This page is a summary of the courses and tools I use in my eCommerce business.
I live in Australia and sell pretty much exclusively in the USA.
As far as I am aware everything on this page works whether you are in or outside the USA.
I am not saying the programs described will work for you or suit your skills or budget. They are just what I use and I like.
This is not a “Sales Page” as you’ll see by the basic layout and content but since this is all about online selling, you’ll not be surprised to learn there are affiliate links on this page.
Let me know if you have any questions – just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you find it something of use!
Amazon + Etsy
I sell print on demand (POD) products on Amazon & Etsy marketplaces.
I have a fair bit of experience with online marketing – but not with eCommerce.
I started to research eCommerce in 2017, sold some items via a Shopify store and then started selling on Amazon in January 2018.
It has been a challenge to get some traction with sales and I found Amazon & Etsy were the perfect place to get started selling.
Why do I love Amazon and Etsy?
For an eCommerce beginner (as I still was in January 2018) there is no need for complicated funnels, FB ads, re-targeting, email optins, landing pages or tactics requiring extensive testing and effort.
The marketplace is the traffic.
You list a product, optimize the listing and if you have the right product, the sales will come.
The downside? The customers are owned by Amazon or Etsy, not you.
However, both marketplaces provide a way to generate POD product sales with little hands-on management day-to-day.
They can both help you decide what to stock in a Shopify store or provide another revenue stream for a successful product already in your Shopify store.
It is not a case of Amazon/Etsy or Shopify but all of them together.
There is one general Amazon course I have found truly useful …
Proven Amazon Course (PAC)
PAC is part of the My Silent Team (MST) group founded by Jim Cockrum.
For me, the beauty of the Proven Amazon Course (PAC) is that, for a one-off fee, the course how shows how to take advantage of major Amazon Income opportunities such as; Private Label, Online Arbitrage, Retail Arbitrage, Wholesale Selling and more.
Jim and his team have a determinedly no-hype approach to everything and concentrate on making things simple, workable and realistic. It’s a refreshing approach.
I find the course a great way to keep up to date with trends in the world of Amazon selling.
$0 – $10,000,000+ in product sales in 18 Months
The PAC team follows their own teaching and ideas and they take everyone along for the ride.
In 2016 they sold a toy laser tag pistol set on Amazon via online arbitrage, then they developed a private label and, after Q4 2017, in 2018 their toy hit the #1 toy spot on Amazon for a time.
Their toys beat the likes of Mattel and Hasbro. If you know Amazon, being #1 in toys is a BIG deal. They did it in 18 months and they showed their students everything along the way, warts and all.
Their toy brand (Dynasty Toys) now sells over $10m p.a in toys and growing. It’s great to follow their success and plans as they go. Very educational.
Amazon Approaches PAC for Training Help
Amazon have contacted Jim Cockrum to ask him how they could partner with his team to teach people to be better Amazon sellers.
At this time, MST are the only education / training company Amazon have contacted to explore a partnership. Quite a recommendation.
They have a great FB group – 45,000+ members – and it shows they have a very principled and ethical approach to business.
PAC and the My Silent Team group is an essential part of my understanding of the world of Amazon. A great group to keep a grounded view on all things Amazon.
Find out more about Proven Amazon Course
The first eCom course I made money with …
At the start of my eCom journey in July 2017 I set up a Shopify store, I sent FB ad traffic to my POD products in the store and never made a profit.
It was great experience of what does and doesn’t work – more of the “what doesn’t work” to be honest.
I started looking for something simpler than running a Shopify store to sell POD products online. I found it in January 2018.
The something simpler is … the Low Hanging System (LHS).
This deceptively simple course shows you how to list Print On Demand (POD) ceramic mugs (and other products) on Amazon, Etsy & eBay and receive a close-to-passive-income from your successful designs.
Simplicity is the Key to this System
The key to the training is helping you understand the best type of text based designs to create for POD products.
The goal is to list lots of products – hundreds of designs, thousands of products. If this sounds overwhelming, the rules and ideas for designs are super simple and it is easy to upload your mugs to Amazon.
