Friday, June 22, 2007

Should You Combine Drop Shipping With Affiliate Products On Your Site?

Believe it or not, this is a more common question that I am asked from people who are brand new to Internet business. I have tested both ways, talked to a lot of people and have come to a few conclusions with this question, so it will not be an easy "yes or no" answer.

However, most of the time I will answer this question - No, it is usually not a good idea to combine affiliate products on a drop ship site. Mainly because the profit on affiliate products are so low compared to the money you can make actually selling the product from a supplier.

Reasons Why Not To:

* Profit Potential - You can make more money selling the product from a supplier.

* Shopping Cart Confusion - What happens when someone gets done adding some of your product (that you do dropship) that is built into the shopping cart, and they want to add the product that is an affiliate? It could cause some major shopping cart headaches for users, and confuse them, and they will probably just end up leaving for another site.

* De-Value Your Site - There are a lot of smart shoppers these days who know what ads and affiliates are. If they feel you are trying to do anything other then sell the your "main" products they may wonder about the validity of your site. You do not want to scare people away.

* Navigates People Away From Your Site - Lets say you have an Amazon affiliate product on your site that you are making 3-5% on, and the item that was clicked on (which takes them off your site) was only a 5 dollar item. Is it worth losing the customer over a few cents commission?

Reasons Why You Might:

* Can't Find A Product Supplier - If you have searched high and low, and can't find a supplier, but the affiliate product goes perfect with other things you are selling, then it might be a good idea to have it on your site.

* Amazon Product Review Pages - People are always looking for reviews of products, and lots done by other users of the sites they are familiar with. You can create pages inside Amazon showing reviews of the affiliate products you are selling, and link to them. This provides great information, but can also lead people back to the places that end up making you money - your affiliate pages!

* Ease and Simplicity - I have seen enough people try to create websites and use shopping carts to know that not everyone is on the same playing field. Sometimes using a system that Amazon has in place to sell affiliate products is easier then creating a shopping cart website from scratch that can sell both regular products and affiliate products.

The reasons "why you might" (for me) are not always as convincing, and I usually don't end up selling affiliate products on the same site that I sell regular products that are dropshipped. Again, for me it has usually ended up unfavorable and I try to stay away from it, but I do understand certain situations where it could be beneficial. You just have to evaluate the situation and ask yourself if it ads value to your customer, or is it going to lose you money, and navigate people away from your site (before making you any real money).

Matt Siltala has been doing business online since 1999 and has many people set up dropshipping business correctly. Matt Siltala is deeply involved with dropshipper product souring databases like The Shipper, and wants to provide as much education as possible before people waste any money in un-needed areas.

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