Chris Waller’s handsome 20-year-old smiling, mugging face is all over YouTube promising to make you rich just like him.
His final video, on November 22, 2019, before his death 53 days later on January 14 at the age of 20 was called “Facebook Targeting for 5 Trending Products (EASY).”
“In this video, I’m showing you five winning products that you can sell this Christmas!” Waller speaks energetically to the camera like a pro — a Zoomer Tony Robbins for his nearly 100,000 subscribers and acolytes. He gestures as he speaks into the camera, and his demeanor is resolute and positive. Endless encouragement and enthusiasm. He’s in it. If you look closely, you can see tiny pinprick circles of reflected light from his gear shining from the center of his steady green-gray eyes.
“I WORK HARD EVERY MOTHERFUCKING — ”
It’s the theme song for Waller, who has dubbed himself “King Comm” and created what he calls “The Royal Blueprint” for making millions from drop-shipping products on the Internet.
“What’s up guys, I’m Chris — also known as ‘King,’” he says after the music plays on his final upload. Then he announces the lucky winner of a free telephone consult with him before he makes an unusual announcement.
“I did want to let you know that I’m not going to be doing any more free consultation calls right now,” he says, still smiling, always smiling, “since it’s the most chaotic time of the year.”
Twenty minutes in, to this his final upload to YouTube, he concludes with the same attitude that has coursed throughout his motivational manifesto.
It’s not just a how-to video.
It’s a how-to-do-what-he-does-so-you-can-never-worry-about-money-again video. It’s a solution. It’s a way out. He has all the answers, fam. Did you get banned from Facebook? No problem. He has a fix for that too. Watch his video.
“…all right guys, so that is all for this video,” Waller says in the final moments of the last upload to his channel.
It’s inconsequential. A throwaway. He has thousands more videos to make and millions more in stacks. But he’s still selling. Always be closing. Always be closing. It pulsates from his words.
“If you’ve made it this far, well, you’re going the extra mile that most people wouldn’t,” Waller says. “And that’s what it takes to really succeed. So if you can do one more thing for me and just drop a quick ‘like’ on this video that tells me you like my content and want to see more. So I will make it if you drop a ‘like’ on this video. That’s all for this one, guys. I’ll see you in the next one.”
It’s hard to say exactly what happened to Chris Waller.
There were allegations that he was not refunding people. And ripping off a religious organization’s intellectual property. And maybe even his run-away-from-his-folks-to-start-anew origin story weren’t even true.
He was exposed.
Was he a so-called “contrepreneur”? Or did he maybe change and save your small business life forever through his practical, no-nonsense, cut-through-the-bullshit manner of explaining how Facebook ad targeting works? He’s called both.
His drop-shipping mastermind course group is still active on Facebook. You can request membership after answering and agreeing to a number of questions.
The first one is the most recent question to be added to the private gated Facebook group of 26,000 members.
“Chris Waller sadly passed away on January 14th, 2020. Per the request of his family, we will NOT be discussing the details surrounding his death at this time. Do you agree not to inquire?”
After spending hours upon hours watching Waller’s videos last night determined to this time — finally! — make a ton of money online FAST, I found myself hooked and even a little inspired by this 20-year-old.
Then I decided to join his Facebook group. And, well, I already told you how that went.
I wanted to find out what happened.
He felt like my friend. He probably felt like many people’s friend. The guestbook for his death is filled with pages upon pages of heartfelt grief. Every once in a while there is the comical can’t-resist machinations of a truly tacky Internet marketer who can’t resist plugging his store in the RIP’s. But all in all, the love felt for the young man is palpable.
The closest thing to a news article I could find about his passing is this bot-generated text article summing up him being “exposed.”
A few highlights:
So, because the writing in that previous article is such a cluster-fuck, I’ll share with you the key points and highlights being referred to as sort of “original source” texts.
Key point #1: He was controversial, but still considered semi to fully legitimate in drop-shipping communities.
Oh, right. I should have explained that earlier for anyone who wisely abstains from the murky waters of Getting! Rich! Online!
What is drop-shipping? Sure, no problem. Quick overview:
If you aren’t familiar with what drop-shipping is, think of it this way. The next time you see any celebrity, influencer or targeted Facebook ad that appears to offer the cutest thing in the entire world, consider that it is probably being shipped from China.
“Drop-shipping” is when you run an e-commerce portal, often a Shopify or WooCommerce store, and act as an intermediary by dressing up the goods that you are sourcing internationally from sites such as Alibaba. More and more, the Internet is wise to this hustle. If you need any example, look no further than a Real Housewife’s savaging on Reddit not too long ago when her rabid online store watchers reverse-image-searched the items she was selling under her brand to easily uncover the actual price and source coming from overseas.
This online review of King Comm — in which the reviewer contemplates at the very beginning if he should perhaps now delete his highly critical review— is a good sampling of the murky moral compass within which Waller operated.
He was a mixture. Not all bad. Not all good.
A compendium of both bullshit and truth. 80 percent bullshit. 20 percent truth. 20 percent bullshit. 80 percent truth.
No one knows.
What percentage are you?
Key point #2: An article appeared in the New York Times that highlighted an Instagram account dedicated to exposing contrepreneurs had recently, according to Internet commenters, exposed Waller. He went dark afterward.
This is the NYT piece.
This Instagram account tracks down who is stealing money from people and who is not in the Internet marketing and drop-shipping community.
Their task is no doubt virtuous.
I imagine thousands of people who can’t afford to go broke are doing exactly that, sending money to more tech-savvy youngsters who are easily faking their stats using the smallest amount of effort.
Key point #3: Chris Waller, months before he died, was exposed. The original posts may not still be live.
The only way to piece together what occurred — timewise-line— is by visiting Reddit and forums that are dedicated to what are known as “black hat” Internet methods. Juicing SEO. Faking metadata. All that sort of trickery to get those sweet, sweet clicks. Although, keep in mind, those two examples I just gave are, I think, about five years out of date. You used to be able to game algorithms. Black-hat warriors discuss such topics with fervor online. And please know: I am in no way making fun of these people. I think I just have a naturally shitty-condescending way of writing sometimes that comes from years of tabloid zombie training.
This is their “oral history,” if you will, of the life and death of King Comm.
I’ve watched hundreds of YouTube tutorials about how to live that Internet money life. So far they have not led to King Comm simulated riches.
Last year I ran a Shopify store for about three weeks and shut it down after only selling two things because that’s about my comfort level with failure.
I closed my Patreon after 7 subscribers because the act of sending the link to billionaires and prostrating before them digitally started to feel like it was going to physically kill me.
In other words, I see you, Internet marketers, and I fucking marvel at your sac.
King Comm’s sheer audacity of will and self-confidence to put himself out there as a guru blows my mind. Exactly how flawed a guru he was would require a level of inquiry that clearly those closest to him cannot bare to face. This is understandable.
He should rest in peace.
Chris Waller is a ready-made mascot for these times.
That BlackHat forum arguing about his death that is trying to figure out exactly what happened to Waller and the extent of his crimes against Internet humanity goes on for pages.
But the final entry has a certain kind of poetry to it.
“sad to hear,” one black-hat warrior writes. “But, i dont know when will someone help me/ i dont know where to cry and where to shout for help/ no, one helps alive human being like me”
There is a one-word response filled with more wisdom than anything I’ve written thus far.
“Meditation,” it reads.
It’s a good answer.
No one is what they seem online .
I don’t need to tell you that.
Binary villains and heroes do no exist.
It’s just, still, us. Humans. Prone to evil and good and, sometimes even, although you might know it when you’re 20 years old: redemption.