For the past several years, a partner and I stepped hard into the Amazon Marketplace, and since knowledge is power, we went through a lot of FBA courses to fine-tune our product listings and shipping procedures.
In this review, I will cover the 6 Best FBA Courses to take in 2020.
From 2016 until recently, I dove deep into the Amazon FBA world to really get a feel for how to do it but also to see how it compared to my first business model.
These are the "big guns" of the Amazon Private Label Community, and I not only rank them here, but I also offer full, in-depth reviews for each of them as well as quick bio of each Amazon coaches.
To show you that I am qualified to write these reviews, you should know that my partner and I have created two 6-figure product lines on Amazon.
So I have been very active as a seller on Amazon, using the fulfillment services offered by Bezos' company.
That said, I am not a know-it-all type guru, just a millennial intent on maximizing the value of the internet.
The Bottom line:
All I can give you is my own experience and reflections on what has worked best for my business. (If you want the in-depth story on one of my FBA products, read up on my Amazon Case Study)
Wondering what criteria I use to evaluate each course?
I rate my courses based on the presence and quality of:
- Mindset Training
- Business Set up Training
- Product Selection Basics
- Product Sourcing Training
- Q&A / Community (FB Group or Online Forum)
- Overall Relevance of the Training on Today's Amazon (very different than 2016 when I started)
- Overall content structure
My goal is that this bird's eye view into each FBA course will enable you to pick the online training program that is right for you and your situation.
Not one of these FBA courses is right for everyone, as each course instructor has their own teaching style that jives best with certain personalities better than others.
But before we gets started,
A lil bit about me...
From 2014 to today, I went from barely affording a small studio apartment in Detroit to living in a nice apartment in downtown San Francisco by building and ranking simple websites.
That tree care website has been passive income since 2015. The lead generation business model is one of the best escapes from the 9-5 imo.
Learn more about local lead generation model by clicking the button below.
At the end of this post, I show you why lead generation is still my top recommendation in 2020. (aka how it stacks up against Amazon FBA)
But first things first:
My Top 6 FBA courses for 2020
6.) Amazon FBA Ninja by Kevin David
The FBA Ninja Masterclass does have some holes, but Kevin displays his brilliance when it comes to his FB Ads Training that he includes.
Kevin doesn't pull an punches, he's more of a straight-to-the-point personality type. His videos aren't long and drawn out, but use time efficiently.
If you are an apply-it-on-the-fly kind of person, you'll definitely enojy the spped at which Kevin delivers his education.
Are you the reading type?
Looking for written course content?
Kevin shows a lot of value here as well providing pdfs in most of his modules. But as a heads up, there's unique content in both the vids and papers, so to get the max value, you should both watch and read.
I'd say this course is for you if you can handle a firehose of rapid fire information. If you're a little on the ADD side (as I am), you'll not be bored like in your senior year english classes.
You do need to be able to take concepts and run with them, problem solving as you go, as Kevin doesn't cover all the hypotheticals in his mini-lectures.
Just be ready to run with your laptop, paper and pen if you opt-in to this course.
Overall, the Amazon FBA Ninja Course is affordably priced and enables you to exchange gold nuggets with other Private Label Ninjas in the FB group.
Just like his Lambo, this course is Fast and Furious! If you are ready to rapidly build an FBA business, you'll enjoy Kevin David's ninja approach. #thatlifestyleninja
Just as a warning, Kevin teaches a product selection model that worked really well in 2017 when the marketplaces was not nearly as crowded as it is now and Chinese Suppliers weren't selling their own products on Amazon (like many are doing now).
But if you find a substitute product selection method, you'll have most of what you need.
5.) Nine University 2.0 - Kale & Taylor
Kale and Taylor's Nine University 2.0 does have some age to it being made in 2017, but K&T have come back and updated their course, providing more details in certain modules like adding more research techniques to their product selection section.
One helpful hack that you might appreciate if you are new to the FBA game is to be sure that you ask your supplier for both the unit price and the shipping price of your products.
Warning: Kale is sometimes a little short with his explanations, leaving out some of the risks of his suggestions, like the fact that adding icons to listings could get your listing shut down (per Amazon's TOS).
Kale & Taylor do a pretty good job at covering a lot of the details product listing construction as well as providing specific suggestions on product shipping and packaging, like how to tell your supplier where to label your items and proactively fixing some of the issues that shipping your products via plane brings.
Finally, if you need motivation or hype, this course is for you! Kale brings the fire in nearly every lesson he teaches!
Overall, KT Nine's course provides value, but for what it is it's overpriced.
Nine University 2.0 does include a couple of helpful bonuses (Quick Start Bootcamp and FB Ads Mini Course) that increase the value of the their course a bit.
Since they have gone through and updated their course, it is current for 2020.
