April 4, 2016 in Income Reports
Time sure is flying by fast! Here we are in the 2nd quarter of 2016 and it seems like I’m still not moving much in terms of income. I’ve been at this plateau for quite awhile and itching to start making some sort of progress. I’m not complaining though because all my earnings are completely passive. That means I don’t have to do much to keep the money coming in. It’s a good amount but it seems small when I think about how long I’ve been trying to make money on the internet.
I’m determined this year to do something to start making the needle go up. If you read my last income report, you’ll know that I’m starting an Amazon FBA business. It seems simple yet there are a lot of moving parts to it. Specifically I will be private labelling a product that I will be sourcing from a manufacturer in China and selling it on Amazon.com.
Starting My Amazon FBA Business
I’ve actually made some progress in a relatively short amount of time. It’s been about a month since I started seriously evaluating what I need to do to get this FBA experiment going. Here’s what I’ve done:
- Researched a product
- Tracked sales of competing products
- Corresponded to factory representatives
- Ordered product samples
- Tested samples
- Placed a 50% deposit on my first order
- Awaiting production to be complete on my order
All those tasks happened over the course of about a month. I found one agent on Alibaba.com that was really easy to work with and she was very detailed and answered all my questions thoroughly. We went back and forth on the products her company offered and different combinations of accessories to go with it. She sent pictures and descriptions so I could see what they had. Once I found the right combination of products, I placed a sample order. She shipped it through DHL Express and I received it in about 3 days for $65. Here are photos of the packages I received.
I’ve since had time to test out the products and put my deposit down to start manufacturing. She said it’ll take about 15 days to complete. So now I’ve got a few more things to do quickly before they ask for the other 50% to begin shipment:
- Design printed insert cards (I’m doing this myself)
- Design a company logo (I’m doing this myself)
- Create an Amazon Seller Central account
- Take product photos (using my samples)
- Write product descriptions and come up with keywords
This whole thing is a learning process. I learn best by doing things so I kinda just jumped into this and will figure it out as I go. My priority is getting the logo and print materials ready before shipment because they will be packaged with the product. I can take my time getting the product to Amazon but the printed cards have to be available to the factory when they put the product into the poly bags.
Launching More Than One Product
The factory I’m working with has several products I’m interested in selling so as I roll out my FBA business, I will actually be launching 2 products at the same time. Both these products are being manufactured now and will be shipped to me at the same time. So I have double the work to do on this. I’m starting with relatively low quantities of 200 of one product and 100 of the other product.
This business model has more risk than anything I’ve done in the past. But I’m not worried. I’m just glad I have my online assets like self-published books, mobile apps, websites and YouTube channels to help fund my experiments. So for the past month, I’ve been dedicating my time to getting the FBA business going. I still plan on doing the other things but since this is new, I needed full attention to it and hopefully my research will pay off.
I’m also working with another factory representative that offers pretty much the same product but the one I ordered from was the one I felt most comfortable working with. Her prices were higher but I value working with people I like. Not that the other one was bad because I’m still in talks with her and I plan on ordering samples from her company too. Just want to make sure I explore all options. But I’m glad the process is rolling along smoothly. I expect to have my first product on sale on Amazon in May 2016.
Just so you’re not wondering, the cost for my first 2 products including air shipment to my door is about $2400.00. Shipping alone is about $850.00! There will be other fees that Amazon will charge once I get the items to their warehouses but I will deal with that later. I estimate to have a 35%-40% margin on the products but I’m not sure yet. One product will sell between $17.99-$23.99 and the other will be priced at $29.99. I’m not sure how well they’ll do but like I said, I’m learning as I go.
It’s important to note that I haven’t paid for any courses to learn about the FBA business. I’ve just read a lot of websites and watched a lot of YouTube videos on the subject. But the most helpful resource so far is The Amazing Seller Podcast which has everything you need to know about Amazon FBA! And it’s all free! I have to admit that right now, the FBA research is getting addictive and I’m already jotting down ideas for my next products. But I have to go one step at a time so I will work with my first 2 products to see if they are viable on Amazon and will probably launch another product this summer. That’s the plan for now. Here’s my March income report!
Here’s a snapshot of my totals for easy reference.
- Kindle Publishing: $91.46
- Amazon Associates: $175.57
- Banner Ads: $8.74
- YouTube: $63.84
- Createspace: $318.82
- Udemy: $27.77
- Linkshare: $16.50
- Mobile Apps: $55.60
- Template Sales: $9.80
Total this month: $806.92
- Last month total: $724.71
- Difference: (+$82.21)
Total earnings per day: $26.02
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If you read my income reports regularly, you might have noticed where the majority of my income comes from. It’s from self-publishing! This has become one of the main areas I focus on these days. I’ve tried lots of different ways to make money online and publishing has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.
There are many reasons that self-publishing fits into my business plan but among the top reasons are:
- Easy to write
- Can hire writers
- I can create covers myself
- Little to no maintenance
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