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  #1  
Old 07-17-2010
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Default Feasibility?? ARG!

Hi all...

I need honest opinions from those that are experienced in these matters and I really do appreciate all who take the time to do so. We had a thriving business on ebay, having an excellent relationship with a dropship supplier and all was going well until the bottom fell out when paypal limited our account and then, without any justification, canceled our account, keeping our money for 180 days (many of you are already personally familiar with this nightmare). In their cancellation email it stated that the ebay account would also be closed but it has not been yet... it may be because we still have customers who have yet to receive their merchandise or because we still have an ebay outstanding balance invoice for the final value & listing fees, I dont really know but it probably doesn't matter anyhow since I'm unable to receive payments anymore without paypal.

Here's my question to you experienced persons out there I'm thinking of seriously purchasing a new ebay AND paypal account, particularly from a reputable person such as lakeman, but is it really possible for me to resurrect my ebay business using a new ebay and paypal account? I mean once I start selling again, particularly the same products as before, wont I become an obvious target again for paypal/ebay and then wont they simply steal my money again just like they did before leaving me in worse condition???

This ebay business was our family income and is most important so any words of wisdom would be very helpful as we must decide rather quickly what our alternatives are. Getting a merchant account to sell on ebay does not seem to be a viable alternative unfortunately. So, we are stuck with trying to devise a new strategy involving getting new ebay/paypal accounts to sell with. I have already purchased the ebook eBay Stealth 3.0 but was looking for personal testimonies that could help with our decision making. thank you so much! P.S. Lakeman, so very happy to hear of your successfully surviving such a awful motorcycle accident... you are indeed VERY lucky judging by the photos!

Last edited by its2die4; 07-17-2010 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-17-2010
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Welcome to the forum

I moved your post to INTRODUCTIONS as the selling thread is just that. A little back ground for you, account sellers are selected by aspkin. So they are all authorized to sell. We have an itrader rating system where buyers rate the deal.If there's any problem aspkin or myself get involved with both parties.
The bottom line is for everyone to be happy. (Except me 'cos I growl a lot then I'm happy) You need to decide what you are going to be happy doing.

If it involves buying an account, then that can be a successful way to sell again on ebay/paypal. If you are wondering if it is possible to get back on ebay/paypal, then let me assure you that users here have done it.

One of the great things about the forum is the fact users help. I started with nothing. Thanks to aspkin,his work,book & support, here I am today.It's been hard work, a lot of fun though and I enjoy helping everyone You'll manage as well
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Old 07-17-2010
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I can attest that Lakeman's accounts work well. I have had no problems.

I can really feel your pain. The first time I lost a thriving ($75k+ per year) business on eBay was in 1999. They changed the rules for what I was selling, so that I could no longer make any sales. In a flash, I went from 80-100 sales per week to 2 or 3. Many other sellers were also affected, it was not just me.

I promise you, a lot of people - this very week - are finding themselves in the same boat you are in. I know that does not make you feel any better, I just wanted to point out reality. That is why this forum is so popular.

Technically, you are not supposed to "drop-ship" on eBay or Amazon. It is against their rules. They have some valid reasons for this rule, but for people who have reliable suppliers and happy customers, it sucks.

The way around this is not to have ONE new account, but several. Spread your sales over many accounts keeping the total sales on each relatively low (under $1k per month is a good idea). This limits your risk, but still allows you to make a decent buck.

When using a new account, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY RELIST THE SAME ITEMS THAT YOU WERE LISTING! That is a HUGE red flag to eBay/PayPal. Also, NEVER USE THE SAME PICTURES! This one issue seems to trip a lot of people up.

The same thing applies to Amazon (although they are trickier than eBay).

I wish I could tell you that you can immediately replace your income, but I think you are going to take a hit for awhile. But other members may have ways around this.

The reason the major sites do not want to deal with drop-shippers is there are usually too many problems, often caused by people starting up that have no money whatsoever to invest. They sell an item, wait for the proceeds and only THEN ship the item. By the time this happens, they are dealing with customer complaints.

Another reason is that major drop-shipping sites like DOBA claim to have everything in stock, but you only later find out the items are out of stock. Not to mention, all the middle-men out there CLAIMING to be THE source of the items when they are really not. DOBA and most others fall into this category. And, this can sometimes run 3 or 4 people deep!

