Vick Strizheus & Shubham Singh – Ecom Entrepreneur – Review
And from what I’ve seen of the promotional material, I like the message.
But then I generally do with Vick Strizheus.
Vick looks in good shape these days, obviously working out and eating well.
That’s apparent as I’ve been watching a lot of his older (and probably pirated) traffic generating strategies on Youtube, and physical improvement aside, I have to say, even if some of the information is out of date now, it’s still refreshing.
Because Vick isn’t just repeating the same old shit you’d still hear everywhere else, it really was revelatory information and a new way of looking at getting leads/customers.
I was so impressed I even went looking for the now defunct High Traffic Academy!
I mostly found complaints and negative reviews after doing that, but still… that’s the salesmanship of Vick Strizheus!
So I’m very careful around this guy.
I know of him, I’m aware of his rep, I’m fully versed in all the shit he’s done… and I still find myself warming to him! Because despite his shady past (prison for fraud), the accusations of affiliate ID swapping, Empower, previous defunct programs (Big Idea Mastermind etc.)… Vick does actually know what he’s talking about when it comes to traffic generation! He’s no scammer in that regard at least: he is a bona fide expert in that field.
Like I’ve said, he’s an enigmatic character that’s hard to gauge.
Add to that, that this guy is very, very good at selling and inveigling himself, and you’ll understand why I tread so warily around him – and his invites to spend my money on his programs.
So I’m not surprised, that at least superficially, I like what I hear in the promo vids.
Because as per traffic generation, Vick isn’t just saying the same old tired bullshit that every other would-be drop-shipping guru is saying.
And he’s right too; there’s so much “smoke” out there, that you don’t know who’s for real, and who’s just repeating what the last guy said. Like I demonstrated in my Chris Cobb review, it’s easy to manipulate the output of Shopify and Facebook ads reports: anyone can look like they’ve got impressive sales figures with a couple of screenshots after the right bit of doctoring.
Vick is also spot-on about the advice for drop-shipping: find something on Aliexpress, steal the stock images, throw them up on your site, spend five bucks on Facebook ads, and hope you make twenty cents from it.
I had to laugh too, when he said he just saved you five thousand dollars, because yeah, that’s drop-shipping in a nutshell.
And because it’s such a vague strategy there’s a whole off-shoot of other programs you can buy on Facebook ads and niche/product selection – for another $997 or thereabouts.
So Vick is coming at this differently, pitching it differently, to the potential course-buying audience.
Saying something new in other words.
Or at least something that hasn’t been said a thousand times already.
The videos aren’t the usual shitty production value you come to expect with Facebook-Clickfunnels promos: these are slicker, better shot, better quality. Looks like some effort and thought’s been put in before hitting ‘record,’ and some more effort and thought’s been put in after pressing ‘stop’ and getting back to the editing software.
Which is good marketing.
Well… at the least the segments with Vick walking through New York city obviously feel that way, once we get to the sit down sections it’s maybe not so apparent.
But even these sections are better done, more polished, better lit and sound; more ‘studio’ – even if they’re not.
Which is in keeping with the overall message of the piece, which it transpires is the power of good branding.
I’d never heard of this guy prior to Vick introducing him, but it’s a big world, so maybe not too surprising.
I don’t doubt the guy’s credentials or success, and I like what he’s saying… but he’s not as focused as Vick and if he can say something in ten sentences instead of one, he does.
It’s not that he’s verbose or deliberately adding fluff to pad the scenes out I don’t think, it’s just how he is I reckon. He’s just one of those guys that it takes him forever to get to the point of what he’s saying, and goes off on so many tangents, he’s often in danger of missing his own point – but Vick reels him back in and gets him there.
Vick cheerleads Shubham’s advice, and his success story, and the advice imparted is good… but charismatic and engaging Shubham is not.
Despite being very enthusiastic and animated.
It’s a sort of curious combination that you’d think would work, but somehow doesn’t. I frequently found myself thinking, “Get to the point already!” And you couldn’t even skip forward in case you missed a nugget, as his flow was all over the place.
And… in the first vid, I think Shubham must be suffering from a throat infection/cold or something, as his voice sounds shot, and makes listening to him not the most pleasant of experiences.
Like nails down a blackboard.
But yeah, he has a good story to tell of how he built his business… he just needs a good ghost writer to tell it for him, though!
Video #1: “The Fastest Growing Business”
Vick, Shubham and New York city’s intros out of the way, Shubham gets down to who he is and what he’s doing.
