Disclosure: I do not know every detail of what the automation programs offer. My thoughts and recommendations are based on all publicly provided information (Youtube videos, blogs and respective websites).
Amazon automation… The term picking up steam as it’s promoted more by Amazon and marketing gurus nowadays.
As someone who started selling on Amazon in 2013, I’ll share my real thoughts on the new trend of “Amazon automation” and hope it helps with your decision.
What you’ll learn
Why should you listen to me?
I’m just another internet stranger. The difference is that I don’t sell a course, and have no interest in selling courses. I share my business journey and recently reached $5M in sales. I can smell Amazon BS a mile away.
If you go through my monthly income reports, you’ll understand how it’s different from everyone else out there. No one gives you detailed business knowledge, information, real struggles, as well as wins that I openly share.
Because most Youtubers or Amazon gurus make money from YouTube or courses or something other than Amazon.
I run Gorilla ROI, but it’s a tool created to run my Amazon operations first and foremost. It’s also a tool focused on sophisticated sellers, not a newbie or gullible people. Our focus is on improving and automating operations.
In case you’re wondering, here are some of my school of hard knocks credentials:
- I blew a $70k loan by overpaying an agency when I started
- We sell lower-priced products that every guru says to stay away from
- I’ve had one of our best selling products ripped off by Chinese suppliers
- Our Amazon product photography were copied on other listings, Alibaba
- I personally visit and audit all my Chinese factories
- I import from Asia, Europe and also manufacture in USA
- We recently hit our $5M revenue goal and going for $10M
Amazon automation… the new trend?
When I first heard about it, I thought it was referring to Amazon sellers coming up with ways to automate aspects of their Amazon business. Like using something like our Amazon data connector to sync Amazon data into Google Sheets.
Like how burger shops are using robots to flip burgers to automate a process for an ecommerce business like Amazon.
Essentially creating processes and systems to do things like:
- automating data downloads
- automating review requests
- automating inventory tracking
- automating sending POs to suppliers
Because that’s what automation is. Use non-human processes to perform the work. In addition, you can also create your AI model to automate things outside Amazon. For this, you’ll need to establish a good data labeling process so that your model can learn it efficiently
But the term has been redefined to mean something else now.
If you read this article promoting Kevin David’s automation service and this one from Just one dime, it’s clear that what the gurus are now touting as Amazon Automation is really a full-service Amazon agency generating consistent income that starts and runs Amazon businesses for people by charging a massive upfront cost and then charging a recurring profit-sharing structure.
The real beauty is their marketing. Great marketers.
- They show people how they were able to generate $100k to $500k revenue on Amazon
- Create an Agency company
- Get clients by advertising it as an “investment” (because people get excited about “investment opportunities” much more than “services”)
- Lock you in for life to their services
- Build their own cash flow by taking a slice of profits
- No brainer for the agency because they are paid no matter what. If it works, the client also can do well, but takes time to recoup the money and break even.
Is this really automation?
Let’s say you want to get into the real estate business.
Every waking minute, you hear about how you must get into real estate before it’s too late.
- You are busy with your current job
- You don’t know or have time to learn everything about real estate.
There’s so much to learn about real estate.
- Type of real estate
- and so on
But you really, really, really want to be in real estate.
You find a friend who runs a construction company and knows the ins and outs of everything in real estate construction and real estate investing.
His proposal is that he will do everything for you to construct a building that will generate cash flow.
- find the location
- determine the best type of property to build
- handle all the construction
- decide all the design elements
- choose the materials to use
- handle permits and zoning and other compliance
- and so on
Once the property is built, he will become the management company and take a 15% cut from gross profit.
Your role is to:
- fund all the upfront building costs for permits, matierals, consulting
- pay him for his time for anything he does
- give input on smaller details
This example is exactly what the automation services claim to be.
Is this automation?
More importantly, if your real estate friend is SO confident in his skills, why doesn’t he do everything himself and keep 100% of the profits???
Full-service, not automation
The proper word for this business model is a full-service agency, and that’s pushing it. Actually calling it autopilot is better than automation.
“Amazon automation” has now been converted into a marketing term (social media marketing) that means full-service agency. That’s my only gripe about how it’s being marketed.
My drawing of how it works.
I call it autopilot because there are a lot of moving parts that involve people and will always require people to run it. But if everything is set up well, the product is a winner, and PPC is doing its thing to bring in sales, it is easy to put the business on autopilot.
Is Amazon automation a scam?
Based on what I’ve explained up to this point, is “Amazon automation” a scam?
No, it’s not.
But there is no automation. It’s just a full-service agency.
Check out my real-world calculations below where I show you the different scenarios of what it really costs.
Quick thoughts on Kevin David Amazon automation program
Update: After looking more into Kevin David's claims on his videos, ads and other marketing channels, I've changed my mind. Yes, his claims are a scam. He is flat-out lying and "guaranteeing" huge returns. This is illegal. RUN.
Update: As I mentioned above in red, ANYONE making income claims is a scam and the FTC has also released this notice of their scam. Here’s the full link.
Take note that ALL such “done for you” services are a get-rich-quick scheme for them, not you. Back to the original article.
Nothing against Kevin David. He is a savvy marketer. One of the best I’ve seen with a huge following. His advertising and demographic targeting are superb. His ad spend
must IS huge, because if he can get a sale for 33cents on the dollar (3.33x return) on ad spend, of course, he will pour fuel on the fire to scale it.
That’s his business model – marketing – Not Amazon.
I’ve watched his webinars and sales pitches to sell his course and the longer you watch it, the more you want to get it. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you are a good salesman – good.
Who doesn’t want all the Ferraris and penthouses he showcases? Marketing 101 for get-rich-quick schemes.
