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Ecommerce and its Gurus: Does it work in 2019?

Discussion in 'Product Creation, Inventing, Importing, Sourcing' started by Mark Fobo, Mar 12, 2019.

Is dropshipping/Amazon FBA still working in 2019?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. Mark Fobo
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    Mark Fobo Contributor

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    Hi all,

    First, I have done some research on previous threads but could not find any up to date responses, if I missed anything please redirect me to the right thread (plus the Search bar of the forum seems not to be working atm).

    I have been doing a lot of research lately about key words like, Dropshipping, Amazon FBA, Shopify, Ecommerce and I always come across some videos of "gurus" explaining how they became so rich doing any of this online business and giving ALL their tips to take us there too.

    Not that I don't trust them... but I don't trust them! Why would they have to do "YouTube counsulting" and sooo many conferences and books that you have to pay if this dropshipping and Amazon FBA, etc, is working so much for them???

    I would really be interested in starting an online business, I am ready obviously to invest time and money to make it work but I have all this noise from the internet and I do not know anymore what/who to believe (hence this topic here).

    My questions to you guys:

    1) Am I right not to trust these guys on YouTube or do you think some of them are legit, in this case, which ones?

    2) In 2019, what online business do you think still has some potential and is accessible for someone who still has a 9 to 5?

    3) Do you have any recent reading (blog/website/book) that you would recommend so I can educate myself while being sure I am not being lied to?

    I created a playlist on YouTube to illustrate who I am referring to when talking about "gurus" although I am sure you came across these guys too. I did not put all of them as there are 100s now.

    E-Commerce - DropShipping - YouTube


    I would really appreciate reading people who have some experience as I am sure quite a few members of the fastlane are in this industry and/or have tried at some point.

    Thank you for reading me!
     
  2. JasonR
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    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So, I wouldn't normally comment on these "what's working now" sort of posts, but I can tell you really took the time to think and about and write your post, and you bring up a lot of good points.

    Others may search the forum - and they would be right - but I'll try to point you in the right direction, first.

    Ah - the Guru model - people who get rich by teaching others how to get rich. Yes, some of them are legit, and some of them are not. Sometimes the model is antiquated and doesn't work as well now. For example, I usually wouldn't suggest people start with dropshipping - although several members here still do dropship and do well, but they started YEARS ago and have also expanded beyond a pure dropship model.

    Amazon FBA, Shopify, eBay, etc. are just sales channels - nothing more. Amazon has the 1,000 pound Gorilla for now, and likely for the foreseeable future. If you want to start a product business, I would typically suggest you launch there.

    Why should you trust them? You don't know them - and you're right to be (slightly) skeptical. I get targeted all the time with a sales report that says $324,364 - and then I look at the time - one year's sales. So - maybe that's impressive to people who don't look or haven't started, but it's slightly deceptive to me. And I don't even know if it's true.

    There are some well known people (Ezra Firestone, Ryan Moran, Digital Marketer guys, etc.) who do know their shit. If Ezra posts a screenshot of over $1m in sales in one month, I generally believe them. But they also want me to buy courses from them - and I know that. I also know much of their marketing is targeting towards new guys, which is ok, but I also know they still have things to teach me and learn. I simply don't have the time to consume every course they put out versus running my businesses.

    If you want some course recommendations or want to know some people I'd recommend to follow, reply here and I'll link some.

    There are no magic bullets: FBA, Shopify, Drop Shipping. These, really are just buzzwords. The KEY that will make everything else easier: build a product people want. Build a productocracy. Do something that is a little bit different - just a little bit better than everyone else. You don't need to reinvent the wheel, but you need a product that PULLS people.

    The fact that you have a 9 to 5 is irrelevant. If you believe in your product and yourself, you'll make it happen. I had a 9 to 5 when I started, as many others did.

    I highly suggest reading MJ Demarco's Book - Unscripted - if you haven't yet. Pay attention to his CENTS and productocracy principles.

    Read this thread from START to FINISH: GOLD! - Ask me anything about eCommerce (Ongoing) - it's at 65 pages now, and was started three years ago. You'll get a sense of how ecom has changed in 3 years. Read that whole thread, and I guarantee you'll know more about ecom than 80% of the public.

