Unraveling the Truth: Dropshipping Decoded – Not a Scam but Is There a Better Alternative?

Welcome to the exciting world of e-commerce! In recent years, the online business landscape has been abuzz with opportunities that promise financial independence and entrepreneurial success. We find two prominent contenders at the forefront of this buzz: Dropshipping and Affiliate Marketing. In this eye-opening blog post, we embark on a journey to decipher the truth behind dropshipping and explore a safer and more viable alternative.

Dropshipping, often hailed as a game-changer, has gained popularity for its low barrier to entry and potential for significant profits. However, like any venture, it has its share of challenges and misconceptions. Let’s set the record straight right from the start – dropshipping is NOT a scam! It is a legitimate business model embraced by countless entrepreneurs worldwide.

But, here’s the million-dollar question: does dropshipping truly stand the test of time, or is there a better, more sustainable path to success? Today, we unveil the answers and introduce you to an alternative that is taking the online business world by storm – Affiliate Marketing, backed by the trusted platform of Wealthy Affiliate.

Join us as we delve into the realities of dropshipping, debunk myths, and open the doors to a realm of possibilities with affiliate marketing. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur seeking your first venture or an e-commerce enthusiast looking to elevate your profits, this blog post will equip you with the insights to make an informed decision.

Are you ready to uncover the truth and unlock the secrets of profitable online businesses? Let’s dive in!

First, What is Dropshipping?

Before we dive into the world of dropshipping, let’s get a firm grasp on the fundamentals of this popular e-commerce model.


In essence, dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where online store owners don’t keep the products they sell in stock. Instead, when a customer makes a purchase, the product is shipped directly from the supplier to the customer. As a drop shipper, you act as the intermediary, facilitating the transaction without handling physical inventory.

Some of the Good Things About Dropshipping…

There are several pros to using dropshipping as a business model…

(1) Low Cost.  The first pro is the low overhead costs associated with dropshipping. As the seller does not have to purchase any inventory upfront, they can start their business without investing a large amount of money. Additionally, the seller does not have to worry about shipping and fulfilment, as this is taken care of by the third-party supplier.  There are going to be costs to running an e-commerce store and memberships to the “wholesaler” programs.  

(2) No inventory. Another pro of dropshipping is the ability to quickly start up a business. As the seller does not need to purchase any inventory, they can start selling almost immediately. Additionally, the seller can offer a wide range of products without needing to worry about storage space or shipping.

(3) Lowered Risk (as no ownership of products). Finally, dropshipping is a great way to test out new products and markets without needing to invest a large amount of money. As the seller does not need to purchase any inventory, they can quickly switch to different products or markets without needing to worry about inventory costs.

Now let’s jump into some of the drawbacks of running a dropshipping business, they are actually more obvious than the benefits. 

6 MAJOR Drawbacks of Running a Dropshipping Business

Although there are several pros to dropshipping, there are also some cons that should be taken into consideration before you jump into this “online business model”.  Sometimes when things sound too good to be true, they are.  I have actually worked with FAR MORE struggling within the dropshipping business model, versus those that experience any success at all and there are reasons for this. 

Let me help you understand six of the risks of starting a drop shipping business.  

(1) High competition: Starting an online dropshipping business means competing with countless other businesses offering similar products, which can make it difficult to stand out from the crowd and make a profit.  Remember, anyone can access these same products as you so it becomes a “dog eat dog” sort of environment as to who can offer the lowest prices on the same thing. 

(2) Low margins: Dropshipping businesses typically have to pay a wholesale price for the products they are selling, which can lead to low-profit margins.  This makes it even more difficult when you take into consideration that you will have to pay to market your store, which is where 99% of people fail.

(3) Quality control issues: When you don’t control the quality of the products that you’re selling, it can be difficult to guarantee consistent quality.  The wholesale platforms tend to ship products that are from China, so they are “knockoffs” of the actual brands that people want to buy and tend to be rife with quality issues.

(4) Poor customer service: Without a physical presence, it can be hard to provide your customers with the same level of service as a traditional shop.  This leads to lower-end customer service, and the inability to control the quality of your product naturally will lead to some level of negative reviews.

(5) Lack of control: Dropshipping businesses don’t have much control over the products they are selling, as they are reliant on the supplier to provide them. This can make it difficult to respond to customer demands or ensure product availability.

(6) Shipping delays: Shipping times from suppliers can be unpredictable, which can lead to delays in orders being delivered to customers.  It isn’t uncommon for your customers to be waiting 4-6 weeks for shipping as these products are coming from overseas (usually China), with a high rate of damage happening during these travels.  This can lead to frustrated customers, and returns which you are going to be responsible for carrying those costs.

Is Dropshipping a Scam?


