Make the Right Choice: Amazon FBA or Dropshipping in UAE

Make the Right Choice: Amazon FBA or Dropshipping in UAE

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Amazon FBA?
  3. What is dropshipping?
  4. Metric #1: Inventory
    • Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA
    • Pros and Cons of Dropshipping
  5. Metric #2: Traffic
    • Benefits of Selling on Amazon
    • Benefits of Dropshipping
  6. Metric #3: Conversion Rates
    • Importance of Conversion Rates
    • Comparison between FBA and Dropshipping Conversion Rates
  7. Metric #4: Shipping and Delivery
    • Importance of Fast Delivery
    • FBA's Advantage in Shipping and Delivery
  8. Metric #5: Fees and Costs
    • Breakdown of Fees in Amazon FBA
    • No Fees in Dropshipping
  9. Can You Use Dropshipping on Amazon?
  10. FBA vs. Dropshipping: Which One Should You Choose?
  11. Conclusion

Amazon FBA vs. Dropshipping: Which E-commerce Model is Right for You?


In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, aspiring entrepreneurs often find themselves deciding between two popular business models: Amazon FBA and dropshipping. This article aims to guide you through this decision-making process by exploring the key metrics that should inform your choice. By comparing factors such as inventory, traffic, conversion rates, shipping and delivery, fees, and more, you'll gain valuable insights into the pros and cons of each model. So, let's dive in and unravel the mystery of Amazon FBA vs. dropshipping.

What is Amazon FBA?

Amazon FBA, short for Fulfillment by Amazon, involves selling products on the Amazon platform while opting for their fulfillment services. This means that once you send your inventory to Amazon's UAE warehouse, they handle the storage, packaging, delivery, and even customer service on your behalf. Essentially, Amazon takes care of all the operational aspects, allowing you to focus on product sourcing and marketing.

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping, on the other hand, is a model where you sell products on your own website without actually holding any inventory. When a customer places an order on your site, you immediately purchase the product from a supplier, such as Aliexpress, and provide them with the customer's shipping details. The supplier directly ships the product to the customer, eliminating the need for you to handle any physical inventory.

Metric #1: Inventory

One of the crucial distinctions between Amazon FBA and dropshipping lies in inventory management. With Amazon FBA, you need to purchase inventory upfront and store it in Amazon's warehouse. This means investing capital before making any sales. On the flip side, dropshipping requires no upfront inventory investment since the products remain with your supplier until a customer places an order.

Pros of Amazon FBA:

  • Control over inventory and shipping process
  • Ability to leverage Amazon's brand and customer trust
  • Access to Amazon's vast customer base

Cons of Amazon FBA:

  • Upfront costs and inventory management
  • Competition within the Amazon marketplace
  • Potential long-term storage fees

Pros of Dropshipping:

  • No need for upfront inventory investment
  • Flexible and scalable business model
  • Wide selection of products to sell

Cons of Dropshipping:

  • Less control over shipping times and customer experience
  • Heavy reliance on suppliers and their inventory management
  • Limited customization and branding opportunities

Metric #2: Traffic

When it comes to traffic, Amazon holds a significant advantage. With millions of unique visitors each month, Amazon provides a ready-made customer base for your products. By listing your products on the platform, you can take advantage of the organic traffic Amazon generates and increase your chances of making sales. In contrast, a dropshipping website requires vigorous marketing efforts to drive traffic and attract potential customers.

Benefits of Selling on Amazon:

  • Access to a massive pool of potential customers
  • Tap into Amazon's loyal customer base
  • Exposure to organic traffic without extensive marketing efforts

Benefits of Dropshipping:

  • Complete control over your brand and website
  • Flexibility in marketing strategies and customer acquisition
  • Freedom to experiment with different platforms and channels

Metric #3: Conversion Rates

Conversion rates play a vital role in measuring the success of an e-commerce venture. It refers to the percentage of visitors who take the desired action, which is usually making a purchase. While regular e-commerce stores typically have a conversion rate of 1-2%, Amazon's conversion rates are notably higher, especially for Prime members. The convenience and trust associated with Amazon often translate into better conversion rates compared to dropshipping websites.

Importance of Conversion Rates:

  • Higher conversion rates lead to increased sales and revenue
  • Improved profitability and return on investment
  • Indication of customer satisfaction and trust in your brand

Comparison between FBA and Dropshipping Conversion Rates:

  • Amazon FBA: Conversion rates benefit from Amazon's reputation, customer trust, and prime eligibility.
  • Dropshipping: Conversion rates heavily depend on marketing efforts, website design, and user experience.

Metric #4: Shipping and Delivery

In the age of instant gratification, fast shipping and delivery have become paramount for online shoppers. Amazon's FBA program offers Prime members the perk of next-day delivery, a feature that has proven to boost conversion rates significantly. On the other hand, dropshipping from suppliers in countries like China generally takes longer, often weeks, which may deter customers who expect timely delivery.

Importance of Fast Delivery:

  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Reduced cart abandonment rates
  • Improved chances of repeat business

FBA's Advantage in Shipping and Delivery:

  • Next-day delivery for Prime members
  • Access to Amazon's reliable fulfillment infrastructure
  • Positive impact on conversion rates and customer experience

Metric #5: Fees and Costs

Understanding the financial implications of each e-commerce model is vital for making an informed decision. Amazon FBA involves various fees and costs, including referral fees, FBA fees based on product size and weight, and warehousing fees. In contrast, dropshipping has no specific fees associated with the model itself. However, you may have to allocate your budget for marketing, payment gateways, and other operational expenses.

Breakdown of Fees in Amazon FBA:

  • Referral fees ranging from 5% to 18% (depending on the category)
  • FBA fees ranging from 3.5 grams to 20 dirhams (based on product size and weight)
  • Warehousing fees starting at 2 dirhams per month

No Fees in Dropshipping:

  • No commission or referral fees associated with the dropshipping model itself
  • Costs include marketing expenses, payment gateway fees, and operational overheads

Can You Use Dropshipping on Amazon?

Unfortunately, dropshipping is not a viable option on Amazon. The platform actively discourages dropshipping because of extended delivery times, which contradict Amazon's commitment to fast, reliable service. Amazon requires sellers to meet strict standards and even requests invoices to confirm inventory ownership. While you can explore the Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) option, it still requires maintaining your own inventory and ensuring prompt delivery within a few days.

FBA vs. Dropshipping: Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between Amazon FBA and dropshipping depends on your specific business goals, preferences, and available resources. If you value convenience, access to a large customer base, and a well-established infrastructure, Amazon FBA may be the better fit. On the other hand, dropshipping offers flexibility, no upfront inventory investment, and greater control over branding and customization. Consider the pros and cons discussed in this article, weigh your priorities, and make an informed decision that aligns with your goals.


In the dynamic world of e-commerce, deciding between Amazon FBA and dropshipping is a crucial step for budding entrepreneurs. By assessing various metrics like inventory, traffic, conversion rates, shipping and delivery, and fees, you can determine the best model for your business. While Amazon FBA offers the advantage of leveraging Amazon's brand and customer base, dropshipping provides flexibility and cost-saving benefits. Carefully consider your business objectives and requirements before embarking on your e-commerce journey, and remember, success lies in making an informed choice tailored to your unique circumstances. Good luck!