本周，北美亚马逊社群中最火的帖子莫过于Reddit/FulfillmentByAmazon上一名美国卖家的诉苦帖《How much money I have lost on Amazon this year》。
I don't see people talk about numbers a lot on here. I know a couple of the big sellers on here and they have never brought up their numbers. Below is how much I have made this year on Amazon：
Negative 143,000 USD.
Revenue: Over 6M USD
FBA Storage: Ugh, don't even wanna talk about this. 20K in October and about 7K every other month.
Amazon Ads: 250,000
Attorney Fees: 70,000
(Prop 65, Seizure at port, Florida State Audit, lawsuits). These are just attorney fees - my seized goods were released, prop 65 stuff was just prep, my audit came back with no penalty and lawsuits aren't included in this amount.
We do about 500,000 a month on Amazon, 30K on Ebay, 40K on Walmart.
I have a 12K sq ft warehouse. 6 warehouse employees, manager, customer service person, buyer, lister, FBA person.
We have been working on organization all year long. I knew to expect lower profits because of this. What I did not plan for were tons of other issues along the way:
Seizure of 60,000 of goods at port - they have been tied up for SEVEN months and are just getting released next week.
Audit by state of Florida - 100+ hours of my time, 20+ hours from my accountant, 20+ hours for attorneys. Lasted more than 6 months.
Amazon FBA Fees - I have had 4 times since July that Amazon has mismeasured my products in FBA and billed me more than 1,500 each time. Every time Amazon refused to pay us back the full amount.
Inventory OOSs - We have some OOS inventory this year. We had one huge shipment to Amazon 2 months ago that took 30 days to receive and put us OOS of items for 2-4 weeks. We had to spend more on PPC and lower pricing to rank our items back up.
Facebook Ads - Played around with facebook ads to the tune of about 5,000 USD.
Amazon Marketplace Growth - lol.... 7K gone.
Amazon Marketplace Growth(亚马逊官方提供的咨询服务，月费2500-5000刀不等)：呵呵…7千刀就这样打了水漂。
I see a lot people on here throwing around revenue and numbers and just wanted everyone to know things on the outside are ALWAYS talked up. Small companies and large companies struggle for weeks or months or even years. It's crunch time now - 12+ hour days every. single. fucking. day. If any of you are having a bad month or year just keep at it - tell yourself there is no other option. I am not a guru lover but Gary V has a quote in his new book I liked. People bitch about work life balance all the time but:
"Would you rather get 8 hours of sleep per night and have your other 16 hours a day be shitty or would you rather have 6 hours of sleep a night and have your other 18 hours be worth waking up for?"
我见过这个讨论区的很多人谈论营收，我发这个帖的目的是想告诉各位，成本，尤其是亚马逊以外的成本，只会有增无减。公司无论大小都会在缩减成本上挣扎很久，几个月甚至很多年。我每天都为这些事工作至少12个小时，每一天！我想鼓励同行老铁们，如果你们某个月甚至某一年做得不好，别放弃，告诉你自己，你没有别的出路。我不是一个爱看人生导师的人，但是Gary V(小编按：Gary Vaynerchuk，美国著名企业家，以家族酒庄起家，名下有两个媒体集团，资产1.6亿美金)新书里有一句话我很喜欢。人们总是抱怨自己工作与家庭之间难以找到平衡点，但是正如书中所说：
The quote above is about sleep but the point is if shit isn't going right, it is on YOU to fix it. You can quit and spend time with your kid or go on your vacation but when your business is gone, how is the rest of your life going to be? This post may be my way of pumping myself up because I've worked too hard just to give up on this shit.
Thanks for putting this together. Was a little confused by your numbers. So you lost $143,000? With $6M in revenue and the expenses you listed seems you would’ve made a lot of money...
Those are just operating expenses - utilities, rent, payroll, software, etc. I have 2.2M in Amazon fees, 600K in shipping with fedex and UPS, etc.
Wait so from the $6m in Amazon sales you pay amazon $2.2m in fees and that’s excluding storage? Plus the cost of their screwups with inventory (that is an actual cost and you MUST consider it for your business’ survival). Amazon is basically eating up half your revenue. You seem to have only survived because of better cash flow from the last 10% of your sales that are not on amazon.Work on making that 10% a bigger piece of the pie. Stay in control of your cash.
Is your take home pay included in your expenses? I have seen stories where people hide behind the story of a struggling business (no profit) but that's because they pay themselves a high amount. So the owner is happy with his nice cars/big houses but the business suffers. Obviously not sustainable.
It is. I take out just over 52k a year. I took out 25k a year for the first 4 years. Upped my pay 3 years ago. Things went good. Made 300k+ and decided to buy a house. The 52k is what I need to live off now...mortgage, Honda Accord car payment, phone, etc. I don't have any fancy or expensive habits....I mean I spend a chunk on Christmas village houses for my village each year but obviously not this year. Just trying to say I'm not spending money on dumb shit like a 3 series beamer, mansion and exotic vacations. Considered renting my house out and moving into something cheaper actually. I'm actually taking out as little as possible lately so I will prob take out less than 52k this year.
Thanks for reply, lots of good info in here.
Honda Accord car
Thanks for specifying the exact make and model of the car ;-)
I could tell /u/quanticks was wondering if I am not making money because I am spending it on dumb shit so I wanted to make it known that my car is just a normal car that costs me 200 a month. It's a 2016 for what that's worth.
$570k monthly sales, 10% of net per month for a warehouse, 11 employees, and paying close to 4% of net in amazon storage fees?
It sounds like you are in the survival state of business right now, and you have to be very careful with your next move, and I hope you seek some outside help with lean management.
I wish you the best of luck, but your last paragraphs worry me.
