August Income Report

14

coin graphWell, it’s the time again!  I’m writing on the first of September which means Summer is coming to a close (my girls go back to school tomorrow!) and the “busy season” is going to begin!  Traditionally, September sees an increase in sales, though usually minimal.  October, things pick up a bit more.  November sees a huge difference over other months and December is usually double to triple the standard sales!  This is exciting, but even more exciting to me was the fact that Summer was not completely dead as it has been for me in years past!  So…let’s see how things looked in August!

WE’LL BEGIN WITH… THE DISCLAIMERS

If you’re a regular reader, feel free to skip this section.  I always feel it’s necessary, however, to be 100% up-front, and transparent.  I want you to understand the numbers you’re looking at for what they actually are.

The first disclaimer is about the nature of the business.  Historically, this business comes in waves.  You’ll see ups and downs.  If like me, you’re starting a business or are thinking about starting one, you’re probably thinking “I’d like to make $X a month.”  In reality, it doesn’t work this way.  My first several years of business were all over the place.  Some months were high, others were low.  Things have steadied out over time, but the reality is, no two months will be exactly the same

The second, and possibly more important disclaimer in light of transparency is how I figure my numbers.  For sales of physical products, I take 35% to figure out my “profit.”  This is consistent with last year’s profit percentage (after shipping costs, fees, cost of goods, misc expenses etc).  This is not an exact number, but it’s going to be pretty close.  Going through hundreds of transactions and determining the cost and profit is simply not something I’m willing or probably even able to do.  Be aware that you’re looking at an estimate, but a fairly accurate one.

SOURCES OF INCOME (NEW SOURCE THIS MONTH!)

As regular readers know, the majority of my income comes from my 2 Amazon Accounts.  I also sell a bit on Ebay (2 accounts).  In addition, I have a handful of affiliate accounts that make bits of money each month.  This month, however, I started an Amazon.ca account (Amazon Canada) selling FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon- meaning my inventory is actually in Canada and orders are fulfilled by Amazon’s staff there.)  I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve already made a few sales!  This was done with almost no promotion (I’ll spend more time talking about this below.)  The income from this is not significant (at least not yet) but the fact that these sales came in so quickly was totally unexpected!  (As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t think I’d have income to report in this account until September or October!  I’m so excited that items are already starting to move in this account!

THINGS GOING ON IN AUGUST

August went FAST!  I was thrilled to get my first Canadian Amazon shipment finalized and received to Amazon.ca.  I said above that I did “almost no promotion.”  I did send out a single newsletter to my current mailing list for the products letting them know that the products were available at Amazon.ca, but it turns out none of my subscribers are in Canada!  This means I’ve got some work to do, BUT it also means that the few sales I got were organic (from finding the product on Amazon.ca) and were not related at to the newsletter I sent out!  I’m seeing that there are pros and cons to listing on Amazon.ca.  The biggest disadvantage is the lack of traffic.  The traffic does not appear to be anything close to Amazon.com.  The huge advantage here though is the lack of competition.  When I listed the same product on Amazon.com, I had to work hard to get it on the first page for my target keyword (currently about the 5th listing on the page).  When I listed on Amazon.ca, I became the number 3 listing for my target keyword (same keyword) in less than a week with no promotion.  It seems the international Amazon sites are wide open and far easier to rank and compete!  I’m very excited about continuing to pursue other Amazon marketplaces and expand my audience!

As I’ve mentioned, I have 2 other products that are being imported.  The production is just about complete and we’re working through the final steps before shipment.  These should hit Amazon in 30-45 days (though my last product has still not hit the warehouse- it’s been nearly 2 months!- keep this in mind if you’re considering shipping by sea.  It can be incredibly slow!)

Finally, on a personal note, my wife and my youngest daughter share August as a birthday month!  We celebrated my wife’s birthday on the 22nd and celebrated my daughter’s (fifth) birthday Friday (the 29th) and yesterday (the 31st)!  Friday was the “kids party” where our house was overrun with females for 3 hours (a ton of little girls and their moms) and Sunday was her real birthday (Grandma, Grandpa came over for some pie and ice cream).  It was a great ending to a great summer!

INCOME BREAKDOWN:

So, planning games for 5 year-olds, eating cupcakes, pie and ice cream and buying presents is all great, but how did I pay for all that?  I’m glad you asked!  Lets look at my August income! (did you like that segue?)

