Dropshipping Vs. Drop Surfing: How to Choose the Right eCommerce Model for You

Need help determining which eCommerce model is best for your business? Check out this article comparing dropshipping and drop surfing, and find out which is right for you!

Dropshipping Vs. Drop Surfing: How to Choose the Right eCommerce Model for You

In today's eCommerce world, you must be familiar with Dropshipping or drop surfing, which has recently emerged as one of the most outstanding business opportunities. The term is a recent one that is widely used in the industry, so if you have ever worked in dropshipping or have lately been exploring the possibilities of beginning a drop shipping service, you might have heard it. 

Suppose you are a beginner wondering about the definition, differences, pros, and cons; the below features the entire drop ship concept to select the best way for your eCommerce business. As the Dropshipping and eCommerce sectors are growing rapidly, they have a successful future ahead of them.

What is Dropshipping VS Drop Surfing?

The two methods of eCommerce and dropshipping are similar. But both are different in a few key aspects. But not all dropshippers engage in drop surfing, but drop surfers always engage in dropshipping.

Dropshipping Definition

Dropshipping is a general term in the eCommerce industry. Dropshipping is a form of order fulfillment when you request a manufacturer or vendor to complete the shipment or order instead of delivering the client a product from your inventory houses. They will act as your agent in sending the product to the client and frequently mark it with your logo, so the consumer won't know it wasn't from your stores. After that, they will charge you directly.

Dropshipping is becoming increasingly popular as manufacturers look for more automated business strategies. It may be used as your company's primary fulfillment method, a backup plan for when stock runs short, or a way to evaluate an upcoming product line.

Most of a drop shipper's revenue originates from locations where they reduce taxes compared to typical supply chains for retailers or raise product prices. Dropshipping has lower overhead expenses, primarily related to marketing and sales rather than product development.

Drop surfing Definition

This eCommerce model includes searching for the best pricing to increase your profit on a drop-shipping order. For a price comparison, the first surfing definition for this eCommerce model is using many suppliers for the same items while operating a dropshipping business is the first technique. Although choosing suppliers is complex, it significantly complicates the procedure. It usually works if you confirm that the new supplier offers the same product quality, comparable or better shipping rates, and delivery times.

Another surfing definition for the eCommerce model is switching things on offer to generate as many trades as possible. It involves conducting in-depth research to identify products that are now popular or that are predicted to be so soon. You will experience many hit-and-miss situations over the life of your online marketplace, and it is pretty time-consuming. Yet, if you choose the right things, you will generate many sales and earn a lot of money.

Pros and Cons of Dropshipping

The dropshipping eCommerce center has both advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below: 

Pros of Dropshipping

Low Startup Costs

 The main advantage of dropshipping is that it can be started for minimal cost compared to other traditional retail businesses. There's no need to purchase large amounts of stock upfront, nor do you need to rent or own any premises. You'll need a quality website, some marketing skills, and time!  

Variety on Offer

With drop shipping, you don't have any limits regarding product selection, as your suppliers will usually carry a much more extensive selection than what you could easily fit into any brick & mortar stores (or even warehouses in most cases).  

Low Risk Involved

Taking risks can often mean catastrophe - with drop shipping when starting entrepreneurship. At the same time, there are still areas where mistakes can be made; overall, it's a relatively low-risk strategy compared to investing in large amounts of inventory before its sale. 

Cons of Dropshipping

Lower Margins

Although startup costs are lower for drop shipping businesses, profit margins tend to be lower since the supplier generally provides products at wholesale prices, which means less money left over after paying for freight charges, etc.    

Difficulties in Delivery & Order Fulfillment

When working with multiple vendors from around the globe, ordering issues may arise due to miscommunication between parties which could mean delayed delivery times or, even worse, completely wrong orders being sent out; this ultimately affects both customers satisfaction and also company's bottom line if returns/exchanges take place frequently enough.   


The amount dropped by shippers already competing within specific marketplaces significantly decreases potential new entrants' chances of succeeding since their competition will already have established their presence by driving down prices etc. To make your venture profitable, entrepreneurs must identify unmet needs within niche markets they plan on entering and offer something unique or differentiated from their rivals' offerings; otherwise, success might prove difficult despite all your hard work!

Pros and Cons of Drop Surfing

The drop surfing industry has both benefits and drawbacks, some of which are listed below:

Pros of Drop Surfing


One significant advantage of drop surfing is that it offers an incredibly convenient way for customers to order desired items and deliver them quickly to their doorstep. Customers don't have the hassle of driving all over town searching for what they need or waiting in long lines at checkout counters - they can order it online and wait for delivery! This convenience helps make drop surfers' businesses significantly more successful than traditional retail stores, as customers appreciate speed and ease.

Lower Investment Costs 

Another benefit associated with running a drop surfers' business is lower investment costs than operating a physical store would entail; instead of investing in real estate or paying rent on commercial space, all that's typically necessary is an online presence such as a website/app development + maintenance costs rather than expensive upfront investments like building construction/renovations, etc. As such, startup costs are usually minimal compared to other types of businesses- making this business venture an attractive option for many aspiring entrepreneurs who may need more substantial capital resources available when starting.

Cashless Payments

With eCommerce platforms becoming increasingly popular these days, cashless payments are now easier than ever before; this allows customers to purchase goods using cards or digital wallets without needing actual money on hand - further adding convenience for both customer and seller alike :)

Cons of Drop Surfing

Limited Human Interaction & Customer Service

A downside associated with running a drop surfer's business is limited opportunities for customer service; unlike typical brick-and-mortar stores where staff can answer questions in person & help individuals find what they need- no person-to-person contact exists if individual purchases through a drop surfer's site since all transactions take place via electronic means (i.,e no face time). Furthermore, communication can be challenging if issues arise since most support teams rely on automated emails/hotlines, etc., reducing the level of customer service your buyers will receive compared to traditional shopping methods :/

 Higher Delivery Fees

Since dropping goods off via courier services may result in higher shipping fees being attributed back onto you as part owner - you'll need to plan accordingly so that either your margins remain healthy OR you pass along additional charges to your consumers - depending upon how competitively pricing you'd like your offerings out there. 