4.) FBA Sales Accelerator - Ryan Rigney
The FBA Sales Accelerator does have some holes, but Kevin displays his brilliance when it comes to his FB Ads Training that he includes.
Ryan's course is clearly laid out from A to Z, covering most of what's needed to get going on Amazon, but it's important to note that Ryan has geared his course to help those who are already selling a product or two on Amazon.
If you already have the basics of FBA, this course might provide the next level for you as Ryan shows how to get more traffic (from Facebook) and get more reviews (using Many Chat and his own SaaS, BoostRooster).
I'd say this course is for you if you can appreciate an amazon seller being fairly open about how they do their own business.
While he's not quite as vulnerable as Tim Sanders (Private Label Masters), he does share what's working for him and which platforms he focuses the majority of his attention on.
Ryan's a pro at bringing in external traffic onto Amazon (which helps his products pop to the top).
In addition to FB Ad training, he also provides insight on how to partner with Instagram Influencers such as what reasonable to pay them.
Ryan provides excellent material for those who are in the intermediate stages of buidling their Amazon FBA businesses.
His course is not for those who are just getting started as he doesn't spend much time on the basics (product selection, listing creation, etc.)
He does provide excellent value through his brand mindset trainings.
3.) Amazing Selling Machine (ASM 11)
Matt Clark and Jason Katzenback started selling on Amazon in 2012.
Matt was already making money via private label on Amazon at the time and Jason had a history of selling educational materials on the internet dating back to 2003.
Matt brought Jason on because Jason wanted to learn to sell on Amazon and allegedly, sell he did. A variety of sources on the web indicate that he was soon doing 100k in revenue each month.
That same year, 2012, the two put together the Amazing Selling Machine and the rest seems to be history.
When I started on Amazon in 2016, I went through their course and it helped me get the basics of selling on Jeff's ginormous platform.
The instructors (Rich Henderson and Mike McClary) do a very thorough job teaching the fundamentals of marketing private label items via FBA.
The fact that the course is taught by someone other than the founders (who are supposedly super successful on the platform) is a red flag to me, because that begs the question, do they really know what they are talking about?
But I saw a lot of reviews of people becoming successful through the course when I began looking into selling FBA in late 2015 (when starting a business, due diligence is a must, my first coaching program taught me that).
And it was through ASM in 2016 that I got my start in FBA.
Over the next 24 months, I built 2 brands to 6-figures.
Where the Amazing Selling Machine course falls short is that every year they proclaim to "update it," but really they simply add a few other features (like the "Profit Miner" chrome extension you can now get for free on their website if you opt in to their email list).
So when you buy into it now, you essentially get an old course (albeit a massive old course because of the add-ons) with some bells and whistles. #profitminer
The way I like to think of ASM now is as a 100 level, gen-ed college course.
You get the basics of the field, which is really helpful, but the practical strategies are outdated because it took so long for the course to be packaged and approved by the board of directors before it could be offered.
So it's a really beneficial course, even today, because of the grand perspective it gives you of the way that Amazon Private Label works.
The primary barrier to success is the same as with the FBA Ninja course:
Biggest Barrier to Success
The product selection process is outdated as the market has become super competitive for products sourced through Alibaba (a platform that connects sellers selling in the US market with inexpensive manufacturers and suppliers based in China).
The Amazon Marketplace will only become more crowded because the Chinese suppliers themselves are learning to sell on Amazon therefore being able to offer the same product at lower costs to the shoppers, essentially undercutting private label sellers.
Why might you want to be in ASM 11?
If you want to get a well-rounded education on the FBA system and a lot of what's involved in selling on Amazon, this course will really help you get there, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to successfully select your products through the strategies taught in the course.
I got my start with ASM because the strategy worked back then.
It's still a great course to get most of your FBA education from (setting up your biz license, launching your product, etc.)
But remember, it's a gen ed course.
You'll have to take more if you want to be successful on Amazon in 2020.
2.) Product University by Sophie Howard
Course length: 26 hours Price: $3,495
Product University was made in 2016 by Sophie Howard, an Amazon Seller based in New Zealand, selling into both the US and the AU marketplaces as well as her home country.
Sophie started on amazon part-time in 2014 while she was on maternity leave from her job.
She scaled quickly and established her first brand, Higher Tea.
It's a consumable, responsibly sourced, organic tea so it demands ongoing sales as well as it has a unique appeal to those who want to enjoy health and take pride in supporting ethical manufacturing.
Sophie says that while she was able to get into tea when she started, she wouldn't recommend it now as the category is supersaturated.
Sophie doesn't teach how to set your Seller Account or how to get a business license, or other basic things like that, because, she says, you can find those resources elsewhere.
She shares her experience and really helps you discover markets to sell products to that are hard for copy-catting dealers to mimic because they don't have access to your uniquely sourced products.
