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Scott Hilse Review (Scam? Truth Exposed) Simplified Dropshipping

May 22, 2023

Simplified Shopify course logo
Simplified Dropshipping (formerly known as Simplified Shopify) by Scott Hilse.
Scott Hilse's course ran for a few months under the "Simplified Shopify" banner until Shopify asked him to change the name. 

Apart from the rebrand and domain name change, the course is still basically the same, despite the updated 3.0 and more recent 4.0 tag. 

Simplified Dropshipping Course Overview

Ranked #9 out of 8 dropship courses (See full list here)
2 hours 49 minutes
No jokes. This is a simplified dropshipping course. You don't have to pay for this, though. All the info is out there for free. Well, most of it anyway...
$497 (January 2020)

Introduction to Scott

Many will know Scott from his YouTube channel and being featured on some of Oberlo's tutorial videos. 

He enjoys a healthy following on Social Media, especially on YouTube where he has almost 61k followers. 
It's interesting to note that Scott claims on his LinkedIn page that he is endorsed by Oberlo, Shopify and Tai Lopez. 
Featured in the Oberlo 101 Dropshipping Course and on some of their YouTube channel videos, Scott is also part of the Tai Lopez 300 Group. (If you want to become part of the 300 Group, you just need to pay $697). 

Before I get to the nuts and bolts of the course, MY DISCLAIMER:
I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE. Fullstop. I don't earn anything from doing my reviews. This means you don't get ANY bias at all. Only straight-shooting, honest opinions. Nothing more. 

What to Expect in this Course

Don't expect hour and hours of lessons. Scott Hilse's Simplified Dropshipping is exactly that, simplified. The total course content, including the Intro and Outro videos clock in at just under 3 hours. 

So if you like a short course to get you started in the shortest possible time, then this might be it.

This is what Simplified Dropshipping claims to offer you:
Unlike many other dropshippers, Scott Hilse believes that you should build dropshipping stores that focus on only a single item.

Yes, you heard right. A single item. Not a range of sunglasses (as an example). A single sunglass.

Using this method, Scott had three six-figure stores. Back in 2017.

Scott states the following on his course landing page (the bold highlights are Scott's, not mine):
"In a world where simplicity is dominating, so should eCommerce. It's so simple in fact, that you can build your entire store, fan page, fill your inventory, and launch your first ad in less than 6 HOURS. It is even possible that you have your first sale in less than 24 HOURS."

A big, blaring, warning light should be going off in your head right now. The keywords in that statement being "even possible".

Sure, it's possible you can have your first sale within 24 hours. It's even possible that the US men's soccer team will win a FIFA World Cup within the next 10 years. Possible, but HIGHLY unlikely...

People still believe that dropshipping is easy, and guys like Scott help create this false impression.  

Claims of student results, like this image below, also doesn't help.

These images mean absolutely NOTHING.

Why? Because none of them show you what the costs were. You can’t show income without the associated expenses.

These screenshots do not show you the profit. 

You might double or even triple the cost price of an item, but that doesn't leave you with any money in your pocket just yet. You still need to subtract all your expenses, of which advertising is the biggest. 

20% profit is considered great. However, I know dropshippers who make as little as 5% profits some months.  

Go work it out. You’ll see that those figures are not that impressive, even if you work at 20% profit.

With the rising cost of FB Ads and other advertising platforms, some dropshippers even run a loss after their marketing campaigns.

So, be warned! Don’t fall for these empty sales tactics aimed at convincing you to buy a course. 

Always ask: What was the profit?

In 2015, 2016 and even in 2017 it was much easier to make a quick few bucks with dropshipping.

But the game has changed. It's even changed for the gurus. They made their dropshipping money years ago, and now they make their money selling courses. 

The Simplified Dropshipping Course Breakdown

This course contains 29 different video lessons, with a total of 2 hours and 49 minutes viewing time. 
There's no customary intro to the course. No bio. Not even an explanation of what dropshipping is and why you should get into it.

Lesson 1: One Product Store $1600/day Template

Video length: 06:25
Scott dives straight into it and shows you the template he used to get $1,600 in a single day. (He doesn't mention that it was way back in 2017, though. And it really was only a SINGLE day, not as the misleading title PER day implies...

On average, it looks like the store made less than $300 per day (when it was open..).

Oh, and remember that $1,6k a day (or $55k in 6 months), sounds impressive, but Scott never reveals what his costs were. What he shows you, is SALES, not PROFIT...
If you go looking for his store, or even Scott's flagship store, you won't find them...

The "gurus" will tell you they are constantly finding new products in new niches and that is why their stores close. 

