Let us tell you a story that redefines the term “fortune cookie”.
Anton Kraly – the man behind the hugely successful Drop Ship Lifestyle (DSL) course – started his business 15 years ago selling cookies to big grocery stores!
This was in 2006, right after graduating from college. A year later, after reading Tim Ferriss’s book The Four Hour Workweek, Kraly decided to switch gears and launched an online store. It quickly became more profitable than his cookie delivery service.
To celebrate their early success, Kraly and his business partner went traveling around Thailand and Vietnam. Here they hit upon the idea of growing their fledgling e-commerce business into an empire by adding furniture and other high ticket items to their store.
Fast-forward to 2011, and the duo was able to sell their online business when it reached $1.8 million in revenue.
From ecommerce to dropshipping
Except that’s not the end. The story continues with Anton Kraly looking for inspiration on dropshipping forums, in the hopes of starting a new dropshipping business venture.
But he soon made a discovery that would change his career forever. Tired of online “gurus” peddling outdated strategies, other dropshippers were responding to Anton’s ideas. They were even sending him private messages, asking for more advice.
Encouraged by the enthusiasm of his fellow entrepreneurs, Anton went over his forum posts that garnered the most attention. He used these to craft a comprehensive dropshipping course - Dropshipping Lifestyle.
He launched the course in 2013 while traveling in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Before long, Drop Ship Lifestyle was a resounding success, generating millions of dollars in revenue ($3.5 million in 2016 alone).
Review of the Drop Ship Lifestyle course
It’s an inspiring story, enough to get any new entrepreneur excited.
But, aside from inspiration, what can dropshippers expect to learn on the Drop Ship Lifestyle course? And is it worth the investment?
That’s what we’ll be covering in this review. We’ll be looking in-depth at these topics
- How the course works,
- What you learn in the different parts of the course, including selecting a niche, creating a store, pay per click and social media advertising, and much more,
- And the pros and cons of this course.
So, without further ado, here’s our Drop Ship Lifestyle review.
How Drop Ship Lifestyle’s course works
The Drop Ship Lifestyle course consists of 4 sections, each with its own modules and sub-sections. In total, it clocks in at 33 hours and 30 minutes of content across 151 individual videos.
Here are some key points you should understand about how the course works.
- It’s self-paced: Drop Ship Lifestyle is entirely self-paced. This allows you to set up your own learning schedule and re-watch any of the sections or modules as often as you like.
- It’s actionable: Kraly not only provides a broad overview of how to build a successful online store, but he also goes into great detail and gives you something actionable after each lesson.
- It’s motivational: During the course, Anton Kraly emphasizes that dropshipping success won’t come overnight and that it will require a lot of hard work. And yet, the overall presentation is highly encouraging and personable – former students often note how obviously passionate Anton is about helping people succeed. They also love his sense of humor.
- It’s forever: Another important advantage of the course is that you get permanent (lifetime) access to DSL forums and a Facebook group, as well as live monthly calls (which can be replayed at any time). In these calls, Kraly personally answers every single question posed by the students.
- It’s supportive: The DSL team is extremely helpful, and many alumni have reported getting replies to their questions in the forums within several hours (or by the following day). Support is available 24/7.
- It’s constantly updated: The course is continuously updated, with new videos, podcasts, articles, and other resources added on top of the existing content, which makes lifetime membership quite the asset!
What the Dropship Lifestyle course covers
Now we understand the basics of how the course works, let’s take a look at each of the individual sections so you can understand exactly what you’ll get from this course.
There are 4 sections in total:
- Drop Ship Blueprint
- Google AdWords (pay-per-click)
- Paid social media traffic
For each section, we’ll look at the topics covered and how they relate to building your own highly profitable semi-automated dropshipping store on Shopify.
Section 1 – Drop Ship Blueprint
This is by far the longest section. It consists of 77 videos with a total runtime of 15 hours and 31 minutes.
After a short general introduction to the course, Anton explains why you shouldn’t choose your niche at random or go for the cheapest and/or most trendy items.
In this regard, Kraly is somewhat unorthodox. He recommends selling lower volumes of more expensive (big-ticket) items. This is because, among other things, moving less product reduces the need for customer service, the hassle of processing orders, and makes it easier to buy paid traffic.
