Choosing the Best Business Model: Private Label vs Dropshipping vs Wholesale

Choosing the Best Business Model: Private Label vs Dropshipping vs Wholesale

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Fulfillment Options: FBA vs FBM
  3. Drop Shipping 3.1. How Drop Shipping Works 3.2. Pros of Drop Shipping 3.3. Cons of Drop Shipping
  4. Wholesale 4.1. How Wholesale Works 4.2. Pros of Wholesale 4.3. Cons of Wholesale
  5. Private Label 5.1. How Private Label Works 5.2. Pros of Private Label 5.3. Cons of Private Label
  6. Which Business Model to Choose?
  7. Conclusion

Pros and Cons of Amazon's Business Models

Amazon offers various business models for sellers to choose from when it comes to selling products on their platform. Each business model has its own pros and cons, and it's important to understand them before deciding which route to take. In this article, we will explore three popular business models on Amazon: Drop Shipping, Wholesale, and Private Label. We will delve into how each model works, the advantages they offer, as well as the disadvantages to consider. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which business model is the best fit for your goals and aspirations in generating passive income on Amazon.


When it comes to selling products on Amazon, there are two main fulfillment options: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). FBA allows Amazon to handle storage and order fulfillment, while FBM requires the seller or a third party to handle these aspects. Under FBA, private label and wholesale business models thrive, while drop shipping falls under FBM. In this article, we will explore the three business models in detail and provide a comprehensive analysis of their pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision on which model best suits your needs and goals.

Drop Shipping

How Drop Shipping Works

Drop shipping is an e-commerce method where the seller takes orders on behalf of a manufacturer, distributor, or supplier. When an order is received, the seller purchases the product directly from the supplier, who then fulfills the order by shipping the product directly to the customer. The seller never physically handles the inventory or buys it upfront, instead, they sell the supplier's products through their Amazon listing. This business model is often mistaken with Amazon FBA, but there are notable differences between the two.

Pros of Drop Shipping

  • Low startup costs: Drop shipping requires minimal upfront investment since there is no need to purchase inventory in bulk.
  • Access to a wide range of products: With drop shipping, sellers have the flexibility to list a variety of products from different suppliers.
  • No inventory management: Since the supplier handles inventory storage and fulfillment, sellers don't need to worry about managing stock levels or warehouse logistics.

Cons of Drop Shipping

  • High competition: Due to the low barrier of entry, drop shipping has become extremely competitive, making it challenging to differentiate your products and stand out from the crowd.
  • Slow delivery times: Since the products are typically shipped directly from the manufacturer or supplier, delivery times can be longer compared to FBA or FBM, especially if the supplier is located overseas.
  • Little control over product quality: As a drop shipper, you have no control over the quality of the products you are selling, as they are shipped directly from the supplier. This can potentially lead to negative customer experiences and reviews.


How Wholesale Works

Wholesale is a business model where sellers purchase branded products from manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors in bulk to resell on Amazon. The process involves finding high-demand products, sourcing them from the brand's manufacturer or distributor, and listing them for sale on the brand's existing Amazon listing. Multiple sellers can list their offers on the same listing, competing for the buy box and ultimately securing the sale.

Pros of Wholesale

  • Control over product quality: As a wholesaler, you have more control over the product quality since you are directly involved in the sourcing and shipping process.
  • Potential for faster shipping: With wholesale, you can take ownership of the fulfillment process, ensuring shorter delivery times to customers.
  • Access to well-established brands: Wholesale allows sellers to tap into the credibility and popularity of existing brands, which can attract a larger customer base.

Cons of Wholesale

  • Intense competition: Wholesale listings often have multiple sellers vying for the buy box, resulting in price wars and a race to the bottom.
  • Need for approvals: To resell other brands' products, you will need to obtain approvals and open wholesale accounts, which can involve cold calling or emailing various companies. This adds an extra step and potential roadblock to starting your business.