He tells us he starts out at seventeen – and isn’t that much older now because his business is three years old – and tells a somewhat stock story of being the business/ecommerce neophyte who somehow manages to blunder his way to success through a mixture of naivety, passion, hard work and imagination.
And I suspect, though not really dwelt on, assistance from family money and connections.
Shubham’s initial product is a hoverboard, something he accidentally spotted one day, and had an inkling that this could be something big.
His other friends had been making ten or twenty dollars off Instagram, and that sort of small change was of no interest: he was looking for the big product that could be used to create a brand and legacy.
And a shit ton of money.
So via family connections, he found out where the boards were made, and got an introduction to the manufacturer.
He ordered one, had it branded, and then promoted it via Instagram using influencers.
And it took off for him!
Me, I like the story, I like what the guy says about how regular drop-shipping is too constrictive and doesn’t allow you to present a brand – plus everyone’s doing it and you don’t distinguish yourself from the morass – but I’ve got some questions that never get answered.
I’m wondering how Shubham proved he had a market? Did he have pre-orders for instance? How did he determine the product’s viability before ordering in quantity?
He relates that he photo’d the hoverboard imaginatively, depicting it as a luxury item at first, and then ‘tested to destruction’ to prove its durability and capabilities as an item fit for purpose – and more so. Was it from these photos then, that he created a buzz – because if he only had the one board, and it was beat-up as part of the promo, he wasn’t sending that out to influencers (I don’t think). And did he then boost these pics as Instagram posts, is that how he got reach and then sales, or at least pre-orders?
Because none of that is gone into and explained, we just get the very broad brushstrokes, and a lot of enthusiasm and how great and innovative Shubham is in his ideas, but not much more.
It’s not lost on me that there’s a lot left out.
Like where the money came from to order a few hundred or even a few thousand boards from abroad, and getting them branded and shipped, and import duties etc.
You wouldn’t just go to that expense, and risk, off the back of a few Instagram likes surely?
I mean, fine, Shubham reiterates how he’d sell this to himself, but just because you personally happen to like something, is no guarantee anyone else will!
So, I wouldn’t go ordering a thousand branded widgets of whatever your fancy is, just because you think you’re the arbiter of taste…
That is how you lose one large sum of money, thinking like that.
Maybe all this is covered in the actual course, I’m aware this is just a taster, and they’re not going to reveal everything, it’s more about getting folks excited and hyped up enough to buy-in to the program.
Shubham admits too, that he was winging his ‘marketing’ as he didn’t know how to market at the time. He didn’t know about Facebook ads (not sure how he could’ve missed them if he was advertising on Instagram, as it uses Facebook ads), re-targeting, SEO; nothing. All he knew was what was in front of him, which was his phone and Instagram.
Thus he estimates he lost many millions of dollars through his naivety.
And he was doing all this out of his parents’ garage. Which as Vick points out, isn’t a bad place to start, as Apple and Amazon launched from a similar address.
Something else I like about Vick in this pitch, is that he isn’t suddenly pretending he’s an ecommerce guru. He knows how to get traffic, but he doesn’t try and sell himself as the front man who’s been “secretly” working away at this in the background, and now mastered it, and now he’s going to share it with us! You know, the usual bullshit that comes with a new bandwagoning product launch (Chris Cobb specialises in this).
Vick and Shubham both drop a lot of truth bombs about drop-shipping and its limitations and its bullshittery.
Video #2: “Traffic and Marketing”
Shubham shows us some examples of his custom products and some pre-existing items he simply rebranded and presented (boxed) more ‘exclusively.’
He does a good job on his branding too, and from where I’m sitting, they certainly look like luxury items in their presentation.
Shubham talks more about how he goes about creating the impression of a luxury brand, by having his products featured against the right backdrops – like the interior and steering wheel of a Bentley, Rolls Royce or Lamborghini.
Quite how you go about getting these backdrops he doesn’t really say. I’m not sure if the cars are rented, belong to friends and family, or if he goes to showrooms and pulls the stunt there, or contacts the folks who own these motors and ask if they’d be willing to take a suitable product placement pic in return for the product.
Shubham speaks about contacting influencers, people with a 100k followers, not necessarily celebrities, and getting a price for them to feature his products. He mentions $500.
He also speaks about tweaking a product’s presentation if influencer advertising doesn’t result in as much sales as hoped. And abandoning a product and moving onto the next thing if it isn’t working.
All of this doesn’t strike me as cheap… getting the product branded and custom boxed, paying the influencer, and then repeating with the next product if that doesn’t work.
