The Amazon Dropshipping Business might be appealing if you want to jump-start your sales. This ecommerce solution can let you focus on marketing and promotion while a third party handles fulfillment. For newcomer marketers, Dropshipping Business is a fulfillment model that allows entrepreneurs to outsource handling and shipping products to a third party.
This fulfillment method can appeal to entrepreneurs seeking efficiency and low overhead, but it has trade-offs. In other words, it is an order fulfillment option that allows ecommerce businesses to outsource procuring, business packaging, storing, and shipping products to a third party — typically a supplier. This fulfillment method commonly appeals to most entrepreneurs.
In particular, those seeking efficiency and low overhead can come at a cost — especially regarding customer experience. This guide will cover what the Amazon Dropshipping Business entails and explore how this fulfillment method can work. We’ll also look at a few dropshipping business alternative ways to save you time, lower your overhead, or simplify your business.
Understanding What Amazon Dropshipping Business Entails In The Marketplace
To enumerate, Amazon Dropshipping Business is a marketplace model where you can list products on Amazon and sell them without actually owning inventory or delivering products to customers. You are physically doing business on Amazon, but you have not bought any stocks or made upfront investments (please watch the video below to gather more details).
Instead, third-party merchants — usually the marketplace wholesalers — are often responsible for sourcing the products in question, keeping them in stock, and shipping them to the buyer on time. Your main job is acting as an Amazon middleman, driving product traffic and on orders to suppliers. You can also use an automated system for this purpose.
In addition, you need to communicate with suppliers frequently and ensure that orders are delivered on time, and everything else goes smoothly. You can subtract the money earned from each sale, deduct the cost of the goods (and possibly transportation and handling fees), and pass the money to the manufacturer/third party.
Here is how the process typically works:
- The dropshipper sets up an Amazon seller account and lists products for sale on the platform.
- When a customer makes a purchase, the dropshipper orders the product from a third-party supplier (such as a wholesaler or manufacturer) at a lower price.
- The supplier ships the product directly to the customer, and the dropshipper keeps the difference between the price they sold the product for and the price they paid the supplier.
That being said, we can say that Amazon Dropshipping is a business model in which an online retailer (the dropshipper) sells products on Amazon without actually keeping inventory in stock. Instead, the dropshipper purchases products from a third-party supplier and ships them directly to the customer.
Get To Know The General Amazon Dropshipping Business Policy Terms
With so many products out there, it can be hard to know where to find solid product ideas that customers want to buy. Amazon Dropshipping Business is an order fulfillment option that allows ecommerce businesses to outsource procuring, storing, and shipping products to a third party — typically a supplier. This fulfillment model commonly appeals to most entrepreneurs.
Mainly those seeking efficiency and low overhead, but it can come at a cost — especially regarding customer experience. As an Amazon Influencer, the marketplace will give you the tools you need to select the best of Amazon’s products and services. So you can easily recommend them to your followers and earn commissions on qualifying purchases.
You can also inspire customers to shop Amazon’s millions of products by curating your personalized page on Amazon from scratch. Whereby you can publish your livestreams, shoppable photos, and videos. As a selected program member, you may qualify to be featured on the Amazon website. These options make engaging with Amazon customers straightforwardly.
In addition, it also makes monetizing your content more accessible than ever. But be sure to follow Amazon’s dropshipping policy to avoid losing your ability to sell your business products or even dropship in the Amazon storefront.
Here is an overview of the Amazon dropshipping policy:
- You must identify yourself as the seller on invoices, packing slips, external packaging, and other product items included
- Don’t include wholesalers, suppliers, or manufacturers in product packaging materials or Amazon product descriptions
- You’re responsible for accepting and processing returns.
- According to the seller agreement (login required), comply with the Terms of Service provided by Amazon.
Also, ensure any manufacturers, suppliers, and dropshipping companies you work with don’t mind putting you as the seller of record. It’s prohibited to create an Amazon product listing for an item already on another retailer’s website (e.g., Sam’s Club, Target), take the order through Amazon, and then enter it into the third-party retailer’s system so they can then ship it.
The Main Dropshipping Advantages For Storefront Businesses To Know
For your information, Wikipedia defines the dropshipping business as a supply chain management technique in retail chains — in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock. Otherwise, the retail store dropshipper helps the business transfer customer orders and shipment details — to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly.