Any time you see penthouses, Lambos, and Ferraris in an ad, get the heck out of there fast. Or you’ll lose money faster than the Lambo.
A few years back, a big Amazon course company got hammered by the FTC and settled for $102M for making false and illegal claims of being able to generate $5k-$10k within 30 days.
100% against the law to make such claims, but that’s what people wanted to hear and they took the bait. They still do. There is a high chance you are reading this because of the “guarantee” he claims. Which is total BS.
And that’s probably why many FBA course sellers are now pivoting to an agency model of creating Amazon businesses for you.
If you watch his sales videos, there are outlandish (and illegal) claims being made about how you can profit some crazy amount in the first few months. Still the same old claims about how much you can earn.
But it works because there are so many lazy and scared people looking for easy money. Shame on the buyers for not bothering to sit down, think about it and ask some basic common sense business questions.
- If it was that easy, why wouldn’t he be doing it himself?
- What is his current Amazon revenue?
- Why do it for others for an upfront cost, when he should be able to 10x the amount doing it himself?
- Why take only $30K and spend 8 months creating an Amazon store for others, when he should be able to generate $300K each month (like us) and exponentially grow it with his super skills?
If you really, really want to find a full-service Amazon agency, I can introduce you to honest and ethical ones that are run by very smart and sharp people.
Update: I've talked to some agency friends and they mentioned they don't offer a full-service program where they take someone from nothing to something. Why? They want to work with people who are committed and already have their product in hand. If this sounds like you, THEN I can direct you to a stellar agency that can do everything on Amazon for you.
Quick thoughts on Just one dime “Done for you”
Update: Another update from someone else going through what I wrote here.
Update 2: Just One Dime has filed for bankruptcy, and they also scammed people extra $20k from knowingly before filing bankruptcy.
only main problem I have with “Done for you” Just One Dime service is how they position it as an investment – when it is not. That’s their hook line and sinker in attracting people.
Rather than calling you a client, you are “their investor”.
They’ve used marketing tactics 101 to turn it into something that you, the client, must “qualify” for. Scarcity tactic to drive people into a frenzy.
At least they don’t make false claims like making X amount in X days. They give broad ranges of revenue that are harder to crack down on. But they clearly insinuate it. Do this type of marketing in a regulated financial sector and you will be fined heavily or end up in jail.
Imagine a fund manager going around saying that if you invest your money with him, you’ll be generating 20-30% returns in a matter of months.
There was somebody who did.
His name is Bernie Madoff…
It’s just wild to see an Amazon agency talk like this.
You would love to get 10k-100K monthly return on your investment in months instead of waiting for years… You want to diversify your investments on an opportunity that can bring you 20% to 30% annual returns.Just one dime
Since when did Amazon Agencies position and promote their services as investments?
Other Automation Done For You programs
If you haven’t figured it out yet and STILL have your heart set on doing it, then go for it. But do it with the expectation of losing 100% of your money.
Read the comments of ALL the other programs and how these same people get fined, or shut down, and then they create a new LLC with a different name and do the same thing.
The greedy fall victim to the promises, they run with your money, rinse, repeat.
It’s ludicrous to the point where the new scam or fad is to create a “done for you XXXX”. There is one for e-commerce stores, youtube channels, shopify stores and so on.
These companies will supposedly create all these businesses or income streams and then hand if over.
Know the basics of selling on Amazon
As a seller, here’s a basic list of what is involved with selling on Amazon.
Check and double-check the full-service programs offer all of this at a minimum.
- Product research
- Contacting and negotiating with suppliers from Alibaba
- Ordering and logistics to Amazon
- Amazon Seller Central set up
- Creating listings
- Copywriting and SEO
- Photos and images
- PPC set up and management
- Amazon customer service
- Inventory management
- Ongoing management and listing optimization
- Quality Control
Yes, this is a LOT of work.
If you have zero business experience, you WILL be overwhelmed.
If you have no time, you’ll NEVER commit to creating a business.
If you have tried selling on Amazon yourself and you failed, you know how HARD it is. It’s not like you flip a switch and go from $0 to $50k profit in one month. Don’t believe anyone that says so.
But is a full service worth paying initially $60K to 80K for?
It depends entirely on who you are and what you want to achieve.
Good fit profiles for a full-service Amazon agency
There is definitely a group of people who will benefit from this type of full-service agency. Here are the 4 main types that will benefit from a full-service Amazon automation agency.
1. Busy people who want to build another income stream with little effort
You work a 9-5 job and enjoy it. But interested in extra income streams. You have family and can’t dedicate 4-5 hours to learn everything. Having someone else do all the work makes sense.
2. Scared people who aren’t able to take action
You’ve been talking about wanting to sell on Amazon for years. You’ve already spent thousands on courses, but you are still in the same spot as 2 years ago. Having someone with experience handle it for you is your cup of tea.
3. People looking for a “passive” role in running a business
You enjoy your lifestyle and while you may not be working a 9-5 job, you also don’t want to start working 80 hours a week. You prefer everything to be passive and look for passive income. Log in to your account, check your balance and break out a smile.
4. People who have tried to sell on Amazon, with limited success
You are currently selling or have sold previously with limited success. Competitors ate your lunch. You want to try again but are scared of failure.
Bad fit profiles
1. Strong DIY or proactive people
It’s all about letting someone else 100% control and do it. Don’t get in their way. You’ll likely become frustrated.
2. Don’t have $100k ready to go
If you do everything yourself, you can get it all done with $10k-20k. If you use a full-service agency, you will need at least $100k to bankroll it and keep things going.
So what’s the catch?
There’s only 1 catch.
To lock you in as a customer for as long as possible – hopefully for life.
That’s the goal of any agency. To keep a client for as long as possible.
