Choosing the Best Business Model: Print On Demand, Dropshipping, or Amazon FBA?

Choosing the Best Business Model: Print On Demand, Dropshipping, or Amazon FBA?

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Print On-Demand
    • Creating artwork or design files
    • Uploading designs to print on-demand websites
    • Creating virtual product listings
    • Choosing products and colors
    • Adding listings to Print On-Demand marketplace
    • Print On-Demand website handling orders, printing, and shipping
    • Profit sharing and payout options
  3. dropshipping
    • Creating your own website
    • Advertising methods for bringing customers
    • Taking orders and sending customer information to manufacturers
    • Direct shipping from manufacturers to customers
    • Responsibilities for customer service
  4. Amazon FBA
    • Creating a product listing on Amazon
    • Buying inventory and shipping to Amazon's fulfillment centers
    • Amazon handling order fulfillment and customer service
  5. Cost Breakdown
    • Print On-Demand
    • Dropshipping
    • Amazon FBA
  6. Choosing the Right Business Model
    • Factors to consider: cost, involvement, profitability
    • Personal experiences and perspectives
  7. Conclusion

Print On-Demand, Dropshipping, and Amazon FBA: A Comparison of Business Models

Print On-Demand, Dropshipping, and Amazon FBA are three popular business models that offer individuals opportunities for entrepreneurship and online success. While these models may appear similar at first glance, they differ in several key aspects, including the process, cost, and level of involvement for the business owner.

Print On-Demand

The Print On-Demand business model involves creating artwork or design files and uploading them to print on-demand websites. Once uploaded, the designs are matched with various products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, or wall art through virtual product listings. These listings are then made available on the print on-demand marketplace and are indexed by search engines like Google, allowing potential customers to find and purchase the products.

One of the advantages of Print On-Demand is that the business owner does not need to generate traffic themselves. The print on-demand websites handle the marketing and promotion, increasing the visibility and reach of the products. When a customer makes a purchase, the print on-demand website takes care of order fulfillment by printing the design on the chosen product and shipping it directly to the customer. Additionally, they handle all returns, exchanges, and customer service inquiries related to the order.

The business owner earns a profit share for each sale made through the print on-demand website. While there are no upfront costs associated with this model, optional purchases such as design and research software can be made to enhance the quality and variety of designs offered.


Dropshipping is another business model that shares similarities with Print On-Demand but operates with a few distinct differences. With Dropshipping, the business owner creates their own website and lists products available for sale. When a customer places an order on the website, the business owner acts as a mediator, forwarding the customer's information to the manufacturer or supplier.

The manufacturer then handles the process of packaging and shipping the product directly to the customer, bypassing the business owner altogether. This eliminates the need for inventory management and the associated costs. However, it also means that the business owner is responsible for customer service, including handling inquiries, providing status updates on orders, and managing refunds or exchanges.

In contrast to Print On-Demand, Dropshipping requires the business owner to generate their own traffic through advertising methods such as social media ads on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Building a reliable customer base and ensuring customer satisfaction are crucial for success in this business model.

Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) operates differently from both Print On-Demand and Dropshipping. In this model, the business owner creates a product listing on Amazon's marketplace, similar to Print On-Demand. However, the key difference lies in the inventory management and order fulfillment process.

As an Amazon FBA seller, the business owner purchases inventory upfront and ships it to Amazon's fulfillment centers. When a customer places an order on Amazon, the company handles the entire fulfillment process, from picking the item off the shelf to packing and shipping it to the customer. Amazon also takes care of customer service, including returns and exchanges.

Although Amazon FBA involves upfront costs for purchasing inventory, it offers the advantage of utilizing Amazon's extensive reach and customer base. As a result, business owners do not need to invest as heavily in advertising to generate traffic for their product listings.

Cost Breakdown

When considering which business model to pursue, it is essential to evaluate the associated costs. In terms of initial investment, Print On-Demand is relatively low-cost, as there are no upfront expenses apart from optional software purchases. Dropshipping requires creating and maintaining a website, usually through platforms like Shopify, with a monthly cost of $29. Amazon FBA involves purchasing inventory upfront and paying fees for fulfillment services.

Choosing the Right Business Model

To determine which business model is the best fit, individuals should consider factors such as cost, level of involvement, potential profitability, and personal preferences. Each model has its own advantages and considerations, and the right choice will depend on an individual's goals, resources, and comfort level.

In conclusion, Print On-Demand, Dropshipping, and Amazon FBA are all viable business models with their own unique benefits and challenges. By understanding the differences between them, aspiring entrepreneurs can make informed decisions about which path to pursue. Whether it be the simplicity of Print On-Demand, the hands-on approach of Dropshipping, or the convenience of Amazon FBA, there is a business model for everyone seeking entrepreneurial success.


  • Print On-Demand, Dropshipping, and Amazon FBA are three distinct business models.
  • Print On-Demand allows for the creation and sale of custom designs without inventory management.
  • Dropshipping involves creating a website and acting as an intermediary between customers and manufacturers.
  • Amazon FBA involves purchasing inventory and leveraging Amazon's extensive fulfillment network.
  • Cost and level of involvement vary for each business model.
  • Personal preferences and goals should be considered when choosing a business model.


Q: Which business model requires the least upfront investment? A: Print On-Demand has the lowest barrier to entry as it does not require any upfront costs apart from optional software purchases.

Q: Is Dropshipping more time-consuming than Print On-Demand? A: Yes, Dropshipping typically requires more involvement in customer service and advertising since the business owner is responsible for managing inquiries and generating their own traffic.

Q: Which business model offers the widest customer reach? A: Amazon FBA benefits from Amazon's extensive customer base and traffic, allowing for greater exposure for product listings.

Q: Can I pursue multiple business models simultaneously? A: Yes, many entrepreneurs diversify their income streams by operating in multiple business models simultaneously. However, it is important to consider the increased demands and potential complexity that come with managing multiple ventures.