Entrepreneurs looking to start a business with minimal investment may turn to the dropshipping business — they don’t need to invest in facilities or resources to process orders. Equally important, since you don’t have to pay for inventory, there’s less risk of losing money due to lost merchandise or over-ordering products. Still, earning passive income is also vital.
Resource Reference: How To Make Money Dropshipping This Year And Beyond
More so with little to no daily effort (though it does require upfront work and consistent monitoring). One thing is for sure, dropshipping lets you test new product lines without spending lots of money. And if customers don’t respond to a new item, you can remove it from your online business store! With a dropshipping business, you can work on other business aspects.
Or rather, concentrate your efforts on other business issues (even when you are asleep!) while orders are placed and fulfilled automatically. On the contrary, with a traditional retail model, products couldn’t go out without your involvement. This makes the dropshipping business a must-have tool to make extra income through your business, plus other benefits like;
1. It is easy to get started
Besides being easy to get started with the dropshipping business, its model offers you a wide variety of products. Whereby, depending on your agreement, there may be no need to pre-purchase inventory, so you can sell a broad range of items and increase your earning potential.
Running an ecommerce business is much easier when you don’t have to deal with physical products. But, with dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about:
- Managing or paying for a warehouse
- Packing and shipping your orders
- Tracking inventory for accounting reasons
- Handling returns and inbound shipments
- Continually ordering products and managing stock level
Whether your business is something you do full-time or part-time, shipping can be a hassle. Do you wait for a whole load of orders before shipping them together? Or rather, do you ship every day for each sale? What if the post office is shut on the only day you’ve got time to post it? With clear and quality dropshipping business guidelines this is a non-existent problem.
You can go about your life knowing that people are buying your products and someone else is shipping them.
2. It has a low overhead
Simply, because you don’t have to deal with purchasing inventory or managing a warehouse, your overhead expenses are quite low. In fact, many successful dropshipping stores are run as home-based businesses. Requiring little more than a laptop and a few recurring expenses to operate. And as you grow, these costs will likely increase.
But, will still be low compared to those of traditional brick-and-mortar business stores. In addition, a dropshipping business can be run from just about anywhere with an internet connection. As long as you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business.
3. Little investment is required
Probably, the biggest advantage of dropshipping is that it’s possible to launch an ecommerce store. In that case, without having to invest thousands of dollars in inventory upfront. Traditionally, retailers have had to tie up huge amounts of capital purchasing inventory. With the dropshipping model, you don’t have to purchase a product.
Unless you’ve already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. Without significant up-front inventory investments, it’s possible to start sourcing products and launch a successful dropshipping business with very little money. And because you’re not committed to selling through any inventory purchased upfront, there’s less risk involved in starting a dropshipping store. Just like in a traditional retail business.
4. Easy to start and test
In the same fashion, dropshipping is a proper fulfillment method. For both launching a new store and for business owners looking to test the appetite customers have for additional product categories, for example, in terms of accessories or wholly new product lines.
The main benefit of dropshipping is, again, the ability to list and potentially sell products before committing to buying a large amount of inventory. Since you don’t have to pre-purchase the items you sell, you can offer your potential customers various trending products, right? And if suppliers stock an item, you can list it for sale on your online store at no additional cost.
5. It’s easy to start scaling
With a traditional retail business, if you receive three times the number of orders, you’ll usually need to do three times as much work. By leveraging dropshipping suppliers, most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers. They allow you to expand with fewer growing pains and less incremental work.
Not to mention, sales growth will always bring additional work. Especially, related to customer support. But, businesses that utilize dropshipping scale well relative to traditional ecommerce businesses.
Tips For Success If You Use Amazon Dropshipping Business Model
While having someone else take care of shipping for you has its highs, it can be a double-edged sword. That’s because you have far less control over it than if you were organizing it yourself. Each supplier will have different cost models, so ensure you know everything beforehand. The other thing is that it means the unboxing experience for your customers will be far more standard.