You see, the more passive you are, the longer you will pay an agency to do the work for you. Regardless of how easy the work becomes, as the business matures. Think they will teach you how to run your FBA store?
Why would they give up a sweet % of the gross profit for doing minimal work?
The longer you stay, the more they will make with minimal effort. This chart will reoccur for each new product you launch.
But on the flip side, you are paying for someone else’s experience and wealth of knowledge. That’s not cheap, and it shouldn’t be. But should it be 15% of gross profit? Ouch.
To become good at selling on Amazon, you need at least 2-3 years to figure things out. To become a master, expect to spend at least 5-10 years. I’ve been selling since 2012 and I know many things, but I still keep learning every day.
If someone asked me to work for them for $100/hr, I’d reject it because I know my value is 10x that amount.
That’s what you are paying for, but at the same time, you’ll never learn it for yourself and that is who these Amazon guru agencies are targeting.
Like our content? Follow our journey to reach $10M in sales
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Kevin David’s Done for you fees
The fee for the Amazon FBA Automation Emerald is $30k. The fee for the Amazon FBA Semi-Automation Gold is $10k and the fee for the Amazon FBA Done With You Silver is $5k.
There is also an additional option for Emerald members to have us continue to run their business for them once their Emerald launch service comes to an end. This is called “Emerald Elite Membership”. The fee for the Emerald Elite Membership is 10% of Net Revenue from the sales generated by the Store for the preceding month, or $500 per month whichever is larger. “Net Revenue” means (i) all revenue less (ii) inventory cost, returns, prep costs, shipping fees, and sales tax. – source
- Inventory costs not included
- Creative design costs not included
- No maintenance cost
- 10% of gross profit
Just so you know, a red flag for me showing their inexperience is their definition of “net revenue”. Net Revenue is simply revenue minus refunds.
They really means adjusted EBITDA or adjusted operating profit… This is basic finance and business terms that they should know if they are building businesses for others.
Just one dime done for you fees
- 10-15% of gross profit
- $30k service fee cost
- $10k fee for the first product
- Creative design costs not included
- Inventory cost not included
- Maintenance costs not included (I thought this was included as part of the service. Guess not.)
Using our sliding scale, if the product is less than 30% margin, then our 15% revenue cut drops to 10%. If the product is less than 20% margin, we only get 5% revenue. If the product is less than 10% margin we get nothing on the sale.
No matter how you cut it, the investor always makes as much as or more than Just One Dime on the sale.– Just one dime – Seth
The REAL numbers and calculations
I’ll use Just one dime’s projected numbers to share my thoughts and where there’s some clever sleight of hand to misdirect you into thinking it’s easier than it really is.
Error #1 – False gross profits
From the start to month 6 when the store started selling, the assumption is an immediate 52% gross profit.
Don’t believe it, as the spreadsheet above is a hyped up best-case scenario. Even in one of the videos, he explicitly says that one of his newly launched stores currently having sold $400k YTD (not per month) is running at 22% gross profit margins.
Since the screenshot is showing a YTD sales number, not a monthly number, it is very likely that this store has been losing money or breaking even for at least 6 months.
In any case, expect your new store to stay below 50% for at least 6 months. This changes the numbers drastically and throws the $10k – 50K return out the window.
Error #2 – Unrealistic and wrong assumptions
Manufacturing and shipping of 15% sound about right, BUT what about the inventory that is not sold and therefore still sitting on the balance sheet under assets? Who funds this inventory? Total inventory cost is never 15% all up.
If the landed cost is 15% of sales, then expect to have another 15-20% of sales sitting in Amazon’s warehouse.
Amazon refund of only 0.2%?? Even the best products get a refund rate of at least 0.5% to 1%. Other private label products will see refunds of at least 1-3% on the low end. Many products have refund rates above 5%.
Instead of a $3888 refund fee, it should be $58,320. What a difference of $55k… If your accountant told you that you have to pay $4000, but then at the end of the year says “oops sorry I meant $60,000” are you going to reply with “oh cool, thanks for the update”? If you watch Shark Tank or any other investor show, they get upset if you don’t know basic numbers – like this case.
This doesn’t apply to just the refund rate calculations. PPC is clearly understated too.
Even if expensive products have lower PPC costs, assuming a 5% PPC ACoS is ridiculously low.
If you aren’t selling national huge brands that don’t need much marketing, your PPC cost is going to be at least 10% for expensive private label products.
Coming from a spreadsheet and numbers nerd like me, the way they’ve created their calculator is basic. Too simple considering their expertise. Looks like it was made by someone who hasn’t run an Amazon store before.
In any case, I based my adjustments on their top-line figures. See the spreadsheet below or use this link.
I also included a basic calculation if you were to do it yourself and the amount you’d save. I made it as optimistic as possible, which means the normal scenario is going to be much tougher.
Error #3 – Cash flow analysis not included
If it’s an investment, Just One Dime should also provide a cash flow analysis. Seth said many times in his video to run the numbers.
So here I am.
Rookies don’t think about the cost of reinvesting. The faster a product sells, the more money you need to fund it.
If you purchased 1000 yoyo’s and they are flying off the shelf, you need to double or triple your inventory. The initial inventory of $24k is not going to cut it. You need the money to order 24×3 = $72K.
The faster the snowball, the more cash you need. This is what they don’t tell you. It’s how so many “successful” businesses go bankrupt because they don’t have the money to feed the monster.
Here’s a look at two scenarios using their assumptions.
One is for a selling price of $100 and the other is priced at $130.
- Year-end sales of $2M
- 500 sales in the first month of launch
- 45% month over month growth
- 30% deposit to order goods
- factor in lead times
- you giveaway 30 units per month (trust me, it will be MUCH higher)
This is more of a real-life scenario than what was provided by JOD or anyone else. I haven’t included the 10% or 15% profit taking into this. So it’s even more optimistic.
