Ecommerce Empire Builders – Review
It’s amazing what a bit of snooping around in your own Facebook list of saved posts will throw up.
Not what’s in that list, but just what looking in it, and clicking on the links, will persuade Facebook to serve you up afterwards.
In my case, as my save list consists of sponsored posts hawking the opportunity to make me a millionaire, and I’d been checking them out for material to write on, Facebook noticed and decided I was a good candidate to see Peter Pru’s sponsored ad for his Ecommerce Empire Academy.
And I was, because I clicked it too (sorry, Peter, there goes another piece of your ad budget). I even signed up to watch the webinar.
No intention of buying whatever was about to be peddled, but I watched it.
But jeez, these webinars… they’re the hardest part of doing this. It’s like watching the same movie but with a slight change of setting and character name. Sort of like an Elvis or John Wayne flick (except I like those guys).
The theme here, though, wasn’t a beach party or the Wild West, but drop-shipping, with a hero named Peter Pru.
Your friendly neighbourhood ecommerce guru. So maybe a Marvel/DC movie would’ve been a better comparison, but whatever.
Anyway, pro tip for watching webinars: if the host says it’s going to last an hour and a half, add at least another forty-five minutes on top of that. If there’s one thing these webinar car salesmen love to do, it’s repeat themselves (particularly on how to pay them). They sure do love the sound of their own voices, and dear Peter was no different.
But it was a slow Sunday evening, so I got a large cup of coffee (should’ve added a shot or two to it), made sure I’d had a “comfort break” before starting, because there ain’t no pause or ad break on a webinar, and settled in to see this “amazing knowledge no one’s talking about”.
No one, according to Peter Pru.
And I was lucky: I managed to secure one of the spaces for the free webinar that runs on demand to unlimited viewers.
Who Is Peter Pru?
You know you’re getting older when cops and doctors start to look too young for the job, and that was my first impression of young, fresh-faced Peter.
Still fresh-faced, despite manfully trying to sport a bit of unshaved stubble on a face that might need to nod hello to a razor all of two times a month.
Once upon a time, you could excuse the obvious youth of your wannabe gurus because the internet and internet marketing, were all so young… but this is 2020, and the internet ain’t so young anymore.
Peter sure is, though. Or looks it.
Please love me
So I had a, “Who’s this kid?” moment, that wasn’t fully relieved until Peter pulled up his slideshow and got his baby face off screen – for the next two hours and twenty minutes.
Then I only had to contend with him speaking like a machine gun and wondering what he’d snorted before kicking this webinar off.
But anyway, who is he? Well, there’s not a lot of info floating around on the net to say for sure, so we have to take young Peter’s word on it, for who he is.
And according to Peter, he graduated in 2012, and according to other sources he’s 28 years-old now.
Older than James Beattie then, and I guess I should be relieved he’s old enough to get served a drink if he asks.
I still bet he gets asked for proof of age, though.
However, since graduating college Peter’s been busy, and built himself a $50k a month Amazon business which was doing well till some competitor reported him to Amazon with a false accusation relating to IPs or something.
That resulted in Peter’s business tanking, and as Amazon shoot first and ask questions later, he was taken offline.
A year later, Peter sorts it all out, but it’s all over for that particular ecommerce venture, and he’s left with forty thousand dollars of unsold inventory sitting in an Amazon warehouse.
We’re never told what he does with that, it just sort of gets forgotten about in the hero’s journey.
Luckily for us, Peter doesn’t let a little thing like failure keep him down, so once out of the doldrums of losing a bit of side money to supplement the day job – to the tune of $80k a month high-ho – he pulls himself out of his funk, experiencing a transcendental epiphany that takes place at a McDonalds drive through.
He discovers the power of upsells, having purchased fries and a coke with his burger.
I imagine a bright, shining light emanating from his car, temporarily blinding anyone in the vicinity of this miracle of financial enlightenment. I wonder too, if this was the moment Peter realised he wasn’t destined for the “mediocre and boring life”, such as the rest of us little people lead (and can be spared if we buy his program).
It was from this epiphany that a million dollar ecommerce business sprung forth, earning Peter exclusive membership to the “two comma” club… and all thanks to the angel of this story, the unnamed McDonald’s server who asked if he wanted fries and coke with that burger.
