Yo, what’s going on.
OK, so you’re looking for the lowdown on Beau Crabill’s Online Retail Mastery course.
Sweet...you’ve come to the right place.
As a successful online marketer that makes 5 figures a month, I've been through dozens of online courses over the years.
Whether it’s Amazon FBA, or local lead generation (my business that now makes me $30K+ a month), I’m committed to investing in my skills.
I want to know that I’m doing everything possible to grow my business.
In this article I’m gonna do a deep dive into Beau’s course for you, and take you through everything you need to know about it.
You’re looking to build an Amazon FBA business right?
Cool...I’ll let you know if Beau’s course will help you do that.
I’ll also let you know if you should even be getting into Amazon FBA in 2021, or if there are better online business models you should be looking at.
Here’s what we’re gonna cover...
Let’s get started…
1. THE COURSE: What is Online Retail Mastery?
Ok, so Beau Crabill’s course can be summed up into a few words…
Rather than copying every other Amazon seller out there doing Private Label FBA, his course teaches you how to sell big retail brands on Amazon, that are already established and well known.
When it comes down to it, the brands that get the most sales on Amazon are not the small, unknown brands that no one has ever heard of (i.e Private Label).
They are the monster brands that do huge ad spend on multiple different media channels year in, year out.
This is the strategy that Online Retail Mastery focuses on, and it takes you through the process of building relationships with authorized suppliers of these big ticket brands.
Connecting with the suppliers of these brands is the first piece to the puzzle.
The second is getting ungated by Amazon, which basically means they give you their stamp of approval to sell these big brands.
2. COURSE CREATORS: Who is Beau Crabill?
A self proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Beau Crabill has been selling online since 2011.
First with eBay and then transitioning on to Amazon, he’s been playing the e-commerce game pretty well for over a decade, so he kinda knows what he’s talking about.
In-fact he’s done so well online, that he decided to drop out of college and quit a promising running career, to focus on building his business full time.
Naturally (as is often the case), he’s decided to share his knowledge in the form of an FBA course, which supposedly takes you behind the curtains and gives you a glance at what it takes to crush it on Amazon.
Over the years he’s built up a decent Youtube following of over 45,000 followers, who all tune in to watch the hundreds of videos he’s published that share his tips and tricks for Amazon domination.
Keep reading to find out how his course stacks up...
3. AMAZON FBA: How Does it Work?
So in a nutshell, the Amazon FBA model is pretty straightforward and can be broken down into a few steps.
Essentially it involves you selling your product(s) on the world's biggest shopping platform...Amazon of course.
Here’s how it works.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
Trust me, there’s a lot more that goes into it.
4. COURSE OVERVIEW: What Does the Course Cover?
As you start rolling up your sleeves and digging into the content, you’ll find the course is broken down into 13 different modules.
Each module is packed with video content, where Beau takes you through the process of Wholesale FBA, step by step.
He doesn’t mince his words either, and gets right down to the nitty gritty straight away.
Wondering what the course covers?
The training videos include:
5. BUSINESS MODELS: What’s the Difference Between Private Label and Wholesale FBA?
If you're new to the game of Amazon FBA, you may be wondering what the difference is between Private Label selling and Wholesale selling (the model used in Beau's course).
In a nutshell Private Label is the process of sourcing a product from suppliers, and then branding them as your own.
This involves creating a brand name, logo, custom packaging and even registering your brand.
In contrast, Wholesale is the process of selling existing products that are already well established, such as Nike and other well known brands.
Both models come with various pros and cons.
As an Amazon seller, I operated using the Private Label model, but I've dabbled in the Wholesale model as well, which is what Online Retail Mastery teaches.
6. COST: How Much Does Online Retail Mastery Cost?
At the time of writing, the cost of Online Retail Mastery was $997.
There’s also a monthly plan option of paying $297 for 4 months, if you don’t have 1K to drop on the course all at once.
Overall, I thought the price was pretty good.
I liked the fact that you get the option to make installment payments if you are tight for cash.
This makes the course affordable for pretty much anyone that’s committed to getting it badly enough, which I’m always a fan of.
7. LEGIT OR A SCAM: Is Online Retail Mastery the Real Deal?
So as far as Amazon FBA courses go, how does Online Retail Mastery stack up?
After trawling through the course, here are my thoughts...
In my opinion, overall...it's ok.
It's not the most comprehensive Wholesale course on the market, but it's still packed with a ton of solid value, and I believe that anyone just starting out will pick up some useful nuggets from working through the training.