More so than if you did it yourself, where you could include personalized thank-you cards, for example. There’s also the issue of the limited control you have creatively. Hopefully, this won’t be too much of a problem as you can shop around before you choose your partner, but ultimately, you only have the choice of products that the supplier offers (e.g., bags, clothes, hats, etc.).
Resource Reference: How To Start A Dropshipping Business Store With WooCommerce
Furthermore, eCommerce business options like sizing are out of your control, too. The best way around this is by researching and discussing it with the suppliers. In dropshipping, the supplier does all the printing and packaging; you don’t have to worry about inventory! The truth is that you can work out of your bedroom without space to keep products or equipment.
You don’t have to watch stock when it’s low and reorder more. Or worry about shifting some leftovers that haven’t sold yet. A massive win, right? Whether your business is full-time or part-time, shipping can be a hassle. Create the designs, send them to the supplier, let the world rush to buy your incredible products, and let the supplier sort out the rest.
All the mentioned benefits make dropshipping a beautiful model for anyone starting an online store. Or for those looking to expand their existing product offerings. Let’s cover some standard dropshipping guidelines to avoid mistakes.
1. Be ready for a constant race
Differentiating your store can be difficult when many stores try to compete on price. With so much competition, business stores find themselves setting lower and lower costs. And if you’re not careful, you’ll sell lots of inventory. But, at prices so low that you end up losing money. Both traditional and online stores often require a hefty financial investment.
In particular, to help them develop, manufacture, and source products. There are also additional costs associated with stocking inventory. Also, maintaining a physical presence, staffing locations, and marketing to new customers can add up! Meaning that dropshipping has a much lower barrier to entry. When it comes to actually selling your products, it’s pretty easy.
2. Make sure you are the record seller
To dropship on Amazon without penalty, you must be the seller of record. The seller of record is the person who is registered to sell the product to the end customer. You’re responsible for setting the price, recording sales and revenue, handling returns, and paying sales taxes. In this scenario, you own the products before the dropshipping supplier ships them to customers.
Traditionally, retailers pay production costs upfront, wait for delivery, and stock products in a shop or warehouse. Sales are lost if a product isn’t available for customers when they want to purchase. Inventory management also requires storage and handling costs — someone has to fold shirts and put them on the shelves!
3. Avoid ecommerce or retail websites
Using an ecommerce or retail store to supply products for your dropshipping business is tempting. If you do, however, you won’t be the seller of record. Retailers are unable to list anyone else as the seller of record. So when these products ship directly from their stores, the packaging, invoices, and other shipping materials will contain the retailer’s information.
This is against Amazon’s dropshipping policy because it confuses customers. Also, you might purchase or manufacture large volumes of inventory that don’t sell, so there’s significant financial risk involved. In reality, businesses that drop-ship (like Amazon), on the other hand, remove those risks. A third party handles inventory, and products are available on demand.
4. Be creative with your product packaging
Dropshipping nixes the need for a physical storefront — which means no lease, mortgage, construction costs, or upkeep. Typically, retailers purchase products, wait for them to arrive, and then sell them to customers. For some time, they’ve spent a significant amount of money without the ability to make it back. With a dropshipping business, you receive payment once.
Especially for the products when you pay your providers — or before. This frees up cash for marketing and growth. Most print-on-demand suppliers will offer what is known as a ‘mockup generator’ – this is invaluable, and you should use it when marketing your products. It’s essentially making an image of what your prints look like on the supplier’s products.
So that you can use them for your website and marketing purposes, you do not forget that allowing your customers to see what the product will look like before buying could make or break their purchase decision!
5. Make the customer experience seamless
One mistake Amazon sellers sometimes make when dropshipping is not taking accountability for the customer experience. When you become a dropshipper, you’re not selling as Amazon—you’re selling as your brand. You’re not anonymous, which means customers will attribute your significant (or poor) customer experience to your brand.
This can hurt reviews and sales in the long run. To prevent fallout with customers, ensure they know who to contact for support. Include your contact information (e.g., email and phone number) with the product packaging so customers don’t wonder whether they should contact Amazon or the dropshipping supplier.
What To Look For When You Select A Dropshipping Supplier
The low barrier to its entry makes dropshipping attractive to heavy competition. Other stores aren’t selling similar products — they’re selling the same products from the same third-party manufacturers. You’ll have to find different ways to stand out to compete. Inventory rarely passes through your hands when dropshipping, so you don’t have the best chance.