The proof we have of that million dollars business claim, comes from another member of the two comma club, Russell Brunson. We see Peter pictured with him, as Brunson hands over an award for putting a million dollars worth of sales through Clickfunnels (and thus making Brunson even richer off his %).
I is an expert
I’ll assume that’s true, the million bucks. It won’t be net, and who knows what sort of ad budget was needed to drive a figure like that, but we’ll assume it’s true.
But even gross, I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty impressive figure.
However, I can’t give him much kudos for being snapped sitting on a Lambo, though. That’s standard guru fare, and means nothing.
Especially disappointing as his Facebook ad said he wouldn’t be doing that… and then he went and did it.
I was disappointed.
I don’t know if Peter made that million dollar figure before or after he got into the guru game, though.
Ecommerce Empire Academy isn’t his first foray into the paid program market, he started with Six Figure Funnels first, and then rebranded it to Empire Academy. I imagine he did that to try and distinguish it from the multitude of other “Six Figure [insert online business du jour here]” offerings out there.
Peter also claims to be one of Tai Lopez’s mentors, having been flown to Tai’s place in order to teach him the very same strategies he’s about to share (or some of them anyway).
Which means Tai could’ve saved himself the cost of a plane ticket and just fired up this webinar.
But that right there is just how much VALUE we’re gonna be getting, even just from this webinar with its “3 secrets” – and that’s without buying the actual program!
Damn, I was on the edge of my seat. If something can get Tai Lopez to shut up and sit down for ninety minutes, then I’d watch just for that. I mean, that’s not just a secret but a bona fide magic trick!
And just like Tai, Peter grew up with a poor family, and then graduated college ($80k in debt), but unlike Tai he actually flirted with having a real job.
Peter shows us a pic of his old, soul destroying office cubicle, which naturally didn’t fulfil him. Doing what 99.99% of the rest of humanity does, and has done, since time immemorial: working a job.
And who can blame Peter, he just thought that was what you were supposed to do in life – provide a means to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate.
Which, err, despite what these gurus try to sell, it is.
It’s called “work” for a reason, and it’s rarely soul enriching. In fact, I’m not even sure it’s meant to be? Because that’s not the point of it, or why we do it.
Sure, we all get a moment of existential angst on occasion and wonder if this is what we should be doing with our time on this Earth, but I’m not sure a $997 drop-shipping course is going to be the poultice that heals your soul.
Oops! I gave it away – the big reveal of the program price at the end of the webinar.
I hope I didn’t ruin the “surprise” too much there.
Ecommere Empire Academy – The Program
Before we get to what this is even all about, we get shown the people using the system we’re about to see, flaunting their success in the inevitable free Facebook group that’s set up for them.
Also inevitable is that none of the Facebook posts used as testimonials throughout this webinar include a year in the post date. That’s so the webinar can be run till doomsday, or the ad spend runs out.
However, rest assured that the people are legit, and they’re so legit that they get an actual award – from Peter – to put on their mantelpiece.
This could be you
You could be one of these people, too. The small print at the bottom of the webinar signup warns you probably won’t be, but Peter’s a lot more sure that you will be when you can’t hold him to anything in writing.
I’m a risk taker, so I registered
He says he’s helped “countless students find success” and students all over the world are “crushing it.”
In fact it was just after he began crushing it that he posted his strategies online, and got folks asking how he was achieving all this?
So he started the program this webinar is a funnel for, Ecommerce Empire Builders (by way of Six Figure Funnels as previously noted).
Actually, I wonder if Six Figure Funnels was one of those “more business failures than I can count” that Peter mentions.
See, I wonder what they were, and if he really had so many he couldn’t count them, all by the tender age of 28 years-old.
I also wonder where these discussion groups and forums are to be found, where the fledgling Peter Pru is recounting his sales successes, with folks clamouring for his wisdom.
So what is this “amazing knowledge no one’s talking about” and the method “so powerful” it’s allowed him to change his life, and others, to be financially free.
It’s drop-shipping without a storefront.
Instead of going to Shopify, you go to Peter’s pal Russell at Clickfunnels, and advertise your wares there.
This is because Shopify sales pages are too busy, with too much going on (or something), and a single landing page for your product, followed through by upsell pages, is better.
Or a sales funnel, as it’s also known.
Peter cites the Shopify stat that 1.33% is the average conversion rate on its stores, which he says proves the traditional storefront doesn’t work as a landing page.