Here’s how the cash flow works out.
Notice the red numbers. That’s the amount of cash you need in the first 12 months to keep things going.
Your bankroll needs to be:
- + one time costs
- + profit taking fee
- + other service charges
- +$60k-$70k to keep it moving at the rate they are promoting
- = over $100K bankroll to fund and keep a $2M store running
Sure you can let everything go out of stock and keep sending in small quantities of inventory at a time for only what you can afford.
But that only eats more into your margins, increases ad spend, giveaways and more.
That 75% ROI they were promoting? No way.
You certainly build equity, but you won’t be taking cash out of the business like JOD will be.
Error #4 – Taxes are not included
Taxes are real. You end up paying the taxes.
In the spreadsheet, it’s completely left out and makes everything look rosier than it is.
Amazon pays out the money every 2 weeks which you will pay taxes on.
Error #5 – You are not an investor
Notice the increase in the number of ads on FB and social media platforms increase for “Amazon Automation”?
Just be careful. Don’t be like this guy.
An investor is someone who pays to take ownership of someone else’s business or join a partnership.
Paying someone 100% for their services, all the upfront costs, all the inventory cost, all the fees and taxes that come with it is not an investment.
Sure, you are “investing” in your future, but so is taking a college course.
What you are doing is starting a business and hiring out 100% of your business to a 3rd party.
Let’s call it what it is.
The cost structure
Upfront, there is a lot of work to do. There is no denying it. But you pay for that service 100%. Once the business is up and running, the work required drastically reduces to the point where you only need to put in 1 hour a day max if you have one product only.
But you continue to pay 10-15% recurring gross profit for this.
That’s the only catch. There is nothing illegal, it’s not a scam. But if they guarantee returns, then it becomes a scam.
If you looked at the spreadsheet and my DIY adjusted scenario, you are paying an agency $200k to do the work for you in the first year only.
The higher the sales, the more you’ll give out.
Are you ok with this?
The difference between a 100% hands-off approach and a slightly more hands-on approach is $200k. Half a home in many countries and states.
Think what you can do with $200k.
Major companies fight and negotiate over 1c because they understand how big of an impact it has.
If the store grows bigger, then you are now giving up $400k in the next year.
Now you can see what the catch is.
It’s a no-brainer for the agency as it’s autopilot money once it is set up and you can’t get out of it.
Alternative to Amazon Automation agencies
Update: This is the best option if you are serious about wanting to run an Amazon business and you have the money. 1. Make an offer on an FBA business for sale 2. hire an expert Amazon person (like me) who knows how to thoroughly audit the FBA business to make sure it’s real – easy 3. get your CPA to verify the transactions and make sure it’s not a fraud – easy 4. buy the FBA business from a platform – easy to medium 5. hire an agency to run the store for you – easy (I have recommendations)
Here are some alternative ways to create your own store where you can pocket a big chunk for yourself.
- Learn yourself – very hard and time-consuming. Not impossible, but doable.
- Buy an existing FBA business from online brokerage sites. Everyone and their neighbor seems to be selling one nowadays. There are lots of quality businesses being sold nowadays. Hire an Amazon consultant and CPA and ask them to vet the business.
- Act like a general contractor where you assign the work to different people or agencies.
- Hire an expert who can do everything for a $100k salary – It’s the exact same thing but you have to manage the person and be more involved.
- Hire an expert for a fixed upfront cost ($10K) to get everything running only. Then hire a junior person to maintain it for a $50k salary.
- Invest in someone starting to run a store for a percentage of equity of profit sharing.
- Partner up with someone who wants to start and fund the business.
Pros of done for you agencies
- hands off
- peace of mind
- comfortable method
- potential to make money with little effort
Cons of done for you agencies
- you put everything into the hands of someone else
- you won’t know how to operate or solve problems
- you are locked in for good
- continue paying 10-15% for minimal work later on
- conflict of interests between different clients
Questions you should ask
The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself.Tony Robbins
- Can you provide financial statements (P&L, cash flow statement, balance sheet statement) or 3 stores you are currently running? Redact any sensitive information.
- Are there any buyout conditions in case I want to stop the profit sharing?
- How long will the profit-sharing go on until?
- Why is there are maintenance cost on top of the profit share?
- Can you share a breakdown of the transactions and fees from a live store because it’s understated in the assumptions?
- Can you share the list of Amazon stores you have created in the last 12 months?
- What’s the deadline to complete building the store and what happens if the deadline is not met?
- Who will have access to my seller central account?
- What’s the growth plan?
- What if I want to expand to other channels?
- How do I pay for inventory?
- What happens if the amount required to purchase inventory far exceeds the profit?
- Is there a hand-off training session so that I can start operating the store?
- Whose GS1 barcodes are being used?
Lastly, ask yourself if it’s worth just making your life easier by hiring service providers. For example, hiring a virtual ecommerce bookkeeping service company would help you save time on bookkeeping each month so you can grow your business and this would be hands-off.
If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.
- Kevin David’s claims are a scam
- Just One Time is not a scam, but makes borderline claims. They are a full-service agency with sly marketing
- No, it’s not an investment because you are paying a company to start a business for you
- Great for very passive people who have no time, no desire to learn or have failed at Amazon
- Bad for passionate and proactive people
- You’ll be stuck giving away a percentage of profit even as the work becomes less and less
- The simulated numbers are overly optimistic and does not include any cash flow analysis
- For a $2M store, you’ll need a bankroll of $100k to sustain it the first year
- Expect the store to not be profitable for at least 6-8 months
- The testimonials and reviews are cherry-picked
- Analyze different options
- There are reasons why really good Amazon agencies don’t offer done-for-you stores – because the risk is very high of not working out
Like our content? Follow our journey to reach $10M in sales
We share our real failures, wins, and what we are doing on our journey from $0 to $10M in sales.
