Are you looking for an honest Start and Scale course review? Should you join the Start and Scale Course? If you’re considering starting an eCommerce brand and have no clue about it, Foundr’s Start and Scale course may be a good fit for you to get started.
I have a passion to help people explore the best online programs to learn how to make money online. Over the past years, I have reviewed hundreds of similar programs like Start and Scale.
I’ve enrolled in Start and Scale myself and started an eCommerce store, so I can tell you everything you need to know before you enroll in Start and Scale.
If you have read other blog posts, please note that those people are not students of Start and Scale, so they cannot tell you the truth and what exactly you can learn from the course.
In this review, I’m going to tell you how the Start and Scale course actually works and what I like about the course. Of course, nothing is perfect, so I’ll also talk about the things that can be improved.
At the end of this Start and Scale course review, you should be able to make a decision of whether to join Start and Scale and learn from Gretta Van Riel.
Start and Scale Your Online Store by Foundr – Key Takeaways
|About:||An impressive eCommerce course that teaches you how to build eCommerce stores and eventually earn passive income.|
|Price:||Get A Special Offer Here|
|Pros:||Gretta’s success is real; no theories, just practical steps; proven templates for copying and pasting; regularly updated|
|Cons:||The course is expensive; building a brand requires some cash upfront; can’t achieve success quickly|
|Instructor||Gretta van Riel|
|Verdict:||The best eCommerce training I’ve seen. Highly recommended.|
Below is what I’ll cover in this Start and Scale review:
What is Start and Scale?
Foundr is working with Gretta Van Riel to create the Start and Scale course. The course currently has more than 100,000 students, making it the most popular eCommerce course in the world.
Unlike other eCommerce courses on the market, this course teaches you how to build a sustainable eCommerce brand from the ground up. This means that your online store will last for years and provide you with a steady stream of passive income.
In other eCommerce courses, you’ll usually learn how to build a dropshipping store and sell low-quality products that only last a few months due to bad products and customer reviews.
But the Start and Scale course is different. You will learn how to build and market your own brand. It’s a more sustainable business model because you are building a long-term asset. And with a proprietary brand, others can not copy you and take away your business.
What is Foundr?
Foundr is an awesome online publication that helps entrepreneurs and business owners become successful on the internet. It was created by Nathan Chan, who built the company from scratch without any outside investors. On the site, you can find all kinds of great strategies and insights from Nathan and other successful entrepreneurs.
In addition to featuring interviews with big names in the entrepreneurship world, Foundr has also published stories about entrepreneurs who have built businesses ranging from seven figures to even 100 figures.
They cover everything from the early struggles of starting a business to the eventual triumphs. Basically, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for some guidance and inspiration, Foundr is a great resource to check out.
Who is Gretta Van Riel?
Gretta Van Riel is a serial young entrepreneur in Australia, who has built many eCommerce brands such as SkinnyMe Tea, the 5th, Dropbottle, and many more. According to our research, Gretta’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million.
Gretta Van Riel is the winner of Shopify Build A Business Award, which is an award for a Shopify Store that has the highest-grossing sales in a six-month period. So there is no doubt that Gretta Van Riel is a very successful eCommerce business owner.
It is worth mentioning that Gretta Van Riel was able to generate $600,000 in just 6 months with her first eCommerce business. Yes, she did it in a very short period of time, which is incredible.
Since then, Gretta Van Riel has copied this unique framework for four other brands and turned each of them into multi-million dollar success stories.
Gretta Van Riel is a pioneer in using Instagram for building eCommerce brands. She is an expert in influencer marketing. Today, her combined Instagram following, including vertical accounts ( @befitfoods, @detoxwater, @detoxtips, @nutrition_planet, @smoothiebowls) is over 16 million. So if you want to build your eCommerce brand using Instagram, Gretta Van Riel is the person you should learn from.
What’s Inside Start and Scale?
Gretta Van Riel reveals all her eCommerce success secrets in Start and Scale. If you want to start an online store selling physical products, this course will give you a complete plan of what exactly to do.