SO: The newbie drop-shipping guy places an order with MIDDLEMAN "C", who then has to place the order with MIDDLEMAN "B", who then places the order with MIDDLEMAN "A", who then places the order with the actual SOURCE. Only the SOURCE is out of stock on this item, and won't have it back in for 2 weeks. So, they notify MIDDLEMAN "A". MIDDLEMAN "A" notifies MIDDLEMAN "B". MIDDLEMAN "B" is busy, so it is a couple of days before he notifies MIDDLEMAN "C". But MIDDLEMAN "C" is now on vacation, and won't be aware of the problem for a week, until he gets back. Newbie drop-shipping guy has no idea what is happening until he gets the angry email from his customer wondering where their item is since it has already been 2 weeks. You see where I am going with this.

Many of these middlemen tend to be mewly minted fast-buck artists who think they have hit on a great way to make some quick money online. They usually are not the most reliable people in the world.

Now, your argument will be that this does not apply to you, that you have a great relationship with the actual source and do not have these problems. That may be true, but eBay/Amazon/PayPal have no way of knowing this. And SOMETHING tipped them off to the fact that you were drop-shipping.

Maybe what tipped them off is a 1 in a 1,000 order glitch, but all they care about is that you broke the rules. Account closed. End of story. Hundreds (or even thousands) of positive feedbacks will not matter. The account is history.

So, having several accounts helps to spread out the risk. If they are done properly, and cannot be linked, you may lose an account here and there, but it will not take away 100% of your business.

And, I would suggest having enough working capital so that you can withstand the 180 day PayPal hold, or the 90 day Amazon hold. I do not know of ANYONE who has found a way around this. A few claim they have been able to get the money released sooner, but they are usually talking about very small amounts of money where the buyer has left positive feedback for the transaction.

And no matter what you do, you can lose an eBay/PayPal/Amazon account at ANY TIME! You could stock all of the merchandise. Your items can be 100% legal and legitimate. You could respond to any complaints within 2 minutes and be known as "Mister Customer Service". You could give away a free 2010 Mercedes-Benz with every $10 order. AND STILL GET SHUT DOWN!

Obviously, I'm taking it to an unrealistic extreme in the above paragraph. But it happens all the time. Even to honest people who do not sell any counterfeits, illegal items or low quality items. If it didn't, this forum would not exist. Sure, a few people on the forums sell ⊗⊗⊗⊗, or crappy items, but the majority are simply honest people who have lost a source of income (in some cases, their ONLY income!) due to eBay/Amazon/PayPal not caring about who they are hurting. In their effort to weed out the frauds, many innocent people get hurt. It's not fair, but it IS reality. You can only WORK the system, you cannot FIGHT the system. You could get the President, the Pope and all of the Supreme Court Justices to write eBay on your behalf, and it STILL WON'T MATTER!

Please understand that financially speaking, America is different now than it was before the housing bust. The watchwords used to be more accounts, more revenue, more sales. Now the mantra is to avoid any risks, no matter how small, at all costs.

You said you bought the Stealth Book which is a good first step. If you have not read it at least 3 times, do so. Make sure you understand everything. Then ask questions - most forum members are happy to give you advice on any problems. Also check back often, as things can change - which is another reason for the forums.

If you are willing to take the necessary steps, and learn as much as possible about Stealth, then you will be on your way to replacing your lost income. If you get LAZY, however, and skip things, you will eventually be back here asking "what went wrong?" We see it all the time.

I hope you do not think I am being harsh, I am simply trying to help you understand the reality of dealing with these guys. I certianly wish you the best of luck.

Last edited by jeffweico; 07-17-2010 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Type
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2010
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I can't thank you enough for your comprehensive response to my posting! Although it doesn't have the ready-made method(s) that I wanted, that is, a way of seamlessly continuing my successful ebay business, atleast I now know I have to either learn and build my business infrastructure differently or quit altogether.

Lastly, it is safe to assume, based on many other comments on many other forums, that obtaining a merchant account is not a fix all or silver bullet either?