Thank you for the insights!!
You said you know ethical full service Amazon agencies?? What do they do for you compared to the people featured in this article? Would you mind providing their contact information?
They offer set pricing, they are transparent, they don’t take a % of your sales which is highway robbery.
Who do you recommend?
This is great information. I was on the fence on Kevin David’s DFY program. I would also like to know who you recommend for the ethical full service Amazon agencies. Thank you.
Can you provide any contacts for these agencies?
They don’t offer full services as mentioned in the post. Turns out the real good ones don’t want to go there. If there is a reason why good agencies don’t want to do specific things, there’s definitely a reason why.
Who do you recommend
I would line help building my amazon business but certainly don’t like JOD
Style. I do t mind paying someone ans profit sharing but I want to learn the process.
Amazing article! Thank you for the helpful breakdowns, lots of honest information.
I noticed you mentioned that there are agencies that “I can introduce you to honest and ethical ones that are run by very smart and sharp people.”, which agencies would you recommend?
Thank you again for the helpful info.
I would love to see who you recommend if not Keven David for someone who wants to find completely passive income and does not mind making the investment if it is not a scam.
I made an update to the blog. Agency friends I’ve contacted are looking for people with more commitment and skin in the game. As in at least have products they are selling. Then they can do everything for you on Amazon.
Thats what I’m looking for
Can you share their info? Thanks!
Hello and thank you for your time.
I currently have a product on Amazon and took a year long course to learn the ins and outs however I have run into a few roadblocks and would love some
help from experts.
Can you please direct me to someone?
TIA and congrats on your success
Great info! However, I wish to have it before I signed up with Kevin David. Disappointment in every step.
Unfortunately, any company that makes huge claims is always a red flag. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
hello please contact me
i pref by phone we can undertand ourselfs faster and i like to know the personality of the person on the other side if i don´t like it i can´t work with.
10:00/23:00 london time everyday anytime i will pick up our reaply read etc.
kepp it simple please that way i will recognise its not spam.
they talk a lot of bs for that reason their emails are allways so long.
keep it short and simple if your interested.
30% of my profits on a future amazon store.
thats it as an expert you help me creat a store without having to fail 10000000 times.
you get 30% of my profits for life our untill you get 1M our something.
help me help myself and by doing that you will be helping a lot of more pll than you can imagine neither do i.´
hope you have a nice day and the best in the word for you and love ones and everyone who´s nice in general.
im keeping it 100%. hope you do the same.
i apreciate a reply. counter offers our something. i just cant put any money up front but i think im giving a fair deal and good for both. if not just clarefy me why and we can probably work on it.
ph and email removed. This is exactly why we DO NOT do it. If I could make another Amazon store and make $10M on my own, why would we give away 70% to someone else?
Stop chasing get rich quick schemes and easy ways to make money. There is no such thing.
Thanks for your insight
Have you heard of AO Elite? Is this a company in which you are talking about?
No. Any company that claims promised returns, you should stay away from. Does it sound too good to be true? Probably is. Check yelp reviews, BBB reviews. People who have been burned will leave a trail.
lol. Just saw their website. Another one trying to take advantage of naive people. If they can guarantee results, why would they do it for someone else instead of keeping 100% of profits?
I think personally in such cases, they are doing the grunt work to set it up while the owner is bankrolling it and once the set up is complete, they are outsourcing it and keeping a % of the profit as they manage it. All expenses come from the owner to set up and expand. The DFY service limit their financial risks while being able to scale their expertise.
exactly. If you find somebody to take 100% of the risk, that’s a good deal. BUT if you have extensive experience like they claim, it doesn’t make sense because you give all the future returns. If the company is so experienced and proven, why would they do that? Instead of trying to outsource and get 10-30% of profit, why not create it themselves, outsource it and make 100%?
Doesn’t make sense right?
I’m replying to Gorilla ROI here because I can’t reply to his comment below. His comment is this:
“exactly. If you find somebody to take 100% of the risk, that’s a good deal. BUT if you have extensive experience like they claim, it doesn’t make sense because you give all the future returns. If the company is so experienced and proven, why would they do that? Instead of trying to outsource and get 10-30% of profit, why not create it themselves, outsource it and make 100%?
Doesn’t make sense right?”
It does make sense because you give only 70% of future returns, keeping 30% for yourself, plus you get a nice little startup bonus with the cash influx. The other reason they don’t create it themselves is so they have someone to bankroll the business’s growth. [This was written on 11/10/2022.]
Note that most all of these clients are getting the same products as everyone else. $30-80k of start up money is locked up for a year with no results.
How do I find an appropriate full service agency or staff? I have been talking to DBC, want 30% plus startup cost for a wholesale business. They are partnering with warehouse/distributer.
what’s the objective?
I am a former government employee looking to change career path into ecommerce.
I have been trying POD and I would like to put my money to work in another area.
I am ok paying the help with Amazon store as long as it is legit/appropriate.
I don’t know the services that you are looking into.
Some questions to think about.
* if the services or agencies work with a wholesale/distributors and they keep getting clients, will your product be safe and not sold to anyone else?
* what stops these agencies from creating 100 of the same stores and then selling the same product 100 times?
* if these “automation” agencies are so good and legit, why would they want to give away 70% of their profits?
I would actually look into some of the wholesale courses and learn as much as possible BEFORE committing anything.
What can you tell me about ” Next gen Strategic Investments” there located in South Miami ?
Dont know. What have you found out about them? Why are you attracted to them?
Have you heard of or seen anything from Empire Ecommerce?
