Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Affiliate marketing or drop shipping — which is right for you?

From time to time, I’ve written articles on this site about affiliate marketing. I hang out online at some forums where there are lots of people doing affiliate marketing — most of them doing much better at it than I — and I work at it myself daily. (Some days I do much better than others.)

Every once in awhile, someone will come along on those forums and get all excited about wanting to start a business that relies on drop shipping and they ask lots of questions about that business model. Usually, they want suggestions about stuff like: where to find reliable merchants or wholesale distributors they can get products from, how would they advertise such a business, and how would they handle customer service issues like bad merchandise or customer returns.

I have, really, no answers to those questions, because I would rather pull my pinky fingernail out with pliers than get involved in such a business.

So why write about it? Why not, I say. Especially since I am much more committed to the affiliate marketing model.

With affiliate marketing, you are NOT selling merchandise or services yourself. You are not a merchant; you are providing people with convenient product information and “buy” links that take them to quality merchants.

With drop shipping, you don’t generally stock products — but you do take orders from customers, pass those orders along to the drop shipper, and you WILL have to deal with any disgruntled customers. That’s because YOUR name or company name is on the label when you drop ship, my friends.

And passing along the merchant/customer relationship to someone else, i.e., affiliate marketing, makes it worth the smaller commissions to me.

How about you? Have you done or are you doing drop shipping? Leave a comment and tell us what you find good and right about that business model. I’ll listen, and so will others who hang out here.