If there's ever been a good time to consider selling on Amazon, it was yesterday. With the massive shifts in technology and logistics have come a tsunami-size e-commerce wave, only fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. While selling on Amazon has existed for many years now, there has never been so much information accessible to current and potential Amazon sellers. Perhaps it's time to consider an Amazon FBA course, which has become a popular first step to beginning your e-commerce journey.
Selecting the right Amazon FBA course is an important decision, and should be treated as an investment. While many courses are financially accessible to many, some charge upwards of thousands for the best ones. In this guide, we'll discuss what to look for in an Amazon FBA course, and whether or not you might need one - the answer might surprise you! With all that said, let's dive in.
Forget a course, what even is Amazon FBA?
FBA stands for Fulfillment by Amazon, and is responsible for the majority of the logistics when buying on Amazon.com. Any time you purchase something on Amazon.com, and you see "Ships from: Amazon.com" or "Fulfilled by Amazon," this is FBA working behind the scenes.
FBA is responsible for two major phenomenons; Prime 1-day shipping, and the FBA business model. Anybody who shops on Amazon and uses Prime shipping knows the convenience of standard overnight shipping, and FBA is to thank for this. The FBA program is also responsible for the Amazon FBA business model, which has also gained serious traction in recent years.
When selling on Amazon as a FBA seller, you are reaping the following benefits:
- Storage of inventory at Amazon Fulfillment Centers
- Fulfillment of your products' orders, from packaging and prepping to last-mile delivery
- Prime 1-day shipping for most customers
- Amazon's handling of returns, exchanges, cancellations, and customer service
- Low entry barrier to selling online, with most overhead taken care of
Why would I need an Amazon FBA course?
This question faces some serious debate, but many self-taught sellers will tell you that you don't. This isn't to say that there's no value to be gained from a course, but most of what a course can teach can also be self-taught.
However, this is a caveat to this. Just because something can be self-taught doesn't necessarily mean that it should. Without any real education or experience with selling on Amazon, newbies are prone to making mistakes. Mistakes when selling on Amazon can be costly, both financially and with time, and can even risk more serious consequences.
For these reasons, while am Amazon FBA course isn't required, it may make sense for those looking to optimize their business from day 1. There are different methods of learning the Amazon FBA business model, including mentorship, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, or a more structured approach. For many, the latter is the most effective, and can be found in abundance in the form of courses.
Okay, I'm interested. What should I look for?
We've all seen it in sponsored ads and YouTube clips; a young person with an oceanfront backdrop or orange Lamborghini claiming they will make you rich. While some of these are repelling to some, and obnoxious to most, Amazon FBA is a real business model with plenty of opportunity.
While you likely wouldn't be advised to pick a course specially on its sponsored ads, there are some general guidelines that make a bit more sense:
This is the first and likely the biggest factor for most seeking an Amazon FBA course. While cheaper is generally better, that may not be the case in regard to courses. Most likely, any "free" course likely won't provide as much valuable information, and you may be risking a good amount of time. Any course that is 100% free is free for a reason; the information you need is likely locked behind a paywall, and the free version serves as a teaser.
As you will likely notice right off the bat, some Amazon FBA courses can reach sky-high prices. This doesn't necessarily mean they're worth it, though. Most of the information you'll need can likely be accessed at a lower-mid price point, and even then, most of that information can likely be found elsewhere for free.
Our advice is to not pick a course on the cost alone, even though this is natural filter. With courses in this space, accurate, real-life applications are invaluable, as is a support system for once the course is over.
The Amazon landscape changes daily. This is incredibly important to any would-be Amazon seller looking to enter the space. There are two areas specifically where accurate, current information is imperative: regulations and fees, and trends.
Anybody who sells on Amazon knows the levels of standards and regulations that exist, especially for sending in FBA inventory. Amazon's strict guidelines for sending in inventory exist to make the process safe and efficient for the fulfillment centers, of which Amazon is known to have a very low tolerance. Being fully informed of the current rules and proper guidelines is imperative, and can be costly if mistakes are made. Amazon can reject shipments, or even dispose of inventory that doesn't conform to their regulations. Finding a course that is fully up to date with fees and regulations will save big, avoidable headaches down the road, and will ensure your business stays profitable.
Trends are another important factor when selling on Amazon, as these change with the wind. Staying ahead of trends on Amazon can reap massive benefits (and profits), and being late to the party can also cost you. You wouldn't want to order thousands of dollars of a particular product, only to discover the listing has become saturated, or worse, taken down. For these reasons, finding a course that maintains current trend data and guidance can be a total game changer.
Actual results & testimonials
Talk is cheap. Some Amazon FBA courses may tout them being the best, provides the most value, or has the "secret no other course will tell you." Some may fall for these claims, but it's awfully difficult to believe everything at face value.
Actual results and testimonials speak volumes louder than any advertisement, and doing due diligence into the performance of past students may be your best protection against worthless courses. Testimonials and reviews are also a must-read, as anybody spending thousands on a course with no value will likely be vocal about it. Certainly watch out for these, and avoid any courses with reviews claiming a "scam" like the plague.
Let's say you complete a course, proceed to get started on your journey, and then encounter trouble or simply have a question. If the course you have just spent hundreds (if not thousands on) is a closed door, you likely picked a bad course.
The best courses will offer a form of continued support post-course, which brings tremendous peace of mind to sellers. Amazon is a sea of tricky waters to navigate, and mistakes are almost inevitable. With the evolving landscape, there is always more to learn and questions to be answered.
Your best bet will be to pick a course that provide these answers after you've left the nest. This can be in the form of support representatives, or in the form of a community such as a Facebook group. The worst place to be is not having a direction to turn after spending money on a course, and having some resource is infinitely better than none at all.
As Warren Buffett famously said, "it takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." This can be applied anywhere, and spending your hard-earned money on a course should come with a good reputation.
Reading up on a potential course's testimonials will typically provide insight into its reputation, but there are courses that are generally regarded to be no-no's. Knowing of these potential dangers right off the bat will not only save time, but ensure that you aren't making an avoidable mistake.
It is very easy to make arguments both for and against investing in an Amazon FBA course. Seasoned and self-taught sellers will probably tell you it isn't worth it, but for courses with value, the time could bring positive ROI. Due diligence is required, as finding the right course for you can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
With the right budget and the willingness to give one a shot, an Amazon FBA course has the potential to pay dividends. Being fully educated right off the bat can put you well on your way to growing a successful Amazon business.