October 2016 Income Report: Scaling an eBay Business | Free Airmiles | Alternative Business Ventures
October 2016 Income Report: Scaling an eBay Business | Free Airmiles | Alternative Business Ventures
“Working from anywhere” 😅
eBay drop shipping 💸
This month was all about trying to effectively scale up my eBay business.
The best way to do this is to list a load more products on to my store. The only problem is that eBay limits the quantity of items you can list and the value of those items.
Therefore during the first couple of weeks I couldn’t really list many items. But I used this time to work on the finer details of the biggest. Such as creating a brand identity, organising current items into categories, improving customer service etc.
The start of the month started really good selling multiple items a day with a total value around £200. I thought I was on track to hitting my £500 net profit mark. But then the sales slowed down a lot. There were days when I didn’t even make a sale.
When I was focused on my daily progress there were times where I was stressed and worried. But began to learn to think broader and look at the business as a whole. When I did that I realised that my sales were still growing and I had grown since last month.
This one graph is my favourite. It shows my grow of my eBay business. From when I tested out the business idea the end of June/July. To when I moved to Chiang Mai in August and started working full time on it. It shows me if I am patient and persistent that this business has the ability to scale up every month.
September 2016 sales
Gross Sales = £2740.49 ^£1,069.44
Gross profit = £503.35 ^£247.84
eBay Basic Shop fee = £52.17
Pricematik = 74.72
Total expense = £126.89 -£11.83
Total net profit from eBay drop shipping = £376.46 ^£259.67
Okay so this month even with it’s erratic high and low sales the store still managed to double the gross profit and triple the net profit compared to last month.
The numbers are still modest at best but I think in the grand scheme of things I am happy with the growth.
One of the coolest things is that around £2000 sales I purchased with my new credit card.
Here’s why that’s got me really excited and might give you a good reason to start a drop shipping business.
Get Tonnes of Free Airmiles with Credit Cards ✈️
Even though there seems to be a bit of stigma with credit cards in the UK. If you use credit cards correctly you can take advantage of some amazing reward schemes.
There were 2 real options when I was choosing a credit card.
- Cashback Rewards Card
- Airmiles Credit Card.
If I was American there seems to be loads of great Cashback card options available.
Such as Capital One Venture Venture which gives you 40,000 One-time bonus miles—equal to $400 in travel—once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. With $0 annual fee for the first year and $59 afterwards. It has no foreign transaction fees, free credit tracking and 2x miles for every $1 spent.
But what looks even better is the new Zero Finiancial Card which offers up to a crazy 3% cashback with zero anual fees. This would be an absolute no brainer to sign up for as if you spent £10,000 a month on this card you would recieve £3,600 just in cashback for that year! There is a waiting list for the card at the moment and it seems to be a leveling process through their cards. If you sign up with this Zero Finiancial Card link you get bumped up a level automatically so it’s worthwhile doing.
In the UK the Cashback cards don’t seem to be as great. Only offering 1% – 1.5% Cashback. So if I process £2000 of orders on my card I would get £20. Which I guess at the end of the day is a free £20 just for using a Credit Card over a debit card.
But £20 didn’t seem like a great return for £2000 spent I went looking into the best Airmile Credit cards.
In the end I went for the Virgin Atlantic Black Card.
- It costs £140 a year.
- 18,500 Flying Club miles with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening.
- 2 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent with your American Express Credit Card
- 1 Flying Club mile for every £1 spent with your Visa card
Okay, so what does this mean in real life terms?
I earned 21,000 airmiles in my first month. That’s nearly enough to for an economy ticket from Hong Kong to London. You still have to pay for the taxes which in this flight would be £35.
This is why I think airmiles is a much better option than Cashback for people in the UK.
With this eBay business putting quite a lot of sales through each month it won’t be hard to rack up the airmiles. Obviously this month was really high because of my bonus but in general. If I had put my entire month purchases on the card it would have been near 5,000 airmiles. As the store grows so does my miles. Next month I am hoping to get 8000-10000 miles on my account.
One of my goals is to fly a long distant flight in business class. I think it will be an incredible experience and reward for myself for the continual work and attention I have put into creating this business. But as you can see it shouldn’t take me too long!
Getting a tonne of for free airmiles is one of the best benefits to creating a drop shipping store in my eyes. As I plan to travel to plan a lot over the next few years having essentially free flights will save me so much money.
Alternative Business Ventures 💁
I believe it is really important to create multiple streams on online income.
Just having eBay creating my income keeps me up at night I’ll be honest.
This is because if anything happens to it my source of income completely stops.
