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Welcome to my Project Verum Ecom Foundations review. You might have seen some of their Youtube videos or heard about the infamous Mosquito Trap store that scaled to the moon. 

Their free videos are highly regarded but is it worth investing in their course? This is an unbiased review where I can share the good and the bad because I'm not an affiliate for Project Verum.

I enjoy going through courses to see what's out there & if there's a nugget or 2 in there I can swipe. I've had success in the dropshipping space, so I know what works and what's a scam.

To be honest, I don't see drop shipping being anywhere near as lucrative as it was a couple of years ago. If you're looking for a recession-proof business model, check out my #1 recommendation; Local Lead Generation.

1. What is eCom Foundations?

Let's keep it simple.

Yes, you can find all this info for yourself, but how much time would it take to figure out what's going to work.

See, that's precisely why Project Verum decided to create this course.

But a real dropshipping course for only $99?

Well, they were bored but didn't need the money.

project verum video

Nevertheless, don't let that fool you into dismissing the course as junk.

Read on, and you'll find out why.

But first, what does eCom Foundations cover?

  • Product selection
  • Store set up & design factors
  • Facebook ads theory & mechanics
  • Facebook ads strategies
  • Backend/Management
  • Instagram influencer marketing

Now, what's the quality of content?

Being such a low-budget course, I had my doubts.

Generally speaking, it's pretty good!

They really do know their stuff.

First, you'll learn Project Verum's product selection tactics.

Keep in mind here, they've hit the jackpot with some big 6-figure stores.

6 figure sales metrics from project verum

Second, there's a substantial section on how to start building a team when you're ready to scale.

For reference, Project Verum has its own office based in India, which handles all the fulfillment, customer service, and day-to-day tasks.

Obviously, after hiring a large team, they should have plenty of tips to share.

backend course modules from project verum ecom foundations

Furthermore, you get the theory behind conducting interviews, candidate selection, and training processes.

In addition, you'll also get a expense tracking template as a bonus to help you figure out the financial health of your dropshipping business.

project verum ecom foundations expense tracker

Overall, the course is really well laid out.

It uses the Kajabi platform, making navigation very easy.

John Yoon is the leading presenter throughout the course, and his delivery style might not be the best fit for some.

He speaks pretty fast and can sound a bit monotone.

Even so, the info he's sharing is top-notch.

2. Who is Project Verum?

At the present time, there are 4 guys in the crew:

the 4 members of project verum ecom foundations
project verum ecom foundations john yoon

John Yoon (Co-Founder, Head of Marketing & Advertising)

John's the main face of Project Verum.

He's the guy you see on all the YT videos and teaching most of the course.

Being the face of Project Verum, he's more willing to share his story.

john yoon project verum having dinner

After trying the college route and realizing it wasn't all it's cracked up to be, he dropped out and started dropshipping.

Yoon is quick to admit that it was difficult at the beginning and his first few stores failed miserably.

Costing him plenty of $$$ in the early days while he figured out what he was doing.

john yoon project verum in thailand with his girlfriend

A move to Thailand's digital nomad haven, Chiang Mai, put him around other eCom folks. 

Interestingly, he mentions being scammed by a couple of bigger name gurus in the early days before finding people he could trust to learn his trade from.

project verum ecom foundations richard yancy

Richard Yancey (Co-Founder, Operations)

Richard is like the Yang to John's Ying. He takes the ideas and plans, putting the infrastructure in place with people and processes.

project verum ecom foundations marek dobrenko

Marek Dobrenko (Co-Founder, Product Manager)

Marek is a project manager at heart, bridging the gap between John's ideas and Richard's implementation. 

project verum ecom foundations dennis lieu


Dennis Lieu (Chief of Relations, Creative Director)

Dennis handles the creatives and editing all the videos you see on this course and YouTube.

All 4 claim to have produced either 7 or 8 figures in eCom or dropshipping.

Notably, they all got started between 2016-2018 - this was still the prime time for dropshipping.

It's not clear if their numbers are collective as part of Project Verum earnings or what they did individually.

project verum facebook ads expenditure

In reality, they've got the ad spend to suggest they're playing on an entirely different level.

