How to Make Money By Selling Other People’s Stuff

Selling things can be a great way to make money, but unfortunately most us don’t have unlimited possessions. Old baseball cards and years worth of unwanted Christmas gifts will only get you so far, and the police don’t tend to appreciate it when you take things from others without asking.  Once again though, the internet comes in clutch and provides a solution. Through a process called dropshipping you can sell things that you don’t even own. Put the ski masks and lock picks away; they won’t be needed. This method won’t get you arrested.

The basic premise of dropshipping is that you find a product on a website that is selling cheaply and then list it for a higher price on another site. There are a few steps involved, which I’ll outline below.

Step 1: Create Account Used to Sell

The three most popular sites used to sell dropshipped products are Amazon, Ebay, and Shopify. Amazon and Ebay makes things easy because you just need to create a free account and you’re basically ready to go. They already have huge user bases so you won’t need to do any advertising to drive consumers to your products.

Shopify on the other hand will be a bit more work, but can be much more profitable if done correctly. With Shopify you’re basically creating your own ecommerce website that will be used to sell the products, but unlike Amazon and Ebay it’s not free. Their basic plan is currently $29/month, so I’d recommend starting with Amazon or Ebay to get a feel for dropshipping before you jump into investing any money into it. In addition, because you’re creating a new site you will need to do some advertising to drive traffic to your products.

Step 2: Find the Products

This is probably the most important part. You need to find products that people will actually buy and still have enough of a profit margin to make it worth your while. It’s pretty difficult to find super cheap products from companies here in the US so dropshippers typically look overseas to find their potential products. Sites like AliExpress and DHGate are usually a good option to go to.

Phone cases are popular with dropshippers, so I found an example that we can take a look at.

I came across these cases and decided to use it for the example because you’re all champions if you’re reading this. I’m not above a little blatant flattery. Anyway, we have our product. A Champion phone case for $1.89.

It turns out that I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a good idea to dropship these cases.

How nice of them to mark it down from $50

Geez, still $16 eh? At least it comes with a sweet lanyard

So as you can see, the profit margins can be pretty crazy for dropshipping. I saw prices ranging from about $5-20 for the same case that we had found for $1.89. That’s a profit of $3.11-$18.11 for selling a product that you never owned. You didn’t even have to spend any of your own money on inventory or deal with housing the products. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Step 3: List the Products You Found

Once you find a product you want to sell you’ve got to list it on whatever site you set up your account on. It can be a little tedious if you’re listing a lot of products but hey, there has to be a little work involved, right? At least the listing can be set up to show that there are multiple available so a new listing doesn’t need to be created after one is sold.

You’re going to want your listing to look as professional as possible. Potential customers are already probably going to be a bit skeptical because it’s most likely going to be shipping from China, so you need to make sure your listing looks as legitimate as possible. Break out the dictionary and grammar books if you need to, but eliminating any misspellings, typos, or poor grammar can be an important factor in a customer’s purchasing decision. If you wouldn’t buy it based on your listing then no one else probably will either. Basically do the opposite of what most people on Craigslist do.

Step 4: Order the Products When They Sell

Once you get a notification that the product you listed has sold you just need to jump over to the original site and order it. You’ll set the shipping address as the customer’s and then it’ll be shipped over to them. After that you’re done! That’s all there is to it.

After you’ve been doing this for awhile you might even be able to make deals with the distributors to ensure you’ll always have a steady inventory and maybe they’ll even cut you a deal and lower the prices. Maybe try some sweet talk if necessary. Tell them they’re a champion or something.

Step 5: Sit Back and Enjoy your Profit

One of the best parts of dropshipping is that it’s largely passive. Just click a few buttons for every sale and you’re good to go. 

Major companies make money by buying things cheaply and reselling them, so why shouldn’t you get in on some of that action? This is the land of opportunity after all. 

Author: Finance Brofessor

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