Amazon Account 1: $31,819.52

Amazon account 1 August screenshot

Amazon Account 2: $15,071.54

Amazon account 2 August screenshot

Amazon.ca (Canada) account: $143.57 (estimated conversion to U.S. dollars)

(I don’t have a professional account yet, so I do not have access to the business reports.  Below is a shot of my payout report)

Amazon.ca account August screenshot

 

Ebay Account 1: $1011.84

Ebay account 1 August screenshot

Ebay Account 2: $182.37

Ebay account 2 August screenshot

Total: $48,228.84

35% = $16,880.09 (total physical product estimated profit)

AFFILIATE EARNINGS:

Amazon Associates: $36.59

Amazon associates August screenshot

 

 

Jim Cockrum Owned Courses

(Import Direct from China and Proven Amazon Course) $153.00:

Jim Cockrum screenshot black

Lisa Suttora’s Wholesale Course: $49.25

Lisa Suttora August screenshot

Worldwide Brands: $67.25

worldwide brands August screenshot

Clickbank: $40.91

clickbank August screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total affiliate earnings: $347

(100% profit since there is no “cost of goods”)

GRAND TOTAL ESTIMATED PROFIT FOR THE MONTH: $17,227.09

LAST MONTH’S ESTIMATED PROFIT: $18,987.40

DOWN: $1,760.31

I’m not completely surprised that I’m down this month.  My goal for the next couple months is to keep up on my inventory and numbers a bit better (I’ll be talking more about this in upcoming posts).  I’m seeing that when I don’t track things, I don’t know exactly where I’m losing money.  I can guess though.  2 of my top selling private label products have had to fight a bit for placement on Amazon.  Competition is moving in and some of the sellers are fairly aggressive with their strategies!  I could benefit from a bit of promotion on my products!

The second factor is that my main contractor (who sources and lists products for me) has opened up a car shop and has consequently been spending significantly less time on the business.  We are currently in conversation trying to balance his schedule.  All in all though, I certainly can’t say I’m complaining about $17,000!

I hope this is inspiring to you and that it motivates you in your own business.  If you’re just starting and want a strategy, you can download the overview of the stategy I use in the form of an ebook by entering your name and email below!  Thanks so much for your support!

14 thoughts on “August Income Report

  1. Hello Daniel,

    I’m a single mom of two and about to step into this world of selling on the Amazon FBA Canada platform. My question is that I want to import from China a private label product but how do you go about adhering to the bilingual label/packaging requirements and restrictions for Canada?

    Thanks for all your inspiring and motivational words throughout your journey. Any insight you have would be helpful.

    -Sara-

    1. Hi Sara,
      First please allow me to commend you for taking the step to begin the journey of private labeling! Being a single mom comes with it’s own challenges. You have my utmost respect for taking on additional responsibilities! If there is anything I can do throughout the process to help, I’m happy to!

      Regarding your specific question, to be totally honest, this is news to me! I did a bit of research and see the requirement you’re talking about, but I”m not clear if this requirement applies only to businesses that are stationed in Canada or ALL businesses. To be honest, none of my products selling in Canada meet the dual language requirement (mostly because I was unaware of it.) It would be fairly difficult for me to do so since I use a have packaging produced all at once and then the products are shipped to the U.S, Canada and the U.K. A separate packaging requirement for Canada would certainly create an issue.

      In your case, however, it may not be so difficult. First, are you in Canada? If so, I would imagine the requirement would definitely apply to you- though you should do some digging. As I said, this is very new knowledge for me, so I’m going to need to do some more digging myself!

      If you do find that you need to meet this requirement, I would do one of two things:

      1. Use Google Translate. This would be the cheapest option to create packaging and instructions in both English and French. Be aware, however, that French readers will likely notice that it was somewhat poorly translated as Google Translate is not 100% accurate.
      2. Go to Upwork or Fiverr and hire someone who speaks the language to translate it for you. This will insure a more accurate translation (but will cost more.)

      From there, you’ll simply want to include both languages in the packaging and the instructions. A graphic artist can do this for you (also found on fiverr, upwork or 99designs etc)

      I hope this is helpful! If you have further questions, let me know!

  2. Good morning Daniel,
    I always enjoy your blog and learn something new every time I read it. Have you seen the new Amazon policy about selling DVD movies above msrp? I do not have all the details but a lot of sellers are posting about it.

    1. Hi Ed,
      Yes, I’ve received several questions about this. My first attempt to request permission was denied! I quickly realized that this is a very big deal- particularly to those who sell DVDs and other media exclusively! This could essentially put them out of business!

      I was approved this morning and decided to dedicate an entire post to it to help those who are desperately trying to get approved. You can see the post in it’s entirety HERE

      Hope this helps!

  3. Daniel,

    I’ve been following your blog and have read both of your ebooks a handful of times, both of which I find truly inspiring and encouraging.

