Updated: Aug 6
How do I Know If An Amazon FBA Course Is Good?
There’s a lot to be said for education in any trade. FBA is a tool of the e-commerce trade. There is some confusion between "FBA" and "white-label" e-commerce businesses. Having a product listed on FBA does not mean that you have a white-label e-commerce company. FBA is only a part of a whole business. The acronym stands for “Fulfillment By Amazon”. FBA is pretty simple by itself if you already have a white-label brand, so you have to make several considerations to determine whether or not an "FBA course" is worth it. A course that focuses entirely on FBA is probably too basic. That course may focus on that one step of operations, rather than giving you the big picture, which is a white-label e-commerce business. What you may want to focus on instead, is how to build your own brand.
Another consideration outside of whether or not it teaches specifically FBA or the process of branding a business as a whole is that e-commerce is complicated at times. Hence, it is essential to buy a course with some form of support. Courses can be costly, and without updated and correct information, they can be challenging to follow. The educators who wrote the course may have written it long ago. Whether they have experience with the business or not, it may not be recent experience. Before you buy a course, ensure that you have support from the company that is offering the course. Some sort of coaching or live support should be provided by the author so that you can follow through with the steps outlined in whatever course you buy.
Does the course offer any accountability for your success?
Buying a course does not guarantee your success unless the company selling the course offers a guarantee. As mentioned before, the course should include coaching. It should also provide business plans, worksheets, outlines, resources, and possibly even relationships that the course authors have previously vetted. Anything that would give you a head start when you start the business. Learning about something is one thing, but doing it is often an entirely different story.
Before you buy the course, ensure that you have a guarantee of success from the authors. Believe it or not, setting up an online course is how some people create passive income for themselves. So they will make a course then sell it repeatedly without offering support because that would not be "passive income" for them. Creating a digital product is OK, but it takes constant work to update the digital product (in this case, an FBA course). It takes continuous work to maintain relationships with your students and help them to reach the success they hoped for when they purchased the course.
How old is the course?
When it comes to Amazon FBA, policies change all the time, so courses must be updated regularly to reflect the newest policies and procedures regarding Amazon's business model. Course content should reflect the latest policies and implementation procedures available, periodically updated as things change. When was the course first authored, and when was it last updated? Generally, those two pieces of information are easy to find out by looking at the course website, and if the course is two years old, it should have a date when it was last updated. When it comes to Amazon, that date should be pretty recent because Amazon has made some significant changes in just the past year.
Covid has made Amazon the center of attention where everyday shopping is concerned, and that has forced Amazon to change and implement policies for the best interest of the shoppers. Maybe you should call the company offering the course to see if someone answers the phone. It cannot be overstated how important it is to have support when you start your business. You will have specific questions that may not be answered in a course because everyone’s business is slightly different.
Is it an FBA course, or does it teach you how to build a brand?
A course for Amazon FBA is not complete without explaining the white label business behind it. Amazon FBA is a way to expose your brand to millions of new customers, but you must have a brand first. Amazon helps by publishing your brand for you, but most customers will research online before they purchase. Your company needs to have a broad internet presence. There is a lot of free education about creating your Amazon account and listing a product. Be sure not to buy a course that offers information mostly found elsewhere for free.
How long does it take to complete the course?
If it only takes you a couple of hours to complete the course, the content may be pretty thin, and you might not want to spend too much money on it. The cost and the amount of education within the course should coincide. There isn't one single piece of information is worth a lot of money. A "big picture" approach to the business and implementing it takes time to explain. Be sure that the course is long enough to be sensible but not so long that there is unnecessary information. An FBA course that includes the necessary information about building an e-commerce business should take 7 to 10 days. Much longer than that, and it may be overcomplicating the issues; much shorter than that, and it may not be enough information to get you started properly. You may want to check if the course includes screenshots, videos, and worksheets that will help you understand and implement your new business.
What tools and resources does the course include?
Relationships are the number one resource in business. Make sure you’re getting relationships with the course. Alibaba is a big place. To put it into perspective, Amazon does about $250 billion per year in sales. On the other hand, Alibaba does about $900 billion per year in business. When dealing with people on Alibaba, you should know that you are dealing with professional sellers, and they are very good at getting high prices for their products. Having relationships and specific details in dealing with these sellers is essential. Find out if you will be connected to trusted manufacturing sources when you buy the course. Having manufacturers you can trust might save you thousands of dollars and months of wasted time.