Sure, it's possible that it's true.

But how do you build a brand if you keep jumping ship and starting new stores? Most of them will tell you how important branding is, yet, they don't seem to practice what they preach...

It's even possible that they no longer have any stores. Why else would they offer you old stats from two or more years ago? Remember: all the gurus make money from selling their courses/tools/apps, NOT from dropshipping anymore. (The exception is probably Franklin Hatchett). 

Anyway, back to the lesson: Scott doesn't reveal much. In fact, all of this has been covered on YouTube by a hundred other guys.

He shows you some (old) stats. He shows you a phone case that made him lots of money. He shows you a Shopify store template that he uses/used. 

It's nothing groundbreaking or original.
Lesson 2: Inner Store Set-Up
Length: 16:38
Scott takes you through the basics of setting up your Shopify store. He includes setting up:
- General Store setup
- Checkout settings
- Refund Policy, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy
- Adding Pages (Policies, Contact pages) 
- Adding Menu items
- Shipping Zones
- Payment Providers, and
- Picking a Plan for your store.
I have to be a little critical here. 

If you pay for a course, you expect the pro to share some insider tips with you.

Sadly, Scott just rehashes info you can find for free on YouTube.

If you are a complete beginner, you will obviously find this info worth your while, but this isn't worth paying money for. Yet. Let's hope Scott delivers elsewhere. 
Lesson 3: Buying & Connecting a Domain
Length: 5:57
Scott suggests using Google Domains. He shows you his method for finding a domain name, registering it and connecting it to your Shopify store. 
Lesson 4: Setting Up Your Facebook Page
Length: 11:40
Scott explains how to set up your Facebook Business Page. 

This includes using Canva to create a logo (profile picture), banner (cover photo) and how to add a button that sends people to your site. 
Lesson 5: Business Ad Account + Pixel Setup
Length: 05:02
Scott walks you through the process of opening a FB Business Account from scratch.

It's a straightforward process and all the basics are covered. Scott covers:
- Adding a FB Page to your Business Account.
- Creating a new Ad Account
- Adding a FB Pixel to your Shopify store.
Lesson 6: Product Research
Length: 22:09
Scott shows you how he does product research using Facebook, Google Trends, AliExpress, Google (searching for "dropshipping niches" no less! That's just silly...).

In his defense, Scott does say "the best niche to be in is the one you create yourself", but these methods definitely don't inspire you to create your own.

Nothing new here...
Lesson 7: Importing Your First Product
Length: 11:59
Scott takes you through the steps of importing your first product into your Shopify store using Oberlo. 

A good addition is how to make and post a video ad for your product. 
Lesson 8: Testing Your Pixel
Length: 05:39 
Going into Shopify Payment Providers, Scott shows you how to Use Test Mode.

Another useful addition to any dropshipping course, but nothing new. You can just as easily get this info for free elsewhere.
Lesson 9: The Freedom Funnel
Length: 13:20
Scott's Freedom Funnel is nothing more than a bunch of free apps he installs to improve conversions on his site. 

Scott shows you how to set things up like an Abandoned Cart app and a Countdown Timer app.  

It's a great video if you are a newcomer to dropshipping and your marketing budget is tight. Once you are settled though and sales start coming in, then you might want to invest in a better paid for app(s). 
Lesson 10: Getting Tons of FREE Page Likes in Seconds
Length: 0:46. Yes. You read right. 46 seconds.
Scott's advice for getting tons of free FB page likes in seconds? Invite all your Facebook friends to like your page...
Lesson 11: Understand This Before Proceeding to Facebook Ads
Length: 01:19
It's time for Scott's Disclaimer! 

Before you start with the Facebook Ads training, Scott warns you that you need to be willing to lose money with FB Ads befoe starting with them. 

Now it might sound strange, but it's actually pretty solid advice.

You won't necessarily make money with your FB Ads in the beginning. FB Ads have a steep learning curve and you only get good at it the more you test, test and test. And you can't test without throwing money at it. 

So be warned

Even the pros get it wrong sometimes. If you worked through the Oberlo 101 course, or read my review here, you'd know that they spent over $1k on ads over a six week period and got less than $100 in sales...
Lesson 12: Launching Your First Facebook Ad – Method #1
Length: 08:51
In this lesson, Scott shows you how to create a FB Ad using Video. He does fly through this at breakneck speed, so beginners will have to pause and rewind a lot. 

Having your masterpiece ready, Scott then shows you how to launch the ad through FB Ads Manager. 