    Your progress documented in these income reports is awesome! A question though: how many hours a week do you spend on your business these days? And how many hours did you spend on your business when you were on step 3 and transitioning into step 4?

    I’m on step 3 at the moment and am having a hard time finding a balance between working full time, growing my Amazon business, and spending time with my wife and kids. What was your schedule like during step 3? Did you dedicate a certain day a week to sourcing or did you work on it everyday?

    I know I’m laying a lot of questions on you. I really appreciate what you’ve done for your readers and for me especially. Keep up the good work. You’re really making a difference.

    1. Hi Aaron,
      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you’re getting a lot out the blog and ebook!

      Your question is a good one. I have the unique luxury of spending all of my “work time” on my business. Most people who are starting out and many who have been at it for a while, do not. When I started, I did a lot of things “wrong” (inefficient would be a better word.) I created the ebook to provide the strategy that I would use today if I had to start over. For instance, when I started, I was fulfilling everything myself (this takes WAY too much time!) Also, I made the mistake of jumping into wholesale early and lost a lot of money because I didn’t have the basic experience of selling first (which is much smarter to do on a low risk basis- buying low quantities of media and clearance items for instance to understand sales cycles, trends etc before buying a massive amount of a single product.) It should be noted that first, even when I was “employed”, I wasn’t working “full time” I twas closer to 30 hours than 40 (it was all the pizza place would give me). Had I been working 40+ hours, I never would have pulled off the business using the strategies I was using. With this said, using the current strategies, it’s very possible to make this happen even if working full time. There are numerous readers who are doing it. My dad is currently working 40+ hours a week and has managed to start up a business on the side that makes him regular supplemental income.

      So, to answer your question, when I did dive full force into arbitrage, it went like this:

      Every Thursday I would go out to numerous stores (you can do Saturdays or evenings if this works better for your schedule. Thursday just worked best for me) I would spend several hours at the store- a minimum of 4. This forced me to keep working even if I got discouraged. You’ll find that if you push through the “lack of inventory findings” you’ll eventually hit a streak of “gold.” Just keep scanning until you find something. I would then come home and box everything up and send it out. This usually took another 2-5 hours. This was dependent on the items I bought- the quantity and whether or not they needed stickers or had stickers which needed to be removed- like clearance stickers (which takes a lot longer.) Basically, you should be able to do it one day a week. If you want to split it up and spend an entire day shopping and the next day packing and shipping, that will obviously yield more inventory. The key is to be consistent. I went out every Thursday without fail.

      I should also mention, I would do online arbitrage sourcing as well. This was not as consistent, but usually on average, I did this once a week also.

      Spending time with family is super important. You don’t want to neglect your family to start a business. Believe me, they won’t appreciate your “sacrifice.” For me, I decided early on (when I started to get obsessed about the business to the point where it was taking over every minute of my life) to set a day aside as “no work day.” For me, that’s Saturday (it used to be Monday because back then, I was not scheduled for work on Mondays.) It will depend on your schedule. Even if you stay up nights to work on the business, dedicate at least one “no work” night to just enjoy kids and family and to celebrate that you’re alive (without the need to DO anything). Stay consistent and it WILL pay off. The day will come when you can quit your job (if that’s what you want) or cut down on hours, or whatever your vision is. I hope this helps!

      1. Thanks for the detailed response! The personal touch you add to your posts and comments are incredibly refreshing, especially the last paragraph of your response. I feel that the business is starting to take over – as you so aptly put it – every minute of my life. You’re a really relatable guy. Keep up the good work and thanks again for the advice and the perspective.

        1. Hi Aaron,
          again, I really appreciate the kind words. It sounds like we both have families and we’re both doing our best to keep our priorities straight. I’ve made mistakes, but it seems through trial and error, I’m doing better (and continually improving I hope!)

          I’m just a regular guy, not a blogger, marketing guru/genius! I write and comment here because it seems to genuinely help people that are on a similar journey. I’m more than happy to share what’s worked and what hasn’t so save you and others a bit of pain. I’m glad I could help!

  4. Daniel,

    When you listed your products on amazon.ca did you use the same UPC code you used on amazon.com for same products (private label), or do you have to use different UPC codes?

    Thanks

  5. Robin,
    This is truly exciting- especially considering last time I heard from you, you were at about $8.00 (if I’m remembering correctly.) I’m so glad I could help you find something that works! Keep at it and it will keep growing! Thanks for the update!

  6. Daniel,
    I just got my first payment from Amazon…when all said and done it was over $110. Thank you again for the inspiration. I will keep going thanks to your leading the way. Please keep up this great blog so I can have a path to follow.
    Happy birthday to your wife and daughter.

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