You will save a lot of time and money because you will get step-by-step training videos, workbooks, and templates.
I have completed this course myself so I can tell you the course content. In this section, I’ll give you an overview of each module so you can get a better idea of what you can learn.
Module 1: Finding Your Idea
In this module, you’ll learn how to develop a profitable product idea. Gretta will also introduce you to her unique product idea validation process that will help you ensure your product is in demand in the marketplace.
Module 2: Branding & Getting Your Store
Gretta is a genius at branding. In this module, you’ll learn how to build an eCommerce brand that people will trust and recognise for years to come.
If you want your business to be sustainable, this module will help you build a solid foundation for your online shop.
Module 3: Developing & Planning Your Idea
Many people have a great product idea, but don’t know how to bring the product to life. In this module, Gretta will show you how to design a product and find a trusted manufacturer to make it.
By the end of this module, you’ll have a clear idea of how to design and manufacture your prototype.
Module 4: Making Your Product Profitable
To make sure your business is profitable, you need to understand a little about finance. In this module, Gretta will teach you the formula to keep track of your finances.
It is important that you follow what is taught in this module to ensure that you have a positive profit margin.
Module 5: Building An Audience Before Your Launch
Gretta is a strong proponent of building an audience before launching a product. Many people do not have an audience when they launch a product and take months to make the first sale. However, Gretta will show you how to avoid launch crickets.
You will learn how to build an audience for your brand on social media. This way you will start making sales on the first day of the launch.
Module 6: Million Dollar Influencer Marketing Blueprint
Gretta is an expert in influencer marketing. She has made millions of dollars by using influencer marketing. She even created an influencer marketing software that connects brands with influencers called “Hey Influencer”.
In this module, you’ll learn exactly how to find and work with influencers to promote your product and build your brand.
With this strategy, you can skyrocket your sales.
Module 7: Launch & Operations
To run a successful online business, you need to streamline your logistics and operations. Unlike other courses that only teach you how to market your product, Start and Scale really takes you by the hand and walks you through all aspects of your business.
You’ll learn how to set up payments, logistics, and customer support to keep your business running smoothly.
Module 8: Scaling Your Store
In the previous modules, you learned how to develop a profitable product, launch it, and manage your business, but this course goes even further.
In this module, Gretta teaches you the most advanced sales and marketing techniques to grow your online store into a 7-figure eCommerce brand.
BONUS 1: Ecommerce Mastery Series
After completing the previous 8 modules, you should have the necessary skills to start and grow your online store. But in this module, you can also learn from the founders of other million-dollar eCommerce brands.
These interviews are so valuable that you will get more tips from other successful entrepreneurs.
BONUS 2: COVID-19 Case Studies from Start & Scale Students
Start & Scale is constantly updating its content to meet the changing market. COVID -19 is a challenge for all online stores worldwide. In this bonus module, you will learn how some successful students at Start and Scale are dealing with this challenge and turning it into a profitable opportunity.
You can gain many amazing insights into how other entrepreneurs survive threats like COVID -19.
BONUS 3: Access to the Exclusive Private Group
A course is not complete if there is no opportunity to ask questions. Therefore, in addition to the course itself, you also get access to the exclusive Facebook group where you can interact with the instructor and more than 8000 course participants in Start and Scale.
The group is very active and members help each other.
Is Start and Scale A Dropshipping Course?
It seems like some people have been mischaracterizing Start and Scale as a dropshipping course, but it’s actually all about developing your own product and building an eCommerce brand.
Dropshipping is a method where you sell products without actually storing or handling them – a third party handles all that stuff for you. But here’s the thing: dropshipping is generally not a great idea.
You see, with dropshipping, you’re usually just selling generic, unbranded products that people can find all over the place, like on eBay and Amazon. And because of that, customers aren’t willing to pay much for them. To make a decent profit, you have to sell a ton of these generic products. On the other hand, if you have your own brand, customers will perceive your products as being more valuable, and you’ll be able to charge a higher price.
