Azon Monthly Stats 4 – April 2015

April 2015 Monthly Stats

Keyword Glory!

April was FANTASTIC!

We managed to get rid of our hijackers once and for all and we hit the Number 2 spot on Page 1 of the Amazon search results for our main keyword.

So let’s examine the numbers…

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Total Sales – $22,686.35

Plus total cost of stock carried forward – $7004

Costs

Stock & Shipping – $6532

Promotional Expenses – $1970

FBA Fees – $9950

Marketing Costs – $1542

Total Profit / (Loss) – $9,696

Summary

All in all a great month!

Amazon have decided to start charging EU VAT on our seller fees even though we are a business so I’m looking into to getting my company VAT registered in order to reclaim the VAT. But in all honesty this whole EU VAT situation is incredibly complex, especially when it’s mixed with doing business via companies outside of the EU.

So my advice if you’re in a similar situation is to seek the advice of an accountant, I’m afraid I am not qualified to advise you on tax issues!

Because our sales are now increasing quite rapidly we’re forecasting quite a big stock spend in May.

Regards marketing & promotional efforts, we’re continuing to give away discounted products to increase our reviews, we’re using Amazon Sponsored Ads to push our product, we’re releasing one press release a week and that’s about it at the moment.

We have created a blog and a facebook page around our brand and will begin to build some authority and a list over the next few months as we decide to grow the brand and add more products to it.

So exciting times ahead.

Our goal for May is to hit $40,000 sales, so we’ll see how we get on!

Do let me know if you have any questions.

Jo :)

 

 

Azon Monthly Stats 3 – March 2015

Welcome to my Monthly Stats post.

This business is so exciting I wanted to record it’s growth from the very beginning and share with you what’s possible!

Hence each month I’ll create a post to show my sales stats on Amazon and also do a quick profit & loss for you so you can see what actually ends up in our pockets!

Please note I will never reveal exactly what my products or branding are. Not because I’m precious about it, I’d much rather give you a warts and all account of my journey.

But the conversion rate of my listings pages on Amazon is paramount to my rankings and I don’t want to run the risk of people just ‘having a look’ as it could have a devastating effect on my sales. Something to bear in mind for your products also.

March 2015 Monthly Stats

Hijack City!

I had hoped that March was going to be a slam dunk month by way of sales, but unfortunately we spent the month fending off hijackers.

I’ll explain what that means in a second but first let’s look at the numbers;

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Total Sales – $13968.50

Plus Total cost of stock carried forward – $4131

Total – $18099.50

Costs

Stock & Shipping – $4200

Promotional Expenses – $1900

FBA Fees – $3250

Marketing Costs – $770

Total Profit – $7979.50

Summary

OK so not a bad month considering we’re buying stock like crazy so as not to run out of inventory, so stock costs pretty high again this month.

Promotional expenses have calmed down a bit, although we continue to spike our sales with discounts and freebies.

So what’s this hijacking stuff all about then?

Unfortunately although our product is quite popular hence it’s selling pretty well off the bat, it’s also very common. This means that anyone who can source the same product can use our listing to sell their version of the same product.

So in other words we do all the work to increase our BSR (Best Seller Rank) and get more exposure on Amazon only for someone to pop in and list their product on our listing, sell theirs cheaper and get all our sales.

Unfortunately it’s not even a sneaky strategy, Amazon’s whole ethos is to have an open selling service and it works on driving prices down for consumers. There are even courses out their teaching people how to make money doing exactly this.

Now there are a multitude of ways you can get rid of hijackers which I won’t go into right now, but here’s a quick takeaway for you, the less unique your product the more chance others will try to hijack your listing. Just some food for thought.

The great thing about being hijacked this month is we now know what to do to ensure it doesn’t happen!

All in all a promising month and looking forward to April!

Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions below.

Jo :)

 

 

Azon Monthly Stats 2 – February 2015

Welcome to my Monthly Stats post.

This business is so exciting I wanted to record it’s growth from the very beginning and share with you what’s possible!

Hence each month I’ll create a post to show my sales stats on Amazon and also do a quick profit & loss for you so you can see what actually ends up in our pockets!

Please note I will never reveal exactly what my products or branding are. Not because I’m precious about it, I’d much rather give you a warts and all account of my journey.

But the conversion rate of my listings pages on Amazon is paramount to my rankings and I don’t want to run the risk of people just ‘having a look’ as it could have a devastating effect on my sales. Something to bear in mind for your products also.

