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William Rivera – eCom Degree University Review (Legit Course, but Dishonest Coach)

April 26, 2024

While working the counter at an LA Fitness, William Rivera, bored and frustrated with his job, came across an Instagram Ad while scrolling through his phone. He had been searching for direction; an exit strategy to release him from tethers and tedium of his underpaid 9-5. This particular ad would lead him to attend an eCommerce conference (for dropshipping & Amazon FBA) in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

A few years later - and after lots of trial and error, William Rivera found the eCommerce success he was looking for. The year was 2018 and the global eCommerce market was valued at a half trillion dollars (in 2021, digital sales surpassed 870 billion). There was a lot of money to be made - and William had securely positioned himself to get his slice of the pie.

He had, however, hit a profit ceiling and realized that the big money could be made, like the old proverb states, in teaching others how to fish, rather than simply selling the fish yourself (the real money is made showing folks how to create their own online business). Thus was born his flagship course, eCom Degree University, which boasts over a thousand members.

In our review of William Rivera's eCom Degree University, we'll answer the following questions:

  • Are dropshipping and Amazon FBA still a viable business model for online commerce? 
  • Who is William Rivera? Is eCom Degree University legit?
  • And of the thousands of other online business courses, is eCom Degree University the best course (despite its heavy price)?
  • Can William Rivera's success be easily replicated? Have students of eCom Degree University been successful?

Read on for our in-depth eCom Degree University course review!

Pros & Cons of William Rivera's eCom Degree University


Lots of emphasis on how to learn from your competition, especially regarding product sourcing, website design, ad optimization, product SEO, and pricing.

He encourages his students to use common sense and social media awareness to find products, rather than upselling his students with expensive affiliate programs.

William Rivera is legitimately a laid back, thoughtful, and friendly person. He has a relatable and easing communication style, which is often lacking with other course creators, who prefer a more aggressive and pushy disposition. 

William relies on success stories, rather than flashy marketing or making grandiose, unrealistic promises. 


William oversimplifies the dropshipping business model for marketing purposes. To be a profitable seller requires a time investment of much more than "a few hours a week."

The costs of eCom Degree University add up quick. If you follow the program, expect to spend at least $3-5k on startup costs. William is correct: With Amazon FBA and dropshipping, it takes money to make money, but there are cheaper (and more effective) start up methods.

There are seminars led by William, but if you need help, you're likely going to get someone else. The only way you're going to be in touch with him is if you're successful. Those who struggle are often ignored, or swept under the bus.


eCom Degree University costs $1997. There is also a starter program priced at $84. The program was increased from $997 to its current price in early June.

Refund Policy

30 Day money-back guarantee, but only if you show proof that you've completed the entire course, have set up a working FBA seller account (or 3rd party dropshipping store), and have spent at least $500 on Facebook ads. The policy also states that all refunds are at Williams discretion. The refund policy, despite what it says, is not guaranteed. 


eCom Degree University was founded in 2018


William's online reputation is pretty good. His internal community always seems to have glowing things to say, but his course is rather small and he's yet to muster any conversation on public forums. I was unable to find any examples of people criticizing his course.

He's also caught the attention of the Atlanta entrepreneurship community and has made many appearances on local business-related YouTube channels and press outlets. William is clearly respected in the digital marketing community of Atlanta, Georgia (and the wider online business community) and is consistently met with respect and enthusiasm.

Who is the William Rivera's eCom Degree University For?

eCom Degree University is for people who want to start their own work-from-home, or online business, using the Amazon FBA and dropshipping business models.

The dropshipping and Amazon FBA eCommerce business models are attractive due to their potential for:

  • passive income 
  • ease of scalability 
  • relatively low barrier of entry 
  • broad range of workable produce niches
  • flexibility (online business means work-from-home)

About the Author (Our Experience With Digital Commerce)

I have over a decade of experience in building my own six figure dropshipping and Amazon FBA businesses (I've spent over $100,000 in ad spend alone). These online business models are as rewarding as they are frustrating, but courses like William Rivera's eCom Degree University tend to ignore the glaring and unavoidable pitfalls and frustrations that you will certainly encounter if you choose to pursue them as your entrepreneurial focus.

That doesn't mean, however, that they are not worth working towards. This review intends to educate you on the merits of eCom Degree University. But we'll also be providing a concise, yet thorough analysis of Amazon FBA and dropshipping as profitable online business models.

The most valuable asset you have as an entrepreneur is knowledge.
Keep reading!

Who is William Rivera?

William Rivera is a successful Shopify Dropshipper and Amazon FBA seller, who is best known for his digital eCommerce course, Ecom Degree University, which specializes in dropshipping and Amazon FBA. He founded the program in 2018 and has over 1000 currently enrolled students.

