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January 2017 Monthly Income Report

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Monthly Income Report January 2017

Apologies for the very late update again. I am currently still on holiday and was focusing on a lot of other projects, therefore this fell a little bit behind. But in terms of business performance, January was all about seeing what the impacts would be of some of the major changes I made around New Year’s.

But let’s not waste any time and just get right down to it.

Year-on-Year Performance on Spreadshirt

Based on my own sales tracking, December saw EU gross sales were down by 51.3% versus the previous month (20.1% down on the US marketplace) but 18.7% higher than the same period last year. Now this is particularly important to note, because you might remember my December report where I wasn’t particularly happy with the December performance. But January seemed to bounce back. The number of shirts I sold wasn’t considerably lower than last January, but I made an important change in terms of pricing, which apparently more than made up for the reduction. I saw a similar trend on the US marketplace. Although sales were down by 8% versus last January, this is still good news because my performance on the US marketplace had been lagging behind in the second half of 2016. And the general trend is going in the right direction.

NOTE: Please remember that the above numbers are based on live sales tracking throughout the month, while the earnings reported in the table below are actual cashflow movements. Most of the sales I generate have a delayed payout.

The Big Price Change!

As some of you may know, changing your commissions on Spreadshirt can be a very risky process because there rumors that when you change the level of your commissions, it actually resets the ranking of your designs to zero. I have personally seen Spreadshirt staff both confirm AND deny this. I think the key thing to remember is that most of the developers from back in the day are no longer working at Spreadshirt and they behemoth that they’ve created is simply too complex to fully understand…if you didn’t build it yourself. Safe to say that it’s risky step to take.

But I actually decided to do it, knowing very well that I just might sacrifice a big chunk of my earnings. I increased all my commissions from 4.99€ to 9.50€ and $5.99 to $9.50. Did I see a hit in my sales? In terms of volume – YES. In terms of Revenue – NO. On the contrary, as you can see below in the figures, the numbers actually went up in terms of total revenue. Is it perhaps too early to tell if it was a good move? Probably. But overall I am satisfied with the results.

Remember I did the same things on Redbubble?

Redbubble Sales

I’m particularly happy with how things have evolved here. My overall earnings on Redbubble are obviously much lower than Spreadshirt. That also comes with the style of platform. However, I made the right decision to kick up my markups big time. Obviously the impact was much bigger around Christmas time, so that probably isn’t the best comparison and some of that effect will also spill over into January. However, at €190 I think that’s a pretty good number to work with 🙂 That’s a whopping 137% increase over what I usually would have made in an average month.

I recently published a graphic on what markups I exactly used, so you can apply the same to yours if you like. I’ll be doing a separate post on this soon. But in the meantime, if you’re keen on checking it out, have a look at it in the Closed Facebook Group. Just CLICK HERE to join the group.

Teezily Sales

I’m not super excited about the Teezily sales to be honest. The new marketplace is working but it clearly has it’s limitations in terms of search functionality and organic traffic. I think the key problem with the marketplace there is that it’s simply not built for kind of customers that you’ll see at Spreadshirt. The Designer application and also the abundance of Vector-based designs simply make it far easier for the customer to customize a shirt to his liking and buy it. The Teezily marketplace was literally swamped within weeks with thousands of automatically generated shirt which for a large part were even stolen. The color selection is limited and therefore the buying experience is very different for the customer.

I’m not entirely sure yet how to get the most out of Teezily if you’re not keen on generating traffic by yourself. But I will continue to test and see what comes of it.

Monthly T-Shirt Income Report

I’m looking forward to reading your questions and comments. If there’s any particular position that you would like to know more about, then let me know and I will try to clarify.

EUR USD Last Month
Spreadshirt Marketplace EU 4,760.21 5,052.49 3,000.44
Spreadshirt Marketplace US 683.54 725.51 473.71
Redbubble Commissions 190.45 202.14 241.90
Teezily Commissions 63.39 67.28 63.47
Other Licensing Income 270.00 286.58
Expense Positions EUR USD Last Month
BoxCryptor (Annual Subscription
Deutsche Post (Shipping Costs)
Digital Goods (Themes, Templates etc)
Dropscan (Mail Scanning Service) 30.22 32.08 12.16
Facebook (Advertising)
GitHub (Micro Personal Plan) 6.60 7.00 7.00
Google API Services (mostly translation) 1.03 1.09 0.20
Google Drive 1.87 1.99 1.99
Google for Work (Monthly Subscription) 16.00 16.98 13.86
HostGator (Web Hosting Services) 11.26 11.95 11.95
JetBrains PHP Storm (Monthly Software Subscription) 8.90 9.45 9.38
Laracasts (Monthly + Lifetime Membership)
MailChimp (Monthly Subscription) 8.48 9.00 10.00
Namecheap (Domain Name Registration Fees)
CLICK HERE to get your own domain
Noun Project (NounPro Subscription) 9.41 9.99 9.99
PureVPN (Annual Subscription)
Shopify Basic Subscription (for www.gocaptain.com) 27.32 29.00 29.00
Xing (Quarterly Subscription) 26.44
Tax Adviser (Quarterly Booking) 158.15
Net Operating Profit (excl. all taxes) 5,846.50 6,205.48 3,192.31
Tax Elements EUR USD Last Month
VAT on Income 955.74 1014.42 570.08
VAT on Expenses 6.10 6.47 37.76
Net VAT to be paid to the Tax Man 949.64 1007.95 532.32

*EUR/USD Exchange Rate for January 2017: 1.0614

4 comments… add one
  • Jim J

    Question: You started around the late naughties – presumably around the financial crisis – did you find consumer spending on t-shirts being steady?

    • Actually yes. The impacts on my revenues were primarily linked to other changes on the platforms. Holidays and other events still spark the normal t-shirt sales cycle.

  • Jim J


    Do copycats affect you much? I find my stuff all around the internet and it’s really stressing me out 🙁

    • Everyone’s affected by copycats. But to be honest….they multiply quicker than you can shut them down. I eventually decided to focus my energy on growth rather than trying to chase all the copycats. However, if I find them on my home turf at Spreadshirt, then I do try to report them. I also report people who for quite some time put my username into their tags/keywords. Very shitty tactics in my opinion.

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