Amazon FBA vs Dropshipping: Pros and Cons

Amazon FBA vs Dropshipping: Pros and Cons

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping in Amazon FBA
  3. My Background and Experience with Drop Shipping and Amazon FBA
  4. What is Drop Shipping?
  5. The Downfalls of Drop Shipping a. Long Shipping Times b. Advertising Challenges c. Random Storefront and Products
  6. Why I Chose Amazon FBA over Drop Shipping
  7. What is Amazon FBA? a. Buying Inventory in Bulk b. Amazon Handling Orders and Shipping c. Benefits of Amazon's Platform d. Fees Associated with Amazon FBA
  8. Drop Shipping vs Amazon FBA: Which Business Model to Choose
  9. The Decline of Drop Shipping
  10. Conclusion

The Pros and Cons of Drop Shipping in Amazon FBA

Drop shipping has become a popular business model, particularly in the realm of e-commerce. It offers the opportunity for entrepreneurs to start an online business with minimal upfront costs and inventory management. However, before embarking on the drop shipping journey, it is essential to understand the pros and cons associated with this business model, especially when it comes to using Amazon's Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program.


Hello everyone, and welcome back to my channel! If you're new here, my name is Pat Harris, and I am a full-time Amazon seller. On this channel, I share valuable tips and insights to help fellow Amazon sellers succeed. Today, I want to discuss the pros and cons of drop shipping within the context of Amazon FBA. Many people often wonder whether drop shipping or Amazon FBA is the better choice. In this article, I will provide an in-depth analysis of both business models, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your individual preferences and circumstances.

My Background and Experience with Drop Shipping and Amazon FBA

Before we dive into the pros and cons of drop shipping in Amazon FBA, let me briefly share my background and experience. A couple of years ago, I started my entrepreneurial journey with retail arbitrage. I would go from store to store, scanning items and trying to resell them on Amazon. However, I quickly realized that this approach was not sustainable. The limited product availability and low profit margins deterred me from continuing down that path. That's when I started exploring alternative business models, and eventually, I chose Amazon FBA over drop shipping.

What is Drop Shipping?

Drop shipping is a business model where you operate a storefront, either on platforms like Shopify or your own website. Instead of purchasing and storing inventory upfront, you collaborate with manufacturers or suppliers who directly ship products to your customers. When a customer places an order, you forward the order details to the supplier, who then takes care of packaging and shipping the product. This way, you eliminate the need to manage inventory or deal with the complexities of fulfillment. However, it is important to note that drop shipping relies heavily on efficient communication and coordination with your suppliers.

The Downfalls of Drop Shipping

While drop shipping may seem like an attractive option, there are a few downsides to consider. One significant disadvantage of drop shipping is extended shipping times. Since most suppliers are located in China, customers may have to wait one to two weeks for their products to arrive. In an era of fast-paced online shopping, this can deter many potential customers who value quick delivery.

Another challenge associated with drop shipping is advertising. To drive traffic to your store and generate sales, you need to invest heavily in marketing efforts. This includes running ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram or collaborating with influencers. The cost of advertising can quickly add up, especially considering the fierce competition that exists in the drop shipping space.

Furthermore, drop shipping entails managing a random storefront that lacks the brand recognition of established marketplaces like Amazon. Customers may hesitate to purchase from unfamiliar websites, preferring the reliability and convenience of platforms they know, such as Amazon. This reliance on generating traffic to a standalone website can be a significant hurdle for drop shippers.

Overall, while drop shipping offers advantages like low startup costs and inventory management-free operations, its downsides, including long shipping times, advertising expenses, and the lack of an established platform, make it a less favorable choice for many entrepreneurs.

Why I Chose Amazon FBA over Drop Shipping

After careful consideration, I decided to pursue Amazon FBA as my preferred business model. The key differentiating factor for me was the ability to leverage Amazon's vast customer base and established platform. Rather than operating a standalone website, I could tap into the millions of daily customers searching for products on Amazon.

With Amazon FBA, the process involves purchasing inventory upfront and shipping it directly to Amazon's fulfillment centers. Once an order is placed, Amazon takes care of all aspects of order fulfillment, including picking, packing, and shipping. Additionally, Amazon handles customer service and returns, freeing up valuable time for sellers.

While the upfront cost of inventory and the fees associated with using Amazon FBA may deter some entrepreneurs, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. With Amazon, you gain access to a robust platform, fast shipping times (typically one to two days), and the trust and credibility that comes with the Amazon brand. These factors significantly impact customer confidence and increase the likelihood of making sales.

In conclusion, while drop shipping may be appealing in theory, the limitations it poses in terms of shipping times, advertising costs, and brand recognition made me opt for Amazon FBA. The ability to tap into Amazon's extensive customer base, coupled with the convenience of their fulfillment services, has been instrumental in the success of my Amazon selling journey.

Drop Shipping vs Amazon FBA: Which Business Model to Choose

Ultimately, the choice between drop shipping and Amazon FBA depends on your individual circumstances and priorities. Drop shipping may be a suitable option if you possess excellent marketing skills or have a substantial following as an influencer. However, be prepared to invest significant time and money into advertising efforts and handling the complexities of coordinating with multiple suppliers.

On the other hand, if you prioritize convenience, scalability, and leveraging an established platform, Amazon FBA is the way to go. While there are upfront costs involved in purchasing inventory and fees associated with using Amazon's services, the benefits of utilizing their robust platform outweigh the investments. Amazon's platform offers unparalleled access to millions of customers, fast shipping times, and hassle-free order fulfillment.

Consider your strengths, budget, and long-term goals when making this decision. Both business models have their advantages and drawbacks. It's important to evaluate which model aligns best with your skills, resources, and aspirations.

The Decline of Drop Shipping

It is important to acknowledge that drop shipping experienced a significant boom a few years back. However, as more entrepreneurs jumped on the bandwagon, saturating the market with random products and obscure storefronts, the effectiveness of drop shipping began to decline.

Customers increasingly gravitate towards reputable marketplaces like Amazon due to their reliability, fast shipping, and customer-centric approach. This shift in consumer behavior, coupled with the challenges inherent in drop shipping, has led many to question its longevity as a viable business model.

While drop shipping might still be suitable for specific niches or individuals with exceptional marketing skills, it is crucial to consider its declining popularity and the uphill battle to establish a reputable brand in a crowded market.


In conclusion, the pros and cons of drop shipping in Amazon FBA present a nuanced picture for entrepreneurs seeking the most advantageous business model. While drop shipping offers low startup costs and eliminates the need for inventory management, it comes with drawbacks such as extended shipping times and the need for intense advertising efforts. On the other hand, Amazon FBA provides access to a vast customer base, fast shipping speeds, and hassle-free order fulfillment, albeit with additional fees and inventory investment.

Ultimately, the choice between drop shipping and Amazon FBA depends on your unique circumstances, skills, and goals. Consider your resources, marketing abilities, and long-term aspirations when deciding which business model aligns best with your vision of success.