Tim Sanders – Private Label Masters Review, Scam or Legit?

If you’re looking to build a business on Amazon, you might have heard of Tim Sanders. You may wonder if Private Label Masters is a blueprint to help you succeed in Amazon FBA as of today. Or is it a scam?

Certainly Amazon FBA is one of the few businesses that is still fast growing during Covid 19. This drives so many aspiring entrepreneurs to look into this global marketplace when trying their hands at eCommerce.

But due to the intense competition, you might ask if it’s still possible to make a buck out of it.

Since I’m not affiliated to Private Label Masters (PLM) or Tim Sanders, you can rest assured that my review is unbiased.

Below is what I’ll be covering in the review of Private Label Masters.

Who is Tim Sanders?

Tim has been a successful FBA seller on Amazon for over three years. After working on his own FBA business for a year, he started to create the course Private Label Masters. tim sanders

One of the unique aspects of Private Label Masters is that Tim only teaches you the techniques which have been utilized in his own FBA business.

If you are interested in Tim’s course, you might join his basic Facebook group to find out more. But if you want to join the VIP one, you have to buy the course beforehand.
Tim also has a Youtube channel where he posted 2 videos every two weeks for the past two years.

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What to expect from Private Label Masters?

The Private Label Masters course provides you with a blueprint to start your Amazon FBA business. After this course, you will:

  • Acquire the skills and tools to select “evergreen” products that might sell for a long time
  • Know how to find out the best suppliers
  • Understand the structure of pay-per-click campaigns and advanced PPC tactics to generate more sales and increase organic rankings
  • Keep your ad spend in check

An Overview of Private Label Masters

Module 1 – Introduction

Duration: 25 minutes and 21 seconds

This module begins with Tim making it clear that Private Label Masters is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

But it is possible to be profitable after 6 months of disciplined effort and a certain attitude which includes strong ethic and self-knowledge.

According to Tim, there are 5 key components of business:

  1. Mindset (Tim encourages you to push through all the difficulties)
  2. Licenses (he discusses different licensing structures and why he chose an LLC)
  3. Taxes(he explains why you a business CPA and how to get an EIN)
  4. Liability Insurance (he discourages novices from selling “high liability products”)
  5. Amazon’s Fees (he tells you the costs of selling products on Amazon)

One of the things I don’t like about this module is that Tim spends a lot of time on talking about mindset instead of the amount of money it takes to build a successful Amazon business.
While I agree that you need to be persevered and patient, it is even more important to take control of your finances. After all, you are just buying low from the suppliers and selling high to the customers.

In fact, it is not cheap to start a private label business on Amazon. If I were Tim, I would spend more time on discussing the best ways to get a business loan.

But if he did talk more about money, his students might soon realise that it actually takes the average sellers a few years to generate a stable income.

In one word, you need funding to start an Amazon business.

Module 2: Product Research
Duration: 2 hours, 54 minutes, & 14 seconds 

Tim uses a baseball analogy to illustrate his business structure. He points out that the prerequisite to raising profitability is whether your business’ stability, which comes from having a lot of products doing a few sales each day, not by one product doing a hundred sales in 24 hours. Below is the other topics Tim covers:

  • Products to avoid (he gives specific genres)
  • Trademarks and Patents
  • Research Tools
  • Easy product changes to increase the perceived values
  • Ways to find niches of low competition

After showing you the process of finding products, Tim gives a 40,000 foot view of the FBA business. He emphasised that the goal is to build a brand (a group of related products) that brings in sales consistently.
He concludes with a reminder to be patient on searching products and how to use Trademarkia.com to confirm if the products you intend to sell have patents.

Module 3: Product Sourcing
Duration: 51 minutes and 49 seconds

This module covers three (3) product sourcing related topics:

Part 1: Overview of Alibaba.com

Tim gives a quick run through of Alibaba, showing its different filters and which ones he prefers.

