Is the Kibo Code a scam or not? I have gone through the course, so let me tell you what I found out about it. The Kibo Code is a product marketed by Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton. It is modeled after a Japanese store called Don Quijote Co. In case you don’t know, the Don Quijote Co, has over 160 locations throughout Japan, and a total of 322 stores worldwide.This store is described as a cluttered, crazier kind of Big Lots store found here in the US. Let’s take a look at how the Kibo Code training method creates a ecommerce store that resembles a Don Quijote. And in this review I will answer the question, Is the Kibo Code a Scam?
- Name – Kibo Code
- Website –www.thekibocode.com/
- Price – $3497 0r 4 Payments of $997 + tax [$4227.28]
- Owners – Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton
- Quality – Overhyped – Not as simple as they claim
- Overall Rank – 5/10
- Refunds – 30 day refund – You don’t see how the course actually works until after refund expires
- Verdict – Not Recommended
Is The Kibo Code A Scam – A Great Product – Or Something Else
The Kibo Code is a training program that teaches you to create an E-commerce Store and sell products. Aidan and Steve claim it is done without the need for facebook ads, selling on Amazon, blogging, or packaging and no inventory is required. Best of all, it only requires 5-10 hours a week. This allows you the freedom to work another job or run another business. So, anyone can do it. and no special skills are required. Everything you need to know is included in the course. Sounds pretty good so far.
This product teaches anybody how to set up their own business, and make money quickly. In fact, you are told to expect making profits within a week or two from the time you purchase their program. Supposedly, because they use their proprietary software to pick winning products FOR you. The staff behind Kibo Code purportedly searched millions of products, and are providing you products that are already tested to be winners.
They call them “Done for You products” It is hyped like the products are going to be such great selling products that will practically sell themselves! Well, not quite. The method used is fairly straight forward, and not difficult to understand. It even uses some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) But, it also has a lot of steps that can be challenging, complex and not so easy. And it can also become very expensive very quickly. Let me tell you about the Kibo Code.
The Kibo Code Training Program
Steve and Aidan tell us they have made millions from their own stores using the same method. And the system is easy enough that anyone can do it. This program sounded easy enough, so I took them up on it and purchased the product. Here is my review and what I found out about the Kibo Code.
Once I purchased the program, I was shocked to learn, I didn’t have the luxury of getting a look at the entire program all at once. The Kibo Code Training Program is painfully “drip fed” as 8 live Modules, once a week for 8 weeks.
With a 30 day window for the money back guarantee, this only allows 4 weeks to experience and test the program.
And to make matters worse the first video gives an almost painful to watch overview life story background of Steve and Aidan. Then, a complete replay of the sales pitch and what the course will include. What this does is waste a week of time so that you get to see less of what the program is about.
This allows only 3 weeks to see the actual training videos. And they scheduled my #3 video to be shown a day after the 30 day refund expired.
So, everyone is only able to view 2 modules before the refund offer is over. I personally believe this is by design because the real meat of the program is described in module #3.
That is when you set up and run your first ads.
The Basic Training – 8 Video Modules
- #1 Buying a Domain – Setting up Your Store – 7 steps
- #2 Placeholder Products -Ad Account set-up- Apps set-up – 12 Steps
- #3 Products Overview – Google Analytics & Pixel set up-Your First Ad – 12 steps
- #4 Microsoft Ads Overview & Pixel set up – Returns and Refunds – 7 steps
- #5 Six Rules of Qualifying Products – Google Search Campaign – 8 steps
- #6 Facebook Ads, Facebook Page, Pixel set up, Retargeting Ads – 8 steps
- #7 Klaviyo Email System, Newsletters, Wheelio App – 8 steps
- #8 Google and Facebook Pixel Updates, Target ROAS Bidding Strategy – 2 Steps
As I stated above, the training Modules are only delivered once a week as Live Broadcasts. The broadcast is an overview that explains what you are going to learn each week. And under the overview module are smaller short videos that give step by step instructions.
They are recorded, so you can watch them later if you can’t be present at the live event. But, you only get to see one per week.
Each module requires a pre-registration each week, and if you don’t register before the event, you can’t attend the live event and have to wait for the recording. This usually doesn’t take long and is available within the next few hours or the next day.