That sounds suspiciously like the drop-shipping way of doing things, except instead of five bucks to test, you’re looking at five hundred to a thousand maybe, depending on your product.
Maybe that’s why the drop-shipping model is so popular: it’s a bit more accessible. And again, who was bankrolling all this for the seventeen year-old Shubham?
Speaking of drop-shipping, a police siren goes on in this clip as Vick gives us a Stripe payment update to a change in their terms & conditions. He shows a screenshot saying Stripe won’t work with high risk stores like drop-shipping, and forecasts Paypal will follow suit, too, in time.
We’re loosely told how Shubham goes about marketing in this video, but there’s still no real info on getting traffic, some avenues Shubham says he still doesn’t know much about, but he has a team these days that does, and they handle that for him. So the “traffic” element of this vid isn’t really there.
Also… Shubham sounds a bit vague again, like maybe more so than can be attributed to just holding info back for the course: like he’s really not sure why he hit it big himself. His products and branding are top-notch, his presentation and photos the same, but it’s like he’s not quite sure how he managed to successfully market it and reach the buying audience, though.
And how much he spends (or spent) to do that as he relates stories about global customers: that’s a big ad budget, and that never gets talked about.
So, while I’m impressed with Shubham’s products and brand etc., I still don’t really have a clue as to what the process or the bankroll is, that’s required to do it his way.
But it doesn’t look cheap.
Video #3: “Insider ECOM Secrets”
I liked the first two vids, but things tail off quite a bit in this one for me.
It’s the build up to announcing the program name – Ecom Entrepreneurs – and hyping the signup/registration program launch.
All without telling you the most pertinent bit of information: which is the price.
So there’s a lot of rambling on, and repeated information in this section, going over the same things that were said in parts one and two, in almost exactly the same way, about drop-shipping as it’s currently sold as a course i.e. Aliexpress and Facebook ads etc.
Shubham’s voice is really shot in this clip, listening to him is tortuous, and he’s all over the place again in his thoughts. He goes off on a ramble about Tesla cars and cutting out the middleman (Aliexpress), go direct to the manufacturer who will work with you and help you to create a brand.
Which is great, but how do you go about determining MVP and if you’ve got a market for your gizmos before you place them big orders?
Shubham speaks about having an “idea” but again, I’m sure we’ve all got lots of ideas, but it doesn’t mean they’re viable or anyone else will be interested in them!
He speaks about Uber and Facebook, that these weren’t the first businesses of their type, there was an ‘Uber’ (or similar idea) before Uber, and likewise there was MySpace before Facebook, the important bit is not so much to be first, but to market correctly.
So, you can take an existing Aliexpress product, brand it, and with the right marketing, make it a seller.
And presumably Shubham is going to teach us how to do that in Ecom Entrepreneur… which to me, sounds like specialised one-on-one training required to do that, not generic advice in a pre-recorded course.
I sure hope Shubham has a script for this course though, because his mind flies all over the place, and I hope his voice is in better condition too, because I found him unintelligible throughout several sections of this vid.
Vick extols us to learn from the guy who’s doing it, not selling it, and that’s great advice. Meaning, Shubham is actually running an ecommerce business, not just selling a course on it. Shubham tells a funny story about a friend whose taken his advice and has a Shopify course, but doesn’t even have a shop himself(!).
I believe it.
But speaking of Shopify, I was wondering if that was what Shubham used to sell his products? He goes onto say that in the course, there’s a done-for-you Shopify store, so I’m not sure. This is the first time the method of selling is almost touched on. Maybe they don’t want to go there, because while claiming to be different, but yet pushing Shopify, it’s evident that Ecom Entrepreneur still shares a lot with the traditional drop-shipping model they’re shitting on (excuse my frankness).
And Shubham concentrates on the sexy stuff toward the end when him and Vick are talking about how this course is going to change ecommerce – the stuff like getting your name, logo and branding… so you’re already imagining your Gucci-like product range and giving Gary Vaynerchuk like monologues on Facebook in just a few, short years.
Because it’s just that ‘easy,’ and Shubham’s youth and inexperience when he started out is stressed again.
What struck me most about this vid is that Vick needs someone better to bounce off than Shubham. Vick is charismatic, likeable, and a great salesman… and Shubham may be a great marketer and entrepreneur, but he’s not a character. He’s like an ADD kid a lot of the time, unfocused, rambling and losing his way in his point frequently.
Video #4: “Getting Started”
Video 4 is a short clip wherein Vick and Shubham try to drum up excitement for the soon-to-be arriving email in your inbox inviting you get in on an early bird discount. It’s here we finally get told the price: $4,997.