The Gearbubble POD platform has an automated process to list your products on Amazon and this is included with the LHS course.
Every night, Gearbubble checks to see if you have any sales on Amazon, if you do, the sales details are transferred to Gearbubble and automatically fulfilled.
The more product listings you create, the more chance you have of sales.
LHS – I made 500+ sales on Amazon in my first 7 months
I started applying LHS in mid January 2018 (no Amazon sales of any kind before I started) – I have sold over 510 mugs since then, $9,500+ in sales – all on auto-pilot.
The more mugs I sell, the better the rank I have in Amazon which increases my chances of selling even more. My sales so far:
Now, it’s not an income I plan to retire on just yet but LHS has given me the experience of creating designs, seeing positive results and better understanding what sells and what does not.
It costs nothing to list on Amazon (other than your Amazon Pro Seller monthly fee of $39.95) and the listing can sell any time.
Volume is the key, you need to upload as many different designs as possible. Spikes in sales of mugs depend on the niches you are focusing on but in very broad general terms – the biggest spikes occur in Q4, Valentines, Mothers Day and Fathers Day.
I make $6 -7 profit per sale on each mug on Amazon. Of course, a successful design on a mug can then be tested on t-shirts and all sorts of POD products.
I started selling on Etsy in April 2018 with Printech integration and fulfilment. I have included custom designs in my Etsy store inspired by the Conversion Kings webinars.
As of mid-August I’ve sold over 70 items and $1,281 in sales. Graphs from my Etsy store shown below:
Nearest thing to Passive Income I have seen
With automatic integration from Amazon to Gearbubble (or Print Tech), orders are auto-fulfilled. You don’t need to process payments because Amazon handles that for you.
The great thing about finding a design that does well on Amazon is that you can bring the design to an Etsy shop, a Shopify store or an email audience with some confidence.
How well does the system scale? Rachel Rofe, who developed LHS, sold $70,000+ of mugs in June 2018 alone (a very good Father’s Day mug design played a big part in this). Don Wilson, owner of Gearbubble, sold the same design using FB ads – he sold 2400 mugs per day.
LHS has a very supportive and helpful FB Group of 4,000+ members. The course is updated from time to time as new features are added.
LHS works great with Printech & Conversion Kings
This is the perfect system to combine with the custom products training from Conversion Kings.
Use the LHS approach to create successful POD designs and use the custom image packs from Conversion Kings to transfer the designs to a wide range of other products on Printech and other POD platforms.
Personally, I think Printech is a better POD platform to use than Gearbubble for the LHS course – there is a wider selection of products, superior customisation options and somewhat easier integration with Etsy, AZ & Shopify. Having said that – I use both happily.
Find out more … Low Hanging System
… or if you prefer to watch webinars … Webinar Replay
The Zero-Marketing Amazon Selling System
The second system I follow on Amazon has nothing to do with POD or any of the more typical systems being promoted these days such as private label.
The Book Trades course is a proven system for generating income from buying and selling textbooks on Amazon.com.
No Marketing Skills Required!
Book Trades is NOT a marketing course and requires no marketing knowledge or skills.
The concept of book arbitrage is nothing new on Amazon … after all, Amazon started off as a book seller itself.
The Textbook Money course shows you how to buy textbooks and sell them quickly (often within 60 days) for 50 – 100% profit for each trade – or much more if you source books from local book shops.
There is no need for marketing because the course shows you the type of in-demand textbooks books to buy that, when listed on Amazon, will sell quickly. No marketing needed.
Successful students are now generating 6-figure revenues with 50%+ margin within 12 months of beginning the program.
For instance, member Kathy posted her first year figures in the FB Group:
This is an Active (not Passive) System
Buying textbooks cheaply from 3rd party sellers and re-listing for Amazon Prime buyers is a proven business on Amazon.
Also known as book arbitrage, it does require a more hands-on approach than selling POD items on Amazon but you don’t need to be active everyday.