The software included in the Kibo Code Package that is totally overvalued.
The Claim of $51,423 in value is absurd! These fancy names don’t even come close to the real modules and what they do. This is why I say this course is overhyped. The live event ticket is valued at $10,000! Come on! It was supposed to be live and take 3 days, but was cancelled due to the Covid 19 shutdown in the U.S. It was an event showing other vendors with more upsells for their programs.
It’s all done to take the sting out of not charging you $51,423, not $40,000, or even $20,000 ,they would have no problem selling it at $10,000…so the pitch goes on…..til it’s finally a $4000 final cost.
This is the similar hype for a similar program used by Adrian Morrison. You can read my review here. eCom Success Academy
This incredible hype is displayed in the sales videos as a success story of one of the students. This is certainly not typical. It has some great visual impact, but you are never told what product or products caused such a huge payday and in 24 hours!! They claim this is what is possible, but give you hypothetical calculations of how you can grow your store the same way.
How Does the Kibo Code Work – Is the Kibo Code a Scam
The Kibo Code is a dropshipping program, and here is how it works. You build a website on Shopify, create and run google ads to get customers to purchase the product. When your customer buys your product, you then purchase the product from a supplier like Banggood and then Banggood ships the product to your customers address.
This eliminates the need for purchasing any inventory, and the hassle of keeping stock on hand, and having to package, label and ship products. However, one of the problems is you have longer shipping times, and will be buying retail products to sell higher than retail prices…about 40% higher or more.
You are told to run ads on as many as 5 products in both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads at the same time. This runs up ad costs very quickly, the hope is you will find a winning product faster and start making profits. What really happens is you lose money faster on ad spend, and you find out quickly that finding a “Winning Product” is not easy, and after I tested over 30 products, none of the products were winners. This is what the entire course is based upon, “Finding Winners”
Kibo Code Picked For You Products – Done For You
The sales pitch claims you have a software program included that picks products that are proven winners and they will give you access to hundreds, if not millions of products that are exclusive to you. And they are “Done FOR You” with the images and ad copy already inserted. (Some images and ad copy) and it turns out it is only a brief description for products in the beginning, after that, there is very limited ad copy and images. You are required to do all your ad copy and images, they are no longer done for you at this point.
This was one of their selling points, that the products are all done for you! Only at first, until you learn to do them yourself. Once you start picking your own products, ads,images, and copy can take hours to do, not 20 minutes like they claim. If you work with people from Fiverr, it may take days to get your work completed.
I even worked on some product ads, and the supplier was out of stock before I finished creating the ad! I had to start another ad for another product! A complete waste of time!
Once You Pick Your Product It Becomes [Your Exclusive Product] – Or Does It?
Those products were claimed to be “your exclusive product” and were supposed to be unavailable to anyone else from the list. However, that wasn’t the case.They were removed for a period of time then showed up again days later. They were not completely exclusive. Other members will choose the same products. And, the suppliers will display ads on your browser that are the same “exclusive products” other Kibo members are selling and running ads on. Sean, the trainer at kibo code eventually said you will always have competition, these are not exclusive products. Such lies.
So, what really happens? You compete against your fellow Kibo members when you run your ad! If 5 other members have the same product, you are running ads of the same product. It quickly becomes evident, that all the members are gyrating to the same products, as they figured out what was selling.
However, most members are struggling just to get a few sales before they burn up any possible profits running ads! A few members were fortunate enough to find a “Winning Product” and had some success quickly, but then it seemed sales died off for some. Even the lucky ones were saying it was about a break-even after ad spend. When you run ads it is like throwing money into a dark room, you really don’t know what is going to happen.
Kibo Code Product Analyzer
Eventually, they called this “winning product software” the “Product Analyzer” and it delivered 100 products a day, that was increased to 1000 products a day, and more suppliers were added. It was a great improvement, and gave a variety of suppliers to choose from. This helped, but what happened is most of the members still gravitated to the same products. Why?