Another point to note is that DSL recommends staying clear of niches where brand loyalty plays a significant role. The reason is this makes it harder to compete – consumers who are loyal to a specific brand usually already know exactly what they want.
At the end of each module, Anton gives you a task which you’re supposed to complete before moving on. And be warned - if you skip your homework, it will just come up again in the subsequent module. This is a great way to ensure that people don’t skimp on the practical bits of the course.
One of the key things you’ll learn in this module is Product Listing Ads on Google. Chances are, you won’t get this information in most other dropshipping courses, so pay attention – this is valuable stuff!
In addition, you’ll learn how to identify a niche that suits your needs (taking into account things like average price, demographics, suitability for dropshipping, number of suppliers, and more), and how to generate a list of quality suppliers for each niche.
Creating your website
This module is taught by Anton’s sister Laura. She introduces you to Shopify and takes you through the DSL’s Shopify Theme, how to upload products, and much more.
This module is very well organized and so comprehensive that even complete beginners will be able to build a professional-looking Shopify store.
Some former students have remarked that Laura was extremely helpful and more than willing to assist them in building a personalized e-commerce store for dropshipping. If the content of the course is not enough to justify the price on its own, that kind of attention to each student certainly is!
Anton makes the point that you should always try to find suppliers that require verification. This is preferable because it effectively skips the trust-building process and all other challenges related to finding suppliers and establishing relationships with them.
To gain trust with your supplier, you should first build a quality website, develop a clear dropshipping business plan and sales strategy, and focus on exceptional customer service (if you’re looking for resources right now on how to do this, check out this detailed guide to creating a successful Shopify dropshipping store).
Drop Ship Lifestyle also gives you a list of criteria that makes it easier to find suppliers. This list helps you to group suppliers into different tiers based on reliability and other important characteristics.
This module covers various strategies for optimizing your conversion rates. In other words, it teaches you how to turn more of your store visitors into actual buyers.
Anton teaches you:
- How to create a sense of urgency in the buyer,
- How to best arrange the content on your website,
- How to use social media to boost conversion,
- and how to utilize reviews (most consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations).
All very helpful stuff for turning traffic into sales on your dropshipping store.
Of course, driving traffic to your Shopify store is also extremely important – especially when you’re just starting out. The 6 videos that comprise this module will give you a pretty good idea of what to do. SEO optimization, retargeting, banner ads – you name it, this module’s got it.
The last module (just 34 minutes in total) will introduce you to phone support, automated apps, and virtual assistants. You can outsource a good chunk of your day-to-day tasks to these tools, freeing up more of your time to grow the business.
According to Anton, if you do this right, running your dropshipping business shouldn’t take much more than just 20 minutes per day.
Section 2 – Google AdWords (pay-per-click)
This part of the course is presented by Michael Erickson, a Google Certified Partner. Michael will teach you how to use Google Ads to generate maximum sales. Here’s a breakdown of some of the main points he covers.
Google AdWords and sales funnels
Google AdWords gives you a lot of control when it comes to advertising online, and allows for targeting consumers with near-surgical precision.
This module gives you an overview of how to use sales funnels and how to get the most out of your Google Ads. Among other things, you’ll learn about metrics, conversion tracking, and remarketing strategies.
Product listing ads (PLAs)
There are many reasons why PLAs are so incredibly useful to dropshippers. For instance, PLAs don’t interrupt the user experience. They also improve your conversion rate by filtering out uninterested consumers. And there are many more great reasons.
In this module, you’ll learn all about product feeds, the Google Merchant Centre, and how to launch a successful campaign.
Search text and display ads
Thanks to the ever-increasing price of ads and steep competition, knowing how to write good copy and optimize the way your ads are displayed is paramount.
Luckily, Michael does a good job of explaining the ins and outs of the search ads and gives solid advice on which keywords to bid on for your different campaigns.
Section 3 – Paid social media traffic
This section, also presented by Michael Erickson, covers paid traffic on social media. It covers the platforms most suited for online advertising for dropshipping, namely Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
First, Michael explains the various problems he sees with most online marketing courses. These include a focus on trends, luck, results that are impossible to replicate, and people not understanding the real reasons behind their own success.
Next, you’ll get a solid introduction to reliable strategies that have been used by dropshippers to great effect in countless advertising campaigns.
In addition, you’ll learn about the differences between Google search and social media when it comes to marketing. Michael will help you understand what role Facebook, Instagram, and other sites should play in your overall approach.