Btw, I had no idea that dropshipping was against the policy of both amazon and ebay!!! you're the first person thats ever said this. Is it stated in the policy doc of both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post
I can attest that Lakeman's accounts work well. I have had no problems.

I can really feel your pain. The first time I lost a thriving ($75k+ per year) business on eBay was in 1999. They changed the rules for what I was selling, so that I could no longer make any sales. In a flash, I went from 80-100 sales per week to 2 or 3. Many other sellers were also affected, it was not just me.

I promise you, a lot of people - this very week - are finding themselves in the same boat you are in. I know that does not make you feel any better, I just wanted to point out reality. That is why this forum is so popular.

Technically, you are not supposed to "drop-ship" on eBay or Amazon. It is against their rules. They have some valid reasons for this rule, but for people who have reliable suppliers and happy customers, it sucks.

The way around this is not to have ONE new account, but several. Spread your sales over many accounts keeping the total sales on each relatively low (under $1k per month is a good idea). This limits your risk, but still allows you to make a decent buck.

When using a new account, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY RELIST THE SAME ITEMS THAT YOU WERE LISTING! That is a HUGE red flag to eBay/PayPal. Also, NEVER USE THE SAME PICTURES! This one issue seems to trip a lot of people up.

The same thing applies to Amazon (although they are trickier than eBay).

I wish I could tell you that you can immediately replace your income, but I think you are going to take a hit for awhile. But other members may have ways around this.

The reason the major sites do not want to deal with drop-shippers is there are usually too many problems, often caused by people starting up that have no money whatsoever to invest. They sell an item, wait for the proceeds and only THEN ship the item. By the time this happens, they are dealing with customer complaints.

Another reason is that major drop-shipping sites like DOBA claim to have everything in stock, but you only later find out the items are out of stock. Not to mention, all the middle-men out there CLAIMING to be THE source of the items when they are really not. DOBA and most others fall into this category. And, this can sometimes run 3 or 4 people deep!

SO: The newbie drop-shipping guy places an order with MIDDLEMAN "C", who then has to place the order with MIDDLEMAN "B", who then places the order with MIDDLEMAN "A", who then places the order with the actual SOURCE. Only the SOURCE is out of stock on this item, and won't have it back in for 2 weeks. So, they notify MIDDLEMAN "A". MIDDLEMAN "A" notifies MIDDLEMAN "B". MIDDLEMAN "B" is busy, so it is a couple of days before he notifies MIDDLEMAN "C". But MIDDLEMAN "C" is now on vacation, and won't be aware of the problem for a week, until he gets back. Newbie drop-shipping guy has no idea what is happening until he gets the angry email from his customer wondering where their item is since it has already been 2 weeks. You see where I am going with this.

Many of these middlemen tend to be mewly minted fast-buck artists who think they have hit on a great way to make some quick money online. They usually are not the most reliable people in the world.

Now, your argument will be that this does not apply to you, that you have a great relationship with the actual source and do not have these problems. That may be true, but eBay/Amazon/PayPal have no way of knowing this. And SOMETHING tipped them off to the fact that you were drop-shipping.

Maybe what tipped them off is a 1 in a 1,000 order glitch, but all they care about is that you broke the rules. Account closed. End of story. Hundreds (or even thousands) of positive feedbacks will not matter. The account is history.

So, having several accounts helps to spread out the risk. If they are done properly, and cannot be linked, you may lose an account here and there, but it will not take away 100% of your business.

And, I would suggest having enough working capital so that you can withstand the 180 day PayPal hold, or the 90 day Amazon hold. I do not know of ANYONE who has found a way around this. A few claim they have been able to get the money released sooner, but they are usually talking about very small amounts of money where the buyer has left positive feedback for the transaction.

And no matter what you do, you can lose an eBay/PayPal/Amazon account at ANY TIME! You could stock all of the merchandise. Your items can be 100% legal and legitimate. You could respond to any complaints within 2 minutes and be known as "Mister Customer Service". You could give away a free 2010 Mercedes-Benz with every $10 order. AND STILL GET SHUT DOWN!