Many suppliers have “membership fees” that you had to pay monthly to purchase products. This is added cost that would eventually have to be added to your product selling costs. Other suppliers, had high shipping costs that would also have to be added to the cost of the products. A few suppliers offered free shipping and no membership fees, so these were the products everyone gravitated to.
Kibo Secrets To Creating Good Ad Copy – Reword Other Ads
Only the basics of creating ad copy is taught in this course. It is essential to learn how to create your own images and ad copy. If you don’t already know how to do this, you need additional training somewhere else, because all they show you is how to copy and rewrite someone else’s ads. You are taught to go to Amazon or Ebay and find images and ad copy to use for your products.
When you copy an image, they are a copy of somebody else’s ad image. That will result in another ad with the same image. If the cost is lower in another ad with the same image, which do you think will sell? Now, the supplier may be ok with everyone using the same image to sell their products, but using someone’s image is not good business. So, you have to be careful there. Google doesn’t want to see all the same images, so this most likely hurts your ranking as well.
This is why you also need to know how to create original product images. The only training on making images is they suggest to use fiver, but it takes days to get anything done and ready to use. By then you supplier could be sold out. The dropshipping business is heavily dependant upon dependable suppliers. This is another problem, you are at the mercy of your supplier.
The Product Analyzer Displays “Winning Products ” Tested, Proven and Picked For You
Kibo Code Product Analyzer Picks Products Shipping from China
One thing that I liked from the Kibo Code sales pitch, was the fact that the products would be available from suppliers in the USA. The Kibo Shopify store is set up to offer free shipping . You only sell in the Continental US, and eliminate any high shipping costs to Alaska or Hawaii. Because the products shipped from USA suppliers, and NOT from China,it would insure fast shipping in 3-8 days. With Amazon shipping in less than 4 days and overnight for prime members, this is another headwind.
Since the Kibo Model is shipping from the USA only, the product analyzer should only pick products from the USA. But it doesn’t always do that. In fact 9 out of 10 products it picked were from Banggood(a USA Supplier) shipped from China only. The shipping times were at least a month! If you aren’t careful, it is easy to overlook, and send these to your customers.
That would cause a huge problem after 8 days, and the customer is complaining, and doesn’t want to wait, they demand a refund. You have no choice after promising them fast shipping! We were taught 6 criteria you must use for choosing products, and one was “they must ship from the USA”. So, why does this product analyzer pick products from China?
Fighting Competition From Your Supplier And Other Kibo Members
These products are actually purchased from retail suppliers. These suppliers also run their own ads of the same products at what is your cost to buy them. This creates a headwind immediately. The program is based upon running ads on google, and you are in direct competition with your supplier, who is also running ads and selling the same product at the same price you paid for that product. And that price is before you add your mark up to the price of the product. This mark-up has to be 2 or 3 times your cost to produce your profit margin! A bare minimum is 40% mark-up.
Do you see a problem with a product selling for $20 from your competitor/supplier on an ad right beside your ad for $60 for the same image of the same product? Personally, I price shop for lower cost!
Kibo Code Method – Buy At Retail – Sell 40% Higher
Normally, businesses use a supplier that offers the products at a wholesale price to allow some room for profit. And the supplier sells the product at their suggested retail price, usually at 1 to 2x or more above the retail cost. They DON’T sell the product at the wholesale price you as a business partner pay for it. This is the KIBO CODE METHOD you are taught, buy at retail cost then make up a great ad, and sell the product for at least a 40% mark-up to get your profits.
When I asked about this being a problem, I was told it didn’t matter. “Some people don’t shop for price” While this is true, and you CAN sell products at a higher cost than your competition. But, my experience was that only a few products sell, and it costs as much to advertise for sales, so you lose money! And, you eliminate all those people who ARE looking for the best price, and your competitors have the advantage of selling their products at LOWER prices than you can. It’s a major headwind when you are trying to become profitable, price limits your profits on products.
I have had refunds because the customer saw the product elsewhere for a cheaper price.
Dealing With Images And Ads
And, because the course teaches you to use the images from the suppliers, or elsewhere like Amazon products, all the ads have similar images and basically the same ad copy. That is a problem. If you have 6 years of internet experience in marketing and ad copy, you would possibly know how to have unique images created. But for someone with very little experience, it is a challenge to create images, and write great ad copy!
