This is a long overdue post that's been requested by many of my readers. Like you might be, I got stuck on the wait list for the latest course which doesn't look like it's coming back any time soon.
Currently you cannot sign up for this course, you just have to join the waiting list until she's ready to make more money and open the doors again.
So once I finally got access through one of my awesome readers, I decided to do this review and show you exactly what you get and whether it's worth the hefty price tag or not.
The course originally cost $547 and it's highly likely this price will be far higher when it relaunches.
The Annoying Factor
Now the first annoying thing is how long you need to wait just to join the course. If like most of my readers you're itching to start your drop shipping business then there's many other courses out there that will teach you the exact same thing.
During this waitlist period, you get sent lots of offers from Foundr and you can't block them unless you want to forego your position in line.
*June 19 - I've now seen you can get retargeted with a webinar on Instagram which allows you to sign up.
Who is Gretta Van Riel?
Gretta Van Riel is a female entrepreneur from Australia who claims to be a social media marketing expert who owns her own Influencer platform called Hey Influencers.
It's slightly unclear then why someone who has all this experience with social media and creating startups, is launching an eCommerce course with no experience actually running one.
One of the biggest red flags I have before we even get into the content is that Gretta made a bold claim that she started with $20. When you start watching the content you quickly realise that she says she started by paying people to design her logo and other designs which ended up costing thousands of dollars.
Telling you what you want to here, with this story on the sales page is unconvincing and it's clear you need money to make money online, don't be fooled by this.
Start and Scale Review
The course is split across six modules and includes 38 video lessons with Gretta personally doing the training.
You also get access to 16 workbooks which are summaries of the video training series.
You also get access to expert coaches although it's limited information and lastly you get access to the Facebook mastermind group.
You also get access to some exclusive discount codes, they are pretty much affiliate links for her.
The platform is built on the Clickfunnels platform so videos look great on all devices including mobile, tablet and desktop.
If you buy the course during the initial launch you only get one module per week, which means you can be waiting up to 6 weeks for the entire course to be delivered. Given there's only 38 videos in the course this is annoying especially if you want to start your store right now!
Module 1: Find your niche
The first module of the course includes five video lessons on reaching products to sell.
It's fairly basic stuff and doesn't include any of these premium tools that you can use to find winning products.
The videos show you how to come up with an idea, test and confirm your idea works and then develop a customer profile and validate whether it's a good idea or not.
It's a pretty basic introduction into niche selection and very short in my opinion.
Module 2: Million dollar branding
Personally I disagree with the next module being about branding. You haven't even tested your idea yet so building a brand from the start is a bad idea. You should be building a brand once you've found winning products.
This is why you see so many guru's suggesting you start a one product or general store first, test the market and find winning products before converting your store into a brand and scaling.
It's easier to sell a course around branding as most beginners believe it's the best way forward but most people then wonder why they haven't made a dime online but they have the best looking brand in their market.
You'll watch videos on choosing a brand name, creating a logo, buying and linking a domain name and finally over the shoulder training on creating your store.
Module 3: Idea to inventory
Next in start and scale, you've got your brand and store foundations so you'll want to find suppliers.
Unlike some other courses Gretta covers local and international suppliers. Although Gretta is based in Australia, you get a recommendation for China and the USA for suppliers so it's a course that can be applied to many geographical locations.
You'll learn how to find and negotiate from buyers, how to place your orders with them, how to deal with packaging and delivery. You also learn how to drop ship products, how to price your products on your own store (including margins etc) and how to create your own products.
It's a fairly basic module and could offer atleast double the videos in my opinion.
Module 4: Build an audience of buyers
This module is funny because one of the stand out videos is how to create a waitlist to create a buzz around your product and then cash in on one day when it goes live. We've seen that Gretta is a master of this technique from the waiting list on her own course.
Personally I've never heard of anyone making serious money with a waiting list on an eCommerce store unless they are a huge brand such as Nike releasing limited edition sneakers.
