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July 2015 Income Report

Posted by Chris Thomas on October 07, 2015. 0 Comments

So sales are still a little flat in July, but slightly up from June's numbers of $22,041. I'm hoping that as the year rolls through Q3 and later moves towards Q4, we'll start to see a bit of an uplift! 

Costs are quite low at the moment, so profit is reasonable and it'll mean that I can start investing into some new products in the next few months as well as work on the new 2016 model prototypes.

July 2015. 

July Amazon Sales: $8,752.00 (US Dollars)

July Website Sales: $14,932.50 (Australian Dollars)

July Total:                 $23,144.50 (up $1,103.5 compared to June 2015)




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Salesbacker interview.

Posted by Chris Thomas on October 01, 2015. 0 Comments

Chris Guthrie interviewed me a couple of months ago while I was on vacation in Australia!

I was recovering from a dose of the flu and it was freezing cold when I did the interview (shivering!) so wasn't at my super-energetic best, but if you're interested to hear about the journey and the future of the Hibermate, feel free to listen.

A big thanks to Chris at www.Salesbacker.com - a brilliant tool I use to help automate my Amazon customer follow-up and review process.


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New 2016 model update - trip to Guangzhou next week!

Posted by Chris Thomas on September 10, 2015. 2 Comments

After a very long summer school holiday break here in Hong Kong it's time to get back to work in earnest. In late June, we travelled as a family to (a chilly and cold) Australia for 3 weeks (friends and family trip), then came back to Hong Kong for a week before having a 'proper' holiday in Thailand.

Photo: Libby and the kids, Koh Mak, Thailand.

The kids are back at school now at last which frees me up again to re-focus on the new model Hibermate.

This year, there has been lots of feedback about the 2015 model from customers and all criticisms and suggestions for improvement have been recorded. I've prioritized my efforts and improvements based on the feedback. I'm seriously grateful to my customers for their input.

I mentioned in a previous post that some big...

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June 2015 Income Report

Posted by Chris Thomas on September 04, 2015. 0 Comments

June's figures have been pretty down!

The reality is that my business and product line is quite seasonal, so with many Americans heading into a summer holiday break, things tend to slow right down for June, July and to some extent, August each year.

We other big reason was that for about 2 weeks, we ran out of stock in Australia completely. We were taking 'pre-orders' but that doesn't really help much and conversion rates tend to fall away quite sharply. 

June 2015. 

June Amazon Sales: $8,496.75 (US Dollars)

June Website Sales: $13,544.32 (Australian Dollars)

June Total:                 $22,041.07 (a massive $4,918 drop from May's figures!)




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May 2015 Income Report

Posted by Chris Thomas on July 29, 2015. 0 Comments

Chris Guthrie from a new podcast called Salesbacker interviewed me last week. I was in Australia on holiday with the kids for 3 weeks which meant I hadn't had much time to work on the blog. It's the middle of a very cold Melbourne winter and I was shivering all the way through! 

Chris was very curious about the income reports for the business and I realised I'd better start updating them!

Sales have continued to fall away on both the website and on Amazon compared to March and April and even as I write this, the trend is still declining which is a bit scary. Hopefully it's a seasonal thing and things will pick up again in the coming months.

We also experienced a situation where we ran out of certain colors on Amazon and for 3 weeks or so completely ran out...

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New shipment arrived in Australia this morning.

Posted by Chris Thomas on June 11, 2015. 0 Comments

This morning (Australian time) a new shipment of Hibermates arrived with my amazing, wonderful, inspiring friend and colleague Paula.

We had actually sold out of the last batch of 1,600 units delivered in January, so we're hoping we have about 12 months supply with the 3,600 units we received today (secretly, I'm hoping the don't last anywhere near that long).

We've been taking pre-orders for the last few weeks (our website sales slowed a quite a bit as a result) and Paula is very busy as I write, getting everything ready to ship to all the pre-order customers. There are well over 100 so she's really cranking along!

Here are some pics from the warehouse...

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The new edition 2016 Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs progress report...

Posted by Chris Thomas on June 06, 2015. 6 Comments

Each year I'm going to try and update the Hibermate until it's as perfect as I can make it.

Innovate or die!!!!

It's definitely come a long way since the first wonky prototypes were put together prior to the Kickstarter Campaign.

The current 2015 model is by far and away the best, but there are still criticisms from some customers and I'm super-grateful to them for letting me know where we need to improve.

I use a public form of Eric Reiss' The Lean Start-up methodology (great book by the way, if you're into product development), the loose idea being that I take each negative review or email feedback, distill down to what the top issues are and prioritize.

It helps you focus on exactly what you need to do and it's definitely not rocket science.

If you look down through the negative Amazon...

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Amazon removed 60 of my reviews

Posted by Chris Thomas on June 05, 2015. 6 Comments

Short post today, super busy...

As I mentioned in my last Blog post, things are a bit rocky in terms of cash flow and sales.

That's ok, I'm confident we'll pull through.

For a while there, the silver lining on the whole, "Let's give away $45 grand worth of stock, oh, and lets also pay Amazon a couple of grand to fulfill the 697 free orders fiasco" was that many of the folks who scored a free product actually took the time to leave some quite nice reviews about it (about 60).

(There's always "one" dude though isn't there? Even after getting a free one he provided a 1 star rating.)

But anyway, what customers giveth, Amazon can taketh and over 60 reviews were taken down late last week.

I actually had my screen open on my product listing page from the day before, so I was able to capture...

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March and April income reports

Posted by Chris Thomas on June 01, 2015. 3 Comments

Well, after spending a few months licking my wounds from April's financial disaster I thought I'd spend some time reflecting on March which was actually one of the best months the company has ever had in business (I'll get to April in a minute).

We finally managed to get the new 2015 Hibermate from China to Hong Kong to 3 Amazon Fulfilment warehouses in the United States.

That essentially meant that from the 3rd of March 2015 we were in business on Amazon.

Having said that, the company has also spent over $100,000 US dollars on even more new stock over February and March (most of which is currently enroute to Australia - due June 8th we hope - and some is going to Amazon to replenish stock levels there).

In order to fund such a big production run, we had to go into about $40K debt and I...

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Amazon Promotions - I just cost my company USD $45,000 with one assumption.

Posted by Chris Thomas on April 09, 2015. 40 Comments

While I was out having dinner with some new friends here in Hong Kong last Thursday (the eve of Easter Friday 2015), I 'sold' $53,000 worth of my Hibermate sleep masks on Amazon.

When I got home very late, admittedly slightly inebriated after a big meal and a few 'reds' and feeling quite tired, I quickly checked my Amazon seller account before I went to bed.

What I saw nearly floored me. We'd pretty much sold $53,000 worth of stock in the 4 hours it took to have dinner...


I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong. This was totally, totally, totally not normal. My account had been selling maybe 10-12 units a day 'at best' up until now.

My mind began to race. Had Amazon suffered a glitch? Was my product somehow miraculously featured on a US morning show that had created some kind of insane...

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