He doesn’t say what his conversion rates are, just that Shopify’s are meagre.
However, this approach is nothing new. I’ve seen this discussed and touted since I first tuned into e-business five years ago.
And the discussion/method probably goes back further than that, I’m just saying when I first happened on it.
So while “novel”, this isn’t anything new, I’m afraid.
This is the play:
- Send your potential customers to a single purpose product page instead of a store page.
- Get their email address.
- Send them to the order form page.
- Offer the customer multiples of the same product at a “deal” price.
- Send them to the upsell page.
- Clicking “buy” on the upsell page places the order, without giving the customer an opportunity to think or change their mind.
“This is absolutely incredible”, Peter modestly says of his own method.
Except I’ve seen this touted before.
Peter shows slides of just how much more money you could make in addition to each sale with this method, but again with no stats of his own to say how many folks who land on his page, buy anything at all.
The minus figures are explained as the lost profit on typical Shopify drop-shopping sales.
The large positive figures are the profit from employing Peter’s sales funnel. Naturally.
He does produces stats of those who DID buy, and what they opted for, but we’ve no idea what the percentage of visitors to buyers is.
But on the face of it, what Peter’s touting isn’t a bad idea, if not an original or unique one.
Secret #1: How To Pick Winning Products
There’s three secrets Peter wants to share with us. No one else knows these. Except, to paraphrase Captain Edmund Blackadder, only ourselves and the rest of the English speaking world with an interest in drop-shipping.
The secret to picking a winning product, is you go to Amazon, see what’s making the best sellers lists, and then sell it too.
“Absolutely incredible”, to quote Peter himself.
Yeah… that’s one of the “secrets”. That’s the sort of gold I’m sitting through this webinar to line my pockets with [/sarcasm].
So if you didn’t know, anything with a seller rank of under 20,000 is selling a lot a day, so you should get on that bandwagon, too.
But where do you get them, these products that your extensive market research has highlighted as popular with the public.
You get them from Aliexpress, Amazon, and Light In The Box. Or eBay. Or anywhere else you can find to buy and ship at cheaper than you’ll flog them for, and will ship without branding or cover notes.
Once you start making real money, Peter says you can brand your own products. Until then, drop-ship all the way.
If you’re worried about them long delivery times from China, then source sellers in the USA (or wherever in the world you are).
Of course you gotta hope them nearer-to-home sellers are selling at a price that still gives you a decent margin, and leaves you competitive with everyone else selling the same thing via Amazon or eBay… but never mind that reality.
So the advice to be had in the first “secret” is hardly stellar or ground-breaking.
It’s simply Drop-Shipping 101.
Secret #2: Ditch Shopify
Peter says you really need sales funnels, that even Shopify says so, but the platform isn’t built for them.
Sounds like Shopify is missing a trick, then. You’d think they’d address that, if it were really case. I mean, I’m pretty sure they’ve got the money and resources to introduce it as another paid add-on… and pick up a few more million bucks they’re leaving on the table according to Peter Pru.
But while Shopify’s working on that, you got Peter’s pal Russell Brunson to pick up the slack with his Clickfunnels.
Clickfunnels will come in handy with that $3.5k a week template funnel Peter’s going to share with us at the end of the webinar.
Course, you got to sign-up for Clickfunnels at $97 a month, but this is just details. Details that aren’t mentioned during the webinar.
Maybe it gets addressed in the actual program, and I’m wondering if Peter provides a handy masked affiliate link in said program that you can click on to sign-up for Clickfunnels with.
You don’t need Shopify if you go that route, that’s true, but Peter also tells us you don’t need Woocommerce, either.
Which is not really true, because if you’ve got a Woocommerce site you can create sales funnel pages, and there’s plugins available to do that.
Just you’ll have to recreate Peter’s templates as they won’t work on that platform. Everything Peter offers is geared to funnel you first and foremost to Clickfunnels.
And Clickfunnels makes everything all so easy that even a cave man could do it, so Peter assures us.
Personally, I think you’d have to have been just defrosted from the Neolithic for anything that’s been said so far to be revelatory.
Secret #3: Getting Customers
This is really the worst bit so far, and the big hole in all this. Up till now, everything is workable, if not new or attributable to Peter Pru, but this section is pretty dumb.
Okay, so like all programs this one, too, reassures you that you need no experience and no money to get start making money… but having a Clickfunnels page isn’t going to be a magnet for your customers all on its lonesome. You need to drive traffic to it. And that can be expensive.