But they also talk-up the course as giving you the opportunity to be an ecommerce consultant, that on successfully completing it – however they define that – you can take these skills to a retailer without an online presence, and get them setup with an e-store, social media etc., as per Shubham’s model.
They claim you can charge upwards of $10k for this service.
Except I’m thinking, who doesn’t have an online presence these days, but for the smallest of small stores or a startup, and they won’t be looking to spend four figures on fixing that I wouldn’t imagine… I could be wrong, but that’s what I’m thinking.
The early bird discount mentioned earlier is $3,000, so you’re getting the chance to get in on this for a ‘mere’ $1,997 – which Vick assures us is a “drop in the ocean” compared to its real value.
I’ve heard him use that phrase before…
Vick claims that this discount will only be available to early birders and Four Percenters, and then it will raise to full price in future.
Of course Vick also used to claim that membership of the Four Percent Group was a limited time offer of $47 and be rising to $247… but that never happened.
There was even a vid he put out when he speaks about how he came to a price for the Four Percent Group, and how he could have charged three hundred bucks a month, and it would’ve been “totally worth it” but he listened to his heart and went with $47…
… what a humanitarian!
But as far as I’m aware Ecom Entrepreneur has launched and people are buying it, so I don’t know how long they’re going to keep this style of sales page/funnel going, and make you watch all the videos, and then look out for an “early bird” email invite, before you can get your card out and purchase it.
I’m wondering if they’re going to switch to another signup funnel, as this may not age well.
But they could well stick with this drip-feeder teaser-squeeze; some other programs do it ad infinitum after launching, and who cares how it looks on the trust-card after several years of playing this pitch.
It was on Video 3’s page that we got the first hint of a price as the page teases that as an early joiner you’ll be eligible for a $3,000 discount!
So you know then it’s going to be one of those sorts of programs i.e. an expensive one.
On top of what looks like a very expensive way to go about ecommerce, regardless of its merit.
Program cost is confirmed in a subsequent email from Vick as $4,997.
With the claim that the reduction to $1,997 is a temporary discount.
But I reckon that’ll turn out to be BS and it will always be $1,997… and lower when the program vids turn up on the usual rip-off sites for something more reasonable.
There’s a flash on that Youtube vid, the one where the guy who’s bought the program has recorded himself starting his journey to building an online retail empire, that I can see figures of both $1,997 and $780 displayed – so there must be an additional upsell of $780 for something else you can opt in for at the same time.
Vick never misses a trick.
What Do You Get?
As for what you actually get for your money, here’s Vick giving a rundown of the product, what’s in it, what it looks like, the modules etc.
Until this thing starts to mature and age out, and we get more online reviews and vids, this and the guy’s vid that I linked to up to above (the guy all excited about being allowed to buy this program), that’s pretty much all we have to go on at time of posting.
I like to check things out – websites, people, products etc. independently. See what it all looks like for myself; due diligence in other words.
And I have to admit I’ve had difficultly finding Shubham’s stuff.
I found Kloud Scooter’s Facebook, and it’s definitely the right one as it features all the same photos Shubham shows on screen, but it appears 23rd July 2015 and last update is 3rd October 2015 – with 532 likes and a listed domain of www.kloudscooter.com that’s dead.
None of the posts have the sort of ‘likes’ you’d expect for a popular product (most single digits or none), and next to no engagement in terms of shares or comments.
I checked out #kloudlife on Twitter, and it’s just as bereft, I can’t see any mass following or excitement for this item. This post/re-tweet is typical: it’s ignored by Twitter.
Is that really the social media legacy of a smash-selling, viral product just two years old?
I found this page for his Crystal Aura product, but that was all. I checked out the @CrystalAura reference that’s on the page, and there’s no domain or Twitter account operating under that name that’s obviously the product – at least that I found.
But maybe I didn’t look hard enough or in the wrong places, so welcome links to Shubham’s product sales pages in comments.
Also I’d like to look up public domain company records, especially when (what sounds like geometric) growth and revenue like Shubham’s is claimed, but without knowing a business’s trading name or state it’s registered in, it’s a lot harder in the US to track down – so I came up with nothing.
Surely it shouldn’t be that hard to find Shubham’s products. Not if they’re viral sellers as claimed, raking in millions of dollars and major sales figures.
I’m not suggesting there’s anything amiss or suspicious here… but I am concerned.
What do I think? I think this is interesting and a bit different from the drop-shipping thing.
