If you’re looking to earn money online, knowing how to make money on eBay without selling anything may be the key to setting up a successful side hustle.
Even better, it may give you the money to sell your own branded products online or create other business opportunities.
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or simply want to make money on eBay to have a holiday or purchase something special, here are some tips on how to make money on eBay without selling anything, and why making extra cash the traditional way might be a no-go.
The Problem with Selling items on eBay
Selling products the traditional way on eBay is hard work.
While it’s great to make a little extra money by selling your old or unwanted things, if you want to make money passively or build an extra income stream, selling traditional items on eBay isn’t the way to go.
eBay works by taking final value fees which is a percentage of the end selling price.
Once you factor in the money required for sourcing products, storing them, and shipping, you’re left with very little profit. You need to get some user traction to get people to buy your items regularly. So, you may need a marketing budget to place ads and get your listings seen by more buyers.
A better method is to make money on eBay without selling anything.
Why use eBay?
eBay is an e-commerce giant with over 159 million active users worldwide. That means there’s a massive opportunity for potential buyers and making money on eBay.
eBay was initially advertised as an auction platform, however, it’s now grown way beyond its initial launch days and you can now join its long list of sellers by using a fixed price and/or asking for the best offers.
Sellers can tap into eBay’s vast audience and sell many types of things, from clothes and fragrances to handbags and unwanted Brussel sprouts!
These days, you can sell items without having a PayPal account. However, there are still fees when you sell, meaning if you sell an item for £10, you won’t actually earn that much.
A better way to sell something is by not actually ‘selling’ anything at all.
By not physically selling anything, you can earn money despite the high eBay fees.
Let’s look at some ways to make money on eBay without selling products. One such method is dropshipping.
How to Make Money on eBay Without Selling Anything
The first way to start making money as an eBay seller is with dropshipping.
Dropshipping is a business model that many sellers use to sell products without having to manage warehouses, find machinery capital to make products, create a signature label, or track inventory issues.
With dropshipping, you sell your product for a fixed price (a higher price than what you pay for it), and then when an order is made, you either order the product from a dedicated dropshipper who then ships the product directly to the consumer, or you purchase from other sellers (such as Amazon) and get it shipped to the customer.
Is creating a dropshipping business a viable way to earn?
Here’s the thing. While many gurus will sell you the dream that dropshipping is a lucrative business, it’s actually really difficult to become a successful dropshipper.
You need to understand the profit scope and fees associated with eBay sellers. And, if you’re on a budget, you’ll need to use your resources wisely to make a healthy profit.
Plus, dropshipping is banned on eBay. That’s not to say that third-party sellers don’t do it – they do! But what you need to know is that your account can be banned if eBay finds out.
Join The eBay Partner Network or eBay Affiliate Program
A better way to make money on eBay without selling anything is to join the eBay partner network.
Becoming an eBay affiliate is an excellent way to make money online.
The eBay partner program enables you to start making money by sharing your favourite eBay drops via your unique affiliate link. When a user clicks on your unique affiliate link and buys something, you’ll be paid a small commission.
The great thing about making money online without having an eBay store or selling physical products is that you don’t need to think about finding a manufacturing facility to make products, sourcing stock, having a dedicated warehouse, or having to test sell a trendy gadget to find a ‘winning product’.
Many affiliate marketers make a full-time income online, simply by sharing their affiliate links.
So, how do you get started with the eBay partner network and what does it take to become a successful eBay affiliate?
How to join the eBay partner network
First, you need to have an eBay account. You can then sign up via the eBay partner network and begin to sell eBay’s listed products via your eBay affiliate link.
You can then choose how you will promote your affiliate link and make money.
Via the eBay partner program, you can choose to promote via the web, mobile or social networks.
Additionally, within the eBay affiliate program, you can select a partner type – this could be content, search engine marketing, social media etc.
For example, if you have a blog, you would choose ‘content’. If you’re a social media influencer and want to promote your partner program link, you would choose ‘social media’. If you had a larger email list, you could select ’email’.
Once you’ve done this and added your contact details, your affiliate program application will go under review for eBay to approve.
How to make money via the affiliate program
Successful eBay affiliate marketers need to have an audience. Anyone who wants to make money with an affiliate program needs to be able to start generating leads (in other words, tap into the eBay buyer community).
For instance, if you have an engaged social media following and you regularly share content on fashion, you could share your eBay links via your social accounts to encourage people to make a purchase.
If you have a blog, writing SEO eBay blog content which includes your links is a good way to start promoting your content. The more people you can get your eBay links in front of, the better chance you have of making some cash.
However, it’s also important to create useful content that’s tailored to the needs of your audience.
Make Money on eBay Without Selling Anything: Recap
Knowing how to make money on eBay without selling anything is an effective way to boost your income without the pressure that sellers have to deal with. Having to sell physical items is harder than it looks.
I’d also recommend avoiding drop shipping unless you have some successful experience with it. My suggestion is to join the eBay partner program online and begin building an audience, either with a blog/website or on social media. It may take longer but it’s a much more realistic way of earning cash.
Looking for extra ways to make money? Check out our roundup of free money offers here.