The Kibo Training Videos explain you can use Fiver to get images enhanced for $5. Fiver, for those who don’t know, is a website where you can get help with things like ad copy and images, but at $5 the selection is very limited and is mostly beginners trying to get established. Normally, you will have to spend more like $30 to $50 for something worthwhile. And you can spend much more than that as well. Plus, you have to wait for days to get this work done and you would have to pause your ads, or keep paying for them to run. No ads or poor ads cost you money, and you have no profits coming in.
All these costs come out of your profits. If you aren’t seeing sales, then it becomes debt you owe and have to pay back.
What About Extra’s Like Shopify Costs and Fees
The Kibo Code system uses Shopify stores to build your business. The basic plan costs $29 bucks a month for their cheapest plan, and you will also have to purchase some apps that also have a monthly fee. You have no choice. I have a monthly cost of $49 for apps that I must have for the Kibo Code.
You need a payment processor to handle credit cards, and they charge 2 to 4% for each transaction. Also, most payment providers offer free returns for the customer, BUT, they charge the seller the transaction fee! So, you return the cost of a product, and pay a transaction fee on top of that. If a customer files a complaint with Paypal, you get a chargeback, that costs you another $20! This is out of your pocket.
Kibo Code World Class Support Features
Steve and Aidan claim to have “World Class” support. They offer 2 basic ways to get help. You can create a support ticket (Send an email), or join the Kibo Talk Forum. They do not have a “Chat” feature for instant help which is almost unheard of in today’s training courses. So, It can’t possibly be World Class support without instant access. There is also no Facebook group either. If you need help immediately, you may be out of luck for days. So, they may claim to have support 365 days a year, but it is posted help, no phone calls or instant chat.
When I bought the program, the first live broadcast was the history of Steve and Aidan making their millions, and how they will be there to help everyone to succeed and become successful in this year ahead. Sounds great!
In order to view the course content, you must have a password to sign in and access the Kibo Tools section. Inside is a list of videos included , and the dashboard displaying different sections of the website.
Kibo Talk Forum
You have access to a Kibo Talk Forum where you are told it is a privilege to be inside the forum, and if you complain, you will be banned from the forum. If your post is too negative, and it looks like you are complaining and making the course look bad, it will be deleted. It is a censored help forum designed to make things look great with only positive remarks. It was obvious the point was to keep people happy until the 30 day refund expired. And you have to play nice or you lose the closest thing to live chat you have available.
People inside are all newbies to the Kibo course, but they vary from highly experienced people in marketing to people who have no experience at all and are just beginning their online experience. You can post a question and then you wait to receive an answer. If someone is online and is able to help you, you can get a quick response.
Answers In The Talk Forum May Take Awhile
When you post in the talk forum, you might wait a day or two for someone to get back to you. When I first joined the course, Steve and Aidan were inside periodically to answer questions, and they promptly deleted messages they thought were too negative or just complainers. Then, it didn’t take long after the refund expired and they just disappeared.
The problem is that it is members mostly trying to figure out what to do, or sometimes it is someone who had some success and they explain what they did to solve the problem you ask about. You can’t email Aidan or Steve, they only allow access to support. So, the only other option is a support ticket, which is just an email sent to support.
Kibo Email And Support Tickets
Kibo support is by email. You open a support ticket and wait for a reply. The normal reply for me was 4-5 days! You have to look to the Kibo Talk forum for any help you need right away. People may answer you quickly within the hour, or you may wait a day or two in the forum as well. This is poor support in this day and age, and definitely is a problem that needs addressed.
For some reason, when you get your email answer, the original copy of the email you sent is not included. So, the answers I got were a very brief, one line sentence, or that is covered in the training. After taking a week to get an answer, I had usually moved on and forgot the question. Without including the question along with the reply, I had to sort through my emails I sent to refresh my memory. What a hassle.
Kibo Code Accountability Groups
In the first week or two, you are encouraged to sign-up for Kibo Accountability Groups and meet with other members once a week and report to other members what you have accomplished each week. This is to keep you accountable to other members. In my group we discussed our successes, and problems that occurred. Sometime other members could help, sometimes not.