Obviously, I'm taking it to an unrealistic extreme in the above paragraph. But it happens all the time. Even to honest people who do not sell any counterfeits, illegal items or low quality items. If it didn't, this forum would not exist. Sure, a few people on the forums sell ⊗⊗⊗⊗, or crappy items, but the majority are simply honest people who have lost a source of income (in some cases, their ONLY income!) due to eBay/Amazon/PayPal not caring about who they are hurting. In their effort to weed out the frauds, many innocent people get hurt. It's not fair, but it IS reality. You can only WORK the system, you cannot FIGHT the system. You could get the President, the Pope and all of the Supreme Court Justices to write eBay on your behalf, and it STILL WON'T MATTER!

Please understand that financially speaking, America is different now than it was before the housing bust. The watchwords used to be more accounts, more revenue, more sales. Now the mantra is to avoid any risks, no matter how small, at all costs.

You said you bought the Stealth Book which is a good first step. If you have not read it at least 3 times, do so. Make sure you understand everything. Then ask questions - most forum members are happy to give you advice on any problems. Also check back often, as things can change - which is another reason for the forums.

If you are willing to take the necessary steps, and learn as much as possible about Stealth, then you will be on your way to replacing your lost income. If you get LAZY, however, and skip things, you will eventually be back here asking "what went wrong?" We see it all the time.

I hope you do not think I am being harsh, I am simply trying to help you understand the reality of dealing with these guys. I certianly wish you the best of luck.
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Old 07-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its2die4 View Post
I can't thank you enough for your comprehensive response to my posting! Although it doesn't have the ready-made method(s) that I wanted, that is, a way of seamlessly continuing my successful ebay business, atleast I now know I have to either learn and build my business infrastructure differently or quit altogether.

Lastly, it is safe to assume, based on many other comments on many other forums, that obtaining a merchant account is not a fix all or silver bullet either?

Btw, I had no idea that dropshipping was against the policy of both amazon and ebay!!! you're the first person thats ever said this. Is it stated in the policy doc of both?
Yes. This is one of the reasons why they ask for lists of suppliers or for you to take a picture with the merchanidse and your user ID when they are suspicious and ask for "verification". I don't remember if they say "no drop shiopping" but their rules state that to list an item, you must have the item ON-HAND. So, it is the same thing worded differently.

Merchant accounts are not perfect, but they are MUCH BETTER than PayPal. Some specifically prohibit drop-shipping, but many DO allow it. If a merchant account provider wants to put a hold on your money, they will at least tell you UPFRONT what their policy is. Generally speaking, as long as you are not committing fraud, or selling counterfeit merchandise, you will be fine. Merchant agreements do not allow for orders to be charged until they ship, but you can finalize the order as soon as your supplier notifies you that the order is shipped. Usually, you have 5 days from the time the credit card is authorized before they remove the authorization. So, as long as your supplier can ship within that time frame, you will be in compliance with their rules.

DON'T GIVE UP SO EASILY! It sounds like you have this down-pat, so to speak. From your post, I assume that complaints were few and far between. Also, this provides your family with an income. Why give up on a good thing just because PayPal got their undies in a bunch? Stealth works for a lot of people!

I wish I knew a way for you to continue on like nothing happened. But Stealth is the next best thing. It allows you to set yourself up so that you can do business again and LIMIT THE CHANCES OF THIS HAPPENING AGAIN!

And that doesn't suck. What DOES suck is when you have totally run out of options.
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Old 07-17-2010
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I'm not giving up trust me but I am admittedly at a very low ebb having lost my entire stream of income in one fell swoop in an economy from hell and having it done in such a swift and stealthy manner too! History is replete, Paypal and ebay cant continue to operate in this fashion and continue to get away with it, because the court of public opinion will either force their hand or they'll stand in defeat. That's one of the things that makes America so great is the relentlessness of capitalism to allow for open competition to prevail and prove/determine the best products or services in the marketplace, and in this industry, by their nefarious behavior, they open themselves up for attack by competitors to better them and I'm confident that some entity soon will (the same is true for craigslist which is becoming increasingly difficult for the small business person to market on using its "free" service).