It’s essential to clarify that dropshipping itself is not a scam. It’s a legitimate business model embraced by countless successful entrepreneurs worldwide. However, the misconception arises from the belief that dropshipping guarantees overnight success without any effort or challenges. In reality, like any business endeavour, dropshipping requires hard work, dedication, and smart decision-making to thrive.

It certainly is NOT an “ideal” model if you are looking to start a business online, and I want to introduce you to a much superior alternative and one you can get started with right away called Affiliate Marketing. 

Let’s look at a comparison between the two…

Dropshipping vs. Affiliate Marketing: There is a CLEAR Winner!!

Dropshipping is a business model where you don’t have to own or store inventory. You simply partner with a dropshipping supplier and list their products for sale. While dropshipping is an attractive business model for its convenience and low startup costs, affiliate marketing offers much more potential for profitability. 

With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to worry about stocking, shipping, or tracking inventory. Instead, you simply promote another company’s products and earn a commission for each sale you make. Additionally, the potential for earning more money is much greater with affiliate marketing since you can earn a percentage of each sale, rather than just a flat fee for each product. Furthermore, as an affiliate marketer, you have the potential to earn residual income from each sale, as well as from recurring customer purchases.

Dropshipping vs. Affiliate Marketing

Comparison: Dropshipping vs. Affiliate Marketing

Criteria Dropshipping Affiliate Marketing
Initial Investment Moderate to High Low
Inventory Management Required Not Required
Order Fulfilment Handle Shipping Merchant Handles Shipping
Product Selection Choose from Suppliers’ Catalog Promote Products from Merchants
Profit Margins Lower Higher
Marketing Required Required
Customer Service Responsible for Handling Customer Issues Minimal Involvement in Customer Issues
Branding Build and Promote Own Brand Promote Merchant’s Brand
Time Commitment Moderate to High Moderate

As you can see from the table, affiliate marketing can be a better business model for those who are looking for a low-cost, low-risk, and low-maintenance business venture. With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to invest in inventory, manage orders, or provide customer service. Additionally, you have the flexibility to promote a wide variety of products without being limited to a specific supplier’s inventory. 

However, dropshipping can be a good option for those who are willing to invest in building a brand and want higher profit margins. Ultimately, the choice between affiliate marketing and dropshipping will depend on your specific business goals and preferences.

If you want to learn how to become an expert within the affiliate marketing world, and how to harness this “preferred” business model, I highly recommend that you get a free account over at Wealthy Affiliate.   You will be able to get up and running in a matter of a few lessons with your own niche, affiliate marketing website (and I will be there to personally help you out)

Conclusion: Unlock Your Path to Profitable Online Success with Wealthy Affiliate

Congratulations on making it through this eye-opening journey into the world of e-commerce and the truths behind dropshipping and affiliate marketing. We have debunked misconceptions, explored the pros and cons of dropshipping, and now stand at the threshold of an exciting opportunity.

While dropshipping itself is not a scam and can be a viable option for some, it comes with its own set of challenges and requires substantial effort to succeed. But fear not! We have an even more promising path to present – Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate Marketing offers an unbeatable combination of low investment, high potential, and reduced complexities. With Wealthy Affiliate as your trusted guide, you can embark on a passion-driven journey to build a successful online business.

Why Choose Affiliate Marketing with Wealthy Affiliate?

  1. Low-Cost Entry: You don’t need to worry about inventory or order fulfilment. Wealthy Affiliate provides all the tools and resources you need to get started with minimal investment.
  2. Flexibility and Freedom: Choose from a vast array of products and niches to promote, giving you the freedom to explore your interests and passions.
  3. Supportive Community: Wealthy Affiliate offers a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs and experts who are there to support and guide you every step of the way.
  4. Step-by-Step Training: You’ll have access to comprehensive, step-by-step training that walks you through the process of building a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch.

Ready to Unleash Your Potential? Take Action Now!

Are you eager to create a profitable online business that aligns with your passions? Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity. Sign up for a free account with Wealthy Affiliate today and begin your journey towards financial independence and entrepreneurial success.

Click the button below to get started on your exciting affiliate marketing adventure. Join Wealthy Affiliate, and I’ll personally be there to assist you throughout your journey. Let’s turn your dreams into reality!


6 thoughts on “Unraveling the Truth: Dropshipping Decoded – Not a Scam but Is There a Better Alternative?”

  1. Hi John,
    As a former dropshipper, I can relate to all the problems you mention, and agree with the low cost to start, no inventory cons as well. I was in when the covid pandemic started affecting all the shipping.

    And being that I was selling my products on a 7 day delivery promise, almost overnight shipping was coming from China, instead of from my US suppliers! They had nobody to get supplies to them!