A bit. Because I can still detect a lot of the same elements.
I hesitate to say it’s a “new” approach because I believe there’s already programs out there touting a similar method, and have been for a while. I’m a member of a few ecommerce groups and for quite some time there’s been voices saying to get out of drop-shipping and into a business model more like Shubham is preaching.
But Aliexpress with five buck Facebook ads is more accessible and more popular. There’s still a shit ton of these programs being pushed too (see James Beattie), and they’re not going anywhere soon, even if Stripe doesn’t want their business, some other merchant services will be happy to step in and pick it up if they don’t want it.
I’ll admit I’d like to see this program, but I’m not $1,997 intrigued. Not even $780 intrigued. Not when you can find a book for $7.80 that will tell you a lot of the same things.
Okay, you won’t get access to the community and mentoring, and Shubham apparently does private sessions, but I’m wondering how long they’ll go on for – sessions with Shubham – before someone else takes over.
And as per the ‘Due Diligence’ section, I’m wondering what the worth of Shubham’s mentoring really is, as I’m not seeing the buzz he claims for his marketing when showing his products in the promo vids, compared to what I see for them on their respective social media. So, I’ve got to ask if the truth was maybe being stretched there, then what about the revenue claims? I think a bit more hard proof is called for, just to reassure everyone re Shubham’s credentials and individual performance: not his family’s.
But re mentoring, a lot of the programs come in for criticism of that aspect, because as they age, it simply becomes unsustainable with the original ‘cast’: people just move on or simply get bored, and the mentoring wilts and dies. Because Vick & co. will be off on another “revolutionary” program.
Before anyone gets too sick of group conference calls/webinars with newbies, they usually try to pass off the mentoring to the first ‘successful’ students, but it’s arguable how much success these people really have, and it’s more like first program purchasers.
After doing the vids and the literature, the program makers don’t really intend doing too much more, and the thing will never be updated again, regardless of any developments in the industry.
So you could be sitting watching this three years from now when something hotter than Shopify is on the go, and this program will still be calling itself up to date, and featuring that dated product.
But for now it’s new and looks well put together – or at least the promo does – and Shubham, despite his grating voice problems and flitting, ADD mind, does drop nuggets enough to make you wonder if the program holds the main gold vein (and hopefully some more substance as to who he is – though ideally you should be supplied with that before purchasing).
Be interesting to see how this pans out. It’s priced similarly to a lot of the drop-shipping stuff (some of which is coming down due to the absolute saturation of programs) while it’s around $1,997 so if you’ve a mind to spend your money on something, this will probably be as good as anything.
I’d just caution though, as looking at Shubham’s Instagram, he seems to be doing the whole “rich kids” thing. I don’t know how much of that is the usual Instagram fakery, but a root through doesn’t give me the impression he’s exactly a self-made rags-to-riches story. It looks to me like he enjoys the sort of financial backing and connections via an already successful family that your average newbie starting off in his bedroom office won’t. Won’t ever most probably.
And that office Shubham is sitting in – that we don’t really get to see too much of but is implied that it’s his – I’m wondering if that’s his family business’s office or something? Or even a rent-a-desk, albeit upmarket, business centre.
Whatever the situation, as I’ve said, I think you’ll need a few bucks to really apply Shubham’s model, as nice as it might seem to have your own product and clothing line and be dreaming of being the next Gucci.
So have a good think as to what you can afford to invest on top of the program price, how much of a hustler nature you really possess (if getting on the phone to folks isn’t your thing, because you’re too shy then maybe pause) or your work ethic and perseverance record to date isn’t too good, then be honest with yourself, because despite the money back guarantee, you’re unlikely to ever see it again, and you’ll never see anything back you sink into failed products and advertising.
But all that said, all business is a risk, nothing is guaranteed if this is what you want to go into.
If you buy-in, or have any experience of Vick or Shubham, please share in comments.
If you’re looking to get into making some money online, but don’t have $$$$ to spend on these sorts of courses, then check out Wealthy Affiliate.
It’s not ecommerce, it’s affiliate marketing, and that’s a model that isn’t dying, like Vick claims re drop-shipping.
It’s free to join, no crapola about requiring your credit card for “verification purposes” and you get a week’s worth of full membership to let you check out the place, see if what they teach and offer in there is for you. After that, your membership reverts to the free level – which still lets you build a couple of databases on their SiteRubix WordPress platform.
You can read my review here.
Recommended further reading (that doesn’t cost four figures):
The entrepreneur’s guide to launching a fast, lean and profitable online venture.
By Robin Waite