Anyway, I need to regroup and restructure how I will operate on ebay and also on amazon now (who btw has also placed my funds on "reserve" now and with your explanation on dropshipping I now understand why! me and my big mouth! yep, they asked and I told thinking that the best policy is to be honest... well not always eh lol). Once I restructure I'll then reenter into the battle field of commerce more confident and ready for lasting success. BECAUSE THIS IS WAR!! The one thing that I mourn the most is the loss of my wholesale supplier who will not, nor would I expect for them to, share my patience and perspective on the matter. A large portion of the money now having been pirated by both ebay and amazon is their money since the method of business deployed was to wait for the end-customer to receive the item first before sending their money to them which is a little different than the way most dropshippers do things. So this most probably will end our relationship no doubt and finding another is like searching for a needle in a hay stack.

Thanks again for dialoging with me about this ! Lastly, can you or can anyone recommend a credit card merchant service provider for ebay selling? I've looked at First Data but see many complaints about them so that rules them out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post
Yes. This is one of the reasons why they ask for lists of suppliers or for you to take a picture with the merchanidse and your user ID when they are suspicious and ask for "verification". I don't remember if they say "no drop shiopping" but their rules state that to list an item, you must have the item ON-HAND. So, it is the same thing worded differently.

Merchant accounts are not perfect, but they are MUCH BETTER than PayPal. Some specifically prohibit drop-shipping, but many DO allow it. If a merchant account provider wants to put a hold on your money, they will at least tell you UPFRONT what their policy is. Generally speaking, as long as you are not committing fraud, or selling counterfeit merchandise, you will be fine. Merchant agreements do not allow for orders to be charged until they ship, but you can finalize the order as soon as your supplier notifies you that the order is shipped. Usually, you have 5 days from the time the credit card is authorized before they remove the authorization. So, as long as your supplier can ship within that time frame, you will be in compliance with their rules.

DON'T GIVE UP SO EASILY! It sounds like you have this down-pat, so to speak. From your post, I assume that complaints were few and far between. Also, this provides your family with an income. Why give up on a good thing just because PayPal got their undies in a bunch? Stealth works for a lot of people!

I wish I knew a way for you to continue on like nothing happened. But Stealth is the next best thing. It allows you to set yourself up so that you can do business again and LIMIT THE CHANCES OF THIS HAPPENING AGAIN!

And that doesn't suck. What DOES suck is when you have totally run out of options.
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Old 07-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its2die4 View Post
Thanks again for dialoging with me about this ! Lastly, can you or can anyone recommend a credit card merchant service provider for ebay selling? I've looked at First Data but see many complaints about them so that rules them out.
You will find complaints on the net about ALL merchant account providers. Most of them by people who did not fully understand what they were signing up for, or didn't know beforehand that their business model was unacceptable (such as sellers of "replica" i.e. counterfeit merchandise, etc.)

But anyway, there are others besides First Data.

I went through Charge.com. I like them because they will give you an answer within 24 hours (on weekdays) and sometimes even within 2 hours. If they can't get you approved, they have partners that CAN. So, at least they can tell you what your options are. And there is no cost to apply, so you are not risking anything by trying. Even if you ultimately decide not to go with them, talking with them can only give you more knowledge which can be helpful.

I don't have any affiliation with them except as a customer, so I do not benefit in any way if you decide to use them.

It also doesn't hurt to talk with your supplier. Obviously, that may not be a pleasant conversation. But if you let them know what is going on, and that you will pay them when the money is released, they MAY be forgiving. I doubt that you are their first customer ever suspended by Amazon or eBay. So they MIGHT understand. Of course, they also might not. But unless you know for certain that they will not care, it can't hurt to try. When I had financial problems, I was actually surprised at how many creditors were willing to work with me.

Again, I certainly wish you the best of luck.
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2010
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Hi,

I've been searching and I simply can't find anything in Ebay's User Agreement that remotely says that sellers must have their merchandise "ON HAND" or even 'in possession' at the time of listing for sale. Its a reasonable theory to deduce that dropshipping is not allowed due to that assumption but the evidence doesn't seem to support the conclusion. The below is the only pertinent section I could find with respect to "product availability".......

From: Selling practices policy

Product availability

When buyers bid on or purchase an item on eBay, they should feel confident that the item is available and will be delivered in a timely manner.

What to do

* You must ensure the items you are offering are in stock for the duration of the listing and are delivered to the buyer, unless the buyer doesn't meet the terms of your listing.