See, when you can spend this kind of dough on testing & scaling ads, it's a very different game to someone trying to learn the ropes.

More on why that might be a red flag for you later.

3. How does Dropshipping Work?

With dropshipping, you never see or handle the product.

infographic explaining the steps in dropshipping

Instead, you're the middleman between the supplier and customer.

In other words, your supplier holds the product, and when you make a sale, you instruct the supply where to send each item on your behalf.

Granted, because you don't need the capital to buy inventory or to rent a physical store, the barrier to entry in dropshipping is really low.

Then again, that's not necessarily a good thing (more on that later).

In short, with the traditional dropshipping model you don't have to worry about;

  •  Committing to a product & investing large sums of money upfront
  •  Holding large amounts of inventory that may not sell
  •  The expense of managing a warehouse and staff
  •  Packaging & shipping items

Consquently, on the flip side, there are a host of challenges with dropshipping too.

  •  Lack of quality control before items arrive at your customer's door
  •  Millions of people able to sell the EXACT same thing
  •  The volatility & increasing costs of using paid ads
  •  Long shipping times & delays
  •  Scammers operating at every stage
  •  The insane workload of managing orders and customer service

As much as it's still possible to generate stores with big revenue numbers.

The kind of profit margins that were available a few years aren't realistic anymore.

dropshipping being outdated reddit comment

And most people drastically underestimate the amount of work required.

4. Is Dropshipping Legit or a Scam?

The truth?

The concept of the middleman in business is nothing new.

In spite of that the reason that many people see dropshipping as a scam is how it's built around deceit, in many cases.

The very notion of trying to pretend to not to be dropshipping is ethically questionable.

reddit about pretending not to be a dropshipping store to fool customers

In addition, dropshipping's anonymity has made it a prime target for scammers and criminals at every stage of the process.

From info courses, Instagram Influencers, suppliers, store owners, all the way to customers - there are swarms of sharks out to rip people off at every turn.

reddit comment about FBI & fraud supplier

It's really difficult to prosecute people for online crimes, especially if they're overseas.

Consequently, it's low risk and high reward so there's no shortage of criminals looking to take advantage.

Ultimately, can you run an eCommerce or dropshipping business and be ethical - YES.

It won't happen overnight - it's going to take work with no guarantee of making any profit.

reddit comment about dropshipping being hard

And yes, you'll have to watch out for the con artists.

5. How much does Project Verum's Course Cost? Any Specials?

$99

Yes, you read that right. 

You don't need to check your eyesight.

$99 call to action button for project verum ecom foundations

Verum puts some of those other courses to shame for charging thousands of dollars.

But by all account these guys are still making good money from their own dropshipping sites instead of having to relying on selling courses for income.

ecom foundations money back guarantee

They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee that sounds very straightforward.

There are very few dropshipping guru's willing to stand by their product by offering a guarantee.

Hat's off to John & his crew for being credible.

So is it worth the coin?

Pros of Project Verum: eCom Foundations

6. Value for Money

At just shy of $100, there's some quality content without a high price tag.

In fact, there's plenty here for a beginner to get a perfect sense of how dropshipping works from the technical side.

ecom foundations sign up page

Sure, it's missing some of the trimmings found in other courses, but it's hard to complain about the lack of mentoring or expecting weekly Q&As at this price point.

I guess a valid argument is whether the paid Verum eCom course offers enough compared to their free stuff on YouTube.

It's been a typical project verum reddit question, and the consensus is the free stuff is probably enough.

reddit about project verum free stuff being good enough

It's worth keeping in mind the marketing law of reciprocity.

There are suggestions on Reddit and Youtube stating if you use their free material, it's only fair to pony up for the course as a small way to say thank you and many sound happy to do so.

7. Paid & Free Methods for Product Research

I really like the fact that the store setup is demonstrated on both paid and free templates.

Too many course creators push their own paid templates or those they get paid an affiliate commission for.

There are other areas where they do push their affiliate products, though, such as funnels.

aliexpress 60% off clearance page

Yoon also shows you how to use the AliExpress dropshipping center to see what's already selling.