All the members in my group were struggling and even the people who had sales, were not finding the “Winning Product” that we needed to begin to scale our stores. One person had some limited success with a few sales but had to return most of his products because they were “out of stock”. He woke up one morning a few days later, and his Store was shut down by Shopify and they didn’t give a clear answer why. He ended up spending $5000 on ads over what he got in in sales. Nobody in my group ever found their “Winning Product” either. Everyone had lost money.
Is the Kibo Code a Scam – It Has a 30 Day No Risk Guarantee
You are given a 30 day money back guarantee. This is shortened from Aidan’s previous course offering a 60 day Guarantee. Why? This time frame is deliberately shortened so that you only get to watch the first two modules. They show how to get your store set up, but you don’t see enough to make an informed decision about how Kibo Code actually works. This was a major red flag for me, I should have known better. But, I was dumb enough to stick it out because I really wanted this to work. Who doesn’t want a business that only requires 5-10 hours a week?
I found myself working 10 hours days on this course, constantly finding new products, making new ad copy, watching the ad cost and killing ads, filling orders and refunds, and constantly looking for other suppliers. But, always watching the ads suck up any profits, until you reach the cost of the product you are trying to sell. Sometimes you do get a sale, then you let the ad run for at least 1 to 1 1/2 times the cost of the product to determine if you have a so called winner! Now remember Kibo Code owners Steve and Aidan has already claimed the products are winners!
Only 20% Of The Winning Products Turn Out To Be Winners
Well, you later are told only about 20% of the products turn out to be winners! So much for picked for you products, that are tested winners!
It is a lot of logistics that take time, and you must run ads to get traffic. Then, you have to constantly monitor your ads and try to figure out how to improve them, Change headlines or change ad copy, or as a last resort, lower your price! And you also have to keep you books and record each sale and refund you make.
When you run out of money for ads, your store doesn’t do any business. My #1 method does not require ads, or ad copy, or chasing suppliers, no price competition, and no start up costs. If you are looking to start a business without spending an arm and have a free trial period to look it over, it just might be for you. Check it out here. Still not convinced about the Kibo Code? Let’s look at the good and bad.
Kibo Code – Pros and Cons
- Allows you to set up a Shopify Store quickly
- Suppliers are in USA – No shipping from China is claimed
- Step by Step Video on setting up Google and Bing Ads
- Basic Steps Video on how to use Facebook ads
- Overview of buying products in bulk from China.
- Traffic is From Google Ads and Very Expensive – No Traffic – No sales = Failure, Run out of money – nothing sells
- Product Analyzer Picks Products From China – Shipping is a month or more- Customers get angry -Too many refunds
- Kibo members Ads are the same. Same images, same ad copy and all in competition with each other for the same products
- Website all look the same, same headlines, same product descriptions. not enough training on how to differentiate from others
- Everything is lost if Shopify shuts your Store down
- Kibo Course is Not Limited to a few people and closed. It is sold under several names and saturates the market.
- Support Tickets are not answered for days. Sometimes they take up to 5 days for an answer
- No Live Chat – Only chat box is once a week for each module
- Q&A Sessions – Verbally answer questions picked by Steve and Aidan only. You never see the actual list of questions asked or know what they were skipping over and not telling you.
Claims Kibo Code Made That Make You Wonder – Is The Kibo Code A Scam
# Remember – we never open our products again – you are in the club now! Steve Clayton – Not True
Sure, they closed the doors to the original Kibo Code, but they produced an identical programs they continue to sell today!
- They rewrote the same modules, added a few new features and sold them under new names…. The Kibo Code VIP Edition
And another one, called Underground Sales System
# People have made sales the very same day they opened the store and this is very much the norm. Steve Clayton – Not True!
- No, it is not the norm. A few success stories yes, but more times than not people got a few sales after weeks, then struggled. Some, no sales.
# You don’t need to talk to customers – Steve Clayton – [Maybe not face to face, but you will deal with customers by phone or email]
- I got a customer that was furious on my very first sale. The electrical product he received did not have a USA style plug. He immediately called paypal and filed a claim costing me $20 and Paypal fees, even when he got his refund. He talked to me plenty through email. You will be communicating with customers, maybe not face to face, but by email and possibly by phone.