Private Label

How Private Label Works

Private labeling involves selling existing products of your choosing under your own private brand on Amazon. After identifying a market and validating a product, you work with a supplier to manufacture your branded product in bulk. The product is then sent directly to Amazon, and when a customer places an order, Amazon handles the fulfillment, shipping the product to the customer. This business model offers higher profitability and more control over the product.

Pros of Private Label

  • Higher profitability: Private label products typically have higher profit margins since you are sourcing them directly from the manufacturer or supplier, cutting out middleman costs.
  • Control over branding and listing: As a private label seller, you have complete ownership of your brand and can tailor your product listings to optimize sales and customer experience.
  • Long-term wealth building: Private label allows you to establish your own brand and build a sustainable business that generates passive income over the long term.

Cons of Private Label

  • Higher upfront investment: Private labeling requires more capital compared to drop shipping or wholesale, as you need to invest in inventory and product development.
  • Need for product research and development: To stand out in the market, you need to conduct thorough product research and develop a unique selling proposition for your private label product.
  • Competition and marketing efforts: Private label products face competition from other sellers, and effective marketing is crucial to gain visibility and attract customers.

Which Business Model to Choose?

Choosing the right business model for your Amazon journey depends on your goals, resources, and level of commitment. If you're looking for a low-cost, low-barrier-to-entry option, drop shipping may be a suitable choice. However, if you're willing to invest more capital and effort into building a long-term business, private label offers higher profitability and brand ownership. Wholesale can be a middle ground, offering access to established brands but also facing stiff competition. Consider your financial capacity, market research, and long-term aspirations before making a decision.


In conclusion, Amazon offers various business models that cater to different types of sellers. Understanding the pros and cons of each business model is crucial in making an informed decision. Drop shipping, wholesale, and private label each have their own advantages and disadvantages. While drop shipping may seem appealing due to its low startup costs, competition and quality control issues can pose challenges. Wholesale provides access to well-known brands but requires navigating approvals and facing intense competition. Private label, although requiring more investment, offers higher profitability and brand ownership. Consider your goals, resources, and commitment level to select the business model that aligns with your vision of building a successful Amazon business.


  • Amazon offers three popular business models: Drop Shipping, Wholesale, and Private Label.
  • Drop shipping involves selling products without owning inventory.
  • Wholesale entails purchasing branded products in bulk for resale.
  • Private label involves creating your own brand and selling products under that brand.
  • Drop shipping has low startup costs but faces high competition and quality control issues.
  • Wholesale offers more control over products but involves intense competition and approvals.
  • Private label offers higher profitability and brand ownership but requires more investment and marketing efforts.
  • Choose the business model that aligns with your goals, resources, and commitment level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Is drop shipping a guaranteed way to make passive income on Amazon? A: Drop shipping can provide opportunities for passive income, but it is not a guaranteed path to success. The high competition and limited control over product quality can pose challenges for drop shippers.

Q: Do I need a wholesale license to start a wholesale business on Amazon? A: While a wholesale license is not mandatory to start a wholesale business on Amazon, it can provide certain benefits such as tax exemptions and access to exclusive deals. It is advisable to check the regulations in your jurisdiction and consult with a legal professional.

Q: How much capital do I need to start a private label business on Amazon? A: The amount of capital required to start a private label business on Amazon can vary depending on the product niche, sourcing costs, and marketing budget. Generally, you should be prepared to invest a few thousand dollars in inventory and product development.

Q: Can I switch between business models on Amazon? A: Yes, you can switch between different business models on Amazon based on your preferences and market conditions. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each model before making any changes and have a clear strategy in place.

Q: How long does it take to see profits with private label selling on Amazon? A: The timeline for seeing profits with private label selling on Amazon can vary depending on various factors such as product selection, marketing efforts, and competition. It may take several months to a year to establish a profitable private label business, but with the right strategies and consistent effort, success is achievable.