Tools include worksheets and other paperwork necessary to finish your business, set it up, and organize it. Taking a course and having all the information in your head is different from having an actionable worksheet or checklist. All the actions needed to implement your business are laid out and detailed. You should be able to take each activity individually and end up with the completed company. Again, is there someone to call if you find a step missing from the course? What if something is not explained in a way that you understand it? Make sure you have support.
How much does an Amazon FBA course cost?
An Amazon FBA course can cost anywhere from ten dollars to several thousand. It depends on who is offering the course and what benefits they provide. A $10 course may explain how to sign up for an Amazon seller account (google search for “Sign up for Amazon seller account“ then click the seller central link and follow the steps. No course necessary). That same course may not explain the specific language necessary to navigate through the negotiations process on Alibaba. For instance, when you have completed negotiations on Alibaba and are ready to accept an offer, you should ask for a “PI”. If you want to make sure you get the best price for shipping, you should tell them you need the price for their shipping, and you also need the weight and dimensions of the product to compare it with your express account. They are much more likely to give you a competitive shipping price when you say that. There's lots more, but the point is, that signing up for a seller account is the least of your worries.
A shipping mark may be necessary to send the package to you. A course should explain all these things and much more to prepare you for the implementation of your business. Amazon FBA or any e-commerce business comes with substantial risk for your capital. If you cannot start an Amazon seller account with little to no explanation, you may not be adequately equipped to mitigate the risks associated with creating an e-commerce business. Not to put anyone down, it is only to say that there are simple things you should be able to do if you want to get into an e-commerce business. Just like any job you have ever seen, there are minimum qualifications. Navigating Amazon‘s website should be considered a minimum qualification for this business. Profitability in e-commerce depends on how low you can buy your products and how much they will sell for at what volume. Product selection and sourcing are the biggest and most complicated challenges involved with white label e-commerce.
Beware of "opportunity cost" while you take the wrong course
The upfront cash price of a course is not the only cost involved. Taking the wrong course could be very costly because it may not prepare you for the challenges involved with product selection and sourcing. It may take a long time to figure out that you are not doing it right, and it may cost you a lot of money. In the meantime, you will not start your business correctly because you are busy doing it wrong. That is opportunity cost. Your course should walk you through implementation. Theoretical knowledge is excellent, but it is not used in business until you have a business. Beware of analysis paralysis. Learning more and more about something does not always make you more prepared to do it. Sometimes just doing it is the best way to learn more about it.
Is Amazon FBA a pyramid scheme?
No. Amazon FBA is not a pyramid scheme.
A form of investment (illegal in the UK and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.)
Do not sell someone else’s product brand. Affiliate marketing and drop shipping may be tempting considering the low cost of getting into it, but you will only get a small commission for selling someone else’s products or promoting them. Affiliate marketing and drop shipping can be a good side hustle, but you could put a little bit more effort into developing your own product and make a vastly larger return.
If you have no money to invest, affiliate marketing and drop shipping are better than nothing, but they probably will not replace your full-time job. To be clear, affiliate marketing or drop shipping is not the Amazon FBA business model.
A pyramid scheme requires you to recruit others into the “program“ or whatever they call it. Beware of any “program“ that requires you to sign up your friends or family or try to recruit someone else to sell it with you. Having your own product brand to market is extremely important, and it is the basis of the “white label“ business model and the "Amazon FBA" business model.
Don’t get involved in a pyramid scheme. Once you recognize a pyramid scheme, get away. The people making money on pyramid schemes are the people who started the pyramid scheme. They may have some testimonials from people who got involved and made some money, but there are not many of them, and that money can go away quickly if you leave the program. Usually, maintaining your commissions for previous sales requires you to hit a quota for future sales and or sign-ups each month after that. If you do not reach your quota, your “residual income“ will stop abruptly, and that money will go to the people on top.
Does Amazon require a business license?
Amazon does not require a business license as long as you don’t sell products that the government regulates. A business license is required if you have to somehow register your product with the government. In many municipalities, your LLC is your business license. So it may be confusing for you to try to find a business license in a city like Phoenix, Arizona, where the business license is your LLC. You can Google this, and you will find that it is true. Phoenix does not have any business license as long as you are not selling products that the government regulates. Make sure that whatever you say you’re selling is what the buyer will get when buying from you. Be clear about what the product is and deliver it as described. If you sell regulated products, you will probably need to register them or license them somehow.
Amazon will want to know that you are properly registered and licensed to sell regulated products. It’s not a good idea to sell dangerous or high-liability products on Amazon. Too many moving parts, sharp edges, or other liability issues should rule out a product for you right away. Even lasers can be a liability, so keep that in mind during your product selection. Selecting a good product for e-commerce is sometimes more complicated than just finding demand and finding a source for the product. A product should be “just right“.