Take Gretta’s Drop Bottle, for example. It’s not all that different from other fruit-infuser water bottles you can find on Amazon, but because it’s got a great brand behind it, people are willing to pay $55 for it, while similar water bottles on Amazon are only around $20. So you can see that having your own brand can lead to a much higher profit margin.
But there are other downsides to dropshipping, too. Because you’re not dealing with the products directly, you can’t offer unique products or services, which makes it hard to stand out from the competition. And if a customer has questions about a product, or if there are any issues with it, you have to go through the third-party seller to deal with it, which can be a hassle. Plus, you might end up dealing with a lot of credit card chargebacks.
All in all, dropshipping might seem appealing at first, but it’s not a sustainable way to do business. It’s much better to focus on building a brand that you can be proud of, and that will be able to generate a stable income for you and your family. And that’s exactly what the Start and Scale course is all about.
3 Controversial Opinions On Start and Scale
I spent hours reading what people had to say about the Start and Scale course. I did that many times before I signed up, and again each time I update this review (this is now version 3).
There are many people who say that Start and Scale is the best eCommerce course that really delivers what it promises.
However, I have found that many of the bloggers who have denounced Start and Scale do not even know the content of the course. They are simply asked to buy another course that they partner with.
Here are several controversial opinions of Start and Scale that are on the first page of Google and really raise some interesting points.
1. Start & Scale is lacking in content
This blogger Mike from OnlyGenuineReviews said the Start and Scale course is lacking in content, so he feels disappointed. However, in a business course, it’s not about how many videos the course has; it’s about how effective the strategies are.
What is the point of repeating useless strategies over and over again in a multitude of videos? It sounds like this guy is so naive
It’s unlikely that he watched Gretta’s training video. If so, he will not complain about the lack of content.
From what I can tell, he just wants you to join another dropshipping course he’s affiliated with, eCom Elites. But I have studied eCom Elites before, and it teaches only some basic skills in drop shipping.
2. Gretta’s eCom biz has a low profit margin
This blogger Ippei admits at the beginning that Gretta has great success. However, he made a strange assumption about Gretta’s profit margin.
He said that Gretta makes only 10% profit. How did he come up with this figure?
As an example, let’s use Drop Bottle to find out Gretta’s net profit margins.
Drop Bottle, a popular fruit-infused water bottle that helped Gretta win her Shopify award, had been selling for $45 most of the time. (Note: The price was recently raised to $55. Previously, however, it was always $45. )
Popular Amazon products usually have a profit margin of at least 10%. So I searched on Amazon for a similar infuser bottle to see how much it cost.
Below is the Tea Infuser Bottle with Double Wall Borosilicate Glass, which should have similar production costs to the Drop Bottle. What about the price? The price is only $12.99!
It is important to note that Drop Bottle charges a shipping fee as well!
Let’s do the math. If the net profit margin on the Amazon bottle is 10%, then the total cost of an infuser bottle is about $11
In other words, Gretta can make a $34 profit on each sale of the Drop Bottle (which sells at $45). That’s a net profit margin of 75%!
If you halve the price, Gretta still comes up with a net profit margin of 37.5%.
But despite the price, Gretta still sold a lot of drop bottles. Otherwise, it wouldn’t win the Shopify award.
Ippei could argue that since Gretta doesn’t sell on Amazon, where traffic is high, it needs a higher marketing budget.
However, selling on Amazon doesn’t necessarily mean lower marketing costs. Sponsored Products campaign would be used by most Amazon sellers to increase the visibility of their products.
In addition, they must pay Amazon a substantial commission for every sale.
So why did Ippei give negative feedback on Start and Scale?
Because he wants you to join his own Lead Generation course. The course is called Job Killing.
He didn’t mention the name of the course because the course Job Killing has received a lot of complaints and negative reviews. He just wants you to make a call to their sales team so that they can close you on the phone.
Guess what? It has cost people between $4,860-$8,778 to join his Lead Generation Course (also called Job Killing) which has received so many complaints!
In fact, the Start and Scale course was even misunderstood as a dropshipping course by him!
