Affiliate Marketing versus Drop Shipping

In this post, I discuss the major differences between drop shipping and affiliate marketing.

What is drop shipping

Drop shipping works like this: You advertise products from a company (supplier) on your website. When people buy from you, you receive the money and buy the actual product from the supplier. The shipping details are forwarded to the supplier. They are supposed to fill the order and ship to the buyer.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

It is all very well if you are selling cold water to Eskimos or sand to desert dwellers but anything else may cause “come-backs”. That means the customer does not receive the item or the item is damaged or the item is not as advertised or a dodgy customer wants to take you for a ride by falsely complaining to try and get a refund. The list goes on.

What many suppliers do, is to send business cards, Web addresses and all sorts of advertising along with the product. That way, your customer is likely to go direct next time and cut you out of the loop.

In the cases mentioned above, the problem becomes yours to solve. In this post I am not trying to discourage anyone from doing drop-shipping. I am merely laying the details on the table so that you can make an informed decision.

I am not going into further details regarding the handling and time consumption trying to solve these issues. I will leave that to your imagination.


What is affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is similar in a sense to drop-shipping but there are major differences. Again you are advertising products on behalf of a supplier but in this case, when a customer buys something, the supplier gets the money, fills the order, handles the queries and happy/unhappy customers.

That is all taken care of – not your job. If the supplier sends advertising along with the parrcel, no issue, the customer has already been on the supllier’s website to make the purchase.

Many times you might earn from consecutive sales from the same customer depending on how long time the “cookie” lasts.

What this means is that the supplier keeps track of the customer and affiliate site (you).

The supplier decides how long he will keep the link before dropping it, after which you will not earn any more commissions on that customer – unless of course, the same customer visits your website again and click on your affiliate link that sends him/her through to the supplier’s website.

Once the deal is done, the supplier pays you a fee or commission. It may be less than the profit you can make on the item via the drop-ship method but in the end you have to look at the big picture.


What products to sell

When doing drop-shipping, you obviously sell what the supplier stock. The same goes for affiliate marketing. You can choose a niche or you can try to advertise everything the supplier has available.

When doing affiliate marketing for Wealthy Affiliate, the commissions are very good and worth the effort. They sell memberships and software products.

They do a great job and people are joining daily in droves. The reason being that they have a very unique opportunity and system to assist new affiliate marketers to get on their feet and start earning an online income.


Want more detail regarding Affiliate vs Dropship?

There are people out there with long lists of reasons why one is better than the other. One website states that when you do affiliate marketing, you send the customers to the supplier website and they harvest the customer details to market to them at a later stage.

That may be true, but you are supposed to get their details before sending them off to the supplier website anyway. T hat gives you the opportunity to market to them via email yourself. Thus, it is a misnomer.

Another story that comes from the same site is that affiliate websites do not sell for 7 figure  prices thus it is better  to invest in a dropship site. Really? This guy lives on another planet or has been out of circulation too long.

There are people whom you can personally engage with on the Affiliate website I am marketing for, that makes a living, (and quite an up-class one at that, inning over 1 million in one year) by setting up affiliate websites, get them earning for a few months and then sell it on.

The same planet dweller states that there are more buyers for Dropship sites than Affiliate sites. He does not give any references statistics for this sweeping statement.

What I am doing here is hopefully showing you how careful one should be when reading stuff on websites. Not everything you read is true! I always say, inspect what you expect and I live by the motto: don’t believe anything, verify everything.


Let’s go through some more statements found on anti-affiliate websites

Please note again that I have NOTHING against drop shipping. In fact, I have an e-Commerce website as well ( from which I do drop-shipping and affiliate marketing.

Thus, to say the one is better than the other, you need to have experience in both and have some common sense examples. Statements are only as trustworthy as the one saying it.

I did a little test to see how trustworthy the “Planet Dweller” is, so I sent him an email inquiring about doing affiliate marketing for his “dropshipping training business” to which he relplied “We don’t offer an affiliate program at this time.  Hoping to roll one out next month!”

Just goes to show that affiliate marketing works very well.

If you are interested in earning money online, you can find lots of info right here in my blog with links to the affiliate site. Don’t miss out on the free Las Vegas trip. Hope to see you at the top soon.

Best wishes


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