Drop Ship Lifestyle Review
Anyone thinking about starting a business dropshipping online have likely come across Anton Kraly’s advertisements for his Drop Ship Lifestyle course. This course claims it’ll provide you with all the knowledge and training you’ll need to set up and run your dropshipping business; it’s also supposed to teach you how to expand your venture once successful.
Now, don’t expect me to sell you the course as a wonder, and I’m not affiliated to him in any way. You’ll learn about what it actually offers, and why it’s actually not what you want for your business.
It’s worth noting that Anton has seemingly started his marketing campaign all over again with full power, and this has included a new DSL version. Another interesting addition is an even more convoluted refunds policy, so expect even more troubles if you want to get a refund.
Reviewing the course
There are many resources online that can help you understand the business model a lot better. However, as a basic introduction, dropshipping is a business approach in which you sell products without having to purchase them to build a stock.
It removes the need for initial inventory investment, storing it somewhere, and hoping that you can sell them to earn a profit or at least get your money back.
Brick and mortar stores had been the norm until sales ventured into the internet through eCommerce sites. Still, owners still bought the products from a supplier, receive them, and offer them for a slightly higher price either on their websites or on their stores.
However, dropshipping bypasses the first and second steps by letting you list any product from any supplier at the moment. You only need to purchase the item once a customer places an order. Then, you contact your supplier, buy the product, and have it shipped to your customer’s address.
That way, if you don’t sell any of your items, you’re not risking or losing any money. You only lose the minutes you used to post the products, so you can even change your offers any time until you find a product that you can sell efficiently.
Who is Anton Kraly?
Anton says he’s another guy who was stuck in a regular job with the usual dead end back in the USA, and he chose to go to SE Asia. He went to experience the “digital nomad” lifestyle, so he decided to start a business.
He claims he was then introduced to the dropshipping business model thanks to a friend, so he started to create his own stores via online platforms like Shopify, which let him create his business within a few hours at most.
He then spent several years selling his dropshipping products successfully, and after that, he thought about creating his DSL course so that he could share what he knows with the rest of the world.
From then on, it appears a lot of affiliates got on board, so the course started growing a lot. Today, DSL is among the most recommended online programs for learning how to dropship on your own.
Our objective here is that you find out whether or not that’s actually true or just what the affiliates sell for a profit.
Among the most influential promoters behind the DSL course is Johnny FD. He’s a fellow digital nomad living in Chang Mai, and he constantly claims that this course was the inspiration that took him to creating his own business online; that’s why he dedicates himself to promote the course via the AntonMethod, an affiliate page he uses for that purpose.
Johnny says he made around $3,000 monthly thanks to his dropshipping business selling sun beds and massage tables, but he sold the business not too long ago for a bit over $60,000.
Do note that Johnny also has a course himself, and it’s called “Drop Ship Lab”. However, the course has been inactive for a really long time, so it’s safe to say it’s dead by now.
Why is it popular among reviews?
DSL came out almost 8 years ago, back in 2012. From the get-go, it sported an affiliate marketing program for different marketers to profit from promoting it.
These people would earn up to 50% of the course’s price for each referral. Back then, the entry price was almost a fourth part of what it costs now: $250, so that means each referral would net you $125; it’s a dream come true, even more so for people just starting.
People following John Chow and others who make $2,000 for each commission won’t be as surprised, especially today, but this was a huge deal back then.
Naturally, the course attracted countless affiliates who wanted to promote it through Clickbank from 2012’s December all the way to November 2014; most people didn’t even know whether or not the course was any good.
It showed on the different reviews made for the course. Virtually all of them were just promoting the same images available on the course’s sales page.
However, it has mostly died out until the recent release and seeming revamp of the course. Most reviews available on the internet are from before 2016, but many may start appearing with its revival.
Of course, Affiliates competed to get on the first results in Google searches, and they even headed over to YouTube and any channels that could get them the audience. Even CPA sites like Flexoffers brokered this offer to myriads of affiliates looking to build their links and handle all the traffic they could get.