Primarily to ensure that products are in top condition. Without quality control, you’re putting your store’s reputation in the hands of a third party. One bad batch of products could lead to unhappy customers and lost sales. And unless you have a special deal with your suppliers, you can’t use packaging to make your store unique and expect to make sales just like.
Or even include coupons to drive additional purchases. Fee structures can also be complicated and can change with little notice. As your store grows and develops a strong reputation, you can start negotiating exclusive deals with suppliers. But until then, you’ll have less favorable profit margins and be a lower priority for vendors — high fees can quickly destroy profits.
Or even force you to price goods out of reach for your customers. Once you’ve found a dropshipping supplier willing to list your brand on the packaging, mailing slips, and invoices, there are other factors to consider — an excellent dropshipping supplier…
…doesn’t ask for control of your Amazon account
Once you know you’ll be the seller of record, it’s time to set up an Amazon account. Remember that you’re responsible for the account, so don’t give access to a third party. If you provide access and they remove you, then you’ll lose control over the account. If a dropshipping company requests access, then shop for a different vendor.
…has proof of authorization to sell products from specific brands
Next, make sure the supply chain is in order. Ask the dropshipping supplier where they receive products from and whether they have letters of authorization from the respective brands or manufacturers. Check the authorization to ensure it comes directly from the product source. Before moving forward with the supplier, confirm authorization is legitimate.
Third-party suppliers generally receive authorization to sell products. You can review purchase documentation (such as an invoice and letters of authorization) to confirm this. Letters of authorization commonly state something like, “Supplier ABC is authorized to sell products under XYZ brand name.”
If a supplier is unable to provide invoices or letters of authorization, then don’t take any chances. Ensure they can prove they’re legitimately selling products so you don’t end up suspended from Amazon or in legal hot water.
…has dropshipped with Amazon sellers before
As a bonus, you can ask the supplier if they’ve worked with Amazon sellers before. If so, ask for shipment histories to prove it. Avoid headaches by working with a dropshipping vendor that has experience with Amazon sellers and is aware of the process and applicable policies.
…lacks bulk discounts with disjointed orders
One of the reasons big-box retailers can sell products at such low prices is economies of scale. They get major discounts on products because they purchase such a large volume, and they pass those discounts on to shoppers. You can say goodbye to bulk discounts by buying products one at a time with dropshipping.
Until you generate enough sales to give you some negotiation leverage, you’re paying what the suppliers ask. If you have a variety of products listed in your store, they may come from different suppliers. Customers may receive multiple packages for the same order. After all, which can lead to high shipping costs and wasteful packaging.
As well as confusing branding and annoying customers. It’s entirely reasonable – and expected – that you ask for samples before you agree to partner with a supplier. Look at the blank products and ask for the product samples with your prints on them. You need to know precisely what your customers are getting, so be ruthless with your vetting process!
…offers customer service support
You’re responsible for customer satisfaction, and you’ll likely need cooperation from the dropshipping company so it’s cohesive. When dropshipping products, you don’t have complete control over inventory, since it’s coming from elsewhere. However, you’re still responsible for processing customer returns and refunds.
Check to see whether the dropshipping supplier can receive and document returns within Amazon’s returns policies. If the supplier will be handling returns, check to make sure they have the ability to document the return accurately. That includes taking images, identifying any damage, and noting the reason for the return.
What Affiliate Marketing And Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) Entails
For beginner marketers, Affiliate Marketing is when you promote another company’s products through your website or other sales channels. The affiliate marketer earns a commission by referring customers to the products for sale.
This method can work well for those with steady traffic with websites, blogs, or social media accounts. Affiliates can promote products using their websites or create landing pages displaying links to products for sale in the Amazon store. In most cases, Amazon Affiliate Program pays commissions based on how much revenue is generated from each referral.
Here is how the program works:
- Create an Amazon affiliate account
- Receive a unique Associate ID from Amazon
- Apply, and once approved, you can create affiliate links in your Amazon portal
- Place affiliate links in blog posts, landing pages, and other areas
- Receive a commission when someone clicks your affiliate link and makes a purchase
Suppose you see the dropshipping business as a stepping stone to building a brand. In that case, you should know that dropshipping is permitted in the Amazon store if you follow applicable guidelines, including the Dropshipping Policy by Amazon. There are also alternatives to dropshipping, such as Fulfillment By Amazon or through the Influencer Program for affiliates.