Expenses for sure got out of hand this year. I run a payroll of about 33K a month and I think we are capable of doubling our sales with the same payroll - it has just taken longer than I thought to get our sales up. Our storage fees this year have been about 7K per month and then October was 20K so total storage fees have been around 76K. I would love to send less in to Amazon but as I am sure you know they can take 3 days to put an item live or 30 days which makes planning damn hard.
As you said, I am 100% in survival mode. I KNOW we will make 150-200K net in Nov and Dec to break even on the year but that is not the goal. Trying to put things in order so when January comes we are rolling better than we have been this year. As of now I am busting ass on new systems that will help us in January - raise prices, redoing our launch system and checklist, tweaking images and copy, etc. The majority of our sales from from less than 10 items and we only carry about 50 main SKUs. I would love to drop some SKUs to focus more on less SKUs but since expenses are so much I can't afford to drop profitable SKUs without replacing them. I am going to consider restructuring in Feb if things don't look better. At the end of the day I can handle my top 10 skus with me and 1 other person and net 40K a month but I have been working on building something that can be scaled bigger than that and scale fast。
Yeah man it sounds like you grew too fast to keep profitable. A lot of the issues you had were related to timing, but timing issues should be handled by having enough cash on hand to weather that crap. That's where growth gets ya, it seduces you to grow beyond your systems.
Good luck, and make sure you communicate with your team, now is critical.
Correct you are. I have friends running 1 and 2 man companies that net 10-50K a month. I could always go back and do that but I want more than that and I still feel I can grow into profit and hit a big stride. BUT I let things get out of control and it makes things hard to fix when there is so much going on.
I'm genuinely curious:
Why do you need six warehouse employees and the 12k sqft warehouse? Could you manage to ship directly to Amazon warehouses?
Possibly. My warehouse is filled. We also do some fulfillment for 7-8 customers so I house their items. Also, FBA storage fees would kill us. BUT you are correct that I could possibly take the employee count down a bit - once again I am trying to better organize employees AFTER we grew instead of being organized before they started and obviously that is not the best move.
With ads you want to determine your net margin as profit / sales and adjusted net margin as ( profit - ad spend ) / sales. If ad spend is pushing adjusted margin under 10% you're unprofitable because that 10% needs to sustain your business.
Also determine ads percentage of sales as ad sales / sales. If this number is high and especially if your ACoS is also low you are dealing with a situation called cannibalization. This is when you are paying for ad placements on search that could have converted organically. There are a few different ways you can fix this. You can begin tracking organic placements for search on a product. You can also just start to add anything that would be construed as branded search as a negative keyword on your products with best BSR. Save branded search for your products that need exposure, basically.
Good luck w/ Q4 and HTH
Agree - we are 100% on the same page. We track our ACoS for PPC sales only, overall ACoS per sale, % of sales from ads, gross margin after ads, etc.
I also started using H10 a couple months ago and a lot of our new processes revolve around pulling data out of H10. At the end of the day I have sooooo much data but need to organize it and analyze it much better.
What happened with the goods seized at port? Improper declaration from the exporter or some sort of IP issue?
We had a crazy issue last year. A container from India detained because it set off the radioactivity detection system they have in place. Turns out the metal was contaminated with medical device waste. Fun, fun, fun!
Last Q4 I started importing things through Savannah Port. I guess they got a hard on for me because they did full exams on 11 straight containers of mine. On the 12th and 13th containers they found an issues on 4 products. 2 of the items had UL issues. I have the UL logo on the packaging but not all items in the kit were UL. This was my dumbass mistake. Both of these items are getting released to a bonded warehouses and the UL logo will be covered with stickers. I have a really well known firm working on this and that played a big role in these getting released. The other 2 items I can't say the exact reasons but we fought the reasons and they will be released without penalty. The 2 items that I can't say anything about shouldn't have been seized in the first place but I think Savannah Port CBP thinks they are helping the US by stopping these evil Chinese imports. I switched back to Miami port and have done 50 containers since without 1 full exam. Those full exams costs 1K+ each plus storage so that was killing me last year at Savannah.
Thanks for sharing. We are down HUGE money this year. We actually cut our lower selling products and put more emphasis on our winners and currently expanding into newer products.
1.) What caused the Port to hold your goods for long? Anything you could have done to prevented this?
2.) Also, can you discuss what caused the lawsuit?
This is exactly what I am doing - been trimming the fat all year but when I am committed to expenses it makes the process tricky. What if I can't replace that "profit" from those items?
1.) Savannah port sucks ass (my opinion). They would be so backed up that it would take them a couple days to do an x ray exam and then another 4-10 days to do a full exam and the whole time they bill me for it. I complained and they told me to kick rocks.
2.) Can't really say much on that front. Sorry man. That wasn't even really one of my biggest worries. The audit was prob the biggest pain in the ass because the state of Florida has no idea what they are doing. They were so bad at their job that the audit ended when they basically couldn't understand stuff and gave up (although everything was in order).
how many hrs a week do you spend with your significant other? how many hrs a week do you spend watching movies? how many hrs a week do you spend commuting to office and home?
Gf lives with me. Lately I spend about....20 hours with her. M-F from 7-9pm and Saturday from 6pm-bedtime and then a bit Sunday night. No time for watching movies. Work is a 20 min commute each way x 2 times per day.
I can pretty easily put in 70-75 hours a week. The first 3 years I started this I put in 70 hours every single week. The last 2 years or so I got complacent a bit and have been putting in 50 hour weeks. I would LOVE if I was the type that could get more done with less time but I just haven't solved how to do that yet. If things go to shit I want to know I put in everything I possibly could. What do they say in Breaking Bad? "No half measures".