Part 2: Initiating Great Relationships with Suppliers

  • Engage multiple suppliers at the same time
  • Being aware of cultural differences
  • How to build long term relationship with the best supplier you found

Part 3: Professionally Negotiating MOQ with Manufacturers

  • Information you need before negotiating with the manufacturer
  • What questions to ask the supplier
  • Make good use of minimum order quantity

A few skills Tim teaches in these 8 videos are:

  • How to multitask when dealing with suppliers
  • Self-introduction in a right way
  • Bargaining for price using Chinese leverage
  • Setting up multiple inspections of your samples to know they are the best

Tim’s training shows that you need a lot of techniques to engage the Chinese suppliers such as chatting informally to build a long term business relationship. In fact, most of the manufacturers are desperate to serve you, because they are selling the same trending products. You can always choose to click away and select another supplier.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean you can skip the homework. You still have to make comparisons on the prices offered by different suppliers. This can make sure that you are not overcharged.

Most of all, if you want to build the foundation of a strong business relationship in the future, you have to assure your supplier that your business is well-established. In this way, the manufacturer will be more cautious on quality control, lest you might stop placing new orders.

Module 4: Shipping

In this module, Tim explains why amazon private label FBA Sellers need a freight forwarder, how to get shipping quotes from a number of providers, obtaining shipping labels and placing your first order to your supplier.

Below is what included in Tim’s training techniques:

  • Knowing your options (sea and air, when to use which shipping method, etc.)
  • Using the suppliers that he has vetted, including Freightos and Flexport
  • Avoid shipping your products directly to Amazon
  • How to easily send your shipping labels to the supplier

Tim encourages you to employ a forwarding/inspection service(done by the same company). This can save money on Amazon’s long term storage fees and ensure the items are good in conditions.

In the end, Tim shows you how to avoid buying sub-standard products at your own liability.

Module 5: Branding and Listing Optimization

Duration: 2 hours and 33 seconds 

In this module, Tim covers branding design strategies and the optimization of your product listings.

In this lesson, you will learn:

  • What to consider when creating a brand name.
  • How to simplify the labeling process of your product.
  • Three tips to get the most out of your keywords
  • A walkthrough of Tim’s favorite data-driven tool
  • How to Create Lists of Seed Words using Amazon’s Auto-populate Feature

Apart from that,  Stacey, Tim’s copywriter, will teach you six copywriting concepts to incorporate into your listing optimization process, including

  • How to know your product
  • How to know your market
  • How to write a title that appeals to customers
  • Doing your bullets by mapping them out in the right way
  • Engaging your customers with a compelling product description
  • Editing more than just grammar and spelling

Module 6: Product Launch Time!
Duration: 48 minutes and 39 seconds 

In this module, Tim teaches two distinct ways to launch your products.

Part 1: Using the Amazon Launch Service “ZonJump” (explained by ZJ’s CEO)

ZonJump’s CEO Leo’s Leo introduces the platform and the entire launch process, from pre-launch priorities to taking advantage of Zonjump’s FBA experienced professionals.

Part 2: Tim’s Detailed Training on Launching Additional Products Using Zuckerberg’s platform (FB)

The first half of the video is Tim teaching you two methods to get an amazon-domained storefront URL. He named them The Storefront URL Method and The Two-Step URL Method.

This is followed by Tim showing you how to create FAcebook ads using Microsoft Paint.

Extra hacks that Tim unveils in the sixth segment:

  • Changing the image format to increase FB ad’s reach
  • Adjusting the ad copy to 3x your ad’s results
  • Tracking the Results of Targeted Keywords Using a Tool inside Helium 10

Module 7: Sponsored Products (Amazon’s PPC)

This module is taught by Tim’s assistant, Aaron Eaton, who specialises in PPC campaign creation and optimization.

Aaron made a sequence of 8 videos (and a bonus 9th):

  • Keyword Selection
  • ACoS & Bidding Prices
  • The Automatic Campaign
  • Manual Campaigns (Pyramid of PPC, from broad to exact match)
  • The Search Term Report
  • PPC Pyramid (keyword filtering cycle explained)
  • Moving Up Keywords
  • Weekly Tasks
  • The Ultimate Campaign

Aaron provides a literal framework to follow. He goes through each stage in the order in which it is set up when running an actual PPC campaign.