No. What have you heard about them? What makes them attractive to you?
I have a store with them and so far have not been impressed. Bought in to their Amazon package when the price was 35k. First couple of months due to a glitch in their system my returns were lost in the mail costing me about 5k. After getting it fixed I had a month where I made 2k then they had to restructure their systems (I think they got hacked and aren’t being up front about it). So yes, if everything is running smoothly you can make money passively. Setup wasn’t bad. I am about a year in and am down 7k on top of my 35k buy in. In my opinion they are scaling too quickly and it is going to ruin their current stores and reputation. Their customer service is decent but I have been waiting on a referral credit and some other things from their accounting department for about 6 months with very little help.
Interesting article, thank you very much for taking the time to write it. I’ll have to break out your cashflow in a little more month to month detail to better understand it, although I suspect the differences in the move to cashflow positive were a result of inventory costs for the faster growing lower margin model. For someone that is willing to invest the time to figure out the elements of what is required to be an Amazon rookie, are there places that are better than others to get that information / education. I know that the best way to learn is to try, stumble, and try again, but would like to have a good understanding of what’s involved and how to go about it to make that first attempt. Appreciate any direction you can provide here. D
To speed up time then, why not buy an existing FBA business? Everything is already set up. Then you can just outsource the entire store to an agency to run it for you.
1. hire an Amazon person to vet the business to make sure it’s real – easy
2. get your CPA to verify the transactions and make sure it’s not a fraud – easy
3. buy the FBA business – easy
4. hire an agency to run the store for you – easy
Where can I buy an existing fba business
Have you heard about wealth accelerators in Florida?
No. what have you heard about them?
Can you please do a deep dive in Wealth Accelerators in Florida?
Sorry. I think this post is already very clear on how to analyze and think.
hi, great article. thank you! Have you heard about PushAMZ – Fully automated DFY Amazon and Walmart business? Their claim to opening and managing stores for their clients/investors is that because Amazon only allows 1 store per SSN and hence to grow more and scale their expertise, they need more stores. Their upfront cost is 35K and monthly gross profit of 70-30 in favor of investors. They say we try to reach 8K-10K in profits by month 10. and first 3 months are quiet since it might seem shady to Amazon if we grow too fast too quick (seems more like keeping us on for atleast a year tactic and dragging us on) . Here is the link to their portal: https://pushamz.com/ . If you could please share your thoughts on them, that would be helpful. We dont want to give up on our savings and get scammed. Thank you!
1 store per SSN yes.
But why on earth would “experts” create a store under their SSN?
If they knew about business, they would create a separate business entity for each store and then create as many as they want.
1. they like shortcuts
2. easy money business models
3. putting all the risk on you
What does 35k include?
Do you get access to all the supplier info? and invoices?
Think of it this way.
If you have 35K to start a retail store, would you allow a 3rd party company, to create, design, build, control, choose the product and decide EVERYTHING for your retail store?
I don’t know about you, but I’d be scared out of my mind doing that. No different with an Amazon store. If you don’t want to risk you SSN or EIN, I would look for a partner. And not fall for a sales pitch.
For people who are interested in this Done For You program can email me email@example.com so I can share my very negative experience with you. I’m a real person who has recently terminate the contract with them since I signed the contract April 2021. You should have a different expectation than they told you before you put your time, energy, money in this program.
need some real people like this instead of all the fake reviews
I thought your reviews, insights, and opinions regarding the “Amazon Automation/DFY” industry, and even some of your evaluation criteria were good–UNTIL I saw your shameless plugs about your business. Your “teardown” process flowed magnificently, starting with the worst case scenario of frauds, an extremely borderline fraud example in Kevin David (who I also consider a hack), and then a flawed, invalid dig on Just One Dime, before ending with an approach to “hire an expert Amazon person (like me) who knows how to thoroughly audit the FBA business to make sure it’s real – easy”. IMHO, I think it’s a completely unfair and dishonest assessment of Seth’s JOD program. Your distinction between an “investor vs a client” is misguided. In the “Done For You” Service Agreement, it states that the “Company will be building, managing, optimizing and scaling an Amazon store for Client…”– it is a client-service agreement that you PAY for with your own funds! Have you watched his 2-hour introductory video that includes at least 45-minutes of Q&A, where he goes through potential issues, risks, and other considerations? Have you truly followed JOD’s onboarding process and received all the timely updates and explanations regarding COVID, the Supply Chain catastrophe and how they are implementing workarounds? Also, you manipulated the spreadsheet to make the numbers look much worse (changing the -0.2% to -3% for example). Change that percentage to -1% and it’s a much better scenario. Another hilarious aspect is that your note on the Individual Monthly Net Profit… COGS stands for Cost of Goods Sold. Inventory is the costbut ruins your great marketing tactic to “skip the JOD method and hire me!” Will I also get a set of steak knives? The most hilarious part is where you state: “Here are some alternative ways to create your own store where you can pocket a big chunk for yourself: Learn yourself – very hard and time-consuming. Not impossible, but doable.” or better yet, HIRE ME to help you buy an existing business!
So many holes in your argument and logic I have no idea where to begin. No facts to back up anything you said. Sounds like an employee or a “reputation” manager or someone justifying their “investment”.
Did they ever publicly share an actual company case study that got you hooked? It doesn’t seem like you understand the full picture of what it takes to run a business. You don’t understand how COGS flows from the income statement to the balance sheet and the cash flow statement.
Are you saying that it’s better for people to dump 30-80k rather than seek a much guided, objective 2nd opinion? If I can help consult someone for even $1k, so they don’t lose 50K, that’s a bad thing in your opinion right?
Great response, Gorilla ROI.
