Amazon is a known household brand started by Jeff Bezos. You might recognize one or both of those names, as the platform has turned Bezos into a billionaire since he started the business in the same generation. (1)
Amazing Selling Machine, however, is a separate course which promises to teach you the ins and outs of Amazon FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon.
This FBA system is unique in that you can ship your inventory to Amazon and they will handle every part of the customer lifetime from Prime shipping to customer returns.
All you have to do is monitor your product questions, create a product listing, and market your product on the platform.
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Amazon has skyrocketed in profit in recent years, becoming an ecommerce giant – and on a clear path to becoming one of the largest retailers globally, both on and offline.
In this article from IBuyIReview, I’ll take you on a journey through the once-popular course Amazing Selling Machine. You’ll learn what to expect from the course, whether the business model is worthwhile, and even some alternatives in the case that it’s not the right program for you.
Amazing Selling Machine Review
The Amazing Selling Machine has gone through several iterations. The most recent version, 12, has been updated for 2021, which is not something you get to see a lot of in the world of online courses.
Most course creators publish their training and leave it to slowly become outdated, all while collecting the money of people who don’t know any better.
For that, this course already has me looking favorably on it.
The Amazon model is simple, really. (2) You send your inventory to an Amazon warehouse and they’ll ship it out with each sale.
So long as you are getting sales in, they’ll keep sending out your product. Because of how large the company is, they already have warehouses around the globe, and the infrastructure to support this kind of system.
Of course, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “okay, what’s the catch?”
Three of the most common questions about ASM are:
- How are they able to keep the high quality training over the years?
- How does it compare to other, newer courses?
- Is it worth the price, or is there something better out there?
Amazing Selling Machine Answers
And you know what? I’m going to answer all of these right here, before you go any further:
- High-quality training?
The founders of ASM keep the high quality training by simply keeping themselves up to date on the latest algorithmic changes of Amazon, reading through the new terms of service reports published by Amazon, and keep up to date with relevant publications.
This allows them to see where and how they need to adjust the training.
- How does it compare?
Well, really every FBA course is different. I think that this one covers a lot of great ground, but as you’ll read as you go through my review, they do miss a few things here and there.
Likewise, you’ll also read about my opinions on the Amazon FBA business model and whether it’s worth pursuing.
Read on for more details on this.
- Is it worth the price?
This is a little tough to give a succinct answer to. I really could tell you more than yes or no, but I do go more in depth later in this Amazing Selling Machine review.
About the Founders of Amazing Selling Machine
The first part I’d like to address in this Amazing Selling Machine review is the founders of the course you are buying from. These are the two men who present the course material to you throughout your business learning journey, either individually or together.
Rich Henderson and a guy named Tom are the original duo who started the course, and they have both walked the Amazon FBA business path themselves.
They aren’t like some other online marketing gurus who claimed to have gone through all the hard work, but really are a mouthpiece going through a script.
Rich Henderson has been in the digital marketing industry for nearly two decades, having been in several interviews and guest starring in blogs in the space.
He has chosen to specialize particularly in SEO and affiliate marketing, with a splash of dropshipping from home for about half of that time. Dropshipping is what initially turned him onto the ASM model, and how to build the best profit possible through Amazon.
Mike McClary was a very successful ASM student who went through the proven mentorship program and, back in October 2014, he was looking for ways he could support the ASM course since he was able to quit his office life and spend more time with his family by following the methods taught in the course.
These stories are the best of both worlds – becoming such an expert on a course topic that you get to host the very course that changed your life?
Review: What to Expect in the Amazing Selling Machine Training
The lessons are jam-packed with lots of information on the Amazon FBA platform, but the business resources are roughly limited to the videos in the base training.
You can reach out and ask questions of the community if you get stuck along the way, but you are generally encouraged to go through the training, at least as far as possible, before getting ahead of yourself.
A lot of people who try to eschew Amazon store courses to save money wind up falling into several pitfalls that they didn’t even know about without the community to help. (3) For example, Amazon can penalize your account for out of stock products, too many returns, or not having enough reviews.
There is a forum where you can ask questions with other members, and it is generally a very active place where you can learn about how others have best made their profit. Members are asked to introduce themselves and interact with the community before they even get started with the training. You can also read reviews, request a refund, and find success stories from the program with this dashboard.