So how do you get free traffic, if you’re not prepared to build up a website over years using the siren song of SEO?
Well, according to Peter, you hop on social media and check out the folks with a big following who are active in the realm of whatever activity it is that utilises your product.
Peter uses the example of fishing lures/flies, so he went on YouTube, looked up the folks in that niche, and contacted them. Reached out to them and asked them to feature and endorse his Aliexpress junk in their videos, and “link below” to his shit.
Which is where the wheels come off all of this.
Not because social media influencers aren’t above endorsing a $5 piece of Chinese crap to their audience, but because they’re not going to do that for a free sample or the twenty bucks Peter mentions.
Or just because you’ve shown that you’re “different” and looking to build a long term business relationship… with no website or email list, just your first Peter Pru Clickfunnels template.
I’m betting your social media influencer has a better grasp on drop-shipping than you do, if you’re dumb enough to come cap in hand, knocking on their door like that.
These influencers get paid for shout outs and links, and they don’t do it for free or twenty bucks either. You’re going to pay hundreds, or thousands, for that sort of ad placement.
Where you’ll pay twenty bucks is where the influencer has twenty subscribers. Check out influencer costs here.
This shit just will not fly, I’m afraid.
Even with trying to convince us that his green and fresh student Bronson landed an influencer with a million followers in his first month.
For free? I call bullshit on that.
You can forget that strategy. If you want to drive traffic to your sales funnel, you’re using the pay-per-click ad platforms like Google and Facebook.
What Peter Pru says in the ‘Secret 3’ section is where he reveals himself as just another bullshit artist, in my opinion.
The Program Content
I’ll let Peter explain that:
So basically a lot of fluff for Module One relating to mindset and preparing for success.
We’ve already covered product identification. Ethical sales tactics? He doesn’t use them in the hard-sell of this program to come.
How to squeeze maximum revenue out of every customer… that should be a heads-up for you as a customer of Peter’s.
How to charge for common marketing knowledge you can get for free?
How to get influencers begging to promote your products? Be a big paying, big brand. They’ll fall over themselves.
Ah, Facebook ads. I was wondering when we’d get to them… and why do we need them anyway if we’re getting free exposure to our target buyers from influencers?
You don’t need this module because this will never happen.
The Program Sell
This bit takes up a whole forty minutes, including the pre-prepared slides that are supposed to be spontaneous webinar attendee questions.
These guys can never just tell you what the price is, you have to get the full market trader rundown of fictitious, made-up prices, of bonuses and add-ons, to make it seem like that $997 really is a bargain.
That “total value” may as well be payable in Monopoly money, it bares as much relation to reality.
Because if Peter Pru thought he could charge $24,991.00 for his standard-issue, common knowledge, freely available elsewhere, recycled drop-shipping advice, he would.
Peter keeps repeating that $997 is “just a drop in the bucket” (shouldn’t that be “ocean”?) compared to what you’ll make with his “wildly profitable” system, and even though he previously derided other ‘fake’ drop-shipping gurus and get-rich-quick schemes, that’s exactly the type of hard-sell he’s pushing now.
Complete with fake sales pings going off of people rushing to buy.
There’s “no risk” either as you’ll get your money back and an extra insurance payment, if you fail with this “proven system.”
But I’d bet you’ll never, ever, meet the standard required to get that money back as you’ll have to satisfy the sales team (Peter and his wife) that you failed whilst faithfully implementing the system.
No one gets rich selling online programs and honouring the ‘promise’ of a refund.
Peter stokes the fire some more by saying that within thirty days of joining you could be making $30k or $50k a month!
That you’ll learn more in thirty days than in four years of college, and without the $80k of debt (Jeez, what did Peter major in, and where did he go to school? I’d avoid it if that’s the case).
Then we get the testimonial from Mike, who we’re told is turning “massive amounts” of profit, and sold his Shopify store for $50k (but I thought we didn’t need one?)
But Mike looks broke. The folks in testimonials always do. They’re always in some grim box room that doesn’t exactly suggest “success” and riches.
And Mike doesn’t look like a guy heading for $100k a month in net profits i.e. $1.2million in a year. Not in that picture he doesn’t.
It’s relentless the hard sell in the webinar at this point, worse than usual for these things:
- You get access to weekly live webinars + recordings.