3. Gretta has made most of her money from selling course
Below is the review from another blogger Dylan – TheAffiliateDoctor.
He said Gretta just made most of her money from selling the Start and Scale course. As mentioned earlier, Gretta Van Riel generated $600,000 USD for her first eCommerce business in six months. That’s why Forbes featured her in its 30 under 30 list.
You can find Gretta in Forbes’ article “30 Under 30 Asia 2018“.
In fact, this guy failed to do any research. He has mistaken Start and Scale for a dropshipping course.
As mentioned earlier, dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Dropshippers don’t build brands. They only sell generic products.
Overall, the negative reviews of Start and Scale contain a lot of misinformation. Poor Gretta!
Do the critics really believe that the 20,000+ students of Start and Scale are just dummies?
Of course, nothing is perfect. So, let’s take a look at both the pros and cons in the next sections.
1. Gretta’s Success is Real
What I like most about Start and Scale is that it is not a course created by fake gurus, but by a person who is really successful in eCommerce.
There’re many scams online. Many gurus are selling online courses and teaching people something they don’t do themselves.
But Gretta is different, she’s well-known for creating many Ecommerce brands that generate 7 figures and was on Forbes’ 30 Under 30. She did not succeed once, but multiple times, which means she really has cracked the code of Ecommerce and has the proven system to share.
That really gives me peace of mind and confidence that I just have to follow her training to succeed. And in fact, there are many incredible success stories inside Start and Scale where students scale their businesses to 6-figure in several months.
2. Lifetime access to the course
Students have lifetime access to the course as well as future updates. New content is constantly being added to the course. Last year, Foundr spent thousands of dollars updating the course material to prepare students for the challenges of the pandemic. Despite Covid 19, students have found inspiration in e-commerce businesses that continue to thrive.
If you join now, you’ll have access to Start and Scale 2.0, and all updates are available for free to old members as well.
3. Supportive Community
Foundr’s Facebook group is very active and helpful. The students are mostly business owners, so you can reach out to them and ask for advice. Gretta is also available to answer your questions
When building a business, it’s hard to do it alone. It’s important to have a community where you can always ask for help. You can also ask questions to validate your ideas in the group.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, never underestimate the value of discussion!
4. No theories, just practical steps
Entrepreneurship is different than being a professor at a business school. For this reason, Foundr focuses only on easy-to-understand, actionable steps. Each lesson includes some actionable tasks.
The course structure is very well organized. It really takes you to step by step from the ground up. I like that each lesson includes action steps that you can use to start getting results.
This is how Start and Scale allow you to replicate Gretta’s success. This course covers all important aspects of building a profitable and sustainable eCom business, such as finding reliable suppliers and building email lists.
Unlike lectures at University, there are no impractical theories. Everything mentioned in the course is something you can implement right away.
5. Workbooks that are great for facilitating the implementation
The workbooks included in Start and Scale will help you become familiar with the various steps to building a sustainable eCom brand. Being an entrepreneur myself, I know how effective it is to learn by doing
The Foundr team knows that if you just listen to Gretta’s talk without taking action, you will not make significant progress. You can even take a quiz after each module to test your understanding.
6. Templates for copying and pasting
Foundr knows how much work it is to start a business. That’s why they have provided templates for their students to copy and paste. For example, in this Start and Scale course, you will be shown the templates Gretta used to find influencers who helped her with her promotional efforts.
7. 365 days money-back guarantee
Foundr is convinced of the quality of Start and Scale. That’s why they offer a one-year money-back guarantee for Start and Scale because they know it works for many students
It is known that some of the other gurus have questionable refund policies, but Foundr is open and transparent about this and offers you a satisfaction guarantee.
Cons & Complaints
The Start and Scale course isn’t cheap. Although the value you get exceeds the price, I know not everyone can afford the course. I think it really depends on what you can sacrifice to succeed.
If you’re able to spend less on other things and invest in the course, it shouldn’t be a problem. And there’s a payment plan that you can take advantage of without having to make a one-time payment. And at the end of the day, you can earn the money back into your business.