Cybersecurity Risks

Lastly, one significant risk of running any online-based venture involves cybersecurity threats lurking around every corner. However, many security measures exist (i.,e SSL encryption ) & payment gateways offer secure transfers, etc.- viruses, malicious software & hackers continue present challenges across industries. So if embarking on this journey, make sure protectively each touchpoint!

How to Choose the Right Method for You?

The shift from conventional stores to online eCommerce is unstoppable. More and more companies are looking for ideas for launching their online stores. One question that arises in their mind is how to choose a suitable eCommerce model.

Step 1: Look for who are the business models or buyers for your eCommerce store.

  • B2B refers to the exchange of goods (or services) between businesses.
  • B2C refers to when a company provides sales to customers.
  • C2C refers to the process of customers selling goods to other customers.
  • C2B refers to the business model where a consumer sells a service or product to a business.

Step 2: Look for an eCommerce company based on the types of products you are selling to your consumers. 

  • Some essential facts would determine which eCommerce business strategy you would choose to offer your digital goods: there is no need for actual shipment for these kinds of purchases, they are easily accessible, several copies can be sold, and no physical storage is necessary.
  • The most conventional type of eCommerce is the selling of physical goods online. These items are available to both consumers and companies.
  • eCommerce companies provide a variety of services. The most often offered services include website design and development, content generation and publication, office administration, and more.

Step 3: Consider your inventory while selecting the best eCommerce business model. Or how will you profit from the products or goods you offer customers

  • Many people choose to make products that refer to various products, mostly jewelry, cosmetics, and garments. Not all products can be manufactured by hand. Your abilities and the equipment you can pay for are your significant allies.
  • Often, manufacturing involves hiring a company to produce the goods on your behalf. Your provider might be found locally or abroad. 
  • The least dangerous eCommerce business strategy could be buying in bulk. You would purchase products from different brands. 
  • Selling products or services, you don't own is the dropshipping concept. You would take online customer orders and send them to your dropship supplier. You must focus on the cost differences between your offer and the business partner's charge.

Step 4: There are a few significant competitive advantages that you may count on

  • It makes sense to use a price discount approach. Small businesses often need help to compete with big enterprises. Big retailers can buy in bulk, which enables them to sell the goods for less while still making a substantial profit.
  • If you are okay with storage or inventory management, having a large selection of goods may help you succeed. Dropshipping is the best eCommerce option if the section gives you a lead over other sellers.
  • When your company starts to expand, it would be better to approach outsourcing customer service. By doing this, you'll be able to expand your company more successful and save a lot of money.
  • The most effective competitive strategy is frequently offering high-quality goods or services. Superior goods establish a unique brand and attract new clients.

Tips for Starting a Dropshipping Business

With the dropshipping concept, a business may sell goods without ever keeping an eye on the inventory of goods. The following six stages will assist you in starting a dropshipping business:

Tip 1: A business idea outlines your goods and target market. Since there are so many options available with this method, you should begin with a small number of goods you believe will attract a specific need.

Tip 2: To discover the highest wholesale pricing for the products, look for popular wholesalers that provide the same products.

Tip 3: Once you've discovered the items you wish to offer, deciding which supplier will be responsible for shipping the goods to your clients is essential.

Tip 4: To sell your products or services, you must generate an online store that will assist you in displaying the products or services you have for sale, including the shopping carts needed to handle the dealing processes.

Tip 5: The company must be established separately from your funds which requires creating a name (domain name) and registering for an LLC or company to your secretary of state.

Tip 6: You must do more than just build a webpage and assume thousands of users to come to look at it. The new business needs to be publicized. Join groups on social media that are important to your business since they are online, and start to give rise helpfully.

Related: What You Need To Know Before Starting eBay Dropshipping Business

Tips for Starting a Drop Surfing Business

Drop surfing searches online for the best prices to increase your profit on a drop shipping order. To start a drop-surfing eCommerce company, follow these steps:

Tip 1: Select an eCommerce platform and start an online store. Choose a widely used platform, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.

Tip 2: Next, you must start looking through the marketplace. Discover what is in high demand, where to get it, and what a decent profit is. You may start listing your stock as soon as you've decided on it without the need for any upfront investments.

Tip 3: To help you manage your shop, purchase a drop-surfing tool or software (free plan for beginners).

Tip 4: You are now prepared to start your online store for the surfing-shipping business.

It should be clear that drop surfing is just a type of dropshipping company. Drop surfers constantly switch up their vendors and products instead of dealing with a limited number of them to dropship. The company is more active and has more significant risks, but you can have the highest payout if you are lucky.


Dropshipping and drop surfing are viable eCommerce models for businesses of all sizes, but each has unique advantages and disadvantages. Drop surfing allows you to control your stock without ever having to invest in it at the outset. It will enable you to experiment with different products without the risk of overstocked inventory. On the other hand, dropshipping is more hands-off and requires less upfront investment but carries potential pitfalls like variable shipping costs and tight margins. Ultimately, which model is suitable for you depends on your business needs. Considering these two key factors will help you make the right decision when choosing an eCommerce model if you're starting out or looking to refresh your current strategy. Need help fulfilling eCommerce orders? Contact Simple today for personalized order fulfillment management solutions tailored to your business!

Recommended: Dropshipping Versus Third-Party Fulfillment

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