Examples of things could happen are.
- eBay bans my account.
- PayPal suspends my account.
- Sales drastically drop
I am totally reliant on these variable which are totally out of my control.
So I decided that start looking at different business ventures.
I looked into how viable it would be to create my own website, finding suppliers who allow dropshipping and purchasing traffic from Google & Facebook to drive traffic and sales to this website.
This is a fantastic model to create an online income and there are loads of people who make thousands every month doing this. I’ve personally met people who are making £10k a month with a drop shipping store
The only problem is most of these people are American. It seems that the market is a lot more developed for this type of business model.
The UK seems to be lagging in suppliers who offer this as an option. This might be because of the small size of the country or just we are as future thinking as our American partners.
Now I do think that it is still possible to set up a drop shipping store website. I just think it would take a lot more effort and time finding a niche, sourcing & negotiating with suppliers.
But once you do have this set up I think that you could make a lot of money with this business. As there is less competition and there won’t be as many people who are using targeted online ads.
The reason why I won’t go into this business model, at least not in the next few months. It is because I have a limited run way to create a business that will sustain my lifestyle. I would have to dedicate 1/2 months setting up the site and suppliers with no return within those months and no guarantee that it would be successful after that.
This was to much of a gamble for me at this time. But like I said if I start having a stable income it is probably something that I will look into in future.
So I looked into a couple of different methods
I personally know someone who works at the co working space that I was at that is earning $8000 a month with his business partner just publishing books on Amazon.
One of the best things about publishing a book is that when it is up on the store and is selling well. It is complete passive income. As in you don’t have to process orders, message customers, manage inventory etc.
The guy from Punspace literally didn’t need to touch his Amazon account but was still getting paid an amazing amount every month. Meanwhile he was building his eBay business and working on other ventures.
So publishing a book is definitely something that I will be looking into in the next coming months.
I plan to automate my eBay business more by employing a Virtual Assistant who will create the listings for me.
While I was working I thought I had an amazing business idea that I was certain was going to make me a few hundred pounds in a couple of weeks.
I won’t go into details of what I tried. But in the end I set up a campaign on TeeSpring, designed a couple of t-shirts set up a Facebook page and launched my first paid advertising on Facebook to drive traffic. All within a day.
In the end I got a couple of likes and share but no sales. But it was so much fun and exciting trying something new. Having an idea and being able to go ahead and test out to see if it was profitable was really satisfying. I also learned how to use Facebook ads which I am sure will be really valuable in the future.
But this is something that I might try and do every now and then. It isn’t that hard to set up and it doesn’t cost too much to run a campaign and if it is successful you have to potential to earn a few hundred pounds in a couple of weeks.
Total Expenses/Costs of Living 🙈
Accommodation = £183.19
Bali -> Perth Air Asia = £105.84
Chiang Mai -> BKK Thai Lion = £23.13
BKK -> Bali Air Asia = £88.93
Bike Rental = £17.50
Expenses = £220.91
Visa Extension = £44.20
Weekend trip to Pai = £34.89
Course = £24
Mobile Data = £12.24
TeeSpring Campaign = £17
Total Expenses = £771.83
Income – Expenses = -£395.37
Final thoughts 🤔
So yeaaaa, another negative month.
My expenses shot up because I had to purchase 2 flights and extend my visa which combined was nearly £250.
But my actual daily cost of living was low as I new where to eat really good food for cheap. So I was only spending £5-£7 a day on all my meals etc.
But this month has been pretty solid in terms of grown and that I learned a lot of different business ventures that I can go into.
I plan to automate my eBay business this month by employing a Virtual Assistant to list items for me. Although this will increase my expenses it will really provide me a lot more free time to manage the store and to start building other streams of income.
I really feel that the next 2 months are pretty critical to my journey of becoming a Digital Nomad. This month I’m going to be spending a lot more in hope that I can build up my store in time for Christmas sales.
My runway is starting to dry up so it is getting pretty hit or miss at this point.
But I am going to jump two feet in. Hope and trust that things will work out. I’ve never been a business person but I have found that in order to be successful you really have to take risk.
I know I could always start doing freelance design work online but to me that really is the last option.
One of the reasons of starting this journey was to gain back my freedom. To work on my own projects and decide how much time and effort that I work. I feel that if I start freelancing even though the money would be great and even though I wouldn’t be worried and stressed about money all the time.
But I don’t want to have to deal with pesky clients or create designs that I don’t care or that I’m not passionate about
To me it would be me giving up on what I set out to achieve.
So the struggle and grind will continue.