You may be wondering why Foundr and Gretta don’t sell the course at a low price. Well, that’s because it’s expensive to produce a high-quality training program.
Foundr and Gretta have worked very hard to create this course. And most importantly, it really works! There are many other eCom courses available online, and some of them are cheaper than Foundr. But the authors of these courses have never had success in eCommerce. They have no problem selling you secrets that do not generate revenue
Consider a college degree. Why is it so expensive? Because it can lead to a job. Start and Scale can help you build a successful business, so the price is reasonable if you look at it that way.
In most cases, the ineffective courses are the ones that are cheap.
2. Insufficient Training on paid ads
Gretta’s education is not enough to run paid ads, because she relies on branding, which will lead to more organic traffic and referrals. Ads, after all, are pretty expensive.
While Facebook ads are very effective in attracting visitors, they can also be a risky strategy. Many people have to invest a million dollars to run Facebook ads.
As for influencer marketing, it’s more for the sustainable development of your business by building branding.
It may not bring as much traffic as quickly as Facebook ads, but in the long run, you can get a lot of organic traffic if you build a brand name in the market.
It will be difficult for you to achieve a high-profit margin if you have to spend a lot of money on running Facebook ads.
On the other hand, if your brand is well established, it can even appear on news websites and blogs (you may have seen this in Start and Scale’s success stories) without you having to pay a dime!
3. Building a brand requires some cash upfront
Gretta will show you how to build a brand in this course, but you will need some money upfront. However, most of the cost is for inventory. Gretta solves this problem by showing you how to create a waiting list to avoid the problem of overstocking.
4. Need to join a waitlist
If you are interested in the Start and Scale course, you might need to join a waitlist. However, I can give you VIP Access Here without putting you on a waitlist. When everyone is just betting everything on extremely risky bitcoins, you can start now if you’re determined!
5. You won’t get rich overnight by joining Start and Scale
It is common for gurus to sell courses that promise you will get rich in a month or so. On the contrary, Start and Scale is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you sign up for the course, you will not get rich overnight. As Gretta explained, she worked really hard to build the brands that have made her a multi-millionaire today. If you follow Gretta’s advice and work hard, you too will be successful.
Start and Scale Course Price
The price for the “Start and Scale” is now $997, which is $1000 off the regular price. If you don’t want to make a lump sum of $997, you also have an option of a payment plan.
You can pay 3 installments of $397. Actually, the course had a huge update in the past few months after receiving students’ feedback in the past 2 years.
Foundr spent 8 months and invested $50,000+ in the pre-and post-production to update the course. So, it is now Start & Scale 2.0.
But they didn’t increase the course price to cover the cost. That is much appreciated by many.
It also shows they care about the course quality to help students succeed. In fact, there’re many students who successfully created a 6-figure eCommerce business after following Gretta’s training.
You can read the success stories here.
Is Gretta Van Riel A Scam?
Gretta van Riel is not a scam. She’s actually a pretty successful entrepreneur in the eCommerce world. Some bloggers might say that she’s made most of her money from selling courses, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, Start and Scale is popular, but that’s just a small part of her wealth.
When Gretta was 22, she only had $24 in the bank. But she didn’t let that stop her from starting her own business. She created SkinnyMe Tea and used Instagram to promote the brand. She even reached out to girls with a lot of followers and sent them samples of her tea.
Now, five years later, SkinnyMe Tea has sold over 11 million cups of tea worldwide and is credited with starting the whole “teatox” trend. But Gretta didn’t just stop at tea.
She also co-created The 5TH watches, which only release their products on the fifth day of the month and sell them for just five days. On its first day, the company made $100,000 in revenue. And if that’s not impressive enough, it’s since gone on to do $1 million in sales in a single day.
No wonder Forbes featured Gretta on its “30 Under 30” list for Asia in 2018. But despite all her success, Gretta still gets negative reviews with a lot of misinformation. It’s a shame because it’s not like the 20,000+ students of Start and Scale are just a bunch of dummies.