- Peter charges $1k an hour for his coaching.
- You get access to his private library of 7 figure templates funnels, not shared anywhere else, and he doesn’t do this often (just every time the webinar plays) and it isn’t shared anywhere else.
- His sales funnel library sells for $15k (shows some e-receipt of some idiot that supposedly bought it).
- $15k is a steal he says (without a shred of irony at using the word “steal”).
- But there’s more – Peter does over the shoulder training too! Watch as he builds his next seven figure business and scales it to eight figures. No one else is doing that! (Yes they are, it’s rife in the industry, the over-the-shoulder thing).
- You can make your money back in 2 days!
- Again, that $997 will be a drop in the bucket within six months if you do what peter says!
- Extra bonuses to sweeten the pot – but don’t tell anybody! Only for action takers – he will personally review your first funnel, and that’s $5,000 in value right there (his usual fee).
- Bonuses will be gone tomorrow, or when clock hits zero!
- So many of our students are absolutely crushing it!
- 16 year-olds making $50k a month!
- I want to give you a great life!
The final touted cost with them bonuses:
Oh rly? $997 seems like such a bargain now!
Man, it was a barrage of marketing bullshit and promises, only missing Peter calling out, “Roll up, roll up!”
But what really turned me off, where the trust was totally and unequivocally lost, was when Peter declared that if you couldn’t afford the $997, even with the Paypal credit scheme, then you’re the person who needs this most. That you need to get in right now. That you need to figure out how to get in.
“You fail because your friends and family who don’t understand and won’t support you.” Wow. That’s some MLM, cult-like thinking right there he’s promoting. Yeah, I bet his little Facebook group encourages you to shun friends and family who don’t think you should be spending any more on upsells with Peter Pru.
That’s pretty sickening. That says to me he doesn’t give a shit about anything, except extracting the money from your wallet. That sort of “advice”, encouraging folks to put themselves in debt, hurt themselves like that, is just poisonous. That just puts me in mind of Matt Lloyd.
He had something of baby face, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth, too.
What Do I Think of Ecommerce Empire Academy?
I think if you want to save $997, you should just watch Peter Pru’s YouTube channel.
I’ve watched a few of his vids and I reckon you’ll learn all you need to know of his method right there for free. In fairness, they’re not bad.
And there’s hundreds of other similar YouTube accounts dispensing drop-shipping advice too.
If you want it all packaged up… then no, I’m still not going to recommend it. Not because of the price, and not even because of that Matt Lloyd homage he did at the end, imploring you to save yourself from poverty by putting yourself into even more debt by giving him the $997 you don’t have.
No, I don’t recommend it because telling you that you’re going to get free exposure and sales from social media influencers, is just flat out bullshit.
Seriously, if he’s going to try and sell you on that fantasy, then fuck him.
You’re going to shell out for the program, Clickfunnels, and then more again using paid ads to drive traffic to your sales funnel.
A whole module of the program is devoted to Facebook ads. That’s where you’re headed, not free influencer marketing. You’re being misled massively to believe otherwise.
And if you believe the money will come “flooding in”, all for working thirty minutes a day, then I’ve got a bodybuilding program I’d like to sell you that promises you can look like Schwarzenegger in his prime, and you don’t have to move off your couch to achieve this in under a month.
Peter tells us we can “100% have it” – financial independence – but the only empire he’s interested in building is the bank account that goes by the name of Empire Holdings Group.
Make Money Without Hurting Yourself
Forget spending $997 and then that again on Facebook ads, or making an ass of yourself contacting influencers with a gift basket of Aliexpress tat, try something that’ll make you a buck without hurting you.
Despite what Peter says, a website is a plus, and you can get that (25 of them in fact) and all the training and tools you need to make some money online at Wealthy Affiliate (WA).
I joined them in 2016, stayed, and actually made some money. I can’t say that of any other damn thing I tried. Not consistently anyway.
Of course the format suits me because I like writing (obviously) and have a bit of perseverance – and believe me, it’s easier to persevere when it’s not costing you $97 a month like Clickfunnels does (and that’s AFTER you’ve shelled out to Peter Pru).
So check it out. You can read my full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
You get a week’s worth of free membership to have a look round, see if it’s for you, no “credit card required for verification” bullshit, and a week’s long enough to decide if you want to stick around.
And you’ll probably make some money if you do.