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Sorry for the delay getting back to this.
I cross at a small crossing further north than Calais, and have developed a friendly relationship with the USPS worker there.0
At this point, profits are being rolled back into more inventory, supplies/etc, and a large portion is being withdrawn as dividends to pay down the remainder of our mortgage, do some maintenance/repairs on the house, etc.
We buy from a number of different sources, some manufacturers, some wholesalers, and some retail stores. Out of curiosity, I looked this afternoon, and in the month of April, we’ve spent $16k CAD (~$12k USD) on Amazon inventory alone, so roughly $4k CAD/week.
It’s rare for our amazon inventory to be in our possession for 24hrs. It comes in, gets prepped/labelled, and ships out the following day.0
All cylinders are definitely firing right now. We’re sending 200-350 units out in each shipment, and sending two to three shipments per week right now.
On average, across all of our skus, we average 25-35% net after fees, cogs, shipping, prep, etc. So between $7,000 and $9,800 USD ($9,450 and $13,230 CAD) net (before taxes) for the month of April. Insanity.0
We built our business foundation on ebay, and gradually moved into amazon.
Income-wise, they compliment one another really nicely. When one is up, the other is down, ebay provides us a higher ROI while amazon provides us a more steady income base.
With all of that being said, and somewhat on topic with the thread, amazon sales have been INSANE since the pandemic hit. March was our best month ever by more than $2000 (we did around $18k USD gross). April has blown that number away. With two days left in the month, we’ve already done $28k gross.
Amazon has been taking a LOT more time than usual recently as we’re working like mad to keep products in stock, but it’s paying off in spades. Ebay keeps chugging along, and we continue to list when we have time. The biggest benefit of a large (3200+ items) ebay inventory is the ability to dial back the work temporarily and still have a solid income being generated.0
Thanks for sharing, Jay. I follow Martin on FB and am always amazed (and sometime saddened) by the insane stuff he finds!0
For some odd reason, I went back and started re-watching both The Walking Dead (timely?), and The Office last week while listing.
I bounce between the two depending on how dark my mood is at any given minute…haha
In the evenings, we’ve recently watched Tiger King (Double you tee eff), and are now watching Queen of the South. It’s just meh for me.
Looking forward to watching Season 3 of Ozark. The first two seasons were good. I love Michael Blut… I mean, Jason Bateman.0
Thanks for the heads up. I can understand that. I can’t see them being too keen on passengers at this point.
I went on Wednesday, and am planning to cross again tomorrow. The closest thing I’ve had to an issue is the Canadian side recommending I self-isolate for 14 days each time I return. At this point we’re isolated for the most part anyway. Made a contactless grocery pickup today, but that was it. My wife, the border agents, and the worker at USPS are the only people I’ve had any interaction with in weeks.0
I crossed yesterday, and am planning to go again later this week. I don’t pay the per-crossing fee. I purchased a transponder at the start of the year that’s good for unlimited crossings for the calendar year (Jan-Dec).
So long as you’re submitting the required paperwork, and crossing for commercial purposes, the border is still open. The Canadian border recommends self isolating for 14 days, but from what I’ve been told, it’s not a legal order since it’s technically international trade.
Where are you crossing into Maine? Houlton? Calais?0
I do the same. I cross three times most weeks to ship and am also near a tiny crossing.
I last crossed on Wednesday (18th). I was concerned things might tighten up, and have changed my handling time from one day to three days just in case.
I have a few back-up plans if for some reason things close entirely:
1. Use Canada Post, and temporarily end all of my listings under say $30-35. Leave my shipping settings as is, and eat the difference in shipping costs. Some sales/income is better than none.
2. I asked my local USPS post master if I could send pre-packaged, pre-labeled shipments to them in bulk via UPS. If I go this route, I’d package all of my ebay/poshmark sales, put them all in one big box, and send them across to USPS via UPS once or twice a week. Post master would then open the box, and ship the individual packages for me.
As of this moment, I’m confident that informal commercial entries will still be allowed through. I’m planning a trip for Monday.
Out of curiosity, where are you located and which crossing are you using? Your situation sounds very close to my own.003/15/2020 at 9:04 am in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #75107
Sorry for the delay. Had a response typed a few days ago, but it disappeared when I submitted it.
We’re still looking at amazon as a semi-stable income stream. I still prefer ebay, but having a solid base income is really attractive (necessary).
– Most of the $10mil+ sellers that I spoke (and that were willing to share) with are looking at around 10% net profit. It seems that as expected, the higher your gross sales, the lower margins you’ve got to be willing to accept to get there. I talked to sellers in the $1mil range that were still netting 20-25%ish.