That said, not all the feedback from customers is as positive as mine.
Keep reading to find out what they had to say...
8. NO FLUFF: Beau Tells it Like it Is.
One of the things I really like about Beau is that he cuts to the chase.
Nowadays you’ll find that a lot of courses like this one are filled with fluff, and filler content that does nothing more than bulk out the course so that it doesn’t “appear” thin on value before people buy it.
Not the case here though. Beau drops value bombs all over the place, and goes all in and gets right to the point in every module.
9. COST: Well Priced Compared to Other Courses
As far as pricing goes, the price tag on Online Retail Mastery isn’t too bad.
At $997, there are a lot more expensive courses on the market.
For me, price is important, but it's usually not a deal breaker.
I’m a big believer in investing in yourself.
In-fact I can pinpoint the exact timeline that I started becoming successful online was right around the time I started taking it seriously and spent money to learn the skills I needed to build the business I wanted.
I stopped looking at online courses like this one as if they were “internet marketing courses”, and started seeing them like they were University courses.
Why?...because if you study and apply what they’re teaching you, you can literally build a career and full time income around the skills you acquire.
If you get it right (like I did with my local lead gen business), you could end up making 10X more than you ever could in a shitty 9-5 job.
So for me, cost isn’t really a factor when it comes to high quality courses like this.
If they’re gonna allow me to earn 10X more..I’m in!
10. FACEBOOK GROUP: Ongoing Support
The Online Retail Mastery Private Facebook group has over 3K students in it, who have all been through the course and are now applying the knowledge it teaches.
This creates an awesome Mastermind environment, where students can reach out to each other for help with any issues they face as they navigate through the process of building their business.
No matter what issue they’ve faced, they can almost be certain that someone in the group has already solved it.
This may sound simple, but don’t underestimate the power of a mastermind group that are collectively working towards similar goals as you are.
11. VIDEO CONTENT: Time for a Makeover
I found that some of the videos could do with an update and a refresh. They were ok in general, but a few of them seemed a little dated in some parts, with some of the explanations being overly complicated for what they were.
While I thought most of the information was high quality, I found some of the content a little strange as he seemed to go on rants about people, almost like a child would.
To me that didn’t seem very professional, and I was surprised he’d released the video in that style.
12. BRAND APPROVAL: Get Ready for Disappointment
It’s one thing to decide to adopt the Wholesale method of selling on Amazon, but it’s another to get approved by popular brands to sell their products.
In my experience, you’re more than likely going to find that the majority of large retail brands will reject your request to sell their products.
These large brands are extremely particular about who they work with, and they have a strict vetting process.
At the end of the day, they have an identity to protect!
Even if you are lucky enough to get authorized, you’ll find that the process takes a long time, which can cause a major roadblock to any ambitious dreams and goals you might have of being the next Amazon millionaire.
13. BUY BOX SHARE: You’re Competing with the Big Dogs
Get ready for fierce competition, as you’re gonna be going up against big named brands that are the real deal.
Many of them will have dedicated teams running their Amazon accounts that are masters of their craft.
That’s not to say you can’t make money with this model, but you better be ready for a battle, cos it ain’t gonna be easy.
14. FREE TRAINING: Get a Taster of Beau's Training Style
One cool thing about Beau's website is that he offers a free 4 day training series.
While this is cool, beware....Beau's a digital marketer at the end of the day.
While the free content may be solid value, just be aware that he's carefully moving you through his sales funnel.
To the savvy readers, you may recognize this strategy from Russel Brunson's best selling book Dot Com Secrets.
This outlines a process Russell calls the Value Ladder, which is the process of "baiting" potential customers with a free offer, and then ascending them up their value ladder, by offering them slightly more expensive products and services each time.
In this case, Beau is "baiting" you with his free offer of a 4 day training course.
He's banking on the fact that you'll see the value he offers, and sign up for his paid training course.
This is a very common marketing strategy, and I've got no problems with it.
It's just worth being aware that NOTHING is free...there's always a catch, when it comes to the online world.
15. FEEDBACK AND REVIEWS: What Do Customers Say?
I always think the best way to assess the quality of a course is to dig into the feedback from real customers.
Of course I'm not talking about the reviews on the course creators website.
These will obviously be heavily skewed in their favor, as you can imagine.
I'm talking about the reviews that the course creator doesn't have any control over.