So, what does Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) mean? To enumerate, Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is a service where sellers store products in Amazon storage facilities. This means you don’t have to worry about shipping products to customers.
Below are some of the main benefits:
- Sell more than one type of item at a time.
- You don’t have to deal with returns or refunds or worry about limited warehouse space.
- Unlike dropshipping, you can customize products through a manufacturer to sell under your brand via Amazon.
Overall, the eCommerce business is so competitive. Dropshipping may appeal to entrepreneurs selling generic products. Whether the gains are worth the pain depends on your goals and business situation. Still, successful dropshipping starts with picking the right products and vendors. Whereby sloppy packaging or delayed shipping reflects poorly on you.
So, be that as it may, it’s good to vet all your potential vendors thoroughly. And in that case, read and learn more about deciding which products to dropship to gather additional resource details.
Some Alternative Methods To Amazon Dropshipping Business
At the beginning of 2020, searches for the Dropshipping Business hit an all-time high, according to Google Trends source news. So, if you’re considering doing drop-shipping, you’re certainly not alone. For one thing, the concept of Dropshipping is simple. Whereby you list products for sale on your site. The products themselves are manufactured and held by a third party.
And when someone places an order, the third party ships them directly to the consumer. Adding inventory without dealing with production, stocking, or fulfilling orders may seem like a dream. And the success of well-known brands built on dropshipping businesses, like Wayfair, makes it all the more tempting. The popularity of online shopping continues to grow.
As such, most business entrepreneurs are increasingly looking to ecommerce to create high-profit, low-investment businesses. This is where drop shipping comes into play, specifically as a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the Amazon Dropshipping Model, it purchases the item front head.
Suppose you try the dropshipping business and feel it’s not right for you or is interested in alternative sales methods. In that case, you can consider going for referral marketing, FBA, or affiliate marketing as your starting point.
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment option that allows ecommerce businesses to outsource the processes of procuring, storing, and shipping products to a third party — typically a supplier. This fulfillment model commonly appeals to entrepreneurs seeking efficiency and low overhead, but it can come at a cost — especially regarding customer experience.
Generally, the benefits of dropshipping on Amazon include low startup costs, as the dropshipper does not need to purchase inventory in advance and offers a wide range of products without storing them physically. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to dropshipping on Amazon, such as the risk of product quality issues, shipping delays, etc.
As well as a lack of control over the shipping and handling process. Additionally, Amazon has strict policies around dropshipping, and sellers who violate these policies may have their accounts suspended or terminated. It can also limit opportunities to build a brand or differentiate products. Thus, dropshippers may compete on price, leading to low margins.
Finally, we hope you enjoyed reading and benefited from the above-revised guide on Amazon Dropshipping. However, if you’ll incur glitches or may have additional contributions and suggestions, please feel free to Consult Us and let us know how we can sort you out. Or leave your thoughtful opinions and frequent questions in our comments section for answers.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an Amazon influencer program?
As a member of the Amazon Influencer Program, you are a content creator who provides recommendations to inspire your audience via social media. If you are a media company or a brand and want to drive traﬃc to Amazon, you should apply to the Amazon Associates Program instead.
2. How can I monetize my affiliate content?
There are multiple ways you can earn. For example, you can monetize your social media content by sharing your storefront URL or through aﬃliate links. Amazon may also surface the content you have posted to your storefront to Amazon shoppers, allowing you to grow your followers and earn from new customers.
3. How do I qualify for the influencer program?
Firstly, they accept applications from all influencers, provided you have a YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok account. Secondly, if you are applying using an Instagram or Facebook account, you must use a business account. When reviewing your application, they look at your number of followers and other engagement metrics.
4. How much will I earn through this program?
In this case, you can earn a commission when your followers make qualifying purchases through your aﬃliate links. The amount you earn is based on the products sold. Commission rates can be found here and are also visible in your reports. You can learn more about getting started — visit the Amazon Influencer Program Education Hub for more helpful information.