I first became aware of the Amazing Selling Machine back in March of 2013. If you’re in internet marketing circles, then you’ve probably had numerous emails about it. If, by some miracle, you’ve not come across it, it’s a course (with additional software products) that claims to teach you how to sell products on Amazon for a decent profit.
Back in March, the course cost a one-time fee $3,497 (or $977/month for 4 months if you couldn’t afford the single up-front payment). So it was very expensive. I expect that when it’s reopened for sale later today, that the price will be the same.
Back in March I passed on this course, mostly due to its cost but also because I was engaged in other aspects of my business that didn’t leave time for taking on another course. Amazing Selling Machine eventually closed its doors and I forgot about it completely.
In mid-September I became aware of it again as a flood of emails from various well-known internet marketers landed in my Inbox. Naturally, all were trumpeting how great Amazing Selling Machine was, how they’d all made thousands from it since they bought it in March.
Thing is, when I went looking for reviews, I couldn’t find any that said it was crap, or that people were starting to just see sales coming in but were just covering their costs. It seemed the reviews were all too weighted towards brilliant success.
Life ain’t like that.
Now it could be that those who didn’t have success with this course simply didn’t bother writing about their failure but just moved on to the next shiny object that attracted them. Maybe its just successful people who want to regale the world with stories of how well they’re doing.
Anyway, I ignored the usual affiliate sites based around the product and the word “review”, “reviews”, etc. that always pop up when a big internet marketing product is launched. Instead I headed over to the Warrior Forum to read what marketers there were saying. Many said Amazing Selling Machine was way overpriced for what it offered. A few said it was worth the price.
Doing My Due Diligence
There was one guru who posted on his blog about how he was already making $10K per month. He seemed sincere. So, in an effort to conduct some due diligence, I asked him four questions about selling on Amazon as it pertains to Amazing Selling Machine:
- Where do you get the product images from (the ones that will appear on your Amazon page)
- Do you need a barcode or UPC code for your products and, if so, where do you get those and how much do they cost?
- Suppose you import from China and your product happens to contain something toxic (like lead paint) but you don’t know that at the time and it injures someone? Or you could get something like stuffed animals where button eyes are easily detached and swallowed by small children. The question is what is your liability should such an issue arise?
- Do you need to incorporate yourself as a company to limit liability?
He brushed me off with a “maybe this isn’t right for you” reply. I responded saying they were relevant questions for anyone considering this business model. I said these would be simple questions to answer is he really was using Amazing Selling Machine (ASM). So I basically called him out on being a user. And I again asked him to answer my questions.
That elicited a response where he stated that he was indeed an ASM user. However, he again did not answer my questions. He also said he was only interested in helping “someone who is on the fence *not* to buy the program”. In other words, since I wasn’t champing at the bit to get into ASM and was raising some real questions, he didn’t want to know.
I explained that I was doing some due diligence prior to forking out $4K as any sensible person would and that I had not yet made my mind up. I also told him it would be my decision to buy into this or not – not his. For a third time I asked him to answer the above questions. I also asked what start-up capital would be needed, aside from the course price to get going.
For a third time, he did answer my questions. He did say that he reckoned about $1,500 dollars would be needed to get going. So, in total, most people signing up for the course are looking at a $5,500 outlay.
I don’t want to mention the name of this person as I haven’t given him an opportunity to respond to how I’ve described our interaction here. That wouldn’t be fair.
However, in his latest email about Amazing Selling Machine (sent from an autoresponder), he said this:
I’m announcing right now that *I’ll be joining.*
Which means that if you join, we’ll be students together, hanging out, and learning.
So it seems he isn’t in fact an existing member of ASM as he claims. That would certainly explain why he was unable to answer my questions.
I suspect that a lot of the people pushing ASM are not existing members either. So just be aware that there’s a lot of hype surrounding this launch.
I am not an existing Amazing Selling Machine member. I have no idea what’s on the other side of the member’s login screen. I think the selling concept put forward in the free videos on the ASM page is intriguing and could be lucrative.
However, I am concerned that the questions I outlined above have not been addressed in those videos, even in passing. They’re very relevant to this business model and I prefer to go into a new business with my eyes open, knowing the costs up front. The answers to my questions have cost implications for this business model and I’m guessing that they are not included in the $1,500 startup costs my “guru” mentioned.
The free videos on the ASM site are certainly worth watching. There’s good information in them and an enterprising person could probably use just that info to start a business. It’s those of us with little knowledge of the retail sector that need the helping hand that this course purports to provide.
Some reviewers say the course isn’t worth the money. Some do. But you’ll get that with any course or product.
Am I recommending that you invest in this course? No. $4,000 is a big ask of anyone. Let alone the additional $1,500+ needed to get your business of the ground.
I worry that you need natural business acumen in order for this to work and not all of us have that. If you have some background in retail, then you’re probably more suited to this business model than anyone else.
If you have $5,500 you can afford to lose should this business strategy not work out for you, then go for it.
But, for goodness sake, please do your own due diligence. Only you can decide if this course is right for you or not.
There is reputedly a 30 day money-back guarantee on the course which I feel is not long enough given that the course itself lasts 8 weeks. You won’t be able to evaluate if you’re going to be successful in that short a period. Reading others’ reviews, it looks like they started making their first sales around the 90 day mark, a full 2 months after the refund period expires. That’s a bit of a gamble in my book.
During my research, I came across another Amazon Selling course from Jim Cockrum which might suit people less averse to risk and/or with much less money to spend. This course normally sells for $397 but when I just checked the site I see it’s on sale for $97 till the end of October. Again, I’m not a customer but Cockrum has a very solid reputation amongst marketers. His course doesn’t seem to have as much information about using Amazon Fulfillment as ASM but maybe it’s been updated since.
So am I going to buy the Amazing Selling Machine. I still haven’t decided. I want to hear what other buyers have to say about it in the next few days before I make my final decision. But I think for $97, I will pick up Jim Cockrum’s course anyway.
Filed under: Affiliate Marketing