I need to keep better track of the money I am making. Not for the sake of keeping track, but to help me optimize which income streams I like the most. I am sharing the revenue numbers in this report, not the profit, because that’s none of your goddam business. That being said, you can very easily surmise the level of income I am most likely making if you’re a regular viewer of my channel and see how effectively I source inexpensive items.
Below is the income channel I am going to be tracking. I’ll only be focusing on payments into my bank account, to keep things simple, although I do look into what platforms make me the highest ROI per item, based on fees and returns.
- Local Auction
I feel weird labeling “influencer” as a category but I don’t know how else to categorize the content I have for sale on gumroad or in my merch store.
Amazon FBA and FBM revenue
For Amazon, I did about 4x worse than last year.
I only brought in about $4650 in payments in October 2020, where as I made brought in about $16,000 the year before. I am definitely making less money in October 2020 than I did in October 2019, but, lucky for me, all that work I did last year paid off, and essentially all my debt is gone, so even though I made way less profit this year than last, I am able to re-invest more of it or, as I have been doing, re-invest the time i would otherwise need to use hustling to make different types of content that might not necessarily be bringing in the same amount of revenue, but I do feel have a higher long-term ROI.
On eBay, I brought in $591.63 in payments. This was a mix of free shippin and buyer pays shipping, but I would bet I probably spent 10% of my payments on shipping. I only offer free shipping on media mail items or first-class mail items, so I am never getting stung with like a $55 fedex charge for sending a weighted vest to San Francisco. This is not a lot of money, but I am BARELY sourcing for ebay at all. This is mostly stuff from my death pile.
There are a bunch of resellers who make way, way more than me on all these platforms, but I think I am pretty good at diversifying my business so I don’t get screwed over if I, for example, get banned from any individual platform. It will be a hit to my income, but nothing I can’t easily adapt to.
Local Auction Revenue
For local auctions, I go to LiquidBidding.com in Flint, Michigan. I cannot speak highly enough about this business. It’s a little rough on the edges but everyone who works there are good people and I enjoy my weekly trek up with 20 or so items that would be a pain in the ass to list on ebay. In October, I bought in $2,213.15 from a local auction. No shipping, but I did have to drive 50 min there. However, my parents live up around Flint so I always stopped by and made sure to steal $10 in beer from their garage to make up for the gas money. That’s what REAL passive income looks like.
Pretty self explanatory. I go into more detail about this in this blog post. I made $4042.44 in October on YouTube, and gained about 2750 subscribers. I am really, really focusing on evergreen content for YouTube- although I am pretty pleased with the number I earned this month, over this summer when everyone was locked down, my retail arbitrage videos TANKED (because it was illegal to do it in some places) and I was only making about $800/month. Youch! That is a lot less than $4000. But because I was diversified, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was making less money per month, but not enough to impact my lifestyle which, admittedly, is pretty spartan.
I have another YouTube channel I am working on that I think will eventually start bringing in reliable affiliate income, but it’s not making me any money yet (I began putting more effort into it in October) but subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on that, once it starts producing income.
I earned $17.59 using Amazon Associates affiliate links, as shown in my October 2020 Affiliate Income Report. This is not a lot of money, but you gotta start somewhere! I won’t post the image because its in the other blog post and, if you’re really interested, you should probably just click that link and read it.
On Gumroad, I sold $167.60 in content I’ve created. It is mostly short (short by my standards, long by industry standards) ebooks/sheets. This is EASILY the place I can improve on with the lease resistance. I have people asking me to create more content like this weekly. I’ve always said that I wasn’t going to start pushing my content until people were asking me to do it, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. I don’t have a plan for this yet, but I think the first thing I should do is look at the existing things I’ve written and figure out how to update them for 2021. In my opinion, my online presence is still small enough that being in “lowest hanging fruit” mode is still viable.
All added up, that makes my October payments to be at $11, 682.41. I have a warehouse, I have expenses, etc etc so that’s not straight cash in my pocket, but I am not really spending that much on inventory (as I would if I was doing Retail Arbitrage full-time) so I can usually ensure that I am at least doubling my money for every item I sell, and, ideally, 10xing it. In some rare occasions, I am even 100-1000xing my investment, but that’s mostly because It’s stuff I pick up for a dime. I would say I’ve still got 6 months of inventory in my warehouse I can slowly work through to keep my ebay/local auction/amazon numbers up while still sourcing once or twice a week for video content. I am trying to make all my income streams work synergistically together, sometimes with limited success.
I hope you liked this blog post! Relatively straight forward but I think sharing the process of how I am continually removing things that don’t work from my business should be fun!