Excellent article. Thanks a lot. I was about to get into Empire E-commerce. I can’t find any reviews outside their platform… This article makes me reconsider my decision.
Anyone knows this company? Venture Capital partnered with them, that’s a good sign… but still too good to be true…
I was looking into them for a while as well and just can’t convince myself to pull the trigger. Their “Venture Capital” firm backing looks to just be a shell company formed by their CFO. Who knows though – really wish I could meet one of their clients in person.
These guys scammed me out of over 70k – anyone reading this please steer away from Roman and Johnny and their scams
really sorry to hear that. I hope there’s a way you can get it back.
I’m sorry to hear about that. Can you provide a bit more detail about what went wrong? I did so much DD about them and everything just seemed fishy and too good to be true. What did they do or say to convince you to get into business with them?
They also scammed me for 50k
Me as well. Dan Cohen who purchased Empire Ecomm from them said that his attorney told him to shut down the entire business because of the liabilities that were present. He filed a lawsuit against them on December 8 of 2022. I’m wondering if we can get other Empire Ecom store owners together to file a class action lawsuit against them trying to figure out what platform we can get everyone connected.
Apparently they’ve not launched a new company Automators.ai. Same operators Roman Cresto and John Cresto, after 750+ investors lost everything with Empire E-commerce they’re right back at it. Agree with this article, e-commerce automation is a great way to lose your entire investment and rack up expenses.
Are you in the group?
I have invested in several automation companies that advertised Dropshipping and FBA (2Step Dropshipping) services, but each one resulted in suspension of my accounts. These companies were unable to reinstate my accounts and I had to seek the help of a third-party reinstatement agency Got Suspended. The process was lengthy and costly due to the extent of damages. It is clear that most of these companies are intentionally breaking the rules and have no intention of delivering on their promises. My experience with these companies aka Empire Ecommerce & DBC Limited has been a complete nightmare.
I recently found an agency, Basilio Inc, that has been completely transparent with me throughout the entire process of building a business on Amazon. They did not make unrealistic promises or sugarcoat the process, instead they have been teaching me about the ins and outs of building a successful business on Amazon’s platform. I have been working with them for 3 years now, even though I had limited capital due to previous investments, I have been able to average 12k profit on average.. The initial phase was challenging as they had to build me a website, develop a product line, obtain necessary certifications, and improve my product ranking, but if you’re looking for an agency that will provide you with a solid foundation for your business, I highly recommend Basilio Inc.
I am quite interested in using Kevin Davids programme for the following reasons
1. Gives someone who has no E-commerce experience a online platform to learn from and a network of Amazon sellers on the same programme to talk to
2. Will come up with a product to sell based on sales and competitor figures from Zonbase
3. Will (for a fee) source the factory to manufacture, inspector and logistics for you
All of this without taking a cut of your profits. All you pay is a one time only fee for the training and the initial product they propose you to sell
If you’re realistic and know that you won’t likely make that money back for 12 months then what is the scam? What am I missing here?
You should do more due diligence and get references. You can find a lot of people on FB sharing how their stopped getting any information, communication and no store or product even 6-8 months later. And now silent. They are out 30k and because these “automation” businesses have spend way more on creating iron clad legal contracts, you lose.
If you have the money to spend on a one time fee, check it out.
League of Ecom. Any thoughts on them
Dont do it, I had a terrible experience. Let me know if you need details.
Anyway to share details on League of Ecom? I’m having significant problems with Automation Alliance and was looking at a pivot to another since I have done all the work to get all this set up. I was a former Amazon FBA seller 4-5 years ago and made incredible money but didn’t pivot to any new products once that runway ended. I really just want access to good vendors and products. I believe I could handle the rest.
Hi, I’d like details please 🙂
i would like to hear what u have to say about league of ecom
Just wanted to say thank you for the article, have subscribed.
I have an established business, been in operation since 2012. However its Direct Marketing. All face to face, have never had a need for online.
Also our contracts are service brands. Europe’s largest telecom provider and others. My company turns over around £500k /£700k a year.
I’m 31 now. Before I opened this company I made money when I was a teen on eBay, import and export. Way before the Amazon days.
I’ve been drawn back to online again and again over the last 10 years.
I have around 20 hours a week that I could actually commit. More so could commit a lot more being able to control my schedule.
I’d love to build an online business over the next 1/3/5 years.
Is it possible to get on a call. Just to ask questions.
I’ll be honest. I would be building from scratch and although I have a successful business it’s never been online.
If you wonder why I want to do this.
I’ve commit 10 years to this business and will continue. 100 hours a week.
Id like to have another business.
As students go, I just want a mentor. I’m not asking for you to help. Just to network on how you started, how things began. To gain an understanding.
I appreciate its time consuming and a lot of effort and research
I have no issues with that. Just ignorant to knowing the right plan.
If there is anyway my business could be if a benefit equally to yourself or colleagues. Happy to see if it’s possible (although I imagine it’s unlikely being a F2F business).
I’ve spent 10 years coaching and mentoring my teams and other business partners without a financial return. To help, as i know how difficult it is.
I’d appreciate any advice or opportunity to network
Anyone have an opinion on amazonautomation.com ? Appreciate it! Great article
Investors beware of Elite automation, had a walmart store up and running and got suspended. They offered an AMZ store with split profits and its turning into a nightmare.
What’s been the nightmare? Looking into investing with them but not a lot of info VILBKE
I would like to hire you.
Thanks for your article. Very informative and based in common sense. I was leaning towards partnering with NXT LVL out of Florida but their BBB rating and reviews have given me pause. I think I’ll buy an FBA outright and hire an agency to run it as suggested. Please email me your list of agencies when possible.
D- BBB rating too generous. Anyone aware of any class action suits against them?