A flashy YouTube Ad would pique his curiosity in dropshipping, but it wasn't until attending an eCommerce conference in Atlanta that he saw real examples of success (which he felt he could replicate). He started funneling all of his extra cash from his job at LA fitness and spent the next few years sowing the seeds of his his future business.

At best, he was breaking even... that is, until he stumbled across a pair of bracelets marketed for couples. The Instagram ad had appeared multiple times on his feed, meaning they were clearly making sales. William located the product on AliBaba and would impulsively make a bulk purchase (at less than $1 per unit). He marketed the product on Instagram and made over $45,000 in less than three months.

“So the margins were crazy,” William states in a YouTube Video. “...and the fist thing I thought to myself was, ‘Wow, I can create a website and just sell it way cheaper the competition and I can make a better site.’ So that’s exactly what I did. I made a website with Shopify and then I started running Facebook ads for my bracelet. Instagram Story ads to be exact.”

William Rivera  //  Founder of eCom Degree University

For more details on William's entrepreneurial journey, check out the video below.

On Instagram, William has over 408K followers but he hasnt' posted anything since August 8, 2022. 

Up next, we'll discuss the legitimacy of eCom Degree University.

William Rivera's Secret: 4 Lessons That Made Him $25,000,000 Before Turning 25 Years Old

  • Seek Mentorship: William Rivera emphasizes the importance of not being a "lone wolf" especially when just starting in the business. He suggests seeking mentorship from those who have already achieved significant success. This will help avoid pitfalls and focus on strategies that work. 
  • Maintain Focus: He warns against "shiny object syndrome" and emphasizes the importance of focusing on one endeavor at a time. William shares that both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have this successful trait. 
  • Build a Team: Having the right team in place is essential in scaling the business from one million to ten million dollars. He emphasized the importance of shifting from solely running the business to designating different roles to reliable employees.
  • Winner Mindset: William believes that any business can succeed as long as you have the right mindset. He said success depends on the individual's persistence and ability to overcome challenges. He also said that blaming market saturation is often an excuse for personal shortcomings and not the real reason of failure. 

What's not mentioned in the video: Contrary to what William claims, a study by CB Insights found that the top reason for business failure is the lack of need for their products or services. This is true for 45% of the businesses the study surveyed. Other top reasons include capital shortage and incompetency. 

Is eCom Degree University a Scam or Legit?

eCom Degree University is a legitimate course that, if completed, will provide you with a baseline skill set to start your own work-from-home eCommerce business. This includes a replicable step by step walkthrough of how William made over $350,000 with his own eCommerce Shopify store. The course covers Amazon FBA, Shopify dropshipping, and covers Facebook, Instagram, and Google advertising methods.

William spends a lot of time bragging about how much money he makes off of his students...

Under a fresh alias, William launched a new program in 2020 aimed at course creators. He uses this twitter to brag about how much money he's making off of his students...

What are People Saying About William Rivera and eCom Degree University?

According to William Rivera, Ecom Degree University has over 1000 students and he is quick to highlight the success stories. That being said, I do believe that he has students and that some of them are successful. 

In the video below, eCom Degree student, Derrick, tells how he made $10,000 in 3 weeks. Keep in mind, this is incredibly tough to do. 4-6 months is the typical length of time it takes for products to sell - and even then, it can take 6-12 months to start turning a profit.

He uses the Amazon FBM model (fulfillment by merchant, which only 9% of Amazon sellers use) aka he purchases, stores, and ships item stock himself. However, to quality for 2-day shipping, you have to prove to amazon that you can fulfill orders within 2 days over a sustained period of 90 days (and without 2-day shipping, there is no way you can compete). 2 day shipping for a small seller is oppressively expensive. It means he has to be operating with seriously large bulk orders...

The FBM model also has less SEO priority, meaning your listing will likely get beat out by FBA items (the Amazon Basics buy box is tough to compete with). Derrick is selling name brand coffee and hand sanitation wipes... Generic items are often sold via FBA, whereas FBM might be preferable for a name-brand company that wants control over its fulfillment (this is also something that typically only bigger sellers and brands can afford.

You should use Amazon FBM if...

  • Your products sell slowly (aka expensive, heavy, or niche products)
  • You can afford a reliable and fast logistics / shipping network 
  • You are capable of providing excellent customer support
  • You can absorb the profit losses on returns (which can be as much as 15%)
  • You want more control over customer experience

You should use Amazon FBA if...

  • You do not have, or cannot afford, fast and reliable logistics
  • You sell a lot of inexpensive, or bulk products
  • You want Amazon to assume the headache of customer service and returns
  • More often than not, it's more expensive to fulfill your own products (FBA is usually cheaper)

The fact that he is using FBM doesn't really make sense for selling products like name Brand Coffee and Sanitation Wipes...learn more in our full Amazon FBA vs FBM guide.