Is The Kibo Code A Scam – Not Entirely, But Not Recommended Either
The Kibo Code is not a scam because it contains a lot of information about building a store, and providing products and suppliers, and additional information about Facebook Ads, and selling on Ebay and Amazon. The problem is the sales model and getting consistent sales. (And why is a Facebook training included if they said we didn’t need it?)
A lot of this information can be found for free by searching the internet. Shopify offers a lengthy training for setting up a Shopify Store, and ways to make the store profitable for free. Some of the information provided is unique. But, what seems to stand out to me, is the program is not going to be a success for many people.
Sure, some will make a living, and if they find the right products, maybe become successful enough to make 6 figures. But, that is the exception rather than the rule. If you don’t have any success, you are going to be out the $4000 cost of the course, and additional ad costs as well. The ads costs could easily equal the cost of the course if not more. It happened to me, and it can happen to you.
Once you sign up to this program, expect your email box to be swamped with a barrage of spam, money making programs sold with the same overhyped sales talk guaranteeing you will make a ton of money. The only ones making a ton of money are Steve and Aidan from people buying their sales hype. In fact it is reported they made 11 million from The Kibo Code release. Think about that. And they are still selling it!
Expect To Spend A Lot Of Money
You need to be able to spend $10,000 and not feel bad if you lose it, because it is very possible you could lose that and more! PPC Ads are expensive! They need to be improved all the time, images changed, headlines revised and reworded, Ad copy changed. People steal your work and use it for themselves. Shopify shuts down stores! If they shut your store down, all your work is lost, period. You are renting your store from Shopify.
The logistics are time consuming, and take time and effort, refunds are costly, and wasted ad spend. You could only run your store in 5-10 hrs if you hire help, and you need steady profits and winning products to be able to do that. Both are hard because of major competition from other members using the same identical wording and themes in their store, and eventually running ads for the same products.
They also included an entire module of training on Facebook ads! Even after saying, no Facebook, no Amazon…they include complete training on how to run Facebook ads. Most people who have run Facebook ads know that you take a chance of Facebook shutting down your account at anytime, and you are done running any Facebook ads. It happens a lot and they will never tell you why they did it.
The Kibo Code Depends On Suppliers
The Kibo Code is not a reliable, easy business model to get to work. From first hand experience, it is very expensive to work and totally dependant upon suppliers! If your supplier doesn’t have products when you finally get customers to buy them, you have to scramble to find products somewhere else. If you don’t, you have no choice but to refund the products, and all your work and money went down the drain.
Suppliers that ship from China will take a month or more. That will not work when you are promising fast shipping from the USA. Customers demand refunds quickly when shipping takes too long. Refunds cost you money because the sellers(you), get charged all the payment processors fees and sometimes a $20 chargeback to boot! You are risking a lot of money if your product doesn’t turn out to be a winner, and only 20% of the products ever do become winners. When you run out of money, you are stuck with the cost of the program, all the ad costs, and paying store fees without getting any profits.
Verdict – Not Recommended
Why spend $4000 and spend $2-3,000 or more “testing product ads” not to mention extra fees, shopify store costs, apps and complex taxes! I worked this program,following all the training, got a few sales, but spent more in ad costs than I got in sales revenue. This is a lot of work, time and money!
Trying to get a business going is hard, but digging a revenue hole with costs, doesn’t help! I can’t recommend this to anyone, save your money! Unless you have a ton of online marketing experience, you are going to struggle with learning all the extra skills you need to succeed.
I can show you a much safer route, you control and create a business you own… much cheaper. Take a look for free. No credit card needed.
My #1 method has no ad costs, and has a 7 day free trial to look it over. And you can sign up for $19 bucks and look it over another 30 days! And you get to see “Everything about it, all at once”, not a small piece each week! Once you chose your monthly or yearly plan, there are no additional upsells, no hidden costs, no fees to pay each week, and you own everything you create for your business. No-one can take it away, shut you down, or keep you out of your business!
Don’t spend $4000 to check something out that doesn’t work for everybody. Check my #1 Method out for free.