't really know much about selling on Amazon as I believe it to be far more complicated than eBay, so below (as promised above) you will find a video tutorial on how to open an Amazon Seller Account.

Please Note: Amazon Seller Central US is different to Amazon Seller Central UK (as is and, use the website which suits your location (although you can import through Amazon).


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    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      John, I never claimed to have a brand new, revolutionary idea. I never claimed I invented drop-shipping either. I am trying to help people and yes, I do want people to visit my page so I can get the ad revenue, if you were also trying to earn a living through HubPages, you would also market your articles too.

      Thank you for your feedback, for the most part I must disagree, however.

      Besarien, those events don't happen very often and when they do, it's unfortunate that you must cancel the sale with the buyer with apologies due to the item being out of stock.

    • profile image

      John Smith 

      3 years ago

      In the groups you posted in you acted like this was some sort of revolutionary idea you were just itching to help people with... drop shipping has been around for awhile and many, many people have been doing this. You did not want to help people, you want the ad revenue from people coming from your page. But have fun and all I guess.

    • Besarien profile image


      3 years ago

      This was a great hub! The only problems I can foresee is if the prices change between the sale on Ebay and the purchase on Amazon or if the item sells out on Amazon. I doubt these events would happen very often, but are still part of the risk. Best of luck with your sales!

    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      If you only list items which you can buy which are sold and fulfilled by Amazon, You call Amazon, explain it is faulty and request a refund for the item.

      It will go into your account within 3-5days - then you tell the buyer to return the item to yourself, issue the refund. Amazon will pay for the return too.

      You make no loss because you didn't pay for the item in the first place, From my experience, Amazon don't care if you even bother returning the item but I always do when I can, just in case.

      If you then call eBay and explain the item wasn't faulty and the buyer was just being silly, they will refund you the listing and final value fees.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Miller 

      3 years ago

      What about returns?

    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      Jay-R, I don't know how to obtain a PayPal debit card. You work for Amazon? That is really interesting, I was wondering... could we talk elsewhere? :) Do you use Facebook at all?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      how does one get a PayPal debit card? I work for amazon and I encounter mad amount of customers who buys things from drop shippers and these guys have like thousand of orders. Always thought about doing it since I know the amazon policy and website in and out.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      3 years ago

      The 1% does not apply for buying on Ebay, but using a Paypal debit card can bring a refund. They do have restrictions, so look carefully,

    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      If the item on Amazon is sold and fulfilled by Amazon, there is no risk. :)

    • AndrewHil93 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Hill 

      3 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      I recommend using only items sold and fulfilled by Amazon which offer 3-5 day free delivery.

      But yes, fees were taken into account during this hub.

      You have some brilliant advise. I didn't know that about the 1% return, is that only credit cards?

    • SmartAndFun profile image


      3 years ago from Texas

      I just don't have the balls to do this. I would never sell anything on eBay that I do not currently have in my possession. I guess to make money you have to take risks, but I just am not willing to risk my seller reputation in this manner. I would be sweating it out the whole time, worrying that something would go wrong with the plan. Best of luck to those who try this!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      3 years ago

      Ebay customers are insistent of very fast shipping, so you risk your rating. Using an Ebay store can help with listing fees, but the store costs. As for Paypal, there is a 1% return on some items purchased using the card. Just watch your fees, you pay both Ebay and Paypal fees, which can be high for some items.


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