Module 8: Maintain, then Scale Your Business
Duration: 1 hour, 1 minute and 25 seconds 

In this module, Tim gives a lot of advice on brand building, including:

  • How to take advantage of product reviews
  • How to generate more revenue using Amazon promotions
  • Keeping an eye on 3 aspects of your business to maintain sales
  • How to handle running out of stock situation
  • Using split testing to optimize listing
  • Getting the most out of your lightning deals
  • Ejecting hijackers
  • The rewards of brand registry
  • Where to find the best virtual assistants
  • Some tips to expedite reimbursements

This module builds on topics that are mentioned in modules 1-7. One of the most useful tips is the right way to deal with a running out of stock situation. He suggests you to stay in stock as long as possible to keep your keyword rankings.

Is Private Label Masters a Scam? Is it a worthwhile course?

When it comes down to this question, only you can make the decision.

Overall, this is a legitimate course since Tim is actually a successful FBA merchant on Amazon himself and he tries to keep his course up-to-date through regular revisions.

But you have to be aware of the costs of running a FBA business on Amazon. Tim works hard to give you a practical course on the majority of creating a private label business. But Amazon is too complex and no course can teach you everything.

As for the price itself, it really depends on your budget since there is no guarantee on rewards.

The problems with Amazon FBA business model

Tim makes it clear that starting an Amazon FBA business requires persistence and relentless focus, which is not suitable for the faint of heart.

Below are the reasons why I would not recommend the business model of Amazon FBA:

FBA business needs a large upfront cost

To launch a business on Amazon, you will need $15-20k, at least.

Besides, since you can’t get started without any knowledge, you have to pay for an FBA course. Private Label Masters, for instance, cost $5000 or a $1,500 discount if bought on the call (which gives them an opportunity to persuade you).

Moreover, you have to spend money on product samples and inventory, labeling and shipping costs, product launch services/pay-per-click advertising and Amazon Marketing Services. The first 10k will be quickly exhausted once you start selling on Bezo’s platform.

In one word, it is time-consuming and costs a lot of money. So, you must think carefully if you really want to risk your hard earned money.

FBA Business is complex

Though Amazon does a lot of the work for you, it still requires a lot of work to get a product listing up and optimized.

Apart from that, you have to deal with numerous dry tasks on a daily basis. For instance, you have to negotiate with suppliers, make comparisons on shipping companies, freight forwarders and comply with the regulations of Amazon and local governments, etc.

This process is too sophisticated for beginners who might be just looking for a side hustle or a source of passive income that requires little time and investment.

There is no quick cash flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business. However, in the Amazon FBA business model, mostly sellers have to invest a considerable amount of money to purchase inventories from suppliers in China.

If you want to create a unique private label product, the costs will be even higher. For example, most manufacturers in China charge you a few hundred dollars just for creating a prototype. If you don’t trust me, you can ask for a price on Alibaba.com.

In most cases, production may take 1-2 months depending on the nature of the products and quantity. Afterwards, it takes 2 weeks in shipment and custom clearance before arriving at Amazon warehouse.

This process indicates that it can take up to months before you’re paid for the inventory you bought.

Price war reduces profitability

Price war is ubiquitous on Amazon. Whenever a seller tries to attract more customers by lowering the prices, other sellers will be forced to cut their prices as well.

To avoid a net loss, you might have to cut the product costs. This results in lower product quality, negative feedback from customers and hence a drop in sales.

Apart from the intense competition, you have to deal with changing sales tax laws, category restrictions and Amazon policies.

In the worst case, Amazon might even ban your account permanently if you mistakenly violate some rules.

Is There an Easier & Better Alternative to Private Label Masters?

If you’re new to online business, you might wonder if there’s a better business model that doesn’t need initial capital and can do it as a side-hustle.

Of all the business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.

In affiliate marketing, you can run your business almost with zero cost. Most importantly, you don’t need to invest in creating and developing any products.

Also, it is less time consuming since you don’t have to manage inventory or handle customer service.

You can enjoy a steady stream of passive income while going on vacation or working a full-time job.

Since the world is full of uncertainty, I’d always choose a business model that has the lowest risk.

But How Much Can You Earn in Affiliate Marketing?

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