Is Start and Scale a Scam or Legit?
The Start and Scale program is not a scam. It is true that not every student of Start and Scale has been successful in eCommerce. That’s normal, though. You won’t see every graduate of a world-class business school becoming rich.
Finally, building a successful brand requires hard work and ingenuity. In most cases, people also give up too soon.
While it’s not a given that you will become the next success story, you have a very good chance of becoming so.
Following Gretta van Riel’s marketing concept, many entrepreneurs have either relaunched their existing businesses or achieved amazing results from scratch.
You can check out the Start and Scale success stories here.
After that, you’ll know that Gretta’s marketing strategies can really help you launch a lucrative online business.
In fact, you will face a much higher risk if you start an online business without knowing any proven strategies or techniques for marketing.
Start and Scale Course Review: Final Verdict
Instead of starting from scratch without any clue, the Start and Scale course gives you the opportunity to duplicate Gretta’s success by following her complete blueprint to building a 7-figure eCommerce brand.
Your chance of success without a great mentor may be slim, but with a proven blueprint and guidance, you can be confident that success is only a matter of time. What you need to do is to follow the training and work towards the goal.
Therefore, for building an eCommerce brand, I highly recommend Start and Scale. It is by far the best eCommerce course that teaches you how to build a sustainable eCommerce brand.
That said, you must realize that Start and Scale won’t make you rich overnight. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme. While other gurus claimed you could copy and paste to become rich, Foundr asks you to put in hard work and be creative to build a successful brand.
According to Gretta, she has worked very hard to build the brands that have made her a multi-millionaire today. Work hard as Gretta suggests and you’ll succeed as well.
Instead of joining the waitlist and waiting for months, you can get VIP access to the course here.
Or if you’re not so sure, you can sign up for the free masterclass first and see if you like Gretta’s teaching style.
Any questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond to you as soon as possible.
Start and Scale Course FAQs
1. Is it necessary for me to quit my job?
There is no need for you to quit your job at the moment. You should hold off until your store brings in enough cash to live.
So you don’t take any financial risk. Most students in this course do this as a side hustle at first. Once they see consistent results, they quit their job to further scale their business.
2. What makes Start and Scale stand out from other eCom courses?
The course “Start and Scale” takes you step-by-step through the process of building an eCommerce brand. It’s a sustainable model that will help you grow your business.
The Ecommerce expert Gretta will show you how to start an online business fast. Gretta has built multiple multi-million dollar eCommerce brands.
There are many success stories in Start and Scale.
3. Do I need to be a technical person to run an online store?
No, you do not need any computer skills to open an online store. Gretta will introduce the best tools and software anyone can use in the course.
4. Does it matter if I have no product ideas now?
You do not have to be concerned to come up with a great product idea. The course gives you tips for finding your idea and will teach you how to do research. That’s why the course is called “Start” and Scale. It helps you start from scratch.
5. Will Gretta cover Instagram and Influencer marketing in the course?
Certainly. Gretta is the “Instagram Queen”. Instagram and Influencer Marketing will be a highlight of this course.
She will share how to dominate Instagram and market products with Influencer Marketing. That has helped her build so many eCommerce brands.
6. Does this course only apply to Stores on Shopify? What if I have an existing store on other platforms?
A Shopify store is only one platform on which Gretta builds her business.
It’s okay if you’d prefer to use another platform. If you already have a store, you’ll gain a lot from this store. You’ll learn how to scale it.
7. Is there any additional support?
After you register for the class, you can join the private Facebook Group where you can interact with thousands of other students and ask any questions you may have.
The members of the group are very helpful and you can even get feedback on your product ideas.
8. Can I access the course for life, including future updates?
A lifetime subscription is available to the course. It is updated regularly, and there is no extra cost to receive updates.
The course was updated on a massive scale in the past few months. Foundr spent $50,000+ to renew the course but did not charge extra for it.
I hope the above answers have addressed your questions.
If you don’t want to waste time and start building your online store now, here’s the VIP access for you: