Amazon FBA vs Drop Shipping: Which is Better?

Amazon FBA vs Drop Shipping: Which is Better?

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Amazon FBA?
  3. What is Drop Shipping?
  4. Creating Your Own Website
  5. Listing Products on Amazon
  6. Built-In Reputation of Amazon
  7. Trust and Conversion
  8. Fulfillment Issues with Drop Shipping
  9. Easy Fulfillment with Amazon FBA
  10. No Upfront Cost for Inventory with Drop Shipping
  11. Advertising and Customer Acquisition with Drop Shipping
  12. Purchasing Inventory Upfront with Amazon FBA
  13. Warm Customers on Amazon
  14. Quality Control Issues with Drop Shipping
  15. Inspections to Ensure Quality with Amazon FBA
  16. Conclusion

Amazon FBA vs Drop Shipping: Which is the Better Business Model?


In the world of e-commerce, two popular business models often come under discussion: Amazon FBA and Drop Shipping. Many beginners in the industry are often confused about the differences between the two and which one would be a better choice for their own business. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of each business model, comparing and contrasting them to help you make an informed decision.

What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. When using Amazon FBA, you store your inventory in Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon takes care of storing, packing, and shipping the products to your customers. Essentially, Amazon acts as the middle person between you, as the seller, and the customers. This means that when you sell products on Amazon, they handle the logistics on your behalf.

What is Drop Shipping?

Drop Shipping, on the other hand, works differently. With Drop Shipping, you act as the middle person between the customer and the supplier. You create your own website, where you list products for sale. However, you do not have to purchase the products upfront. Instead, when a customer places an order on your website, you order the product from a supplier. The supplier then directly ships the product to the customer. This means that you don't have to store inventory or handle the logistics of shipping.

Creating Your Own Website

One of the main differences between Amazon FBA and Drop Shipping is the process of creating your own website. With Drop Shipping, you have to create and operate an entire website to sell your products. While platforms like Shopify make it easier to create an e-commerce website with templates, it still requires effort and knowledge to build a functional website. On the other hand, with Amazon FBA, you don't have to create a separate website. You simply create a listing on, which saves you the hassle of building a website from scratch.

Listing Products on Amazon

Another advantage of Amazon FBA is the built-in reputation of Amazon as a trusted platform. When you sell products on your own website through Drop Shipping, you have the challenge of building trust with potential customers. People may hesitate to provide their payment information on an unknown website and may have concerns about the legitimacy and security of the site. However, when you list your products on Amazon, you leverage the built-in reputation that Amazon has. Customers already trust Amazon and feel confident in their purchase.

Trust and Conversion

Building trust with customers is often a challenge for Drop Shipping businesses. When potential customers land on your website, you have to convince them that you are a legitimate and trustworthy seller. This can be difficult, as your website is unknown to them and lacks the validation that a platform like Amazon provides. On the other hand, with Amazon FBA, customers already trust the platform, making it easier to convert them into buyers. They are already shopping on Amazon and are more likely to choose your product over the competition.

Fulfillment Issues with Drop Shipping

One of the biggest drawbacks of Drop Shipping is the fulfillment process. Since the products are shipped directly from the supplier to the customer, there can be significant delays and issues with shipping. If your supplier is located far away from your customers, it may take weeks or even a month for the products to reach them. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and negative reviews. In contrast, with Amazon FBA, your products are already stored in Amazon's fulfillment centers. This means that your customers can enjoy fast and reliable shipping, typically within one to two days with prime shipping.

Easy Fulfillment with Amazon FBA

One significant advantage of Amazon FBA is the ease of fulfillment. Amazon takes care of storing, packing, and shipping your products. This convenience saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. With Drop Shipping, you are responsible for coordinating the fulfillment process, which can be challenging and time-consuming.