As such, Anton ended up having a huge amount of people taking the course, and it got to the point that he claimed to be a multi-millionaire by the start of 2015. Of course, he said that it was from dropshipping, but once you multiply the course’s price by the course’s students count (over 2,500), it’s easy to determine what took him there.
At this moment, something really shady happens: Anton just got rid of all the affiliate marketers who had promoted his course and netted him the new members. In less than a day, the entire affiliate program vanished without any kind of warning, paying all pending commissions.
After doing this, he installed a new rule for people wanting to promote it: they had to pay and be a member if they wanted to promote it.
In other words, the course turned completely into an MLM business like Wealthy Affiliate or MOBE. Just look for any product available online and its reviews; odds are you’ll see that the writer rated it poorly and compared it to one of those two (or another) courses.
Of course, it’s not as big as other names, but it’s still an MLM network with an (at least) shady past.
When you pay for a subscription and become a DSL member, you can freely promote that course. That’s more enticing than it seems. Let’s say you paid $2,000 for it; that would mean that you just need to get 2 more people to sign up.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. It’s a legitimate business practice, and it’s really efficient. However, it does provide you with an idea of how the course became so famous and filled with positive reviews, so don’t just assume it’s because of its quality.
Finally, note that getting refunds with MLM businesses is a real challenge. You need to read every single line on all contracts since most offer you a 30-day guarantee before asking you to follow annoying steps just to prove that you didn’t really benefit from it. Often times, the steps could even cost you or be impossible for some people.
What you really get
This course has grown a lot since it was first released, and it’s now on version 7.0, which was updated back in April of this year (2019). While it has changed quite a bit, and it’s certainly larger, the course is still presented like it was during its release: WordPress website with the Optimizepress add-on.
What did change a lot is the price. It was $250 back when it was release, or you could pay $2,997 for the ultimate offer, complete with a store already done for you. If you don’t really die over the main components, you can pay $1,997 for the first iteration of this course.
Back in January 2017, the lowest plan was priced at $997, so you can see it almost quadrupled. Furthermore, as of this article’s writing, the premium plan costs $2,997; the ultimate, done-for-you offer has reached the $4,997 mark.
What feels wrong with this is that most updates are just design changes, a few more videos, and some corrections. It’s not enough (in my opinion) to warrant such a high increase. Don’t take these numbers as give, either; the price is always changing, so if you read this in a few months, it’ll probably be higher.
Back in the 4th version of this course, the course split into 4 different plans. However, the 5th version then removed the basic plan, or at least it merged both the basic and premium plans together, so today, the cheapest plan is $2,997.
However, for the sake of keeping you in context, let’s go through the 3 plans as originally planned. That’ll help you have an idea of what was offered before compared to what is offered right now.
The basic plan started out at $250 during its release, and it was maintained for a few years. However, the last price tag it had was $997 right before it was merged into the premium plan. Version 4.0 had recreated videos, but the content overall was always the same, so it started feeling outdated quickly.
The content was mostly basic: the type of videos you could find online. However, the basic plan did include the entire video course, and it covered almost everything: from explaining the business model to finding your suppliers and growing your business. The problem was mostly whether or not the information was actually good.
The most recent videos added do include more modern concepts like Adwords and an entire design class for eCommerce not available until the 4th version.
Anton advises students to keep organic search away and instead just go to Google Adwords. That means pretty much just to forget about SEOn your website. That’s really a bad idea since you’re giving up free traffic, and using Adwords is also a fairly expensive method, especially for some niches like clothing and electronics.
You also got a custom theme for Shopify with the basic plan, and you could use it to create a store in minutes. The problem with this theme is that there are thousands of people taking the course, and all of them have access to this theme, so you’d risk your store looking too similar to your competition.
Besides, Google ranks duplicate websites lower, and the same is true for most search algorithms.
This subscription come with everything that the basic package included and a few additions. It used to cost $497, and it offered users 55 advanced modules for training as well as access to both the DSLabs and private apps, software and a supplier directory.