– I haven’t really done much with QBO yet. I’m still working to finalize our 2019 tax figures for our accountant, which is proving to be a bit of a pain trying to get tax docs from our former employers after having no contact for 6+ months, and moving twice.
I’ve heard that QBO can work really well with bank and credit cards, as well as with amazon payouts. My accountant has advised me that there will be a few manual entries needed regarding our paypal payouts, mainly around currency exchange. The majority of our sales occur in USD, but get converted to CAD in our bank accounts. Wouldn’t be a problem if you deal in one currency only though. I’ll report back once I really get into using it.003/08/2020 at 9:09 pm in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #74911
Meant to come post an update last week, but we were in Florida for the week, and busy.
As of March first, it has officially been one year since I had a “real” job. I’m sure somewhere in this diatribe/thread, I’ve said it already, but thanks to Jay, Ryanne, their podcast, and the whole SL community. I’m confident that we wouldn’t be as far along in our lifestyle/mindset/work journey as we are without you all. THANK YOU.
– We’re in the process of switching accountants. With the switch to a corporate structure, and so much of our income coming from amazon, we’re switching to someone that’s more specialized in ecommerce, amazon, and currency exchanges (Canada/US). I still have to finish our 2019 numbers and get them to our personal accountant to get our returns done, and then I’ll work on setting up all of the new corporate accounting. We’ve signed up for QuickBooks Online at the recommendation of a number of other Canadian sellers (and of our new accountant). Hoping it streamlines my bookkeeping processes from excel spreadsheets…
– Ebay stores are currently at 1,950 & 1,296 listings.
– We’re started testing the waters on Etsy with a few vintage/type items. Just crossposting stuff that we’re already putting on ebay.
– We’ve recently made a connection with someone that dumpster dives as a hobby. We had them fill two big boxes for us, and we’ve just started listing everything in the last few days. It’s absolutely INSANE how much completely perfect stuff is going into dumpsters at some of the big box stores. 90% of it is new with tags, and in perfect shape. Clothing, pet stuff, decor, shoes, etc. We’re paying $2/item, and covering shipping costs from them to us. The first batch cost us $400 total (shipping included), and we anticipate we’ll net at least $3,000 after fees/etc (likely more). Some of it will take a while to sell, but keeping it out of the landfills, supporting someone’s dumpster diving hobby, and making money on it all seems like a win/win/win. They’re in the process of packing up two more boxes for us now.
– Last week’s trip to Florida revolved around spending three days networking with other online sellers (primarily amazon focused). It was a VERY informal meetup of about 150 people. Drinks by the pool, suppers together, and talking shop. Met some incredibly smart sellers, and tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible. I talked to ten or fifteen that had gross annual sales of eight figures in 2019. Not something that we aspire to, but interesting to hear of their journeys, processes, and procedures. Made some great connections, a few of which may spin off into business opportunities in the future.2+
I constantly have either a podcast playing or something on Netflix while I’m working.
Scavenger life, 99% invisible, Timesuck, Dark Poutine, Casefile, e-commerce momentum, freakonomics, planet money, pure hustle podcast, generation why, the indicator, up first… That’s about 1/3 of my subscriptions…haha
Thanks everyone for sharing. I’ll check some of the others here out!1+01/22/2020 at 8:00 am in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #73158
Thanks scott2. That’s been the plan all along. Slow, consistent growth and income. Not looking to set any records or win any awards, just pay the bills.
As for debt, we’re in a good spot, just excited to be free and clear a few years from now.001/20/2020 at 6:17 pm in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #73119
Yeah, I’ve been pretty picky about our replenishable items. I definitely focus on stuff that is either completely new to amazon (but not the public), or that just doesn’t sell fast enough for the “big” sellers to care about. Most of our listings we’re either the only seller, the only seller via FBA, or in some cases, competing with three or four other fba sellers. Prices stay pretty stable, and once we’ve established what price an item should/will sell for, we hold firm there. If someone comes in below us, we hold our ground and wait for them to sell out and the price to come back up. Most times, it does.
I manually reprice the majority of our inventory. I have no interest in selling stuff at or below break even.
With that said, I do use a repricer for the used books (textbooks/etc) that I’m selling on amazon though. Margins are way higher on them, so competing for the “buy box” isn’t as painful.001/20/2020 at 10:49 am in reply to: Winchester38's Journal – A Journey To Full-time Reselling #73092
Thanks Troy. We’re pretty pleased with how everything has gone. We’re happy to finally be settled somewhere long-term, and to be able to really focus on growing the business and eliminating the remainder of our debt.0