February 2015 Monthly Stats

New product launch time! Whoop Whoop!

Let’s look at the numbers;

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Total Sales – $7314.06

Plus total stock carried forward – $111.00

Costs

Upfront Stock Expenditure in January – $1302

Further Stock & Shipping – $1125

Promotional Expenses – $1500

FBA Fees – $2300

Marketing Costs – $450

Total Profit – $748

Summary

The upfront stock expenditure was to order our initial inventory of 500 units of our brand new product and was paid out in two parts in December ($652) & January ($650).

As this was launch month our promotional expenses were high due to the amount of stock we were discounting / giving away in order to get reviews, spike our sales and increase our rankings.

I will be writing a blog post on Launching Your Product soon so look out for that.

Also we weren’t going to get caught with our pants down again so we’ve already ordered our next lot of stock, hence the further stock and shipping amount.

Marketing costs include Amazon Sponsored Ads & Press Releases.

All in all, costs are a bit high this month due to two lots of stock orderings included and high promotional expenses. Let’s see what March brings!

Thanks for reading.

Jo :)

 

 

Azon Monthly Stats 1 – December 2014 / January 2015

Welcome to my Monthly Stats post.

This business is so exciting I wanted to record it’s growth from the very beginning and share with you what’s possible!

Hence each month I’ll create a post to show my sales stats on Amazon and also do a quick profit & loss for you so you can see what actually ends up in our pockets!

Please note I will never reveal exactly what my products or branding are. Not because I’m precious about it, I’d much rather give you a warts and all account of my journey.

But the conversion rate of my listings pages on Amazon is paramount to my rankings and I don’t want to run the risk of people just ‘having a look’ as it could have a devastating effect on my sales. Something to bear in mind for your products also.

December 2014 & January 2015

I’ve included December 2014 & January 2015 together as this was my very first product which quite frankly was just a catalogue of disasters from start to finish!

Let’s do the numbers first.

Sales Stats

December

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January

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Total Sales for the two months – $5612

Costs

Stock & Shipping – $1100

Promotional Expenses – $3500

FBA Fees – $1900

Marketing Costs – $1500

Total Profit / (Loss) ($2388)

Mistakes Made & Lessons Learnt!

1. I didn’t understand at the time what a variation relationship was on Amazon.

It’s basically where you have a product and then you have variations on that product like colours or sizes.

It’s not difficult to grasp but there are a few more hoops to jump through.

So I merrily agreed to receiving a multitude of colours of my product, but I had no clue as to what the colours were or how many of each were arriving.

I arranged to have them sent to FBA Inspection which is a great middle man service in the US which receives your products for you and inspects / labels and reboxes if required before sending to Amazon. It’s a bit more money but worth it when receiving stock from unknown suppliers in China.

They separated the colours and let me know numbers etc.

Lesson

Now this in and of itself wasn’t a terrible mistake. It was good to learn about variation relationships on Amazon and an interesting experience to go through, but had I done my research on my product a little more I would have seen that there was one particular colour which seemed to be the most popular and saved myself a lot of time and trouble!

2. The original sample sent to me from the supplier was designed in a specific way so I presumed (never presume anything), that the final product would of course be exactly the same.

So I set about designing all my images and descriptions on Amazon based on that presumption.

Unfortunately the first I knew that the design was actually different from the sample was on a review from a customer!

So having sent out multiple products for review I was now frantically getting photos and changing the image designs.

I know, I know, sounds obvious doesn’t it, but when you’re up to your eyes in all the organising and shipping etc, checking the product is just a small issue at the bottom of the priority pile!

Unfortunately this ended up in a few negative reviews, not what you want when you’re launching a new product.

Lesson – Always know exactly what’s leaving the warehouse. Ask for pictures of your product! As the product owner, it’s imperative you know exactly what you’re selling!

3. The packaging I chose for the product was sub standard and easily damaged in transit.

Therefore when the product arrived with the customer it looked all bent out of shape, which also contributed to some negative reviews.

Lesson – Pick simple but robust packaging that’s less likely to get damaged in transit.

4. Because one of the colours was outselling all the others, we started to give lots of coupon codes and freebies to increase reviews overall and our ranking, with the goal of ordering more inventory of the one colour and having a great BSR (Best Seller Rank) and hundreds of great reviews.

We ordered some more stock at the end of December expecting it’s arrival at the end of January.