The DSLabs is a section with checklists, scripts for supplier contact, and some standard operation procedures ready for you. There’s also an app for Shopify; it automates several processes for your business, but it isn’t the best app available for that purpose.
This plan repeats the same problem as the template from the basic plan (which is also included here). The scripts are the same that thousands of businesses are getting as well, so you’ll just follow the herd if you decide to use them as is.
The best you can do is just call the supplier and request to speak with someone who can make business with you. Emailing is something everyone can do, but you want to show initiative and that you can “get things done”.
The directory does stand out; it’s surprising thanks to the large amount of suppliers you get. However, you can pay for a service like Salehoo to get thousands of suppliers anywhere around the world. Always remember that everyone taking this course will surely hit the same suppliers for business.
Salehoo is just $65, and it has more suppliers and details on each.
Since this plan already had everything from the basic plan, the team decided to just merge the two. As I’m writing this, this plan is the cheapest option, yet it costs $2,997.
Done for you plan
The last package started out at $2,997, and it was the most exclusive and expensive offer on the course. The fact that now the most accessible option has that same price could put a lot of people off.
This package has the DSL team setting up the website so that you don’t have to. You’re then able to use the free time for learning the content and growing your business without any distractions.
Aside from the website, it also offers 2 hours for you to call Anton directly and get coaching. You also get 2 exclusive tickets for a DSL yearly retreat that’s held in either Vietnam, Laos, or Thailand.
Thailand is the most common destination, and the retreats gather different nomads from anywhere around the globe for networking and sharing in general.
I didn’t pay for this package, so I can’t really tell you a lot about it. However, people signing up for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd versions of this course got their retreat tickets every year for a lot less (sever thousands).
You should try to hit Anton with an email, but you can definitely go to that retreat without paying the package’s price. It’s actually a bit unfair for some people, and I can understand that.
DSL version 5
The 5th version of the course is one of the most important changes it’s gotten since its release. For starters, it removed the basic plan and merged it with the premium package to make a single offer; however, it’s just removing the basic subscription since the premium already had everything from it.
It added a new module regarding a USA business setup if you’re overseas, which was actually a pretty good addition. It also raised the asking price to $1,997 for the package ($1,000 cheaper than today).
This version also emphasized the MLM aspect of the course. Even more so, the page where you sign up for the course doesn’t show any prices until about the 3rd sales video starts.
During the videos, the course promises a solid refunds policy with the 30-day guarantee, but you must read every detail carefully, for this is a catchy statement. All conditions are fairly reasonable, but you need to prove you completed the program before you ask for a refund. You won’t get it if you can’t show that.
The problem is how this is a contradiction to its 30-day guarantee.
The guarantee says that you get access to all the content without risks, and you can try all the content. You can email support if you aren’t satisfied within the first month, proving you’re completing tasks but not seeing results. The refund is 100% of what you paid.
It also says that you must only join if your intention is to complete the tasks since that’s necessary for getting the results advertised. If a refund is requested, you need to prove you’ve completed these tasks.
As you can see, the guarantee says that you can take the entire course for free, and you can cancel your subscription at any time as long as you can show you’ve been working on it and achieving the tasks.
There’s zero mentions on having to finish the complete course before you ask for a reason, so you’re left to guess which of the two conditions are worth following. Do note that taking the entire course may take you more than 30 days, so you can see how sketchy the whole policy is.
Reasons not to buy it
Now you know pretty much everything you can learn about the course itself and what you receive after signing up. You may have formed your own conclusions regarding if you want it or not, but let me explain why you should not buy the course before you make the final call.
As with similar courses on similar topics, the price really goes beyond the content and value it actually offers. While it started off somewhat OK at $250 for the basic plan, the constant increases with each version took it far off from what it should actually cost, especially with so many resources available online for much less or for free.
So, no. This course isn’t worth more than what it asked at first, and it’s definitely not worth $2,997.
If you want to build a business on dropshipping, you want to take the time to analyze all the costs. Anton says you need hard work before you have a successful eCommerce and become rich; you need to invest your money if you want to make it.