    I'm reading this right now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TY3ZOMS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 - which I can recommend after the other books and threads I mentioned.

    Welcome to the forum. Speed+ for well thought out questions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Jdilillo, Bekit, andyteleco and 27 others like this.
  3. Mark Fobo
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    Thank you so much for taking on your time to send me such a complete response and the speed+.
    I will check these guys you are referring to and well, start reading few pages a day of this thread ah!
    Unscripted and Fastlane are next in line! Finishing the one I started recently and I'm on it!!!

    I am living in London currently, and we have, you probably heard of it, BREXIT this year... Haha

    Extra question, changes in regulation can create threats/opportunities, are there any regulations (US/Europe/Asia) currently posing a threat or potential future one to Ecommerce that I should be aware?
     
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  4. Anand Mahajan
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    Mark,

    Love to reply buddy! Your concern is obvious but I want to clarify one thing.

    IMO, you should listen to what these Gurus are saying. Maybe all their tips will not work for you but that one strategy will kick off your business beyond your thinking. It's up to you to try and implement the right one.

    If you're in a 9 to 5 job, try to invest your time to get expertise in your fav hobby. Then start tutoring online or offline to income extra money.

    Must read Reach Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

    Hope you got the answer.

    Thanks,
    Anand
     
  5. John Hurson
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    Well, to be honest, if we really need to get a good response from real people then we should focus on doing initial research (Drop shopping, Amazon) or any model. We need to come up with a strategy that what product we need to choose and then how to approach with proper marketing strategy. Selling in front of smart online consumers needs a smart mindset and yes right product with the best pricing. Focus with products need fewer efforts and small profit and then move on with bigger products.
     
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  6. Sanj Modha
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    Sanj Modha Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I'm speaking to a lot of guys who are moving away from FBA and building their own brands - I don't blame them either (see previous posts on what I think of Amazon).

    As for your question on e-commerce and dropshipping: it works but I'm not keen on it unless its A) local print on demand or B) dropshipped by local suppliers who can deliver within 3-5 working days.
     
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  7. SquatchMan
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    SquatchMan Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Trump tariffs on China (not sure what's up with that though). There are a few threads about it if you search around. Walter Hay and AgainstAllOdds know a lot about that topic.
     
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  8. real_rbl
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    real_rbl Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Good advice given by @JasonR... I'm done inventing new things for the mental masturbation. Just find a problem and solve it better than everyone else.

    I have never dropshipped nor done FBA but I'm currently in the "build a product that people WANT". I have two different products I'm building out. One is a physical product and the other is a SaaS. I'll put up the execution threads sometime this week to track it.

    I also have a 9-5 but I've seen the power of building something quick (no more than a month and as cheap as possible), put it in front of ONE customer, get feedback, iterate. It took me 5 years to learn this cycle works. Hopefully you can avoid my five years of being a wandering generality.
     
  9. Mark Fobo
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    The issue with the Guru is that they always try to sell you something, whether it is a course or a book... so it does not help to trust them. Why do they need that if they make so much money? Pure greed or there is a scam?
    Now apparently some are legit, I will check the one mentioned by JasonR.

    I am working in Trading in bank so I have more a 8 to 8 job so I need to focus of educating myself and trying!

    But you are righ, tutoring online could be an idea to start getting some extra cash, it could help towards quitting my job one day.

    yes Rich Dad Poor Dad is also on my list, heard so much about this book... Have you read it?
     
  10. real_rbl
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    real_rbl Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I've read almost every book there is on personal finance and to be frank The Millionaire Fastlane is all you need.

    I can sum up rich dad, poor dad for you:
    1. Buy appreciating assets
    2. Leverage debt only to buy appreciating assets.
    3. Increase your cash flow every month by increasing income while decreasing expenditures so you can buy appreciating assets.

    Of course sprinkle in about 50 pages of bullshit and that's the general gist of most of these personal finance books. TMF is my favorite because it doesn't F*ck around. Appreciating assets is the LONG game that you should always be playing as plan B. Plan A is take the strategic risks to massively increase your income.
     