Unfortunately our supplier really took his eye off the ball and although we chased and chased, the product was still not ready as Chinese New Year hit. By this time obviously all our stock had sold out (it had gone by the first week in Feb), our BSR had tanked and all the work we’d done on increasing our ranking was lost.

The stock eventually arrived a bit battered and bruised on April 24th. So now we have to start all over again increasing our ranking.

The good news is that we have lots of great reviews and another 4 months experience under our belt.

Big Lesson Learnt here – Typically when you pay a supplier they’ll ask for 30% up front and then 70% prior to shipping. We’d paid the lot on the suppliers assurance it was ready to ship.

Unfortunately we did so via a bank transfer so we had no come back whatsoever on that cash.

If you pay a supplier via Paypal or on a credit card you can reclaim the funds if anything goes wrong. Believe me I wanted my cash back and to tell the supplier what to do with his stock, but we just had to sit on our hands and wait or we would have lost the money.

So always pay via a method that gives you a reclaim option!

Summary

So, that was the start of our business!

Lots of great lessons learnt that we were able to take into the launch of our next product.

You see, things happen, stuff goes wrong. You just have to get up, dust yourself off and crack on!

That’s what we’ve done and I can’t wait to start sharing our growth!

Thanks for reading.

Jo :)

 

 

Post 1 – Amazon – In the Beginning!

Hey there!

This is Jo, and welcome to my Amazon Post!

I have high hopes for for this business and for you reader.

At the time of writing we are relative newbies to this whole ecommerce world, but already after less than 3 months of having a product for sale on Amazon we’ve received $25,952.90 in payments from Amazon.

post1-beg2

Not bad returns for a product we first started selling on 8th February 2015.

So, what’s this all about then?

Well we have recently started selling physical products on Amazon.

I’m not talking about books or being an affiliate for other people’s products.

This model is all about you sourcing, branding and selling your own products.

That’s right my friend, it’s like owning your own corner shop with customers from across the US (and later the world!)

Now if you’ve never thought of retail being your thang, just hold your horses. I never imagined this would be a business I would get a kick out of, but it’s blown my mind over the past few months.

The sourcing, branding and shipping of the products is actually much easier than you may initially think, and if you’re visualising a garage full of stock and boxes, think again.

When you sell using the Amazon FBA program (Fulfilment by Amazon), they do all the work! They store your products, they pick and pack your products, they send out your products and they deal with any refunds / returns. So you never actually lay a hand on the product yourself!

Happy Days!

So your main role moving forward is to promote your product. Which is made infinitely easier by the fact that Amazon continues to build a super HUGE audience of buyers who have already entered their credit card details in the system!

You just have to make sure your product stands out above all the others in your niche and that yours is seen first!

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t push button.

There’s no magic formula that’s going to make you a millionaire overnight (shame).

But I have never come across anything quite as tangible, as systematic and as fast as this business model for creating a job quitting monthly recurring income.

A Brief Overview of Our Journey So Far

So, I first started looking into this during the summer of 2014. I could see there was a lot of fuss about it online and people were posting extraordinary results all over the place.

I invested a hefty sum into a training course at the time and sourced, branded and shipped my first product, but then sat on it doing nothing, as I had a mass of other commitments and simply ran out of time.

In November of 2014, my partner and I decided we wanted to make a go of the Amazon business and so he joined me on this little escapade and we invited some of my online marketing students to join us and watch over our shoulder as we built our business.

Our journey began!

The first product I had sourced and shipped we put down to experience!

Over the course of December & January we made every mistake under the sun and consequently made a loss of just over $2000 (including the original products costs).

Not the start we hoped for!

But we learned a LOT and moved forward with another product we had identified as a potential winner.

We launched that product as I said above on 8th February and pretty much started to make a profit from Day 1!

Click Here to keep an eye on my Amazon Monthly Stats.

Summary

So based on our results to date and how fast we believe this business will grow (we being myself & my partner Rhett), and also how tangible and ‘newbie friendly’ the business model is, I decided I really wanted to share the journey and help others to achieve their goals and dreams using this same strategy.

I honestly believe this is a life changer, if you’re prepared to move out of your comfort zone a little, try something new and put in a little elbow grease!

So thanks for joining me here on this blog.

I look forward to sharing our journey, the journey’s of our students and loads of helpful and valuable tips on How to Use the Worlds Biggest Ecommerce Platform to Build Your Dream Life!

Please leave any comments or feedback below, I’d love to hear from you!

Also download my free ebook The Beginners Guide to Building a Business on Amazon