Anton said his business started with just $29 before making him $1.8 million, but there are costs involved with building your site, hosting, marketing, etc. If you don’t know how to do something (and there’s always stuff you won’t know), then you can add hiring other people to that, and that’s a few thousands extra.
If you add this course’s price to all the investment you must make, then you’ll quickly inflate your budget, and it’ll reach unnecessarily high levels. Sellers definitely inflated the price thanks to its popularity, and it’s understandable.
However, the content and quality of the course itself hasn’t grown with its cost.
This course assumes you’re going to build your store with Shopify. In fact, Anton has affiliates links to the platform, and he’ll make money from every purchase from his links. Additionally, the only training available on store building is for Shopify, so you’ll have to get extra knowledge from different sources if you want to use another platform.
Another problem behind that is the fact that Shopify can be quite expensive for a lot of people, especially for newcomers.
Hosting on Shopify costs about $300 every year. If you want a larger business, then you also want to invest on the standard plan for $79 each month, which makes it to about $900 every year. Add a transaction fee for every sale that can go up to 2% and the costs for additional apps you integrate into your store.
Outside from the fundamentals, the free templates on Shopify aren’t the best available, and most people will be using them. That means you want to get a premium theme as well or hire a developer. Getting a theme can add up to $100-200 more.
You can see how the exclusiveness is an issue. You’re paying for an overpriced the course that focuses only on methods requiring you spend more money.
The knowledge offered on finding a niche for your business is just mediocre, and even free resources like YouTube videos and articles give you more depth and value. In fact, most negatives reviews for the DSL course will gravitate around this issue.
One of the most important steps to setting up your business is to know what you want to sell, and choosing a bad niche will kill your business from the first day. You want to take your time studying the market and find a niche that’s not oversaturated or already take by a giant like Amazon.
The only consolation is that Anton offers to validate your niche for you before you start your venture. The problem is that even this can be sketchy depending on how you look at it: it may be help, or you may give him a great idea, so he could easily tell you not to do it and keep the niche for himself.
Lack of SEO
As we already mentioned when describing the content in the course, Anton doesn’t endorse organic traffic on search engines, so you can forget about any knowledge regarding SEO and the like.
Anton often says that it simply takes too long to get sales if you take your time on SEO, and that’s why he recommends you go straight for Adwords. While it could make sense for some, it’s yet another hefty expense for many entrepreneurs.
Now, let’s paint a picture.
You just paid $2,997 for the course and $79 for your website. Well, you also need to spend around $500 on Google advertising. Now, a lot of people can do it, and many actually do, but there are people who will take the course just to realize that their venture is way out of their reach.
The sales video won’t state the costs for the methods taught by this course, and chances are you’re only going to find that out once you finished the course and started putting the lessons into practice.
Anton tries to lessen the pain by offering coupons and some training modules on the platform, but this approach is still difficult, and anyone without experience will probably just burn their budget quickly and get no sales or even leads.
Anton only teaches you about what worked for his business, and it seems SEO isn’t one of them, so you’re left to figure out if you’re as lucky as he was.
Other members joined for less
This is another issue I already mentioned: most people you see in the students’ community subscribed to it earlier and for a lot less than you. Since the course started getting upgraded, they stated that everyone who paid first would have free access to all versions. Anton set the price to $497 before version 3 closed so that he could have more money for developing the 4th version.
That means that all members got the content for $1,000 less than you (at least, remember it started out at $250). They also have free tickets for the retreat that would cost you almost $5,000.
This isn’t just paying more than others; it means you’re severely handicapped. Why?
First, your competitors started off with lower expenses, but that’s just the start. Remember that the content doesn’t really get updated with each version besides some design and retakes. The knowledge offered today is roughly the same available when it was released.
Think about the templates and directories again; other people got them years before you, so they’re probably saturated already. You won’t really get good results by using them.
As such, keep in mind that most people who have taken the course are probably inactive. They’ve either reached success and left the community, or they just bombed or realized dropshipping wasn’t the gold mine they expected.