If you are willing to take on the basics yourself, like how to set up your account and your basic amazon listing, Sophie will give you the strategies to create brands that sell well for the long haul, and being able to exit as she does, building a brand worth 7 figures, then selling it off to an interested corporation.
1.) Private Label Masters by Tim Sanders
Course length: 20 hours and 18 minutes. Price: $4,997
Private Label Masters is taught by Tim Sanders.
Tim has been selling on Amazon since 2016 and was able to rapidly scale his business so that in less than a year he had achieved an upper 6 figure revenue.
Tim's course is well-structured with 8 sequential modules, covering the ins and outs of selling on Amazon, with the exception of teaching a strategy that is losing effectiveness rapidly as more sellers enter the Amazon arena.
Tim over-delivers in this course in a few areas:
- Listing Creation (Tim brings in a specialist who he's hired to write/optimize the copy on his listings)
- Product Selection Strategy (Tim reveals his product philosophy, which lays the foundation for his branding strategy and in turn his product suppliers)
- Overall, Tim's course scores the top of the rating because he offers an active community of motivated sellers
If you are seriously considering going into Amazon FBA, then this is one of the better courses out there.
Tim's course is an excellent one for learning the entire process of FBA from start to finish.
You can get it at a affordable price. (When I called their sales department, they offered $1,500 off if I bought the course on the call).
But before you and buy it, be sure to take into account the additional costs of selling on Amazon (FBA fees, product cost, packaging design, pay-per-click ads).
So, Which FBA Course is right for you?
If you are low on dough, you could go with Ryan's FBA Sales Accelerator, which offers some sound strategies that are current to selling on Amazon in 2020.
But with FBA, you don't just need the right education.
I'm not going to lie to you...
To really get a solid start you need money.
I realize that this thought is not popular as it would be more acceptable to be all rah rah, saying,
"Go out and achieve your dreams! You can do it!"
But that's not why you are here.
You chose to read this because you want to start an online business that will generate income to fund your lifestyle, whatever that may be.
And if you want to eventually start a collection of products on Amazon because that's what really makes your heart sing, then please don't take what comes next as a damper on your dreams, but choose to see it as your path to success, actually doing the things that you dream of.
To truly get started well on Amazon, you need more than most course sellers will tell you.
In my experience, most course creators seem to say you can get started with a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
In my experienced opinion, that number is actually higher.
To do FBA well, you need 15,000 dollars, the reason being that once you have bought a course for 3.5k, then you only have 11.5k left for actually building your business, which, in real life, is a really a tight budget because you have to take into account the fact that you probably will have to launch multiple products to find one that really sells.
Want an example?
Check this out:
Sophie has pushed over 500 items into Amazon's marketplaces.
Do you think all of them sell super well?
(That would be awesome, but does real life turn out that way?
No, not very often.
The truth is much more grim:
Some of the launched items sell more than others, while still others don't sell at all.
In my own experience, I had launched 3 products before I saw my first sales on Amazon.
What I've found and others as well is that it often requires testing the market to find "home-run" products.
Think of it as trying different lures to see what the fish in Bezo's ocean will bite.
Baiting the FBA hook (to continue the analogy), takes a good deal of money and time, that, honestly, most people in our world today don't have.
But those who have the funds end up putting up many different listings and launching a multiplicity of products into the marketplace at once.
And to be completely candid with you, if I didn't already have money coming in via my first business, lead generation, I wouldn't have had the money to become successful on Amazon.
And to illustrate that, check this out:
My FBA Experience Selling Honey on Amazon
At the start of this article, I let it slip that I've sold products on Amazon for nearly 4 years.
One of them was organic honey.
I saw the thousands of health gurus were touting the importance of eating clean, organic foods and started scoping in on potential FBA products.
After looking high and low all over the web, my product idea ending up coming from a trip to my grocery store.
I was picking up some fruit when I noticed a sign next to me promoting locally produced sticky sweetness: organic honey.
Upon reaching out the supplier, I did some due diligence, learning how many units were sold at one time (MOQ) as well as how much they'd charge to ship it stateside ($$$)
After verifying that hordes of honey-hungry vegans were shopping Amazon, I sketched out a list of what needed to be done before I could expect my first sale:
B4-FBA-Money To-Do List:
With all that going on, I felt like a juggler riding a unicycle on a never-ending treadmill: never any time to travel or spend time with friends. #nopassivity
But after some 8 months and about 13k out the door spent on inventory and product launch, I had things jumping.
9 months into the organic honey venture, I had my first sale!
Thanks to me split testing my main product image and the fact that it was April, the peak of allergy season
The best month was over 52k in sales in 30 days!
It looks like an FBA success story, doesn't it?
