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Sophie Howard Review (Scam?) 9 Facts [Blue Sky Amazon] Read This Before You Buy

January 6, 2022

Sophie Howard

Is she really the "Amazon Selling Queen" ???

Here's what my team I uncovered after some serious research...

1. What makes Sophie's course stand out?

I have reviewed a lot of Amazon FBA courses over the years.

Sophie offers some really practical hacks that we have not seen before.

She was on vacation in Bali.

When she came across high quality incense sticks on a visit to a monastery.

She liked 'em.

Found the supplier.

Negotiated a deal.

Bought the incense in bulk and got them in a FBA warehouse.

Rest is history.

That's FBA in a nutshell, but why was this a super smart move?

No one can copy her product because it can't be found anywhere online.

Also, she cut out all the middleman = higher profit margins.

Quite brilliant, we'll be discussing more of her hacks later in this review....

2.

Beware of fake scam reviews

First of all, anyone can write anything online.

You have to be careful of fake reviews, sometimes left by competitors.

These reviews are focused on her aggressive advertising...

They clearly did not take the course.

That's a BS review above. 

We found plenty of new tips from Sophie that you don't see everywhere.

We'll discuss some of these in a bit. Keep reading...

Also some people out there are soooo skeptical about everything.

These people look for every reason to hate or think anybody selling a high-ticket course is a scam.

That's nonsense.

This high ticket course literally changed my life and allowed me to quit my 9 to 5 job back in 2014.

3. Course price & refund policy

$3,495 (USD) or 4 monthly payments of $995

Their refund policy?

Not very clear...

After some digging, we found the following public statement: 

"If you change your mind about starting an Amazon business, just let us know within 7 days and get a 100% of your money back."

I never request refunds because I make sure I know what I'm investing in before I pay.

I'm not trying to be that guy that buys a course, goes through the whole thing and months later, requests a refund.

These programs will NOT work, if you don't put in the work.

Some people have reported having to contact them multiple times, before they got their refund.

This is the person to contact: customersupport@knowledgesource.com.au 

4.

Private label... What is it & how do you succeed?

Basically, you take unbranded products from Chinese suppliers and then you create a brand for it.

Logo, packaging, marketing... the whole shebang.

This kid explains it well...

In order to suceed, you have to get creative at coming up with the packaging & marketing message that makes your product stand out.

Pro Tip: Go look at the competitors and STUDY the negative reviews.

Next tip: Bundle products together.

5.

Sophie Howard's tea business, is it legit? We looked into it...

One of the examples she gives is about her private label brand Higher Tea...

"Higher Tea sells premium loose leaf green, black, herbal, fruit, and health teas. Check out Higher-Tea.com for a full range of healthy, delicious teas. Hand blended in the USA. Available on Amazon.com"

This is what you find at her site.

However when you search for it in Amazon...

Her brand is no where to be found on the first page of Amazon, even when you search for her brand name...

So its very questionable if she's really making money from this private label brand at all.

6.

My main gripe... Lack of real life examples

To me, I learn by seeing real life examples

It's also how a coach can prove that he has actually been successful with the business that he's teaching...

Here's someone that got on a phone call with Sophie's team

They asked if they can show real life examples, and was rejected...

I get it... they don't want to share their products because they don't want people copying them.

But if coaches are successful, shouldn't they be able to show at least some specific examples?

I show off dozens of my lead gen sites, and I don't worry about people copying it.

Local lead generation

I mean here it is: grandrapidstree.com

I've been showing it off for years, along with many others...

No one has copied it... and if they did, I'd wish them well.

Transparency matters. It's one of the reasons our lead generation course has been so successful. 

7.

How long does it take to start making money?

Private label FBA is gonna take about 1 year before you see any profits, here's why...

First you need to order samples (6-8 weeks shipping time).

You just gotta make sure you have a quality supplier with quality products. 

Otherwise you're going to get burned (and lose a lot of money). 