Again, remembering this course will appeal to people not looking for considerable investment in their dropshipping enterprise, this free method will sound appealing.

There are also videos teaching you how to use AdSpy and Seller Pulse, both paid platforms, to take it up a notch.

sales pitch for adspy platform

What's the difference?

AdSpy will let you search for what's trending right now.

Seller Pulse claims to show you what products look promising and have yet to take off.

examples from seller pulse platform

There is a bit more of a learning curve to really get the best out of Seller Pulse, but if you get an early jump on a good product, it could make all the big difference.

That's providing you have this next section dialed in.

8. Detailed Facebook Ads Strategy Sections

One thing I really liked about this Verum eCom dropshipping course is the way they approached Facebook Ads.

Firstly, you'll learn the science behind Facebook's Ad system and how ads function.

In the section Facebook section, Yoon gets into his Facebook ads strategies.

a part of ecom foundations facebook ads strategy

Now, even Yoon readily admits that there's no magic strategy that will work in all cases.

It's about testing and learning from trial and error.

He throws in 2 advanced bonus strategies too

  • Ultra Method
  • Infinity Method

Be warned!

These strategies are for experienced pros only.

Unless you know what you're doing, you could end up losing a lot of money through ad spend.

Speaking of which.

A huge concern right now is the new Apple IOS 14 update that allows users to opt-out of allowing Facebook to track their every move online.

IOS 14 opt in option for facebook data tracking

Without that data, it's going to make it hard to target audiences and see the sales volume that people have become used to.

post about facebook ads ROAS being really bad after IOS 14 impact

In fact, there are concerns from dropshippers that this is already having a devastating consequence on their ROAS.

9. Course Creators Include Current Dropshippers

I know this probably sounds crazy to have to state John Yoon actually dropships.

But here's the deal; it's shocking how many gurus are selling courses, yet they haven't done any dropshipping in years.

Sure they might have had a successful store back when dropshipping was less competitive.

But should you trust someone who doesn't have any skin in the game?

mosquito trapx profit from project verum

We know at least 1 of the 4 members of Project Verum is actually doing dropshipping.

Realistically, I'm guessing that all 4 contribute in their given areas, which is why they've had success.

The sales figures Yoon shares are impressive.

But the problem with sales numbers and revenue isn't a reliable indicator that a store is doing well.

It's all about PROFIT and what you get to keep in your bank account.

reddit about profit matters not revenue

In business, the only number that really counts is the profit, and that's the measure of whether you're going to stay in business!

To be fair, Yoon is far more transparent than most course sellers because he willing to share the revenue breakdown for his hit product.

Although it didn't include some expenses such as taxes, merchant fees, or the cost for all their Virtual Assistants.

mosquito trapx revenue breakdown

It's tough to gauge exactly what percentage of sales revenue ends up being actual income after all is said and done.

Cons of Project Verum: eCom Foundations

10. Limited Traffic Sources

Yes, there is the regular Facebook Ads training.

You'll also get the basics of using Instagram Influencers.

Plus the things to watch out for to avoid getting scammed.

Like many other areas of eCommerce, the scam artists now plaguing Instagram too.

exposing fake instagramers youtube video

Given that Instagram is owned by Facebook, the so-called "IOS 14 Apocalypse" may lead to needing different options to get eyeballs on your store.

facebook remark about how much IOS14 is hurting facebookads

And the fall out has already started hitting dropshippers HARD.

facebook rant about dropshippers get bad results from facebook ads

Sure, there are a few email marketing lessons here ran by Chronos Agency's Joshua Chin.

IMO email marketing must have if you don't want to be forever at the complete mercy of paid ad companies.

BUT any forward-thinking dropshipper should be looking at alternatives to Facebook with things like:

  •  Google Organic/SEO
  •  Google Ads
  •  TikTok
  •  Snap Chat
  •  Pinterest

With Facebook losing its grip plus Instagram becoming a minefield of scammers, it will be interesting to see where paid advertising goes next.

Plus, does Yoon update this course or make people pay for something else to learn them.

Which brings us to this problem...

11. Only Guaranteed to Stay Relevant for 3 Months of Release

So, this is hidden away in a pre-launch YouTube video Q&A.