But tap the brakes a minute, and take a look at how my costs & profits breakdown:
- Each 6 pack of bottled organic honey sold for: $147.37
- Each 6 pack cost (with shipping) cost: $43.92
- Number of 6 packs sold: 355 (52,230/147.37)
- Net Profit per 6 pack sold: $103.45
- Net Profit Before Ad Cost and Amazon Fees: 103.45 * 355 = $36,724
What?! 36 G's! you'd think I must have been rolling in the dough, right?! Oh wait, Amazon Fees...
Total Amazon Fees: $11,328.5
Referral Fees: 18% of Overall Sales ($9404.40)
Fulfillment Fees: $5.42/pack, since each pack was a hair under 3lbs ($1,924.10)
Sponsored Ad Cost: 14,264.37
Total Costs: $25,592.87
Left over net profit: $11,131
$11,131 in a single month sounds pretty good on the surface, but for the 2 years I sold organic honey, that was my highest month.
My partner and I also did all the work ourselves, so the time per hour didn't really add up to much between us.
This is when I began to realize how low the true profit margins of a physical products business really are.
Selling on Amazon is difficult:
- Yes, you can have some high dollar months, but seasonality is a bitch.
- If you do find a home-run product, you can be certain that someone else will come along and copy your product.
- Constantly trying to stay ahead of the competition is exhausting. It takes tons of energy, focus and a little hope...
Yes, I did make a few bucks during that month, but if I factor in the dollars I spent on testing different variations of my product listing (swapping images and copy), the money definitely wasn't the gangsta income I'd hoped for.
I also learned that customer service wasn't my thing. The world of dealing with reviews and product refunds sucked the energy from me like a vacuum on carpet.
When I wrapped up the organic honey excursion, I understood that to bank on Amazon, you won't get rich off of a single product.
You need to scale from 1 item to 10 while keeping your eyes peeled for more product opportunities.
Is it worth it?
In my opinion, since I've done both, Amazon FBA is better than having a 9-5 job as I'm pretty sure that anything is better than being stuck in that office.
That might be why so many of these FBA courses sell so well.
Many people want the freedom that running their own business can provide: like choosing what hours they work or how much money they want to earn.
Nobody wants to be just a cog in a wheel.
On the other hand, the FBA model wasn't cutting it. It took too much time and energy for the (lack of) desired results.
If you want more details on what it takes to start an Amazon FBA business, I wrote a guide on the entire process. Just click the button below:
Competitors Copying Your Private Label Business
Most FBA courses, even the best ones like the Amazing Selling Machine and Private Label Masters, teach the method of researching the competition and copying what other FBA sellers have already made. Tim calls it "market intelligence."
But here's the kicker
You can literally copy & paste someone's private label product in a matter of hours by matching their Amazon product on the popular FBA seller outlet, Alibaba.
I found this one in 10 minutes.
This copy and paste method literally takes all the guess work out of it. There's no skill involved. Even a teenage could do it.
In fact, check this out:
While this "Xerox Private Label" method sounds great on the surface, I'm not a fan.
What's to stop another seller from copy and pasting your private label business?
This makes Amazon FBA a short term play at best because:
A business model that allows someone to enter the space and literally clone your entire business in a matter of hours, simply cannot be a long-term income strategy.
Think about it
As time goes on, the niche becomes saturated, Amazon's Pay-Per-Click pricing will increase, and the product will no longer be profitable to sell.
That being said, the power players on Amazon create long lasting businesses by investing large amounts of money in creating their own unique products and supply lines that make duplication extremely difficult.
And to do that, you not only need to be an innovator, but also have at least $27k for the development and production.
When it comes to business, you don't want things to be "easy."
Why do you think doctors make a boatload of money throughout their careers?
Because they've developed skills that few people have.
That's why I put my chips on businesses that actually require a high skill level to leverage, like lead generation. It's almost impossible for a person to come in and "Xerox" your business.
What is Lead Generation Exactly?
I'm not a fan of copy and paste business models.
So as of 2020, I'm putting my entire attention on lead generation, which has always provided the best ROI.
Here's how it works
You build and rank simple websites at the top of Google that send customers to small businesses.
Lead generation still has both a high profit margin because we use free traffic to generate leads
Once you rank these sites, they have a high level of passivity, because after the site clicks into the top, you don't need to touch it.
Here's a site that I made in 2015 and haven't touched since
Here's a few more reasons why I value lead generation over Amazon FBA...
Why Lead Generation Over Amazon FBA?
Don't get me wrong
I made some good money with FBA, but the need to constantly monitor the metrics (inventory, ad spend, etc.), I cashed out.
That's why I believe that many FBA sellers switch to offering courses sharing how to sell on Amazon, as the digital courses offer a much simpler (and more profitable) way to make money online.
But not everyone has an expertise that can be easily packaged into a ecourse.
Lead generation is a lean and mean business model because you are repeating 6 steps over and over
These are the top reasons why the lead generation model remains my #1 recommendation in 2020.