A quick Amazon search will show what he's up against:

So Derrick, online business entrepreneur and brand new independent Amazon FBM seller, buys bulk orders of Coffee and Sanitation wipes, decides to pay for and handle logistics, storage, and customer service all by himself, and then somehow beats out behemoth brands like Amazon, Lysol, Clorox, Starbucks, and Death Wish, making himself $10,000 in 3 weeks?

It doesn't add up.

But let's just say that the claims in this video are real...

That would mean Derrick enrolled in eCom Degree University and then, guided by the coaching of William Rivera, proceeded to build an online business in the worst possible way.

Yep. Sure.

So are there other (non-affiliated) testimonials?

There are probably a dozen affiliated testimonials listed on William's YouTube channel & website. Non-promoted testimonials, however, are completely non-existent.

There is, however, a vacant subreddit titled "/r/WilliamRiveraSCAM."

He clearly ticked someone off. 

Usually when a course creator has over 1000 enrolled students, you can find at least a few folks posting about it online. But there is nothing out there, which more often than not, means that this is a dead or dying course.

I reached out to about a dozen students (sourced from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook comments) who said they signed up for eCom Degree University. I even offered them $25 via Venmo if they replied, but thus far, after a month, I have yet to get a response from a single person. All I asked for was a sentence or two on whether or not they were happy with the course. It leads me to believe that these comments are from either fake accounts, or they were paid for via comment farms.

How Do You Make Money via eCom Degree University? 

Dropshipping & Amazon FBA Online Business Models

Students of William Rivera's eCom Degree University make money via dropshipping and Amazon FBA. While I'm sure you're already familiar with the business models, we'll go over them briefly here.

Dropshipping involves selling stock (typically purchased as-needed from wholesalers or directly from manufacturers). 

For instance, if you were a dropshipper, you'd have a site that you sell various products on, but you don't actually own any stock. Instead, when someone makes a purchase via your site, the order is fulfilled via a 3rd party partnership (like AliExpress).

Amazon FBA is similar, except in most cases, you're pre-purchasing stock, but storing it at an Amazon warehouse and using their logistics network to fulfill and ship the goods.

Both business models are marketed by eCommerce coaches as get-rich-quick and/or passive income opportunities. Rather, they are infinitely nuanced, time-consuming, and have as many, if not more, risks than rewards for new sellers. Less than 2% of amazon sellers end up making a profit, but more on that later.

I have over 7 tumultuous years of experience with both Dropshipping and Amazon FBA. If you're interested in a no bullcrap approach to getting started (and don't feel like having another eCommerce course shilled to you) then check out those links.

Do Students of eCom Degree University Actually Make Money?

Do people make money via Dropshipping & Amazon FBA? Yes, absolutely. They are completely legitimate business models. William Rivera's students, however, well... it's hard to say.

His testimonials page is pretty barren and he doesn't show proof that any of these are real. The eCom Degree Mastermind chat group seems pretty convincing, though. One screenshot in particular shows 93 members (only 907 less members than he claims on his front page), but it does seem like some of his students are finding success. That's literally the only screenshot that shows real names. The rest are texts, or are AliExpress screenshots, which given his track record, could be easily fabricated or taken from somewhere else.

Here's the thing. You can totally make money in eCommerce, but there may be better (and cheaper) alternatives out there. We'll cover those shortly.

Risks Involved With the Dropshipping and Amazon FBA online business Models?

There are a lot of risks involved with Dropshipping and Amazon FBA.

First off, competition is fierce. With FBA you're going head to head with Amazon Basics and major Chinese suppliers (who can surely sell the same goods way cheaper than you can). Plagiarism is a big issue. Say you found a hidden gem item. If it sells well, literally in months thousands of other sellers will be offering the same thing, but at a cheaper price.

The money ain't passive, either... Expect to put in the work. From finding suppliers and product research, to SEO, web design, and ad development, if you want to be successful, know that this is a full time job. Dropshipping is heavily dependent on blogging, too. If you want your photography dropshipping site to get traffic, know that you have to convince Google that your site is better than the other 100,000 photo blogs & eCom stores out there. And that means you have develop lots of not just lengthy, but quality content.

The reason this site shows up at the top of search results is because we put in a lot of work (and hundreds of thousands of dollars) every year to develop content that Google deems as "front page quality." 

You better like spending money on ads, because they aren't cheap - and the price is going up. Things like Apple blocking Facebook ads only makes the problem worse. Also, ads take a lot of thought, testing, and time and all of that costs money. When you're only profiting a few % per sale, those ads can quickly turn into losses at the end of the year.

Here's a comprehensive and honest pros and cons article for Amazon FBA that you should definitely check out. 

Up next, let's take a look at what you get in William's online business course.