When asked if the course will receive updates, John's response is to keep working on it for the first 3 months, but there are no guarantees to keep it up to date beyond that.

project verum responding to questions from dropshippers

His concern is that with how fast things change in eCommerce, it would take a lot of work to constantly update the materials.

It's hard to blame them for this decision, given the $99 price point.

Importantly, keep in mind that this course was released back in May of 2020, so technically, the material is already out of date.

11. Uses AliExpress Route for Product Supplier

Okay, so here's the raw truth with dropshipping;

Nearly all the courses, including this one, have people use the AliExpress method for sourcing products.

That's the most problematic way of doing dropshipping because of poor quality, long shipping times, saturation - the list could go on much longer.

reddit complaint about poor quality crap from Aliexpress

Are people still doing it this way, sure.

But that's not the same way that the pros who are making big money are doing dropshipping anymore.

And no one wants to share that method on their courses.

Why?

Facebook rant about gurus not using the aliexpress method to make their money

Well, why would you create competition for yourself in a limited market?

Plus, you need deep pockets and that would turn off the majority of people who think they can get involved in dropshipping.

On the plus side, the Project Verum guys are only asking for $99 instead of thousands, like some other course sellers.

Ask yourself this question?

Is it realistic to expect to learn a real, profitable business model for just $99 compared to the costs to build any other legit business you can think of?

12. Not a Recommended Business Model for 2021

Okay, so where to start here with the growing concerns around dropshipping.

  • Saturated market
  • The slim profit margins
  • Dropshipping is outdated - no one wants cheap crap from China
  • More brand names entering with fast delivery times
  • Apple's IOS 14 ruining FB ads
  • Long shipping times & increasing costs

You should really research these areas before deciding to invest more time and energy into this business model.

And make sure those opinions are from unbiased sources.

All too often, the people saying it is a good time are the very same places trying to sell dropshipping courses or dropshipping-related services.

Let's examine a couple of the biggest problems here:

Dropshipping is an outdated strategy

reddit about how hard dropshipping is as the model sold by most courses

At least, how it's been presented by the majority of courses is no longer valid.

The concept of jumping from one hot product on AliExpress to the next, and this being a reliable business model for income, is long gone.

There are too many market players with the resources and fulfillment channels to capitalize and do it 100 times better.

And those AliExpress suppliers have learned to watch for what sells and offer it themselves on Amazon.

examples of dog water bottles for sale on amazon showing 22 pages worth of options

The kicker, Amazon will take any decent product with sustainable demand, product their own brand, and offer it cheaper than most competitors can.

Speaking of which, most dropshippers rely on impulse buys.

You either have to find something people can't buy elsewhere or create such an irresistible offer that hit that that buy now button.

buy now button in green

And then hope they don't change their minds enough to request a refund.

Concluding Thoughts

13. Do Project Verum's Students Actually Make Money?

Some probably do but whether it's worthwhile is anyone's guess.

example of a verum ecom student who made $2k

Like most things in business, it's going to come down to more than just a course.

It's going to depend on:

  • Your financial resources
  • How much time you dedicate
  • Your previous business experience
  • Your mindset to deal with the difficulties
  • Luck

Yep, most dropshippers will tell you that there's a big element of luck in play.

reddit comment about dropshippers needing an element of luck

14. Who's a Good Fit for eCom Foundations?

They suggest having at least a 'basic understanding of dropshipping'.

project verum sales blurb about who is a good fit

Seems like many people are just grateful for all the quality videos and content these guys have put out there.

I'd imaging plenty purchasing the course as a thank you.


15. What alternatives are there to Project Verum's eCom Foundations?

Great question.

There are plenty to pick from.

You can check out my list of the Best Dropshipping Courses.

In the meantime, here are 2 of my top choices if you're on a budget.

At a competitive pricepoint, Franklin Hatchett's eCom Elites is considered a top-choice by many.

ecom elites dropshipping course by franklin hatchett

For either the $197 option or the $297 package, this course is jam-packed with so much info.

Hatchett has an extensive background in marketing and showcases multiple channels that dropshippers can use.