The team at Book Trades have built an online database to search and find profitable books to sell.
Since I live in Australia, I buy books from Amazon in the USA and have them sent to an FBA prep center in Madison, WI. The FBA prep center is setup to handle FBA books – they grade each book and send it to Amazon to be sold FBA.
This is a 100% hands off business when you use an FBA prep center.
However, if you want to source books locally and send them to Amazon yourself, the system supports that approach as well. Many USA based students combine the two.
The Textbook Money course is far from the only book trading course on Amazon but it is the only one I have experience with. However, this is a system that clearly works if you work the system.
Bryan showed his mid August stats in the FB Group:
Book Selling Smoothes your POD cash flow
Books can be bought and sold profitably all year round.
However, textbook sales in Q1 and Q3 are particularly lucrative.
This makes book arbitrage a great companion income stream to POD income which typically peaks in Q4 (of course, it depends on your niche).
The book trading system is 2 years old and the creators have built a welcoming, supportive community. There are twice-weekly video Zoom sessions to discuss strategy, book trading, pose questions to the founders of the course and learn the latest tips and tricks from 6 figure sellers.
A library of over 100 video sessions (each session runs 1 – 2 hours) is available to all students. Lots of new content, proven case studies and examples of students making hundreds of dollars per day.
Find out more:
Watch a webinar replay … BookTrades Business
Why I Love both LHS & BookTrades
Other than both working on Amazon the two systems complement each other:
- The two systems both generate sales which positively affects your Amazon Seller Ranking. The sales from one helps the other.
- Running two different systems helps you minimise the risk of needing one system to work and generate income all the time.
- The two systems generate income and cash flow in different ways and at different times of the year – helping smooth cash flow.
These two systems are the basis of what I use to sell online.
I also have a Shopify store which I am looking to grow alongside an email list of customers. For now though, I am playing more in the Amazon and Etsy sandpits and having a great time.
Conversion Blueprint & Conversion Kings
I consider the POD focused training from the Conversion Kings as the “Secret Sauce” for marketing POD products.
The team walks their talk and provides real-world case-studies for a whole range of marketing strategies.
These strategies apply to Amazon, Etsy, Shopify and much more.
Find out more at Conversion Blueprint
Services and Tools I Use
Convertri (Funnel Builder)
I’ve used ClickFunnels and found it a bit too expensive for my needs. However, I wanted a way to create fast-loading pages for product offers before sending the visitor to a Shopify product page.
Convertri fits the bill for me.
To be honest, it’s a bit more “techie” than Clickfunnels but with that comes more freedom to design a page.
Integrations with Mailchimp, Convertkit, Shopify and other online platforms make it pretty versatile.
Developed in the UK by a very passionate development team it is worth checking out if you’re looking for a page builder.
Find out more at Convertri
Vectorstock.com is a great website to buy high quality vector graphics for $1 each or even less if you subscribe monthly.
I use graphics from VectorStock for mug and other POD designs.
I find VectorStock to have better quality graphics than the free image sites such as Pixabay.
Find out more at VectorStock
There are a huge number of tools that analyze product sales / sellers / profit and all manner of Amazon statistics to help you evaluate a niche or the competition from other sellers.
I’m not saying this is the best but it is the one I use and I find it really useful to better understand which products are successful within a niche.
Find out more at ASINspector Pro
Creating a pristine white background for your eCommerce product is essential if you want store visitors to clearly see the product. Not to mention Amazon require white background images for products.
My graphic designs skills are not up to using Photoshop for removing backgrounds in images.
However, Clipping Magic makes it amazingly simple. Dare I say … fun.
It is an online tool (no software to download, works for Mac & PC) – available for a monthly $3.99 subscription for up to 15 edits per month.
Find out more at Clipping Magic
Keepa is a free Chrome extension to track sales history for an item on Amazon and is a key part of the BookTrades system.
Works on both Mac and PC. It’s not just for books though – this software helps you evaluate any product’s sales history on Amazon.
Find out more at Keepa