William Rivera's eCom Degree University Course Highlights

Here is what's included in William Rivera's eCom Degree University

  • Dropshipping

  • Amazon FBA

  • Community

  • How to set up your dropshipping store
  • How to make a successful Shopify store
  • Guide to fulling dropshipping orders
  • Product images that convert
  • Tips for finding hidden gem products in any niche
  • How to build your brand credibility and awareness
  • Tips for creating ads that convert across all social media platforms
  • The best path for scaling your online retail business
  • Access to new and updated content
  • Instagram influencer marketing techniques
  • How to use Google Ads and Facebook ads
  • How to find great suppliers
  • Google Analytics for dummies
  • Shopify Store SEO techniques
  • How to make a great IG story ad

Conclusion: William Rivera's eCom Degree Univeristy is Not Recommended 

William Rivera plays a great front. He's friendly, knowledgable, and put together a solid presentation. He has had some success as a seller and his online course (at least according to what he lists) covers some decent ground.

But the obvious lack of transparency should make anyone consider other options. The reality is that there are better digital marketing courses, for less money, with highly regarded coaches.

Your money is hard earned, so do your research. Here are some of our best reviewed Amazon courses if you're interested (and no, we're not earring an affiliate commission on any of these). 

Are the Dropshipping & Amazon FBA Business Models Still Relevant in 2022?

Both Amazon FBA and Dropshipping are still totally relevant and viable options for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own online businesses. 

Just keep in mind that starting any business from scratch is difficult. You need to have the right attitude, knowledge, and be extremely hardworking and driven. On top of that, you also need to have the financial safety net and enough startup capital. 

You'll more than likely encounter some pitfalls like all entrepreneurs. But remember that it's necessary and inevitable. Failure is only really failure when you don't learn from your mistakes. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that behind their success were a series of hard lessons they successfully overcame.  

Dropshipping and Amazon FBA are difficult businesses with high failure rates. 9 out of 10 of those who venture end up closing their virtual stores. Most of them quit because the market is too saturated, the business is difficult to scale, and the margins are slim (which means you need to work harder to earn more).

Dropshipping and Amazon FBA are not passive income businesses. You need to constantly innovate and research products that will sell profitably in your virtual stores. If you are looking for a more hands-off business, I recommend local lead generation.  

Local lead generation builds sites and ranks them on Google. They are as valuable and billboards in prime locations in the physical world, and you are the digital landlord. These sites generate leads for local service providers like plumbers, tree care, and towing companies. The goal is to build many digital assets and generate long-term passive income from them. 

These assets don't need much maintenance, unlike virtual stores. So, you can enjoy time freedom while being financially free. 

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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.

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  1. Hi Ippei,

    I just read your post here. I have been watching a lot of Will's videos on youtube and IG. Then attended his free workshop on Sunday. Still did not sign up with his basic course for $1.5K. I am a brand new e-comm entrepreneur (got laid off from my $200K/year corporate finance job for tech startup and now interested in exploring entrepreneurship instead of rushing right back to finding a job).

    Been trying Amazon wholesale FBA for about little over 1 week now. Took everything I learned freely from Will and trying to apply it on my own in the real world first prior to committing to spending money with him (as I'd like to think I am smart enough to figure it out on my own). However, after 1 week, I realized it is a lot harder to source and find profitable products. There are websites and softwares out there to help analyze each product (like AMZScout, Helium10, etc.). Will's pitches made it seemed like we can all make money on Wholesale FBA easily… I found that is not the case at all as margin seemed to be pretty thin and a lot of top selling brands don't want to work with new unknown sellers like myself or they simply don't deal with Amazon online reseller. After emailing like almost 100 brands, I am barely getting a couple positive responses back.

    I am not sure if there are any easy path to generating north of $500K/year sales (I think that's what I might need in order to replace my $200K job salary). At this point, I am a bit desperate and thinking of signing up for his Elite coaching program which costs $5K but they seemed to boast lots of students' success from that program (I don't know how to verify that).

    What do you think I should do? Throw in the towel and join them? As of now, I got Sabre the best seller security brand to say yes and give me a wholesale account. That's the only glimpse of hope I got left before either quit and go right back to finding a job again or join Will's elite mentorship program and see if that might unblock my current struggle (maybe they do have some secret sauce really) haha.

    Any tips and pointers from you would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey John, there is no easy path to generating $500K/year in sales. Going the ecommerce route is going to be difficult. You have to spend thousands on inventory and ads. I highly recommend going the path of creating your own digital assets through local lead generation. Your initial investment is much less than if you did dropshipping or Amazon FBA. You also dictate what you get paid each month and you have all the control. Look into the local lead generation training here at

  2. If you have an I.G account I can show you what William Rivera is trying to say,He’s trying to say if I could invest $300 to him he’s flip it to 3,000 right then & there I knew something wasn’t right,I just want another company to invest and see the results with him if it works then he’s legit if not he just getting his bag and lining ppl up.

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