Product Name: The Complete Amazon Marketing System
Product Owner: Skip McGrath
Advertised Price: $147
What Is It?
A printed, 350 page book about starting a business selling things on Amazon. Additional online resources are included as well.
Skip McGrath’s Complete Amazon Marketing System is a massive, well organized guide on selling a variety of things on Amazon. Skip definitely offers some unique perspective on the business, and including the online resources, the $147 price-tag is a steal.
The main thing that was difficult for me to get over was that it was a printed book, which I will discuss in the review, but I think some people may prefer this.
Before You Buy
After buying The Complete Amazon Marketing System, it took just a few days for the book to arrive at my house. In the meantime, I was able to check out some of the online resources. With your purchase, you get access to a number of things on Skips website.
Some are full resources Skip has written over the years on topics related to selling on Amazon/Ebay, and others are just updates.
The book itself is divided into two parts, Volume 1 and 2. Here’s a breadown of what’s inside
- Online Business Basics
- Amazon Selling Basics
- Advanced Selling Strategies
- Product Acquisition
Volume 2 contains a full 83 pages just about product acquisition!
Bonuses on Website
- Step-by-Step Guide to Creating your First FBA Shipment
- How to Private Label Products to Sell on eBay and Amazon
- How to Import Products From Overseas to Sell on Amazon
- Selling on Amazon U.S. from Overseas Countries
- Using Amazon Fulfillment Service Centers to Grow Your Business
- Amazon Seller’s Worksheet
- 90 Day Amazon Experiment FBA Training Videos (7 videos)
- Selling Grocery and Gourmet Foods on Amazon and eBay
- How to make Money With a book Scanning Device and Service
- 30 Minute Coaching Session
- Tips to Improve Titles, Descriptions and Keywords in Your Amazon Listings
- FBA Quick Start Guide
- Making Product Photos for Bundled Goods
What I Liked
Some People Will Like The Physical Book
Maybe it’s just my generation or the fact that I have a good internet connection and computer setup, but it always surprises me when I receive requests for instructions on how to download a video from some website. Everything I do is online, and in the cloud, and it annoys me when I have to store things locally.
Same deal with physical books. I like everything digital (except my beer books, which I read for pleasure, and take on the road with me).
The point I’m trying to make is that I know that some people would rather have a physical book to hold and flip through while they learn. I don’t (see below), but I think some folks in the older generation would prefer this medium. It’s also good for someone with a slow or poor internet connection, so you always have access to your study material.
Vast Amount of Information
The sheer amount of what’s available to learning he pages of The Complete Amazon Marketing System is shocking. In fact, I haven’t even read it all yet because it was just too overwhelming to read from front to back in order to complete this review.
After about 120 pages, I felt like, “OK, I believe you know your stuff. I have to get this review done now”. lol. In fact, Volume 2 of the guide is almost 100 pages of where to source items like:
- wholesalers, dealers, distributors
- negotiations with wholesalers
- buying at auctions
- closeout dealers
- drop shipping
- buying at trade shows
- Retail arbitrage
There is also a wider variety of information available than in most products. It’s clear that Skip has been involved in a variety of business models over the years, and spends his time not only making money with those businesses, but trying new things, and honing his skills as an Amazon/Ebay master seller.
One statement I really enjoyed in the book was (paraphrase) that the vast majority of people selling on these platforms are novices, and all you really need to do is follow the course, stick around, and you’ll be doing much better than the other guys quite soon.
I know this to be true for most things that I’ve done, including learning languages, playing music, and making money online. 80% of people will give up in a short period of time. Another portion of folks will experience some success, but not try that hard to be awesome at it. So all you really need to do is try hard for a long time, and you can be in the top 10% of anything you learn, including building a successful Amazon business.
More “Business Oriented”
There’s a lot more in this book about how to set up an actual business. This can work as a pro or a con (see cons below), but for those that know they want to commit to creating a full time business from Day 1, Skip’s got you covered.
There’s tips on taxes, incorporating, sourcing from wholesalers, getting loans to buy inventory – all of which was a bit over my head, but you should know that it was in there.
Some of the business ideas were a bit overwhelming to me, a person that does not have a degree in business nor know much about setting one up. But these ideas did open up a lot of interesting possibilities of how to run your Amazon selling business.