Good Day Gorilla ROI,
I have went through a Amazon automation agency and it has been a very bad experience for me for the past 2 years. I can explain in detail further if you like, but I would like to receive some help to find out if I am eligible to take legal action. Thank you.
Great article! But goddamnit, the ACRONYMS! PPC, EBIDTA, COGS, etc. Are you under the assumption that everyone who reads this knows what these codes mean? Do I need to take a giant internet business basics course before reading this? I feel like I stumbled into a secret society here. Work with the readers a little bit, please. And thankyou.
these are super basic terms. If you don’t know them yet, you haven’t learnt to crawl yet.
Great information, but your article isn’t giving us any value. Your just warning us ,but not giving us a real alternative. Or a proven system to do this passively. I dont care about paying someone if the numbers make sense .I’ve learned nothing that will move me forward. You just scared us even more. Thanks
This is very helpful content – thank you for sharing, there are a lot of unreliable players in this field. I have gone through steps 1-4 outlined in your Alternatives to Amazon Automation Agencies and am looking to hire an agency to run the store for me.
Would you be able to share your recommendation of agencies? Thank you.
Hello, can u tell me where I can buy an existing FBA business. I will hire you to vet the business and give me the cash flow analysis. Then I will hire an agency recommended by you to scale it. Can u email me with the info and resources I need to contact you directly.
Hi there are many places.
Flippa, quietlightbrokerage, empireflippers.
You have to know how to do your due diligence and auditing.
For passive income, I am considering an e-commerce automation (at Amazon, Facebook, Walmart of Shopify).
In addition to those automation firms you mentioned, I am considering Wealth Assistants (https://wealthassistants.com/) and OneUp Services (https://www.oneup.services).
Have you ever done a similar review of WealthAssistants and OneUp Services?
No because they are all the same. Same concept. Just different companies.
The BIGGEST red flag with ALL of these companies is it is impossible to find unique products for every store they supposedly create. They recycle the same product for most of the stores so you end up getting killed with saturation.
Wealth Assistants is real, and they do a lot for their customers. I don’t think the CEO and Founder would have gotten into Forbes if his company wasn’t real or didn’t actually move the needle for customers – he’s featured in this article and others from sources of good repute, and they do have good reviews on TrustPilot: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jodiecook/2022/08/10/4-ways-to-make-money-from-amazon-without-starting-your-own-store/
If you haven’t already heard, JOD shut down their DFY program with two weeks notice. Numbers are they scammed between 200 and 900 “investors”. I was one of them. 30K fee, plus other fees along the way gone. When I got the notification, Bernie Madoff came to mind. I may be one of the “luckier” ones. I actually have product inventory at Amazon, however, things were so poorly managed that sell price is below landed cost. Sales are so low, I’ve been charged long term storage fees by Amazon. 70K “investment” gone. By my calculations, at least $27,000,000 cumulative gone.
yeah really sorry to hear that. I hope others read your comment and come to the same conclusion.
you said somebodys best best would be to buy an amazon store and have somebody like you run it. how would i go about doing something like that?
It’s fairly simple.
Hire an auditor who can vet the account. Easy to do on upwork, get references from people on FB groups. Pay him/her $2000 to analyze the account and get a report.
Hire an account or brand manager. Upwork, FB, LinkedIn. LOTS of people. This is the least of your problems.
or find an agency to run it for you. Google “Amazon agency”. Again, the least of your problems. Ask for referrals.
Have a BIG cash cushion. This is your biggest item to consider.
FYI, Just One Dime just filed for bankruptcy and is being sued. You can search up the case on Justia. One insider I can tell you is they lack professionalism and failed to deliver on over promised results. They failed to announce their downfall to students and investors. Right now, everyone who invested money within their courses and services is clueless on what their next move is.
Anyone used Ecom Partners, Inc?
They are a total scam! I’m in a group of people currently trying to file lawsuit against them and their owner Kris Gomez.
Check out BBB reviews here:
Hello, I would like to warn everyone of Roman Cresto and his cousin Johnny Cresto who scammed me for 50k.
I purchased an FBA wholesale amazon store from their company Empire Ecommerce and not even two weeks later was informed their company was acquired by Dan Cohen owner of Ecom Authority.
Both Johnny and Dan made false promises that they would keep operating my store and other Empire Ecommerce store owners post-acquisition and unfortunately failed to keep their promises.
Fast forward to now and I have not received any response from Empire Ecommerce or Dan Cohen the new owner about getting my store up and running. They took my money and went silent.
Now Roman and his cousin Johnny have launched Automators.ai with almost an identical business model and services. I urge everyone to please stay away from them. They are scammers and liars.
I’m in the same boat. Dan Cohen did a zoom call where he said that his lawyer recommended that he close down the business because they were too many liabilities within the company. He filed a lawsuit on December 8 against Roman and Johnny Cresto. I haven’t heard any more details and he is not replying to any emails. I’m wondering if we can get a list of store owners together to file a class action lawsuit against them
I just received document of a lawsuit in the mail for the benefit of creditors against Empire Ecommerce. But I doubt they have enough assets to pay us all. I’m sorry to this Leo guy who just recently got scammed by them. Many of us were scammed in 2020 and 2021 and we could have told you. Hopefully these guys have to pay the price for what they have done to hundreds of good people.
Has anyone here have any experience leveraging Fiverr to build an Amazon or Walmart store?
Any thoughts on Smart FBA and their wholesale services? The packages are pretty costly but it’s a bit tempting with them claiming to work with gated products. They also seem legit based on their online presence..
Stay away from Push AMZ I’ve paid for a store about 8-10 months ago, and it’s been nothing but suspended store after suspended store. They have yet to sell one product for my “store” and I have yet to receive a penny.
Anyone try BMBMatrix yet?