January Recap – Setting the Foundation

I spent January stocking up and getting my ducks in a row. I have potential freelance work that will hopefully take me up to 25 hours a week guaranteed over February, and as I heat up the Amazon Seller Central marketplace, those two streams of income should steady themselves out over the next few weeks.

10 Things I Achieved In January:

  1. Updated my CV
  2. Learned new skills in Amazon Forecast
  3. Made advertising banners for Amazon Services and completed the application
  4. Found out information about New Enterprise Allowance scheme and almost finished the process
  5. Set up dropshipping process in Amazon UK and Amazon US
  6. Started work on my agency website
  7. Helped my friend design his business leaflets (seee the featured image)
  8. Learned more advanced Excel skills – even though I’ve been using it for years, always something new!
  9. Successfully secured my annual customer’s order.
  10. Became comfortable with AWS.

What I Didn’t Do Well In January:

  1. I didn’t get the stock out of the house
  2. I put on a LOT of weight
  3. I didn’t manage my time as effectively as I could have: better than usual but still lacking.
  4. I didn’t manage my money efficiently.

On the negative side, I had one client cancel a contract suddenly, and I’ve put on over a stone. It’s because I’m not getting out much and eating junk, but that’s something else I’ll focus on in the month to come.

I still have a lot of niggly bits to do before I’m ready to settle down and let things flow, but it’s been a good start. With pay day in sight on Thursday, and plenty of plans coming together, I’m hopeful that month two of 2020 will be doubly productive.

Week 1 Progress Report: Dropship Week, Amazon FBA and Excel

I managed to get just short of 2,500 seller-fulfilled products listed on Amazon this week. I used three spreadsheets to accomplish the task: the pricing master spreadsheet (which works out VAT, Amazon fees and profit by markup); the upload master spreadsheet which uses a series of concats and vlookups to create descriptions and keywords; and the FBA Custom Inventory Uploader.

I managed to get just short of 2,500 seller-fulfilled products listed on Amazon this week. I used three spreadsheets to accomplish the task: the pricing master spreadsheet (which works out VAT, Amazon fees and profit by markup); the upload master spreadsheet which uses a series of concats and vlookups to create descriptions and keywords; and the FBA Custom Inventory Uploader.

It took me 4 iterations of the final spreadsheet to get everything correct. FIrst: Amazon was adding in stray columns at the end (check this if you get the duplicate column error). Then, I’d put some dimensions in with the unit of measurement. Then there were various issues pulling the images in, but I’m finally at the point where I have all the products from one particular supplier up on Amazon.

Selling on Amazon will be my second income stream this year in my quest for $100K. I’ve also managed to watch all the Hollyoaks episodes from start of January to end of June 2019… so it’s been quite a productive week in all!

My Own Quick Excel Formula Lookups

This will become my own page of quick Excel formulas that I find myself looking up elsewhere far too often! It should flesh out over time.

Excel String Manipulation

Does any cell in a range contain a substring?
(Is the string contained in cell F4 a substring of any of the cells in column B)

=COUNTIF(B:B,"*"&F4&"*")>0

Which row number in a range contains the partial match?

=MATCH(""&F4&"",B:B,0)

Return the contents of the column on the same row as the match.
(if the value A6 is found in the column A:A on AMAZON UPLOAD, then return the corresponding value in column O)

=INDEX(O:O,MATCH(A6,'AMAZON UPLOAD.xlsx'!$A:$A,0))

Excel Date Manipulation

Convert the date name into the date number

=MONTH(DATEVALUE(A1&" 1"))

Fixing Amazon Price & Quantity Update Loader File errors on Mac for Excel

There have been multiple reports of errors with the Flat.File.PriceInventory.TTH file on Excel for the Mac since 2014, and it doesn’t seem like Amazon want to do anything to fix it. Visual Basic Unexpected Error 465 prevents users from saving the file after making edits.

A quick workaround for this is to use Google Sheets. Import the downloaded Price & Quantity Update Loader File, make your updates through your browser on Google, then save it to your computer as a tab delimited file.

Change the file extension from tsv to txt, and upload to Amazon, making sure you specify that you’re uploading a Price & Quantity Update Loader File from the drop down menu there before you upload it.

After many hours, this has finally fixed the upload issue.