Scott shows exactly how to choose your Ad Objective, how to Target a specific Audience, and how to set up your Budget and Schedule. 

Important thing to note: these are optimization/engagement ads, not ads to get sales. You run these ads to create interest in your product. 
Lesson 13: Launching Your First Facebook Ad – Method #2
Length: 06:45
Once again Scott uses a video to create interest for your product/store. This time he uses humor, hoping to gain a lot of shares/the video going viral. He finds a funny niche-related YouTube video and posts that as an ad.
Lesson 14: Getting Tons of Facebook Targeted Page Likes From Your Ads
Length: 02:15
Scott shows you how to find out who liked your ads on FB. You then use a Google Chrome extension tool to invite all of them to like your FB Page/store. 
Lesson 15: Order Fulfillment
Length: 02:46
Scott quickly takes you through the process of placing your orders with suppliers using Oberlo. 
Lesson 16: From 0 to 100 Orders: Facebook Ads Strategy
Length: 20:55
Using the data from your video ad, Scott shows you how to target specific regions based on the interactions you received. 
TOP TIP: Scott shows you the exact method he uses to scale his ads in terms of budget and timing. We finally get an insider tip that you won't easily find on a YouTube video.
Lesson 17: When to Form an LLC
Length: 2:26
Scott gives advice when to form an LLC. He also suggests a company you can use to register your LLC. 
Lesson 18: When & How To Outsource
Length: 03:17
Scott suggests when you should outsource some of your more elementary tasks to Virtual Assistants. He also suggests which site to use for finding a VA. 
Lesson 19: From 100 to 10,000+ Orders: Advanced FB Ads Strategy (LAAs)
Length: 05:59
WARNING: This is all theory-based. Scott doesn't actually show you that he has made over 10k orders... 

Scott suggests creating Lookalike Audiences once you've hit 100 orders and shows you a method to scale this campaign. The hope is that you will then hit 10k in orders.  

Scott does offer you a spreadsheet that sets out his (theoretical) scaling methods. 
Lesson 20: Manual Bidding
Length: 03:35
An insider tip lesson: Scott shows you the method he uses to bid manually on ads. 
Lesson 21: Converting To A Niche Store
Length: 02:26
Scott suggests you switch to a niche store as soon as your product does not sell any more.

Scott shows you how to buy a new domain and connect it to your existing Shopify store. You also need to create a new FB (business) Page. 
Lesson 22: When & How to Sell Your Store
Length: 01:32
In this video, Scott shows you what the Shopify Exchange Market and tells you when it's a good idea to sell your store. He does NOT show you how to go about listing your business though. 
Lesson 23: What You Can Do With Results To Take On Clients (Extra Passive Income!)
Length: 02:00
Once you have sales under the belt, this proves that your FB Ads and methods work. 

You can then coach small businesses how to run their FB Ads or run their ads for them.

This is all theory and discussed in 2 minutes, so no real guidance for would-be marketers to pursue this avenue of income. 
Lesson 24: Sam Walton’s Price/Steve Jobs Method
Length: 03:45
Scott feels that this should help you with the pricing structure of your one product.

Scott discusses his method, that is a combination of things learned from Sam Walton, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. 

It doesn't tell you how to price your product exactly though. You should see it as methods to consider when pricing your products.  
Lesson 25: Multiple Product Method
Length: 03:09
I don't quite get this lesson. Scott has only dealt with 1 product stores up to this point and now all of a sudden there are multiple products.

He does not give an indication of why you would have multiple products or when to incorporate them into your store... 

(This is also the worst video of the lot in terms of video quality and presentation.)
Lesson 26: Managing Online Reputation
Length: 02:28
Scott shows you how to manage your reputation from your phone. You basically check all the comments on your FB feeds and delete any negative comments.
Lesson 27: How to Get FREE Targeted Traffic
Length: 05:55
You can use this method when you don't have a huge ad budget or you want to test products. This is specifically for very niche related impulse-buy products, not generic everyday products like cellphone cases. 

Scott suggests you join niche specific groups and post in the group referring to your product.
Lesson 29: Outro
Length: 01:30
Scott thanks you for doing the course, wishes you good luck and tells you to keep studying. Good advice! He also suggests certain phone apps to use to make your life easier. 
You gain entry to Scott's Mentorship Facebook Group, where he claims to "Personally guide you and answer all your questions. You also have access to Weekly Q&A Live Calls

Is it a worthwhile course?

Scott is passionate and very enthusiastic about dropshipping. I would also be if I was able to buy this in my early twenties, thanks to dropshipping: 

Successful dropshipper (of yore), he might be. However. His course is very basic and MOST of the content (probably 95% of it), can be found for free on YouTube. 

