Side Hustle Series: Matched Betting vs Dropshipping


22 Oct 2022

Updated: 24 Apr 2023

Our new Side Hustle series takes modern side business ideas and pitches them against each other.

This week we're looking at Matched Betting and Dropshipping, the costs involved and what it takes to make them a success.

So what’s the difference?

You may already be aware of what Matched Betting is.

For those who aren't though, simply put, it’s a type of betting that takes advantage of betting companies' free promotions using maths and the ability to cover all outcomes of a bet using betting exchanges. With Matched Betting, it's possible to convert a £10 Free Bet provided by a bookmaker into approximately £7-£8 of withdrawable cash profit. Assuming you've followed the Outplayed Matched Betting Guides properly, it's possible for you to make this profit regardless of what the outcome is of the game that you've used the free bet on.

It's also very important to note that any gains from Matched Betting are fully tax-free.

This means you won't have to worry about factoring in tax in the UK like you would if you made more than £1,000 in self-employed income.

You can utilise a variety of Matched Betting calculators to assist you in taking advantage of all kinds of bookmaker offers and promotions. These betting calculators even make it possible to make money Matched Betting without free bets.

Then on the other-hand we have Dropshipping.

Dropshipping is almost a complete business solution and is used by many people around the world.

The dropshipper creates and designs items to sell on a dropshipping site such as They then promote and advertise these items across various platforms from social media sites like Facebook through to major online shopping sites such as Etsy and Amazon. When a customer places an order - be it directly on the dropshipping website or via a third party site, the dropshipper confirms the order on behalf of the customer, and the dropshipping site's supplier then fulfils the order by shipping the items to the customers.

The dropshipping site's supplier doesn’t usually have any contact with the customer other than issues around returns.

Dropshipping is an excellent way to get into e-commerce without having to pack your home with inventory and stock or deal with manufacturers.

How do these two side hustles compare?

Read on to compare these popular way of making income on the side.


With Matched Betting you can get started for as little as £50 - although some Outplayed members have stated they started with just £10-£25. This initial investment is what will allow you to perform your first Matched Bets. In the community this initial investment amount is referred to as a starting Matched Betting bankroll (or cash float).

As it's more than possible to make up to £40 in profit using the Outplayed Free Trial - this means it's possible to recoup the vast amount of your initial investment with very little effort or time. As soon as you take back your initial investment and continue using your initial profits to continue to make more money with Matched Betting - all the rest of these profits are technically being made for free!

If you do choose to start Matched Betting with a lower amount, less than £100, you will need a bit of patience at first. This is because you are required to wait for your first bets to settle and profits to be withdrawn to your bank account before you can continue with the next bookmaker offer available.

Starting with a sum like £300 - £500 will allow you to completely multiple offers at a time, cover a wide range of bets and maximise your profits without waiting. Again - even with a higher initial investment - as soon as you make the equivalent in profit - that initial investment can be withdrawn and returned back to you - so that your ongoing Matched Betting is then purely funded by it's own profits.

In regard to dropshipping - most of the top dropshipping websites only tend to charge you a commission on what you sell. This means in theory you can start dropshipping for free and only need to invest your time into creating designs and items to sell.

However, unless you happen to be extremely fortunate and design something absolutely amazing that proceeds to sell directly on the dropshipping website itself - which is not very likely - you will need to invest some money in promoting and advertising your products to their relevant niches or getting them featured on large shopping websites where they are far more likely to be found under relevant customer searches.

Shopify for example is built with dropshipping in mind and has a vast range of templates available along with an easy way to select products, then integrate them into your store. They provide this for a small monthly cost of around £24/month with the higher tiers offering more analytics and products.

Unless you're very lucky or have a ton of experience in promotion and advertising already - the potential investment you need to make before you manage to get the right product in front of exactly the right audience is potentially substantial.

Unlike with Matched Betting, where if you follow the guides correctly you can quickly see that you will recoup an initial investment of £50-£100 within the first 10-15 bookmaker offers you do - you can't see with dropshipping exactly when you might recoup your initial investment.

You could potentially spend £300-£500 or more promoting your products, only to sell a few items and not make any profit at all.

For this reason Matched Betting wins over dropshipping when incomes to investment.

Also read about oddsmatcher


In terms of how long it will take to see a return on your investment - the biggest hurdle you’ll encounter with Matched Betting is the time it takes to learn how to do it. There are plenty of resources available to learn how to do it effectively as well as a bustling Facebook Group for members where you can share experiences and ask questions to those who have been Matched Betting a long time. Essentially, once you know what you’re doing you can get started immediately.

Dropshipping will require some albeit, not necessarily a large amount of knowledge of both website management, which allows you to pick an e-commerce option and manage the subsequent website build as well as digital marketing, which you’ll need to advertise your products via Google, social media or even via traditional means.

Once you are clear on this there will be a delay between the site launch and when customers arrive to the site purely because dropshipping is now a hugely competitive industry and there will be plenty of people bidding for the same customers you are.

As mentioned above with Matched Betting you can hazard a very good estimate of how long it will take you to get your initial investment back based on the number of offers you need to complete to make that profit back and how long you take to complete an offer on average.

On that basis Matched Betting wins again over dropshipping when it comes to speed.


Like anything, results largely depend on the effort you’re willing to put in and Matched Betting is no different. You can dedicate half an hour a day to it and make profit or you can dedicate as many hours as the betting offers dictate and maximise your returns. As the same underlying process is frequently used repeatedly in Matched Betting to make a profit, specifically placing a back bet at a bookmaker and then a lay bet at a betting exchange - once you get the hang of this it just gets faster and faster.

Outplayed also offers it's members a wealth of tools to make their Matched Betting as efficient as possible. The Oddsmatcher Tool alone saves hours and hours of scouring the bookies and exchanges for close odds matches for Matched Betting - as it automates the entire process for you.

With dropshipping, after you have your products outlined, your site built and your marketing decided what remains is the (not) small task of running your site(s) and advertising campaigns. To be successful you will need to make consistent marketing changes based on your engagement figures, optimise your products constantly based on your organic traffic figures and key searches and continuously make new products to keep up with changing markets and copy-cat competitors stealing your designs and concepts if they start to do well.

Matched Betting relative to many other side hustles requires very minimal effort - especially when compared to dropshipping. For that reason it wins again in this comparison.


Matched Betting

Whichever method you choose you will need to prepare to spend some time building either a store or your own knowledge base to ensure your efforts translate into profit. We of course recommend Matched Betting over dropshipping, due to the nature in which your investment can be returned and how even your early efforts can translate directly into profit.

Being sure of the equation (effort = results) is rare when starting any business or hobby for that matter, which is what makes Matched Betting unique in its methodology.


There are over 50,000 members in our Facebook Group you can ask today about what can be made with Matched Betting. Our community is like no other - everyone helps each other make as much as possible all day long. It really is something special to be a part of, and you can be part of it too!


How to start Matched Betting with Outplayed

When Matched Betting with, as long as you follow the guides, you can’t lose, only profit. Matched Betting is not an alternative to employment or a solution to financial concerns. Profits can vary dramatically based on time and effort.