Until nearly 3 years ago, the course didn’t offer any knowledge for people wanting to settle an overseas business or outside the country. It lacked nothing on the legal side of things and taxes, so students had to go to another source if they had doubts on these.
If you’re not from the US, then you need to qualify as a type of USA entity before working with dropshippers there. If you want to do the same with European dropshippers, then you want to be registered as a business or trader there with a VAT.
Anton simply skipped the overall legal side of things for US or European supplier, likely because of how popular is AliExpress. You can register in Delaware or Wyoming, but that would lead to an entirely new article.
Luckily, Anton decided to add a brief course on this matter starting 2017. It still isn’t the best you can get, and you’ll likely need other resources, but at least it’s there.
Is dropshipping a good business?
That’s a tricky answer depending on whom you ask. Dropshipping isn’t the same gold mine it was almost 10 years ago when people started getting into it, and Amazon wasn’t as huge as it is right now.
However, now it’s really hard to compete with the prices at Amazon, and you have to spend a lot of time and research to find a niche that you can take advantage of over Amazon. Just make sure to keep track of Best Buy or Walmart.
Most suppliers will also prefer to work with Amazon than smaller independent businesses like dropshippers. They can actually guarantee the sales suppliers want.
With the dozens of courses like DSL, hundreds of dropshipper now want to start the same business with the same niches, products, and suppliers –all at the same price.
Making money with dropshipping requires that you set your business apart from the rest; that’s how you can really make money with this model. The issue is how that means going against half the advice available with Drop Ship Lifestyle.
You need to find products and suppliers no one else knows, and that means forgetting about all directories, scripts and themes available in DSL.
So, to answer the question, you can make money from dropshipping, but you need to know how to do so in the right way.
Better resources for your money
If you’re not looking for just a community but to build a prosperous business, then you should look at the following options. For the price of a basic DSL plan, you can buy all of the following and still have something to spare.
This is easily the best course available for people looking to dropship. You have more than 175 videos, adding up to around 40 hours covering the model, selecting products, marketing, and everything related.
I’ve seen many courses, and promoting a $2,000+ course would get me more money, but I’d rather recommend value, and eCom Elites gives you all you need for just $197. If you wanted the community, you have access to the private Facebook group and weekly videos.
If you’re looking for good information and training to do thigs yourself, then eCom Elites is the best choice, and you don’t even have to empty your bank account.
eCom Turbo (theme)
As I said before, the free Shopify templates aren’t the best you can get, and thousands are probably already using them.
Most people complaining about not getting sales despite the visitors is simply the esthetics of their business and zero mobile responsiveness. While it may look great on desktop, most sales will come from smartphone users.
eCom Turbo takes care of everything you expect from a theme and more. Visitors won’t have to scroll at all to know what they’re going to buy since all the details show above the fold.
You can also personalize this theme to fit any taste. You don’t have to spend hundreds and hours looking for a theme that goes with what you want since you can transform eCom Turbo any way you wish, and it’s just $97 for lifetime access to its updates.
Salehoo is a supplier directory for dropshippers and wholesale contacts. It’s been available for more than 10 years, and its reputation speaks for itself.
Salehoo gives you access to more than 10,000 different resources spread amongst many countries, including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, so you don’t have to look too hard to find the one that suits you best.
WooCommerce or Shopify
Finally, you need a platform for your website, and these two are the best options
WooCommerce is best for people with experience regarding WordPress and website hosting since it’s completely free. It comes from the folks at WooThemes, and you can customize this add-on however you want. If you want even more options, there are premium plugins for less than $15 on ThemeForest.
The only issue with WooCommerce is that you need to pay for your hosting separately.
Shopify is another choice for people with a bit more money at hand. The cheapest plan is $29, but as I said, you probably want to go for the $79 standard subscription. Besides the initial fee, make sure to take a look at the price structure since your sales volume will change according to it.
I hope you found this review useful and if you have any questions, please comment down below. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Once again, thanks for reading my Dropship Lifestyle Review and I wish you the best of luck.