The reviews that are left on other platforms that aren't trying to sell the course that's being reviewed.
In this case, while there were some solid reviews, I did find a few reviews that raised a few eyebrows.
What was also interesting is that in the disclaimer section of Beau's website, he's published the results from a survey he did of his customers.
I thought that the feedback was pretty interesting.
Take a look at these stats and make up your own mind.
16. REFUND POLICY: Yes, But it Requires Effort
So what if you drop $1K on the course and then decide it's not for you.
Are you covered and will you actually get your money back?
The good news is "Yes" Beau's got you covered with a 30-day money back guarantee.
The bad news is that it's not just a case of submitting a refund request...
Online Retail Mastery comes with what is known as an 'Action Based Guarantee'.
This means that in order to get your money back, you're gonna need to prove that you've taken a set of predefined actions in order to show that you've made at least some effort on your part.
In this case, the requirement is that you watch the course and then apply the lesson by completing the tasks that come with them.
17. CONCLUSION: Should You Buy Online Retail Mastery?
So now that you've read my review on Beau Crabill's Online Retail Mastery, you probably want to know if I recommend that you buy it, right?
Look, this course may not be the most comprehensive Amazon course on the market, but it's a solid start if you're looking to dip your toe in the Amazon pond.
The real question though is not whether you should be buying this course, it's whether you should you be starting an Amazon FBA business?
...In my opinion the answer is NO!
Since I first started selling on Amazon, it’s got super competitive.
Did you know that every month, millions of new sellers join the platform?
A lot of them are Chinese suppliers, selling their own products.
Of course they’re able to cut out the middleman, which means they’re able to undercut everyone on price.
The result is that everyone else has to drop their price or go out of business, which totally sucks.
On top of that, the whole business model is super risky, and I’ve found that I have very little control over it.
Think about it...you’re completely dependent on so many factors that are totally out of your control.
You rely on suppliers to get their order quality right and shipping lead times being accurate (which they never are) to ensure you don’t run out of inventory.
You then hope that your competitors don’t leave fake reviews on your account (happened to me), and that they don’t drop their prices by 50% (also happened with my product).
On top of that, you’re gonna need a lot more capital than you think to get your business started because of the long lead times on each order (usually 90 days at least).
These long delays mean you’ll need to place larger orders with your supplier to ensure you don’t run out of stock, and risk your listing slipping off the first page of Amazon for your main keyword.
In my experience, $2K - $3K ain’t gonna cut it.
You’re gonna need more like $15K once you’ve factored in ordering enough inventory to not run out between orders, as well as shipping costs, PPC, warehouse storage costs etc.
...and here’s the kicker…
You don’t even know if your product is going to sell.
All in all, I’ve realized that there’s a lot of risk involved in Amazon FBA, and very little control.
Combined, those two factors are pretty scary.
When it came down to it, I knew the Amazon model just wasn’t going to work for me long-term.
With the risk and lack of control, I would have never felt comfortable relying on the income from my FBA business to take care of my family.
I knew I had to find a better way, and fortunately I did.
Introducing local lead generation...
MARKET SATURATION & COMPETITION
You're going head to head with literally millions of sellers covering over 6000 different product niches. Breaking into an established niche is next to impossible - and finding untapped niches are becoming increasingly rare.
Start up costs require roughly $5000 in initial inventory, $10,000 in advertising, and $3000 in listing optimization, packaging, and branding. All in all, if you want to have a chance at success, you'll need to spend roughly $15,000 to $20,000 just as an initial investment.
Nearly all successful products are copied and resold by either Amazon or Chinese manufacturers who then undercut their competition at margins that only billion dollar companies can afford. Every time you see an Amazon Basics or Essentials product at the top ranked listing, it's likely that dozens of independent sellers went out of business.
The key to long term wealth is in building and owning valuable assets, but with Amazon FBA, you own nothing. You're an enslaved middleman to Amazon, who care only about market domination and making a profit. Remember, you're there to make them money - and your use of Amazon is a privilege they grant you; a privilege they can revoke at any time.
Between identifying products and suppliers, passing quality assurance, securing inventory, and then product ranking, you're looking at over a year before you even have a chance at seeing a net positive income.
Profit margins are extremely low, meaning the only real way to make money is through mass ordering. Successful Amazon sellers often make less than 10% profit off of their sales.
Amazon's terms of service are fickle and ever changing. Bans are frequent and can spell disaster for FBA startups and established businesses alike.