Personally, the reviews were my favorite. I always love reading good reviews, it leaves me with a great feeling.
This is probably one of my favorite parts about the training. Any course that has an active community already has a positive score from me.
Overall, though, I wish the forum was on a different platform, so I didn’t have to go out of my way to interact with the community, and I do wish that the founders were a little more active – perhaps through livestreams or Q&A sessions.
As you’ll see in the section below, each of the modules do cover a lot of ground. This is a lot of information to soak in, but it is important to note that Amazon’s FBA program does change periodically.
You might find that some of the training is different than what is on the screen, and that is to be expected as the training doesn’t get updated every single time Amazon updates their training, though Amazing Selling Machine is now on version 12.
Module 0: Welcome to ASM
Are you ready for an introduction video? Buckle up, because this one is a bit extensive at just over 2 hours long.
Henderson starts the training by welcoming you to the course, offering a bird’s eye view of the course and what you can expect as you make your way through the training.
He also shows you an over-the-shoulder view of how to navigate the ASM dashboard, where you can find the course content, badges, and Q&A section.
He also talks about how to suspension-proof your Amazon seller account, and the dangers of ignoring this advice. Personally, I don’t think this is quite emphasized enough, but maybe I’ve just seen too many people blatantly ignore advice like this in favor of taking shortcuts.
This module seems like it takes forever to end, but by the end of it, you do have a really good idea of what the course is about and what you’ll get out of it. I was impressive, I have to admit, and it made me wish that FBA was less expensive to get into.
Module 1: Building Your Potential List
Module one is all about building out a list of your product opportunities. At two and a half hours long, you’ll get plenty of information on this, including an introductory lecture on the importance of branding.
Henderson then dives right into what he calls a “hot product opportunity” and what characteristics define that for him. He’ll show you how to navigate the Best Sellers Rank in Amazon and choosing your products.
He’ll also talk you through a list of products that he and his students have learned to avoid for a variety of reasons.
Unfortunately, Henderson doesn’t cover much about trends and product viability in this video. Perhaps he will in a future update, but I feel like this is a huge pitfall for a lot of new students who don’t understand that their products will go “out of style.”
Just because your product is successful right now doesn’t mean that it will continue to be in one week, one month, or one year.
This is one of my pain points with the model, too; you never know and you can’t control it. Once you’ve spent the money on that inventory, it’s gone.
Module 2: Item Sourcing and Professionalism
Now you’ve reached the part of the course where you’ve got to find a reputable supplier and source a product that stands out among a crowd of others.
If you go onto Amazon and search for a generic keyword, say, “automatic trash can” then you might notice that there are a lot of duplicate pictures. Sometimes, all that’s different about them is the brand name or color.
These are products that are massed produced and sold by different sellers at different price points, but they managed to make their product stand out in some way, which is why they’ve made sales and often become successful.
If you go onto a product sourcing site like Alibaba or DHL and search for the same thing, chances, are you’ll find the exact same product from suppliers.
So how do you make your product stand out among these suppliers?
How do you make it unique and cater it to your target audience?
Module 3: Ordering Inventory and Creating a Brand
In this module, Rich creates a “skeleton” listing that shows you the basic format of each product he sells on the platform.
He also covers topics like what to look for in a product sample, and how to set up your Amazon listing to get it approved quickly.
As a personal aside, if you do choose to go this route, always get a friend or family member to order your product and ask them to give you their feedback on the quality of the item as well, even if you get a sample.
It’s all too easy for a supplier to send you a really great quality sample, only to dial back the quality once you get you initial inventory in. Any reputable seller will give you a consistent level of quality.
Module 4: Ensuring Launch Success
This module is about two hours worth of over-the-shoulder content as Rich takes you through basic branding set up, including building a brand YouTube channel, creating a Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter profile, and making a simple website.
All of this is to construct a visible brand presence. The idea is that, if a user is skeptical about your branding, they’ll type it into the search bar, and you’ll have plenty of social presence to convince them that your product is real and it’s just a brand they haven’t heard of before.
If you ask me, this is a little… sketchy.
Don’t get me wrong, it works insanely well, which is why people do it, but I just feel queasy thinking about fabricating my brand presence like that.
On one hand, I am creating a legitimate brand name, and so long as I use that, it would be fine.