At his core, Frank is an Affiliate Marketer.

ecom elite franklin hatchett

And you might not be surprised to learn there are plenty of affiliate links in the course where he can likely make up for the low entry fee.

There are updates in one of the bonus sections, but overall, the course's main chunk has remained the same for a few years now.

Check out my full eCom Elites Review for the complete lowdown.

Sarah Chrisp's The Ecomm Clubhouse is another good option that won't break the bank.

ecomm clubhouse logo on white background

The Wholesale Ted frontwomen has numerous YouTube videos focused on online biz methods.

Her dropshipping course covers both traditional dropshipping plus print on demand.

It's $67 monthly subscription - meaning you can just cancel when you've done with the material.

Like Franklin, Sarah is also a marketing wiz.

There's a strong section on SEO for dropshipping.

ecomm clubhouse sarah chrisp teaching seo strategies for dropshipping

And I really like how she digs into sales psychology & how to apply it with your store.

It's not the most comprehensive course, but it's designed with the beginner in mind.

For a more detailed look, check out my Ecomm Clubshouse review.

Pros and Cons of eCom Foundation

The Good and Bad of Project Verum's Course

Pros
  • Quality content for a small price tag
  • Comprehensive Facebook training
  • Both paid and free methods of product research
  • Project Verum includes real dropshippers
Cons
  • Limited advertising channels
  • No guarantee of updates to keep info relevant
  • Relies on AliExpress which is an outdated approach
  • Not a recommended business model for 2021
Parting Thoughts on eCom Foundation

When it comes to learning from a credible source, it doesn't come much better the John and the Project Verum crew.

Add to this the price point that makes this so accessible to everyone.

Unless you're someone who needs that mentoring experience or more hand-holding, eCom Foundations is a great option to learn dropshipping.


The bigger question you should be asking is whether dropshipping is really a good idea given all the challenges it's facing combined with the narrow profit margins?


Don't kid yourself into thinking these guru's are teaching you the true methods that successful ecommerce companies are using. THEIR business model looks VERY DIFFERENT, it's HIGH RISK and it's NOT for a newbie.


Basically, without significant experience and serious capital, the odds are seriously stacked against you in dropshipping.


It's a fast-paced game and you've got to constantly be looking for the next product before your income dries up.


You'll feel like a hamster running on a wheel sometimes - it never stops but you're not going anywhere. Aka making enough money to have freedom and wealth.


I got out of dropshipping and sold off my stores when I found something better - Local Lead Generation.


My income has grown exponentially and I don't have to deal with suppliers, paid ads, or scammers.


Read on to find out why this could be the life-changing opportunity you've been looking for to escape that soul-sucking 9-5 grind.

MARKET SATURATION

Literally anyone can get into dropshipping with hardly any effort or upfront cash. Regardless of what you're selling, you'll likely be competing with millions of other sellers in an extremely saturated market.

LOW BARRIER OF ENTRY & PLAGARISM

Plagiarism is rampant in dropshipping. It's far too easy for your competitors to copy your ads, your sales funnels, and even your Shopify store. Be assured that if you find a successful product, you will be copied and then undercut by your competition.

HIGH RISK

Advertisements have no guarantee of being profitable - and one should expect to occasionally have campaigns that fall short of expectations (which can cost thousands of dollars).

LOW PROFIT MARGINS

Facebook's ad prices have doubled this last year. Successful dropshippers can expect to profit roughly 8-15%, which only really works if you're selling major volumes of product.

NO LONG-TERM ASSETS

The key to long term wealth is in building and owning valuable assets, but with dropshipping, you own nothing. You're an enslaved middleman to Shopify, Facebook, and Google. Their ad and metrics systems are unreliable and ever changing - and account deactivations are a way of life in eCommerce.

HIGH MAINTENENCE

Ads must be developed and then monitored - and failing to do so could mean unprofitable ads or, even worse, ad account suspension.

RELIANT ON TRENDS

Trending items are most often the only products that have a profitable ROI. Many businesses meet their ends on the fall of whatever trend they were capitalizing on.

CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS

Shipping from China takes six weeks, so expect lots of customer complaints and chargebacks (which are deducted from your bank account).


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