What Is Amazon FBA?
Amazon FBA stands for fulfillment By Amazon. It is a fulfillment service for e-commerce sellers. It helps automate repetitive processes like sending packages, processing payments, or dealing with returns. It’s a supplemental service for established e-commerce companies and not something that should be used by itself, so the phrase “FBA business“ is a bit of a misnomer. E-commerce is your business, FBA is a fulfillment service used to fulfill your orders. However, one of the great things about using FBA is that your products appear on Amazon as “Prime“ products. Having an Amazon prime product will probably (but not always) increase your volume by a lot. Plenty of products are put on Amazon prime and do not sell or do not sell quickly. There are various reasons for this, but having a brand on the internet before launching the product on FBA is highly recommended. FBA can be very expensive if it fails, so it is not good to test your products there.
Amazon has 40 million credit cards on file. The people who subscribe to Amazon Prime are often professional shoppers. Amazon has created an entirely new kind of customer, and there are millions upon millions of these “professional shoppers“. Take advantage of the vast customer base on Amazon but keep in mind that these are not your customers. These are Amazon Prime customers. If you sell something to them off Amazon, they are your customer. That is highly preferable, but again, you will need to set up a business off of Amazon to do that.
Subscription products for passive income
Amazon offers you the ability to create subscription products. Having a good subscription product is perhaps the best way to build a passive income for yourself on Amazon. Amazon FBA is a lot of work, so creating customers for life can cut down on the amount of work you will need to do in the future to maintain your income. Amazon provides all the customer service for you, but they will not respond to reviews or direct messages from buyers. They deal primarily with returns, and although this is a helpful service, it is not the big picture where customer service is concerned. There are plenty of things Amazon doesn’t do for you. Running the business is your job. Fulfilling orders is Amazon‘s job. If you try to make it too passive, you’ll be in a constant loop of increased success and decreased success. Monitor your expectations and keep in mind that you will have to put 10 or 20 hours into your business each week to maintain a consistent growth pattern.
Can I deliver to Amazon FBA myself?
The term "FBA" refers to the fulfillment service provided by Amazon. If you fulfill the orders yourself it is an entirely different business model known as "fulfillment by merchant". That business model is referred to as FBM and it is fundamentally different. You’re not taking advantage of the services provided at a very reasonable cost by Amazon and you may feel that you were working against the grain if you don’t have a good fulfillment service. Also if you are an FBM seller, your products will not qualify for Amazon Prime to the 40 million shoppers who use that platform.
Is Amazon FBA better than Amazon FBM?
For internet sellers, Amazon FBA is ideal. It is better than Amazon FBM if you don’t have staff in the warehouse to store your inventory. It’s going to require much less work to run your e-commerce business when you use Amazon for fulfillment. You will probably, not definitely, get a higher sales volume because your products are listed as Amazon Prime products. In addition to the fact that it is easier for you, your customer will feel better knowing that it will be delivered in two days, and returns are guaranteed through Amazon.
Don’t forget that just because your product is listed on Amazon FBA, it doesn’t mean they won’t fulfill orders that come in through your website, Etsy, eBay, or any other sales channels you have set up. You can use Amazon to fulfill orders from all your sales channels. Most negative reviews for Amazon FBM sellers revolve around long shipping times and poor or nonexistent customer service. Negative reviews will almost definitely hurt your bottom line and decrease your sales volume. Too many negative reviews could put you out of business. Avoid negative reviews by using Amazon FBA to fulfill your orders and possibly increase your sales volume while developing your business broadly across the internet.
Many of the things in the previous paragraph are not taught in a course geared explicitly towards FBA. A course too narrowly focused on the FBA business model can severely detriment your brand's long-term success. You can learn many aspects of the FBA business model on YouTube for free, but starting and implementing a successful white label brand is more complicated. Most YouTube education will be lacking a certain richness in detail and actionable advice that is required to take your business from an idea to a reality step-by-step.
We hope you will consider all of this information to be helpful to you and head over to our website to check out our courses for Amazon FBA and, more specifically, white-label e-commerce business. We will help you set up your business with our “Done For You” services and we will offer you support in implementation if you buy a course through our coaching services. You will be a part of a community of other e-commerce sellers. And you’ll have access to all of our relationships in Alibaba and the communications templates that we use to negotiate the best price for products and mitigate the risk involved with buying a high volume of products from manufacturers in China.