Sophie's Pro Tip - Don't Ask for Samples!

Sophie does not order samples, she asks for a batch of products that she will send to her "review network" that will test for quality.

She says that if you order 1-2 samples, then suppliers are quick to send you a nice sample.

But if you ask for more quantity, you'll be able to make sure the quality is consistent.

Once you find your supplier, you then have to order your inventory, which takes roughly 6-8 weeks (unfortunately some report even longer freight times due to COVID restrictions on US import laws).

When it's all said and done, it takes roughly 6+ months to get everything set up.

And potentially 3-6+ more months to organically rank your listing in Amazon.

And that's if EVERYTHING goes perfectly.

It took me and my team 1.5 years before we saw any profits.

We also launched 3 private label products at the same time, 2 of them failed.

8.

Key take-aways

I've already taken other FBA courses, so I only took notes on what I found to be new or extra helpful from her modules. Here's some of my key takeaways.

1) Build Brands that Other Companies Wanna Buy

"Create something that's hard for the big, cumbersome brands to do, so that competition is lower and the brand can be sold at a premium later on" -Sophie

Envisioning The End-Game Of Your Potential Product

Create a product so good that other companies want to buy it. Her tea brand was approached by another company to buy.

3 Keys

  • Research the larger players in the niche
  • Knowing what debates affect current and future product consumption (Ex. millenials want to know their products are responsibly sourced)
  • Ask yourself if the product can be sold to a larger brand
  • Go after niches that have a lot of passion, with a clear demographic

    For exaple, a niche with highly engaged Facebook group

    Then create "Extreme Differentiation" from your competitors

    A great product selection can be visualized in this way

    2) Sophie's VA hiring & training process in 6 steps

    Virtual Assists are criticual when you begin to scale, or you have enough money coming in that you can afford to hire people to take over certain tasks. My fav places to hire are onlinejobs.ph & upwork.

    Here's Sophie's 6 steps when hiring & training, I love the part about hiring few VA's at a time and then picking the one that does the best work

    3) Look into Forgotten Product Sources Places

    Earlier in this review we talked about how Sophie went on a trip to Bali and then spontaneously found the incense to sell on FBA.

    She still loves this strategy of traveling to remote places to source products because she'll be able to find ever-green products that will last more longterm because its just that much harder for other sellers to source it.

    Here's some of her fav places to visit:

    Not everyone can travel across the world to find products, so Sophie recommends few other places that most people are not looking in.

    Ideas for product searching...

    • Amazon catalogue
    • Trade show listings
    • Local classifieds
    • Learn from any constructive criticism

    4) Look into Forgotten Product Sources Places

    Earlier in this review we talked about how Sophie went on a trip to Bali and then spontaneously found the incense to sell on FBA.

    Not everyone can travel across the world to find products, so Sophie recommends few other places that most people are not looking in.

    Ideas for product searching...

    • Amazon catalogue
    • Trade show listings
    • Local classifieds
    • Learn from any constructive criticism

    5) Top 7 Factors that influence Amazon Listing Rankings

    Its not just about reviews... the title & listing has to be highly optimized...

    • click-through rate (must have good product title)
    • conversion rate (must have great photos & product description / copy)
    • sales history
    • impressions
    • seller authority
    • off-site sales
    • organic sales

    6) Do's and Don'ts of Title Optimization

    8) 3 Types of photos you should have

    Around 6-8 photos, here's the 3 types you should have

    • 2 product only photos
    • 2-4 lifestyle shots
    • 2 or more photos of people enjoying/using your product

    9) How to get your first sales

    Sophie recommends, at first get your friends and family to buy your product and then give you 5 star reviews.

    Then start spending $10 per day on ads, only increase ad spend only after you did your due dilligence and it makes sense to do so

    Here's 7 metrics you should constantly be monitoring

    9.

    What are Sophie's students saying about her program (reviews and criticism)?

    There are plenty of fake reviews out there.