This module is the main element of Section 3. Here you’ll learn about the most common mistakes people make when running Facebook ads, and how to avoid them.
If you’re new to advertising on Facebook, this module is a real gold mine. If you are familiar with the topic, it’s still a great resource for whenever you feel like brushing up on the basics.
Believe it or not, this module is only 5 minutes long. But there’s a good reason for it – everything you’ve learned in the previous module can be applied directly to Instagram.
All you have to do is select Instagram in your Facebook Ads Manager Account, and you’re good to go!
After a short introduction to what Pinterest is and why it’s important to online sellers, you’ll learn how to set up effective campaigns, track and analyze results, and adjust your efforts accordingly.
Unlike the previous two social media giants, Pinterest is a bit different in that its users are more likely to be interested in buying. However, given its lower overall popularity, the best marketing strategy on Pinterest is to focus on providing something of value to all users.
In addition to being only slightly ahead of Pinterest in terms of popularity, Twitter is also the most difficult social media platform to master if your goal is advertising.
As Michael explains, Twitter is not search-based and has lower engagement rates (at least in terms of time spent on the platform). What’s more, targeting is more finicky than on Facebook or Instagram.
Despite these and other limitations, Michael does a phenomenal job at walking students through the platform’s interface and the slightly odd analytics functionalities.
This module is just a quick recap of what’s already been covered in the social media section. For example, the “Three Rights” principle gets some extra play here, telling you how to pick the right person, choose the right offer, and deploy it at the right time.
After a few simple tips on retargeting ads and identifying sales funnel priorities, Michael emphasizes the importance of staying active once you’ve launched a campaign. In his view, it’s (almost) always better to have one amazing campaign that you continuously work on, rather than a bunch of good ones that you “set and forget”.
Section 4 – Events
The last section of the Drop Ship Lifestyle consists entirely of talks given by guest speakers at the Drop Ship Lifestyle Members Retreat, which took place in 2017.
Alison Smith gives a presentation on some of the most common bottlenecks faced by online entrepreneurs – such as abandoned carts and spending too much on the top of the sales funnel – and how to avoid them.
James Howitt talks about some crucial things to consider if you want to sell your dropshipping business and maximize profit. This includes doing it yourself vs. hiring a broker, initial valuation, negotiations, selling now vs. later, and more.
Matt Scott introduces the benefits of being a member of the Drop Ship Lifestyle Mastermind group and how to run your business from abroad, such as by hiring virtual office assistants.
Chad Jernigan talks in great detail about influencer marketing, especially on Instagram.
Ben Herbert gives a fascinating presentation on how to establish a bulletproof brand. His own unique company – Natural Stacks – sells open-sourced supplements, meaning that buyers know exactly how much of what goes into each supplement. This is the first company of this kind in the world.
Jose Luis Marin discusses influencers, building your own brand, boosting sales, and generating extra traffic to your store.
Last but not least, Brandon Nolte tells you everything you need to know about content marketing, including measuring your ROI, tinkering with SEO, finding and hiring talented writers, and more.
Where will your business be after completing Drop Ship Lifestyle?
Dropship lifestyle is extremely comprehensive. So, if you’re a newcomer to the world of e-commerce and dropshipping, you should be able to kick-start your own business early on in the course, and then fine-tune it as you go.
As mentioned previously, one of the biggest advantages of the DSL are the top-notch support, regular Q&A sessions, and new content added to the course over time. This means that you won’t be left hanging if you have any questions or run into problems along the way. Given all these resources, chances are you’ll be drawing on the DSL community for years to come!
Pros of Drop Ship Lifestyle
Here are some of the big advantages Drop Ship Lifestyle has.
- Anton himself: Unlike many other courses out there, Drop Ship Lifestyle is the brainchild of a real-world entrepreneur. So it’s not a scam artist from a wannabee “guru”. It features a frankly astonishing amount of in-depth information.
- Help with niche selection: Instead of worrying endlessly about whether you’ve chosen the right niche, the DSL team will do the research for you and put those fears to bed. Once you’ve got your niche, you’ll be focusing on it exclusively, which is great for staying focused, and not wasting any time on frantically looking for the next trendy product, which will save you a ton of time in the long run.