    Needless to say, customers were demanding products, and did not want to wait a month for products to arrive! So, yes dropshipping has problems! Affiliate marketing offers a lot of the same benefits, low cost, no inventory that dropshipping offers. Without worrying about the shipping!
    I totally agree with you, affiliate marketing is a much easier road to travel! And I am very familiar with Wealthy Affiliate! They are the perfect place to learn affiliate marketing!
    Thank you for this informative article!

    • Hey Chas,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences as a former dropshipper! It’s evident that dropshipping during the Covid pandemic presented significant challenges with shipping delays from China, which understandably affected customer satisfaction. I can see how affiliate marketing could be a preferable alternative, offering similar benefits such as low costs and no inventory, without the hassle of shipping concerns.

      It’s great to hear that you’ve had positive experiences with Wealthy Affiliate and find it to be an excellent platform for learning affiliate marketing. Many others might find this information valuable when considering their own entrepreneurial endeavors.

      Your input adds valuable insights to the topic and enhances the discussion around dropshipping and affiliate marketing. I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective and contribute to the conversation. If you have any further insights or thoughts, feel free to share them – your input is always welcome!


  2. Dropshipping used to be a bigger “thing” back in the day. However, platforms like Amazon really don’t welcome dropshipping. In fact, if they catch you doing it they will ban your account. eBay does allow it, but you better know how to do it correctly if you are going to do it.

    I have been selling on Amazon for 5 years and eBay for 20+ years. I do like both platforms and you can make a lot of money with both of them.

    However, I am leaning towards affiliate marketing since it’s something I can do once and collect payments on it for years. It’s really just a smarter way to work.

    • Hey Garen,

      Thank you for sharing your valuable insights on dropshipping and affiliate marketing. It’s evident that you have extensive experience in the e-commerce world, having successfully sold on Amazon for 5 years and eBay for over 20 years.

      Indeed, dropshipping was once a prominent trend in the online business sphere, but as you rightly pointed out, platforms like Amazon have become less welcoming to it due to various reasons, including issues with product quality, customer experience, and competition. However, eBay still allows dropshipping, but mastering the art of doing it correctly is essential to thrive in this competitive landscape.

      Your perspective on affiliate marketing is intriguing and highlights its unique advantages. Unlike dropshipping, which requires ongoing inventory management and customer support, affiliate marketing allows you to promote products and services without dealing with inventory, shipping, or customer inquiries. Once you create compelling content and set up your affiliate links, you can potentially earn passive income for years to come – a truly smart way to work, indeed.

      For individuals seeking to venture into affiliate marketing, having the right support and guidance is crucial. It’s encouraging to hear that Wealthy Affiliate can provide ample assistance to those wanting to make money online. A community that offers valuable training, resources, and mentorship can significantly shorten the learning curve and increase the chances of success in the affiliate marketing realm.

      In conclusion, both dropshipping and affiliate marketing have their merits, but the latter appears to be a more attractive option for those seeking a passive income stream. As the online business landscape continues to evolve, it’s essential to explore and adapt to the most viable opportunities available.

      Thank you again for sharing your expertise, and we look forward to further exploring the potential of affiliate marketing with the support of platforms like Wealthy Affiliate. Happy entrepreneuring!


  3. Thanks for clearing up the differences between affiliate marketing and dropshipping. I thought with dropshipping you have to hold on to the merchandise. I see you don’t. Still, I like affiliate marketing better as the profit margins are higher and I don’t need to build my own brand. When I decided I wanted my own online business, I knew I didn’t want to have to manage inventory or be part of customer support. So affiliate marketing was the clear winner for me. Thanks for your post.

    • Hey Shalisha,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post and share your thoughts on the differences between affiliate marketing and dropshipping. I’m glad the post helped clear up any misconceptions you had.

      You’ve highlighted some excellent points about why affiliate marketing can be a more attractive option for certain individuals. Indeed, one of the significant advantages of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to handle inventory or deal with customer support. This not only reduces operational burdens but also allows for higher profit margins since you’re not responsible for the costs associated with stocking and shipping products.

      By choosing affiliate marketing, you can focus on promoting products or services that align with your interests and expertise, and you can do it without the need to build your own brand from scratch. This flexibility and freedom make affiliate marketing an appealing choice for many aspiring online entrepreneurs.

      I’m delighted to hear that affiliate marketing emerged as your clear winner when deciding on your online business model. It’s crucial to choose a path that aligns with your preferences and long-term goals, and it seems like you’ve made a well-informed decision.

      If you have any further questions or need additional insights on affiliate marketing or any other topic related to online business, feel free to ask. I’m here to help and support you on your entrepreneurial journey. Wishing you all the best in your endeavours!



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