Name: Top Dawg Pet Supply
Price: $1500 – $6550
Owner: Jason Santini
Overall Rank: 44 out of 100
Who it’s for: Intermediate – Expert
What is Top Dawg (TopDawg) Pet Supply?
I first learned of Top Dawg Pet Supply while searching for a franchise opportunity. It was listed among a bunch of low-investment options for starting your own business. Having worked in the Pet Healthcare industry, and being someone who is very interested in pet supplies, I jumped on the opportunity after scrutinizing it as thoroughly as I could. Looking back, I think I would have benefited from finding and reading more Top Dawg Pet Supply reviews than I did.
After signing up, I underwent a training session that included talking with someone on the phone while they had remote access to my computer. They showed me how to set up and administer my new website, including products, sales, and fulfillment.
After the training, they said they were giving me access to a document that would help me remember the things we talked about during training. That was one of the first times I realized that I was dealing with a company that was outdated. The document had training that contradicted what I learned in my one-on-one training session, which ultimately meant that I wasn’t going to be allowed to customize to the website the way I needed and wanted to.
I brought this up with the owner of Top Dawg, who assured me that I would indeed be able to do what I wanted. That was when I realized that I was dealing with someone who was eager (too eager) to keep my business. You see, my experience showed me that the assurances of the owner were not accurate.
At this point, I had forked over $1500 plus the monthly payment to keep the site up and running. After a few weeks, I began to feel very fatigued because the platform they used is very technical, complicated, and not user friendly at all.
The price depends on how involved you want to be. If you only want to do the dropshipping, the cost is free to set up. But, the cost starts at $1500 if you want their Pet Store Complete package, which includes “advanced” software, 32-45% profit margin, unlimited “custom” content pages, and a $100 Google Adwords credit. Then, add an additional $100 per month. You can add their basic marketing package for an additional $450 per month.
The prices seemed fair. And they would indeed be fair if the company delivered what they advertised. After I had been with them for a while, I realized that the actual value I received in return was only worth a fraction of what I had paid. From my perspective, the Pet Store Complete is not worth the $1500 up-front fee. I felt like I had been robbed by scam artists. I still feel like that today after many experiences with the owner that left me feeling betrayed, ignored, and used.
My single greatest complaint with Top Dawg is that their back-end website management tool is so glitchy and feels so outdated. Content editing is a huge hassle. Their rich text editing feature never works right. You never know if the products you are selling will be in stock when you need them. Editing the website’s design is not something I was allowed to do on my own—I had to go through their tech support. The exact limits of my website’s customization were portrayed inconsistently. The trainer said one thing, while the owner said something contradictory.
Their customer support follows this formula: Yes, we can do that! Followed by a failure to do what needs to be done. They only seem to get your emails when it is convenient for them. If you have a serious issue or complaint, you’ll likely find that they mysteriously never received your email, and therefore it is all your fault. That was my experience.
The products (at least while I was with them) had terrible product descriptions (by default). The advice I got was to find the same product online somewhere else and just copy/paste from another site. That is how serious (not at all) they seem to be about providing a great service to their website owners. With over 10,000 products, it would take months to get all of the descriptions right.
The product pictures are usually tiny. Anyone who is serious about selling products online knows that it is critical to have great pictures of the products. Customers need to see what they are getting.
The company gives you a marketing and SEO guide, which is very outdated. It even talks about how important it is to write articles/blogs, but the website DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THE FUNCATIONALITY FOR A BLOG BUILT IN!!! When I brought this up with them, they told me to just keep writing new posts on the same webpage as old posts. How terrible is that for user experience? I’ll give you a hint: IT IS TERRIBLE. It is also an extremely outdated practice.
Summary and Recommendation
Long story short, this place is seriously unprofessional. It was an enormous waste of my time and money. It seems like a place that is operated out of some guy’s mother’s basement, and they only take it kind-of seriously. It is touted (by Top Dawg) as something exponentially more grand than it is in real life. It was advertised as an excellent service that would provide something valuable at a fair price, but I got something with many built-in handicaps at an unfair price. That is the long and short of it.
My recommendation is that you do NOT partner up with this company. If you do, you had better make sure that you already have the knowledge and skills to succeed because the “services” that this company provides fall way short—from my perspective, they do not deliver as advertised.
This was a difficult time for me because I had been through 3 scams in a short period of time. Top Dawg Pet Supply was the most expensive of the three. Thankfully, I soon found something that is not a scam and which is more effective than anything else I have tried.
This “something” that I found is called Wealthy Affiliate. If you are serious about starting a business online and actually getting results, and if you want to stay away from all of the scams out there, I urge you to read my review of my #1 recommendation, Wealthy Affiliate.