- A supportive and experienced community: The DSL community of seasoned e-commerce veterans, and the support you can expect from Kraly’s own team are second-to-none.
- Private mentorship and your own webstore: You’ll get 3 months of private mentorship by Kraly’s team’s coaches who are successful entrepreneurs themselves, and your own personal webstore. That’s right – the DSL team will literally make an e-commerce store for you!
Along with all of these benefits, the latest version of the course – DSL 7.0 – features some amazing upgrades, such as:
- New lectures on business foundations,
- Enhanced niche selection module,
- Updated market research strategies (this one is MASSIVELY beneficial if you want to stay competitive in 2022),
- Updated supplier approval methods (including new suppliers),
- A fully-fledged outsourcing and automation module.
As you can see, dropship lifestyle has a lot going for it.
Cons of Drop Ship Lifestyle
As for the cons, here are the main ones.
- It’s Shopify only: Drop Ship Lifestyle is Shopify-only, so if you’re planning to go with a different platform, this course is probably not for you.
- No coverage of organic SEO: Another (potential) drawback is that neither Anton nor his colleagues will teach you anything about organic SEO – a key piece of the puzzle for many online dropshipping businesses. On the other hand, including a module on SEO would’ve made the course positively bloated, taking ages to complete.
- Pricing and refund policy: Finally, the pricing and refund policy won’t be to everyone’s liking (or wallet). In fact, because the course is considerably more expensive than others around, it’s worth looking into this topic a bit more.
Drop Ship Lifestyle pricing and refunds
The basic DSL course package (Premium+) costs $4,997. That’s a lot of money.
However, no course that covers as much as the DSL does and features as many amazing perks will be cheap. Besides, if you manage to get your business off the ground – and you absolutely should, given all the support offered by the DSL team – you’ll make this money back in no more than a few months.
In our view, it’s good value for money. It’s just a question of whether you have that kind of capital to invest when starting your dropshipping business.
The Ultimate, priced at $8,997, will get you 6 instead of 3 months of private mentorship, an extra inbox funnels course, and 6 months of done-for-you content marketing. And the Ultimate package, priced at $25,000, gets you lifetime private mentorship, 12 months of done-for-you content marketing, an extra inbox funnels course, and a Drop Ship Lifestyle retreat ticket (this year it’ll be in Prague).
Honestly, though, Premium+ will do you just fine.
The refund policy is quite strict, yet standard.
If you read through the reviews online, you’ll likely encounter the occasional troll (or competitor) bashing the DSL for this, but it’s really quite simple. Drop Ship Lifestyle has a 30-day money-back guarantee, but in order to get it, you’ll have to select a niche, contact 20 suppliers, and build a website within that time period.
Drop Ship Lifestyle review - the takeaways
There’s a good reason why Drop Ship Lifestyle was chosen as the best e-commerce course by Shopify – the Dropship Lifestyle course is an absolute goldmine of quality information.
Add on the other perks, and it easily stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of the other e-commerce courses out there. The price may be a little steep for some, but you do get more than your money’s worth.
So, if you can afford it (and if you’re okay with a Shopify store), Dropship Lifestyle is a fantastic choice for pretty much anyone who’s interested in attaining freedom through entrepreneurship!
Why choose the Dropship Lifestyle course?
Dropship Lifestyle is one of the most in-depth dropshipping courses on the market. In addition to the vast amount of valuable information, you also get stellar support, an active community ready to answer any of your questions, assistance in picking a niche, and a webstore custom-built for you by the team.
Is Dropship Lifestyle legit?
Yes. The creator of the course, Anton, has an impressive e-commerce track record, and the DSL was selected as the best e-commerce course by Shopify in 2017 (and it has only gotten better!).
How much does Dropship Lifestyle cost?
The basic package costs $4,997. There’s no denying that the DSL is quite expensive, but if you can afford it, the content and the support are both of the highest quality. Besides, once you’ve got your business up and running, you’ll make that money back in a few months.
Is the Dropship Lifestyle course suitable for beginners?
Yup. The course is specifically designed to get you from zero to hero – no previous experience is expected or required.
Are there any free materials I can see before I make a decision?
Absolutely. First, you can check out the free webinar that will give you an overview of the course in two hours. If you want more info, you can also check out DSL’s YouTube channel and blog, featuring lots of useful tips, and stories of how various DSL alumni have become successful.