Oh, and there were some interesting success stories and niche ideas. Remanufactured electronics and collector DVDs were two niche ideas that caught my eye, and the story about a lady that source belt buckles in Texas to sell in New York, Japan, and the UK was one of those things where I thought to myself, “Wow. I should have thought of that!”
What I Didn’t Like
I'm Just Not Into Paper
It might be that I’ve been working online so long that I have a short attention span, but I found myself nodding off a lot reading the book. No offense to Skip or the material, but something about sticking my nose between those pages just put me to sleep. I find that watching videos and reading interactive material with links and color pictures is a lot more interesting.
I also found it (more) difficult (than ebooks) to flip through and find points that I was looking for. With ebooks, I can just find the chapter I want to visit, click the chapter link, then ctrl+f.
There were also print issues where the ink on the screenshots were faded, and hard to read. He mentions this in the book itself, so I’m not sure why it hasn’t been fixed.
And have you ever sat in front of a computer with a book, keyboard, mouse, and notepad for notes? It doesn’t fit! Well, mine didn’t anyway. It was just kind of a pain in the butt to read the book, then translate in my brain to do the physical tasks on the Amazon website.
Last gripe about the paper book: It wasn’t instant delivery, and there are no updates to the material itself. Skip does provide updates on the Online Seller’s Resource website, but it’s just a different dynamic than most of the other products in the Amazon FBA training space.
No Consistent Support
The main thing this product is missing is a support network. These are taken directly from the book:
(about support) “I am happy to offer occasional advice or answer a question or two”
(about coaching) “please don’t invest in our program unless you can really afford it”
The sales page for the personal coaching is a lot more friendly, but it just kind of seems like he’s got stuff to do, so you need to find other ways to get help with your business. I can understand why – he’s running a business and this book is just a guide he’s selling! It’s not like you can call Tim Ferris and ask him for advice on how to quit your job. But still, there are competing products that provide ways to get in contact with other sellers and contact the owners directly
Too Much Business?
I felt that The Complete Amazon Marketing System might be a bit overwhelming for some people. In the first few chapters Skip discusses buying wholesale, incorporating, negotiating deals, finding investment capital, and even creating your own business cards and letterhead.
I think a lot of people just want to get their feet wet with a few products, and see how things go before they go full throttle. He does mention to start slow a few times, but I felt that the business-y info could have be put closer to the end of the book, and then those interested in it could skip to that section when they are ready.
After taking some other courses on Amazon FBA, I was surprised that The Complete Amazon Marketing System had several recommendations for buying things in bulk to get deals. This is in contrast to other advice I got, which was to only do that if you are 100% sure (and experienced) that this was going to be a long term profitable item for you.
It’s not bad or good, it just depends on what your goals are.
Though I mentioned that there is no support system for this product, Skip is active in the My Silent Team group, which has a lot of discussions on Amazon FBA. In fact, he posted there just today (June 3).
Also, Skip has a bunch of other books on his website related to various selling niches and skills.
Last thing: I found that Skip recommends eBay sellers get their own website and he had an endorsement for a place called Site Build It. I strongly disagree with this recommendation based on my own experience and this in-depth, negative review of SBI.
A great resource of information. It might not be the best course for a complete newbie to get started, but I think two specific types of people will really enjoy this product.
1. A person with an Amazon business generating some money, that wants to take it to the next level
2. A person that wants to jump in the deep end from day 1, setting themselves up as a business entity, not just a person selling on Amazon.
Alternatives to The Complete Amazon Marketing System
I’ve now done quite a few reviews on products that specialize in Amazon selling. I eventually want to get a full comparison page up so you can see them side by side, but for now, here’s the rundown.
Adventures on The River is a membership website that teaches reselling physical books, creating digital books, and selling with FBA.
Most products like this last just a few short months then disappear. That's the nature of hype in the business of making money online.
The only system I've seen last more than a decade is the same place where I learned how to start an online business. They've been around teaching newbies to make money online since 2006. You can join for free and start your first website in the next couple minutes
Amazon Bootcamp is a video course and Facebook group dedicated to helping complete newbies get started selling through FBA.
Proven Amazon Course is a mix of PDFs, videos, and audio recordings from a variety of experts with experience selling on Amazon. This also includes access to a very active Facebook group and forum.