Likewise, Rich fails to go over any kind of content strategy for these profiles, so they appear to be create-and-forget, leaving a lot of people with artifacts of brand presence without any real content. To me, this makes it appear even less real, and potentially even defunct.
Module 5: Parts of a Perfect Listing
In this module, Henderson will take you through the anatomy of a perfect product listing. This is meant to help you create a great product listing from scratch without having to follow his example every time.
I appreciate that he is trying to help us learn how to become more independent, but I feel like this module also goes off in multiple directions and doesn’t bring it into one cohesive class.
For example, he goes from researching individual products to creating profitable product pricing and creating a compelling product listing. I wish this module was two or even three times as long as it is, which is saying something considering the module is already a little over two hours long.
Still, there is a lot of information here that I wouldn’t miss if you are taking the course. If nothing else, some of the tips he provides are vital to product listing success, such as product title readability.
Did you know that most people skim a title, so you want something right at the front that is easy to read and attention grabbing?
Module 6: A Perfect Product Launch
Finally, you are ready to “Launch, Blitz, and Rank” your product. This is an overview of the proprietary ASM methodology, so I can’t share much without giving away the ghost.
You’ll first learn about the main components of the launch process, such as characteristics of traffic that the Amazon algorithm looks for, and how to set up several landing pages and get rewarded by Amazon search.
I found this module to be one of the most helpful classes in the course, and McClary does a great job at presenting all of the information.
Once you knock this out of the park, you’ll be ready to start launching multiple products all at once, increasing your revenue through sheer volume.
I would emphasize that it is important for you to keep the same branding with each product so you don’t have to set up multiple brand presence profiles.
If you’re worried about going outside of your niche, that’s fine – just stick to a solid brand message.
Brands produce all kinds of products, and so long as it all fits into a cohesive message, you’ll keep customer loyalty and brand trust. For example, a brand based on sustainable products shouldn’t start sourcing single-use plastic products, but it’s fine if they supply bamboo toothbrushes and hemp towels.
Module 7: Advanced ASM Marketing Tools
This is the second to last module, where you will learn everything you need to know about the “Advanced Marketing” of your products. McClary covers a lot of ground in this lesson, teaching you about business maintenance and what it takes to run a successful dropshipping business on a day-to-day scale.
Whether you’re checking your listings, updating content, or emailing your subscribers, you’ll be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more that goes into it than you thought.
I actually wish this module, or at least this topic, was addressed in the earlier parts of the video. At this point, if you’ve been following the system assuming that it’s set-and-forget, then you’re going to be in for a rude awakening, and it can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Module 8: Scaling Your Business
Here’s where things get big. If you thought that the last module covered a lot of material, then you’ll be shocked that this lesson is so in depth, especially with only 50 minutes of screen time for it being the last module in the training.
I like the way this module leaves you feeling confident and looking towards the future. It’s a great feeling, and I think these two did a great job of instilling confidence into you, even if you haven’t ventured into the process yet.
Still, I think there is a lot more that could have been covered. I’d like to see more actionable material in this last video over feel-good discussions about business end goals and how to scale.
Is ASM A Worthwhile Course?
There’s a lot more to unpack here than I gave it credit for when I started this review. A lot of courses I review nowdays are either straight up a scam, or completely legitimate with no in-between.
Yes, I would say that the ASM course is worthwhile. It’s been a long proven amazon course with plenty of success stories, but you should also understand that the business model comes with its risks, just like any other business model.
Before buying a coaching course on this program, you should know that it’s difficult to get into the FBA space without previous inside knowledge in other areas of online marketing vs. other ways like ads, etc.
The ASM course does have a few introductory modules, which you might be able to find on Youtube, but because of how steep the learning curve can be, I’m not sure I could recommend this to complete beginners, though I notice a lot of other biased reviews saying its perfect for beginners.
If you are experienced in digital marketing, however, you should have an easier time grasping some of the concepts talked about in this course. You’ll also have more tools available for you based on previous experience that will come in handy when optimizing your product listings.
So what’s the big deal about this ASM scam talk?
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about an “ASM Scam” which casts a lot of doubt on the course.
They do have an affiliate program, which does make me doubt some of the information that is available on the internet.
Some people will say that this makes them doubt the legitimacy of the program as a whole, and I have to disagree with that. This is the basis of the scam argument, and while I see good points made on this side, I have to say that I disagree.