No Upfront Cost for Inventory with Drop Shipping

One attractive aspect of Drop Shipping for beginners is the fact that you don't have to purchase inventory upfront. Since the supplier directly ships the products to the customer, you don't need to invest in inventory in bulk. However, it's important to note that while there are no upfront costs for inventory, advertising plays a crucial role in driving customers to your website. You will need to allocate a budget for advertising on platforms like Facebook or Google to attract customers.

Advertising and Customer Acquisition with Drop Shipping

Advertising and customer acquisition are essential components of a successful Drop Shipping business. As you have your own website, you need to actively promote your products to attract customers. This often involves running ads on various platforms to drive traffic to your website. Advertising costs can add up, especially if you are competing against other sellers in the same niche. Therefore, it's important to consider the advertising and customer acquisition expenses when evaluating the profitability of Drop Shipping.

Purchasing Inventory Upfront with Amazon FBA

With Amazon FBA, you are required to purchase inventory upfront. While this might seem like a disadvantage initially, it offers its own set of advantages. By purchasing inventory in bulk, you have control over the quality of your products. You can conduct inspections and ensure that your products meet the desired standards. Additionally, with Amazon FBA, you have warm customers already on the platform, actively searching for products like yours. This gives you a better chance of making sales compared to driving traffic to your own website.

Quality Control Issues with Drop Shipping

Quality control can be a concern with Drop Shipping. Since the supplier directly ships the products to the customer on an as-needed basis, it is uncommon to have inspections done on the inventory. With no bulk production, it becomes challenging to ensure consistent quality across every order. This can lead to disappointed customers and negative feedback.

Inspections to Ensure Quality with Amazon FBA

In contrast, Amazon FBA allows you to ensure quality control through inspections. When you bulk purchase inventory, you can have the products inspected before shipping them to Amazon's fulfillment centers. This helps you maintain a higher level of quality assurance and reduces the chances of customer dissatisfaction.


Both Amazon FBA and Drop Shipping have their own advantages and disadvantages. Amazon FBA is a more established and reliable business model, offering built-in customers, easy fulfillment, and the reputation of Amazon. It's an excellent choice for beginners who want to start their online business without the complexity of building and promoting a separate website. On the other hand, Drop Shipping offers no upfront costs for inventory and the flexibility to sell a wide range of products. However, it comes with the challenges of building trust, handling fulfillment, and quality control issues. Ultimately, the choice depends on your preferences, budget, and long-term goals. Whichever path you choose, starting your online business is an exciting opportunity to explore the world of e-commerce and potentially achieve financial success.


  • Amazon FBA and Drop Shipping are two popular e-commerce business models.
  • Amazon FBA involves storing inventory in Amazon's fulfillment centers, while Drop Shipping involves sourcing products from suppliers and shipping them directly to customers.
  • With Amazon FBA, you can take advantage of Amazon's built-in reputation and enjoy easy fulfillment.
  • Drop Shipping allows you to start a business without upfront costs for inventory, but it requires building trust and handling fulfillment challenges.
  • Both business models have their pros and cons, and the choice depends on your preferences and goals.


Q: Is Drop Shipping a good choice for beginners with limited budgets? A: Drop Shipping can be a viable option for beginners with limited budgets as it doesn't require upfront investment in inventory. However, it's important to consider advertising and customer acquisition costs.

Q: Can I combine Amazon FBA and Drop Shipping in my business? A: It is possible to combine both business models in your business. Some sellers use Drop Shipping to test new products before purchasing inventory for Amazon FBA. However, this approach requires careful planning and coordination.

Q: Which business model is more profitable, Amazon FBA, or Drop Shipping? A: The profitability of both business models depends on various factors, including the niche, competition, and your marketing strategy. It's important to conduct thorough market research and evaluate the potential profitability before deciding on a business model.

Q: Can I switch from Drop Shipping to Amazon FBA or vice versa? A: Yes, it is possible to switch from one business model to the other. Many sellers transition from Drop Shipping to Amazon FBA as their business grows and they want more control over inventory and quality. Similarly, some sellers switch to Drop Shipping to reduce costs or explore new product lines.