* If you run into an inventory problem that's beyond your control, you're still responsible for letting the buyer know when the item will be available or issuing a refund for the full amount immediately.

What not to do

* You're not allowed to:
o List an item that may be out of stock at the time of purchase.
o List an item that you're simultaneously selling outside of eBay.
o Offer an item that may not be what's delivered to the buyer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post
Yes. This is one of the reasons why they ask for lists of suppliers or for you to take a picture with the merchanidse and your user ID when they are suspicious and ask for "verification". I don't remember if they say "no drop shiopping" but their rules state that to list an item, you must have the item ON-HAND. So, it is the same thing worded differently.

Merchant accounts are not perfect, but they are MUCH BETTER than PayPal. Some specifically prohibit drop-shipping, but many DO allow it. If a merchant account provider wants to put a hold on your money, they will at least tell you UPFRONT what their policy is. Generally speaking, as long as you are not committing fraud, or selling counterfeit merchandise, you will be fine. Merchant agreements do not allow for orders to be charged until they ship, but you can finalize the order as soon as your supplier notifies you that the order is shipped. Usually, you have 5 days from the time the credit card is authorized before they remove the authorization. So, as long as your supplier can ship within that time frame, you will be in compliance with their rules.

DON'T GIVE UP SO EASILY! It sounds like you have this down-pat, so to speak. From your post, I assume that complaints were few and far between. Also, this provides your family with an income. Why give up on a good thing just because PayPal got their undies in a bunch? Stealth works for a lot of people!

I wish I knew a way for you to continue on like nothing happened. But Stealth is the next best thing. It allows you to set yourself up so that you can do business again and LIMIT THE CHANCES OF THIS HAPPENING AGAIN!

And that doesn't suck. What DOES suck is when you have totally run out of options.
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2010
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Hi I forgot to ask a key question.... is Charge.com one of the approved merchant processors allowed on Ebay? and is there a list somewhere of all that are acceptable?

Thank you
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffweico View Post
You will find complaints on the net about ALL merchant account providers. Most of them by people who did not fully understand what they were signing up for, or didn't know beforehand that their business model was unacceptable (such as sellers of "replica" i.e. counterfeit merchandise, etc.)

But anyway, there are others besides First Data.

I went through Charge.com. I like them because they will give you an answer within 24 hours (on weekdays) and sometimes even within 2 hours. If they can't get you approved, they have partners that CAN. So, at least they can tell you what your options are. And there is no cost to apply, so you are not risking anything by trying. Even if you ultimately decide not to go with them, talking with them can only give you more knowledge which can be helpful.

I don't have any affiliation with them except as a customer, so I do not benefit in any way if you decide to use them.

It also doesn't hurt to talk with your supplier. Obviously, that may not be a pleasant conversation. But if you let them know what is going on, and that you will pay them when the money is released, they MAY be forgiving. I doubt that you are their first customer ever suspended by Amazon or eBay. So they MIGHT understand. Of course, they also might not. But unless you know for certain that they will not care, it can't hurt to try. When I had financial problems, I was actually surprised at how many creditors were willing to work with me.

Again, I certainly wish you the best of luck.
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Old 07-22-2010
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I WAS WRONG!

I don't like to spread bad information. I apologize for stating that Drop-Shipping was prohibited by Amazon/eBay/PayPal. There is nothing in their user agreements that prohibits this.

I was relying on info from an Amazon rep, but that was a year ago, and also on posts in this forum from people who have lost accounts over this. But there is NOTHING in the user agreements disallowing this. But I should have not passed this on without verifying it first. I hope I did not cause anyone too much on an inconvenience.

But can anybody who has drop-shipped and lost an account tell us if the stated reason was for Drop-Shipping? Or was it just assumed?

Greenbean, Aspkin, Slapped - can you post the facts about this?

I truly feel terrible about this.
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2010
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iTrader: (7)
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I have no idea about amazon but no, it isnt specifically in the T & C, you are right, but paypal are known to dislike drop-shipping for obvious reasons, so you gave out correct info, I read your post, you mention you are not sure if it is in terms. trick is not to let paypal or customers get inkling this is going on..You have tried very hard to help OP, so do not worry, you were very informative.
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Last edited by oompaloompa; 07-23-2010 at 03:05 PM.
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