So is the remaining 5% worth the $497 price tag?


Scott offers you insider info in showing you his exact method to scale his ads, but nowhere does he offer proof to his claims. 

You take his word that his methods work. But, potentially you could end up losing a lot of money on FB Ads. That however is the nature of the beast. What works one week, might not work the next. 

This is only one of the reasons I prefer Lead Generation. If you want to know more, click the green link below.

Review Conclusion

Scott made some lofty promises when advertising the course. Let's see if he ticked the boxes:

"My step-by-step videos are by far the easiest, most efficient, and least overwhelming way to get REAL fast results..."
- Easiest and least overwhelming? Tick.
- Most efficient? Debatable. It's not the most cost-effective. Thorough content? No. Methods? Solid, but not original in many aspects. 
- REAL fast results? His shop did show some sales over a few days. So, yes. But he didn't have many sales though.

"...REAL fast results in dropshipping by taking advantage of One-Product Stores crossed with The Freedom Funnel."
- Is a one product store an advantage? It does have advantages, yes. It also has disadvantages such as smaller target audiences and scope for growth. 

- Freedom funnel?? Scott's "Freedom Funnel" was nothing more than grouping a bunch of free apps together and slapping a label on it. I was actually very disappointed in this. It did not live up to the expectation... 

"I will build everything from scratch and allow you an inside look at my store and even my products to learn exactly how I did it."

- Tick. Full marks there.

"It's so simple in fact, that you can build your entire store, fan page, fill your inventory, and launch your first ad in less than 6 HOURS."
- True. It could take you 6 hours, but you really should spend a LOT more time on it. Proper product research alone should take you a couple of hours...

"It is even possible that you have your first sale in less than 24 HOURS."

- Possible yes. But highly unlikely...

In conclusion, the course is a bit of a hit-and-miss for me, especially since most of the course content can be found on YouTube for free. 

Simplified Shopify course logo

What I like:

  • To-the-point, no frills.
  • Actual methods/formulas that shows how much to spend and when to spend on your FB Ads. 
  • Contains FB Bidding strategy.

What I didn't like:

  • Scott does tend to move fast, which is a problem considering this course is for beginners. 
  • Most of the content can be found on YouTube (for free).
  • Questionable claims & promises.
  • Not the best online business model in 2024

Is dropshipping still relevant in 2024?

It's a question you should be asking yourself before starting on a dropshipping journey. 

Why do I say this?

Well, think of how many dropshipping millionaires you've heard of lately. When I say lately, I mean within the last year.

Not many

A couple of years ago there were at least ten a year. Now you're considered a great success if you make six figures in a year. 

The game has changed. 

So, what has changed?

For one, there's a lot more competition. And they all find their products in the same places and from the same suppliers. 

Secondly, FB Ads changed. Costs have gone up. And there's more competition trying to sell similar products. 

This makes it much more difficult for new dropshippers to cash in on instant success. There is no such thing anymore. 

Dropshipping success only comes with hard work and dedication. 

What is the alternative?

First, let me ask you some questions:
Want to follow in the footspteps of others?
Don't want to use your own initiative?
Don't want a long-term business that you can scale and grow year on year?

Well, then lead generation is probably not for you.

Of all the many online business models to choose from, lead gen is the best I've come across.

Each biz model has its own advantages and disadvantages, but lead gen outperforms the rest by far.

I should excite you over an opportunity like this, where not everyone is able to follow you with ease.

It should excite you to gain and enhance a new skill set. A skill set that is in constant demand. 
Lead gen offers some major advantages above dropshipping:
  • If you're looking for an opportunity with possibly the best ROI, the lead gen is the way to go.
  • The high entry level. Generating leads is a skill that takes time to master and apply. Unlike dropshipping, not everyone wants to do it, because there is a steep learning curve involved. This means way less competition! 
  • Once you've learned how to get your lead gen sites to rank to number one on Google, then it's a simple process to easily repeat it again and again.
  • An added bonus is: once you're ranked to number one, it takes very little effort to stay at Number One. (Unlike dropshipping that needs constant product research and new ad sets.)
  • You also get to meet real people. Form relationships with small business owners. And share in the joy when you help their businesses grow!
  • Local Lead Generation offers you a truly laptop lifestyle, where you have the FREEDOM to work from wherever, whenever. 
It makes me $50k per month whereas dropshipping used to earn me $10k per month at its peak.

There's no competition, really. 

Local lead generation is my hands-down number one business choice for 2020 and beyond. 
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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.