    However, when the same complaints are voiced over and over online, it usually indicates some red flags.

    Every program has its pros & cons, as seen below...

    Pros
    • Pretty good training overall, learned some new strategies like sourcing products from remote places that others won't find
    • Facebook Group & Weekly coaching calls
    • She has updated the training few times over the last 4 years
    Cons
    • Some people feel that the support provided was not good
    • Aggressive marketing & sales
    • Wish there were more successful student case studies

    Here's some reddit reviews from authentic accounts (these are verified customers).

    Here's another:

    I suppose they could be bit more clear on just how much its gonna cost to start an Amazon FBA private label business...

    Let me break it down for you.

    9.

    Just how much does it cost to start a successful FBA business?

    • $5000 in inventory. Suppliers won't even consider you otherwise.
    • $2000-$3000 minimum in branding costs: Logo, packaging, professional photos and samples.
    • $5000 in pay-per-click advertising campaigns

    So in total you're looking around $10K to $15K+ in start up costs alone.

    (And that's not even considering the $3500 you're paying for Sophie's course...)

    9.

    What does it take to succeed with Amazon FBA?

    Here's the thing with FBA, even the pros still fail with product selection all the time

    Because there's so many unforseen variables 

    You may receive a sample and thought it was great quality, but the customers completely disagree and didn't like it

    Or the software metrics were off, and there was just way too little demand for your product

    or your attempt to make the product better or "bundling" few products actually made your brand less desireable for whatever reason

    Even Sophie claims to have sold 500 different products

    blue sky amazon course creator sophie howard launched 500 different products on amazon

    Do you think each product was a best seller?

    Not at all.

    A lot of those products simply did not sell great at all.

    So in order to really succeed with Amazon FBA

    You have to test, test & keep testing

    You need decent amount of expendable income to pull this off

    FBA is probably not for you if you're living very tight financially

    9.

    I reached success with Private Label but ultimately why this biz was not for me

    It took me and my team 1.5 years to finally crack the code of private labeling and get profitable.

    It was a long, arduous, and expensive journey.

    Luckily I already had passive income sources in my life (with digital real estate) that were giving me expandable income each month to play with.

    I got this FBA business up to $3K-$4K net profit per month.

    For the amount of time it took, it started becoming clear to me that my digital real estate business & this blog was a far more profitable use of my time.

    My main issues with the FBA business 🙁

    • Takes so long to set everything up, 6+ months, and there's no guarantee your product will ever rank & start getting its own sales
    • Dealing with foreign suppliers is super frustrating
    • Competition is getting tougher each year as more big companies jump on to the FBA platform
    • Difficult to compete with established brands and their limitless budgets
    • Rising Amazon fees (feels like they ultimately just want big brands on the platform)

    Conclusion: Take a look at this business model, though...

    FBA is like the Olympics of e-commerce.

    Competing with top e-commerce players across the world...

    It's getting harder each year.

    Thankfully, there's other ways to make money online.

    Check this site out:

    It's been paying me $2000 per month since 2015.

    I hardly have to ever touch it.

    These are local lead generation sites...

    They generate leads (customers) for the plumber, roofer, electrician, etc.

    You're only competing with a handful of companies in each city.

    Not globally like Amazon FBA. 

    I've owned this site for over 6 years and it has been glued to the top of Google's search results.

    Pro Tip: its wayyy less saturated & competitive when you go local.

    This is the program that taught me how to do it, check out all these testimonials from students:

    Daily Testimonials from the Lead Gen FB Group: 7000 Students
    Scroll right for more...
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    I did FBA for a while, but ultimately decided that the lead gen model was better.

    Far less moving parts & risks.

    The financial investment is much less, too, and provides more consistent results.

    Here's my mentor Dan, he's been coaching since 2014.

    If you're interested in learning more, click the button below.

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    Ippei Kanehara
    Founder/CEO

    $52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

    Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

    His #1 online business recommendation in 2022, is to build your own lead generation business.