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  11. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    You want someone to listen to? An "Amazon guru" who actually knows shit?

    Look up anything by Will Tjernlund. Interviews, podcasts, whatever. Bonus if you can find anything by his brother Andrew.

    What he preaches worked. works. will continue to work.

    So many gold nuggets. So little of it congruent with 95% of the guru echo chamber.

    And unlike most gurus, he's actually made shit-tons of money doing exactly what he says.

    *disclaimer, I haven't seen any content he's put out since like 2016. I can't speak for anything more current.


    Amazon still works. What stopped working is the easy money gravy train.
     
  12. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    2nd this book. Not just for ecommerce... for any business.

    If you have a business, then read this book, and brainstorm on it's ideas, then you will have 6 full pages of notes on how to sell your product. That don't involve "make an Amazon listing".
     
  13. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes, and what an opportunity for someone starting out.

    Find products not made in China. Automatic leg-up on the competition.
     
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  14. JasonR
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    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I did forgot to mention one key thing - whatever you're doing you should be building your OWN BRAND - not someone else's.

    There are hundreds of brands that have sold for 7 and 8 figures that have been built entirely on Amazon. I'm not saying only focus on Amazon - but don't be scared to start building your brand there.
     
  15. Mark Fobo
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    Definitely gonna check these guys up. Have you tried some of their methods yourself?
    Couldn t agree more about "gurus" being echo chamber..

    Thanks for your comment!
     
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  16. JJMac
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    JJMac New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Thanks for the thread @Mark Fobo . I want to get going with Amazon to eventually free me up from 9-5 to really dedicate my time to a Fastlane business and this has very much cleared up some questions I had
     
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  17. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I have taken most of the concepts to heart. They don't just apply to Amazon. It's less about "tactics" and "gaming the system" and more about fundamental business processes that just work and make sense, for any business.

    I don't really sell much on Amazon anymore. 99% of sales are through my website or dealers.
     
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  18. Raoul Duke
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  19. Sanj Modha
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    Yep, this is my single biggest issue with Amazon and any marketplace - you're not building a brand, you're building a sales channel.

    And, that's totally fine but I cringe when I hear sellers say "I'm building an Amazon FBA business". You don't own anything on Amazon - they do.

    Plus, Amazon is leasing planes and launching drones/robots for that 'last mile' delivery. Where do you think they're going with this?

    Amazon doesn't scare me - it excites me and I swipe some of their best features for my business when possible.

    Don't be fooled into thinking you can't compete in any niche because of Amazon either. I work with multi-million dollar businesses that CRUSH it. We're doing things Amazon can never do either because its so big.
     
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  20. Mark Fobo
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    Happy it could help you and thanks so far to the contributors who shared their info.

    I have an extra question that has I guess no right answer. Do you guys think a formation/training is crucial or most of the info are already freely accessible?
     
  21. ProcessPro
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    I second this! When I knew nothing of how generating wealth works, Rich dad poor dad seemed like the holy grail, but having read alot since then, including TMF and Unscripted, I'd say its not that great. There is only 1 page in that book that I love which is the simple cash flow diagram, and that's it. It also focuses on real estate (if I remember correctly), and that has a high barrier to entry (do you have alot of money lying around to invest in your first property?) and also, I believe that real estate generally is better at preserving wealth rather than generating wealth (at least I think so when I work over the math; it will likely take years before you start making a profit on your first property).
     
  22. Mark Fobo
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    Yes I am still in the process of educating myself and starting to think about the product.
    But you're right, I have been writing down everything I have to think of in order to maximize my chances and come up with a plan of action!
     
  23. georgemcgov
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    I have been following Derrick Struggle since day 1 of his youtube channel and he is a legit dude. He has everyones best interests at heart.

    Don't know what his course is like but its the only one i'd buy if I were looking to get in to FBA.
     
  24. Tommo
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    Tommo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Awesome answers. Bought Traction immediately just what I needed thanks @JasonS
     
  25. Tommo
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    Tommo Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Sorry @JasonR got your name wrong lol
     

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