There is enough demand for affiliate programs on the internet that any brand would be absolutely ridiculous to ignore the potential for more revenue.
The downside to having an affiliate program is that the commission rate is an amazing 50%, so it’s quite tempting for affiliates to post up glowing reviews and add an affiliate link in for users to sign up.
Still, I firmly believe that ASM is a worthwhile course so long as you have a foundation in other areas first.
If nothing else, taking a course on Google ads will help shape the way you think about conversion optimization and sales, which is a huge benefit when setting up product pages.
Amazing Selling Machine: Is Amazon FBA a Good Way to Make Money?
Now, you probably know by now that I think the course is worth taking a second look at, at least, but it doesn’t mean that I can recommend the business model it teaches.
I really don’t like the Amazon FBA business model. (4)
It sounds fantastic on paper, it really does, but what a lot of people won’t tell you is that you need a decent amount of capital if you’re going to make the business work.
You’ve got to pay to create a seller account, then to create a listing.
Next, you’ve got to pay for all of the inventory, shipping to send it to the warehouse, and then you have to pay for all the ads, marketing your product and hoping that you didn’t choose poorly, and that all your product copy is spot on.
Amazon FBA has a lot of potential if you are already successful. If you don’t have a lot of capital to start with, you’re going to find yourself struggling to make ends meet, and your chances of success are going to plummet.
In other words: you have to already have the fuel necessary to make the engine run.
Now, if you’ve got that capital, great! I would say go for it, make it work. It’s a great experience and you’ll learn a lot by taking those steps and seeing them work and be successful. You should also know, however, that it’s not enough to just know Amazon FBA.
Learning about other avenues of online marketing helps you a lot, as you can apply concepts you learn to your Amazon listings and turbocharge your success.
Two particular areas I would suggest researching would be SEO to start, for how the algorithms interact with each other and websites.
Secondly, I would recommend learning Google ads information, which will teach you a whole suite of skills in the online marketing space, from sales copy, conversion rate optimization, and how to best modify and manage product listing ads. All of these will help your Amazon profit be the most successful it can.
You, like a lot of other people, might be looking at Amazon FBA as a way to get that initial capital and start a business of your own without putting yourself into debt over it.
If that’s the case, you may want to rethink your choice of using this business model as a way to get started with a successful business that can work. I always say, it’s best to have enough information to make a decision before you have to ask for a refund.
Maybe revisit it in a year or two once you’ve gotten your entrepreneurial feet wet, and you’re able to combine a few other online marketing skills that you’ve learned by buying in that time.
Ready to Make It Big Without the Risk?
There are ways you can start earning a reliable income at home without the risk and initial capital it takes to start an Amazon FBA store. (Plus, you’ll get space at home back once you refund your inventory.)
This ads course teaches you the exact business model and coaching program that I use to make my money today – and it has helped me start living the life I want to live.
Best of all, I feel great doing it. I know I’m using a legitimate method to improve business owner’s lives and help them thrive in a stressful digital world.
It really couldn’t get any better for me, and I want to share that experience with you as thanks for reading my blog.
Whether you’ve been on this journey with me for years, or if you’re just now reading your first article here, I want you to know that you can make a difference.
It starts with one business owner at a time.
In this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Google ads, especially how to create and manage individual ads, how to create funnels, and send qualified leads to businesses in need.
These leads are looking for what your client provides, and your client needs the business. They give you a nice commission for helping them find qualified business, and you get to sit back and enjoy working from home.
It’s a win-win situation to me, and one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had.
Beyond that, I really feel like the vault taught me skills that I could have used even outside of the businesses model, anywhere on the internet if I needed to.
I feel more independent than I have in years.
Ready to learn more? Check out this free demo of the training below:
- Pamela Danziger, Thinking Of Selling On Amazon Marketplace? Here Are the Pros and Cons, https://www.forbes.com/sites/pamdanziger/2018/04/27/pros-and-cons-of-amazon-marketplace-for-small-and-mid-sized-businesses/?sh=74739e086867
- John Herrman, The Great Amazon Flip-A-Thon, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/style/amazon-brand-flippers.html
- Advertising Week, Selling Your Products On Amazon, A Brand’s Guide, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/selling-your-products-on-amazon-a-brands-guide_b_599615fbe4b033e0fbdec28d
- Thomas Smale, Guide to Starting a Fulfillment By Amazon Business, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282277