You also get videos on how to prepare for launch, working with Influencers and basic social media marketing.
Module 5: Launch your store to sales
This module is a follow on from module four which shows you how to accept credit card and Paypal payments, how to setup a customer help desk and how to use virtual assistants to automate the processes of your business so you can focus on scaling your store.
Gretta provided a check list for your launch which she claims will help your store.
Module 6: How to scale your store
The last module is all about scaling your store and further optimisation. Facebook Ads finally gets a mention in the course which is pretty unbelievable as there's no mention of any paid traffic modules anywhere else in the course and you'll learn retargeting.
You also get a video on warehousing but most of you will not need to worry about this for a few years at least.
Start and Scale Bonuses
The bonus section is one of those sections which claims to be worth thousands but it's probably all self valued and could be picked up in other courses for free.
The first is a video of an interview with Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic of HiSmile. I'm sure you've seen them promoting their brand on Instagram. Anyway you get an interview with them on how they built their own brand from the ground up.
The second bonus is some copy and paste scripts to contact Influencers. You also get email marketing campaign scripts and cart recovery email sequences that you can use. Remember, you probably don't want to use the same as every one else. Use some initiative and customize them to your own style.
Next is a mini course that's been thrown in on Facebook and Instagram Ads. As I mentioned before there's no mention of these two platforms or any other paid traffic methods and it's obvious this section is very limited and you won't learn much.
Related: Best Google Ads Courses
Lastly is a voucher for a friend, relative or business partner to join the Facebook group. If everyone used this, it means the Facebook group should probably be half the number of members. It's a good marketing tactic to make the group more popular than it is.
Facebook Mastermind Group
The Start and Scale Facebook mastermind group currently has 5225 members since 2017.
There's an average of 9 posts made per day which is fairly active.
Unlike some questionable eCommerce courses out there, the refund policy requires you to show that you've followed the training and if it hasn't worked out for you within the first 60 days you're entitled to a full refund. It's unclear if this refund will be the same during the relaunch.
The course talks a big game and they have a flashy sales page but honestly I was pretty disappointed with the content. There's only 38 videos across six relatively broad modules.
If you've read some of my other reviews, you'll know most courses have at least 50-60 videos with the popular courses offering 150-250. Given these courses also cost much less than start and scale it's quite expensive in my opinion.
The biggest problem for me was the lack of traffic generation. You can have the best damn brand in the world but without traffic you don't have a business. Gretta seems to have skimmed over this section and threw in a mini Facebook Ads course in at the end to please people.
I've watched courses with over 5 hours of Facebook and Google Ads training and there was so much more that she could have shown her students.
The other drawback for me was the lack of product research and the decision to tell you to build a brand from the start. I'm sure you've been to a retail store and seen them trying to flog a bunch of products and you think to yourself, who on earth would buy that?
That's exactly how you should feel when picking a product. You should find people to buy it, prove it's a product people will buy and then build your brand around that.
It happens on Shark Tank all the time. The investors hate the brand and ask them to rebrand before they will invest. Don't be fooled into thinking you need to buy a course that focuses on branding, that can come after you're making money!
Given the problems I see in this course and the huge price, I'd recommend a smaller, more content filled and rounded course called eCom Elites (read review) which is by a successful New Zealand businessman who gives 175+ videos on building a real eCommerce business.
Remember, buying an expensive course might appear great but you still need to spend money to make money after learning the content.
- Start and Scale Course
- Gretta Van Riel net worth
- Gretta Van Riel Scam
- Start & Scale course
Rhys is the owner and chief editor at Im Rhys and is living in Chisinau, Moldova. With over 15 years experience in eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing he has started many successful 6 and 7 figure businesses. After successes with USA and China dropshipping, he expanded into building 70+ micro affiliate websites in 30 different niches that generate money on autopilot. He now helps his wife to run her social media agency as well as travelling the world at every opportunity.