Drop Shipping Vs Affiliate Marketing: Which is the Best Option?

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If you have always wanted to make a living online, you should think about creative ways to do that. But, as most of you know, being creative is not enough. To quote from Mark Cuban of the ever-popular “Shark Tank” entrepreneur show, “You have to find your market!” Mark is right, and you need to figure out who your target audience is before you set up your online website. Once you have your audience in mind, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of products to sell and how to market to this audience.

Selling Physical Products: Inventory

If you are selling physical products, this will require a great deal of research to pinpoint your target audience. You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and others to achieve this. But it is still sometimes difficult to correctly predict the behavior of your target audience with your products. But selling physical products requires that you stock the right amount of inventory if you have a hot commodity.

Some online business owners wonder if the time and money spent are worth it. Are you spending more money on inventory than you can justify making a profit in your business? Let’s take a look at the advantages of selling online with dropshipping and affiliate marketing and decide which one will be most beneficial to your business.

What about stocking inventory?

First, you may be a business owner who stocks some inventory in your store. If so, that’s fine but what are your profit margins. Many experts in the field of online sales remind people that stocking inventory is one of the most costly things you can do. Why? Because you do not even know which of these products are going to sell and which are not.

Therefore, it can easily be a financial strain on a business to stock inventory. So many companies decided instead to do dropshipping. Dropshipping is less expensive than stocking inventory because you can wait until the customer purchases an item before shipping it to them. This saves you from having to have any inventory. Instead, you can order as customers order from you and drop ship the item from a trusted supplier.

Problems with Drop Shipping

This is a relatively easy process, and it usually occurs smoothly without a problem. But you can run into issues with drop shipping. Some of the most common issues with drop shipping are listed below:

•   Damaged goods being sent by the third party requiring you to have to replace it out of your pocket

•   High shipping costs that you may have to pay due to the order being handled by a third-party vendor

•   Tax considerations that vary from state-to-state

•   Lost items and customers complaints

•   Less quality control of outgoing merchandise due to not handling the orders yourself

As you can see, while drop shipping is a viable and legal way to do business, it can sometimes also bring headaches to the online merchant. You no longer have to worry about the expense and problems of storing inventory, but you have to trust that the third-party vendor will drop-ship the merchandise accurately and promptly to keep your mutual customer happy.

If the order is delivered correctly and the customer is pleased with their purchase, they will usually leave you positive feedback on your website or selling platform, and the sale is complete. But you still might have to deal with customer complaints, returns, and other issues that sometimes arise from dealing with third-party vendors.

Affiliate Marketing: A Better Way to Do Business

If you’ve never considered getting into affiliate marketing, you may want to consider it. Affiliate marketing involves the sale of goods and services that you sell right on your website or blog but without the inventory or drop shipping headaches of storing it yourself or having to trust drop shippers to deliver your products for you.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing works by choosing a company that you like that offers merchandise that is similar to what you sell on your website. You’ll want to select a similar product to your niche market so that you are still aligning your sales process to your target audience. To get started with affiliate marketing, just sign up and choose a product or products that align with your niche market and grab the URL to the product. Every time you get a sale from your link, you’ll receive payment for the commission. It’s that simple.

Some online entrepreneurs like to sell both physical products on their site and affiliate marketing products from other vendors. That’s perfectly fine, but you will want to think about which is more profitable for you on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to keep track of your sales using physical products, drop shipping, and affiliate marketing and decide which method is best improving your bottom line. 

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you do not have to have one single real physical product on hand to sell using this method. No-fuss; no muss! Additionally, you can focus on your blog and help draw in more customers to your affiliate products by writing about topics that matter to your target audience.

It’s a good idea to do some research on the affiliate products you are promoting before deciding which ones you want to use on your site. Make sure it’s a product you believe in and one that offers a high commission rate. 

Costs of Starting Up

The initial cost of starting an affiliate marketing campaign is free. There is no initial investment in most cases. Just sign up and choose your products. Then paste the link in your code on your websites and blogs and wait for the “fish” to bite!

Knowledge is Power!

Learn as much as you can about the companies you want to promote on your site and mention it when you can in your online content. You’ll be surprised at the amount of engagement you will get from doing affiliate marketing. 

Many people have generated an income of thousands of dollars per month doing affiliate marketing. There’s some skill involved, but with practice and a bit of tweaking, you should be able to succeed with this effort. 

Great Passive Income

Creating passive income is the ultimate goal of today’s online entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to “work less, play more” and you can enjoy more of your private life when you have a “cash cow” set up ahead of time.

If you are looking for a way to make money on products without ever having to spend money on inventory, affiliate marketing may be your solution. Many people have as a goal to eventually create their products, too. If you do create an original product, you can work the other side of affiliate marketing by putting your products up for others to sell as affiliates as well. It’s a win-win situation!

Getting Started

To get started, sign up or inquire on our site about how to start doing affiliate marketing and open up a great passive income for yourself.


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