This is another month that I’ve seen a positive increase in my earnings. That doesn’t mean I’m raking in the dough though! I’m still under $1000 a month in income and it’s a decent amount of passive income but I strive to grow! When I think back over the past few months, I really haven’t done a whole lot to make progress. Sure I’ve posted new YouTube videos and published a couple of books but those add very little to the bottom line.
I do have one series of books that seem to sell themselves with very little marketing so I plan on creating more titles on that subject. It’s also an interesting subject for me so that makes it a lot easier. One of my books has reached the #2 spot for one of it’s keywords on Amazon which has resulted in a nice increase in sales of that title. It shows up #2 when searching under All Departments, Kindle Store and Books. I’m enjoying that! This was the last book I wrote in the series and I think the subject matter and title had a lot to do with this minor success. I have another book in this series that I started months ago but never finished. It’s about half-way written and I just need to get back to it and finish it.
Part of the reason for my break in writing is that I’m building my Amazon FBA business. I’m not sure why I didn’t keep writing during this time because the Amazon thing really isn’t taking up that much of my time. But self-publishing will continue to be one of my business activities that I will pursue long-term
Amazon FBA Update
Things are moving along with my Amazon FBA adventure! It has taken several weeks but I managed to successfully talk to a supplier in China and put together 2 products that I want to sell. After inspecting my samples last month I was ready to place my order. This wasn’t as simple a task as I thought. I had issues wiring money overseas. I was trying to do it online but it just wasn’t working. So I had to go to the bank and do it in person. The first wire transfer was for 50% of the cost to get production started.
When I got to the bank, they couldn’t figure it out why the transfer wouldn’t work. But eventually it was simply that my account wasn’t set up for international transfers. To do that, I would have to upgrade my account which would result in an additional monthly fee for my account. But the banker graciously allowed me a complimentary transfer since I was already there and it took so much time for them to figure out why it wasn’t working out at first.
Now here’s where it got interesting and confusing. Right after I wired the money, a different person from the manufacturing company emailed me and told me I need to send the balance of the money before they can start production. They said the price of the raw materials had gone up and they need the funds now to pay for the materials. Also they said I need to pay it with Western Union or Money Gram. That last statement put up red flag in my mind because I heard that those are not secure payment methods and that scammers use them. So I messaged this person a few times trying to confirm that I really needed to pay the balance. They said yes. So after just over a week of messaging this person I was breaking down and wanted to proceed with my order.
So one morning I was setting up a Western Union account online and the funny thing is that in the middle of setting up the account, the original agent I was working with sent me an email saying production has started on my products. At first I was confused and then I was relieved that I didn’t send more money at that time. So the other person was a scammer that hacked into my agent’s Gmail account and had been monitoring our communications and decided to strike just at the right time! Luckily I didn’t get scammed! The person asking the balance payment via Western Union or Money Gram was posing as a sales manager of the company I was dealing with.
Knowing this, I was going to play around with this scammer a bit more but decided I didn’t have time or interest to play games with this guy. So a couple of weeks later, my agent tells me my products are ready and sends me photos of them. At that point we make arrangements for the final balance of 50% of the costs. I am proceeding extremely cautiously at this point. I even got on Skype with my agent to confirm the account I was sending the money to. I eventually sent the money and the shipment is on it’s way to me!
Here’s one of the pictures that was sent to me prior to shipping.
It’s going to be 10 boxes total and 350 pounds of freight! This is not that big of an order. There will be 300 pieces arriving at my door. It’s going to be interesting! But it has been a good learning experience and I will be moving onto the next steps of getting my products ready to ship to Amazon.
That’s where I’m at with my FBA business. Here’s my April income report!
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