Author Topic: Who has questions about making money online? AMA  (Read 6863 times)

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« on: April 01, 2015, 01:35:22 PM »
Hi, every once in a while I see topics with people asking about various ways to make money online, either for full time income or just extra side hustles.

I am not an expert, but I have managed to break free from the job paradigm and live off my online income (combined with Mustachian living)

So if anybody has any questions fire away, I will do my best to answer them. Although I am not being entirely altrusitic, as I will use the questions to write articles for my website.


I currently make my money online through the following sources:

Youtube ad revenue
Adsense earnings from several blogs/websites
Ebay and Amazon sales
Affiliate sales
my product website



lunahsol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 01:46:52 PM »
Okay, I will bite :) 

I am interested in selling used books on Amazon, but I have not taken the next steps because I do not understand how to deal with sales tax issues.  I live in a state that does not have sales tax.  If I sell to someone in a state that does, what are my responsibilities and how does all of that get reported, etc. 

Any advice, insight or resources that you could provide would be very much appreciated.  Thank you!

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 02:05:56 PM »
Okay, I will bite :) 

I am interested in selling used books on Amazon, but I have not taken the next steps because I do not understand how to deal with sales tax issues.  I live in a state that does not have sales tax.  If I sell to someone in a state that does, what are my responsibilities and how does all of that get reported, etc. 

Any advice, insight or resources that you could provide would be very much appreciated.  Thank you!

This is a good source for when your business should supposedly collect sales tax for online sales: http://blog.taxjar.com/internet-sales-tax-nexus/

My understanding is that you only have to collect in the states where you have a presence or 'nexus' so you shouldn't have to worry about it.

I don't sell a lot on Amazon, I mostly use the affiliate sales, but I believe you can now set up your account so that they collect the sales tax and then hand it over to you separately and then you would give it to the state.

The sales tax thing is fairly new, so I would guess that as of right now a lot of sellers on there just are not doing it. Not sure what kind of reporting amazon has set up with the states.

Good question, I will have to research this some more.

For books, you can avoid this by using direct buyback companies like bookscouter.com
You won't get as much per book but you get to sell instantly without holding inventory, and you won't have to worry about sales tax.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 02:08:47 PM by The Money Monk »

myhotrs

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 03:01:59 PM »
Hey lunahsol, i am a small time seller on AZ (~$50k/yr). Got started a few years ago and I'm in CA, so we do have sales tax here. After a bunch of research, and its not easy to find actual info, I realized that no one cares. I have AZ collect CA sales tax, as they are the most likely to come asking, other than that, no one seems to care about the whole Nexus thing. If your state doesn't collect, they you have nothing to worry about. Worst case, a state asks and you send them the $6.34 (or other tiny amount) that you owe them.

That being said, I am not a tax guy, I am an anonymous internet stranger, just sharing what I do.

lunahsol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 07:35:21 PM »
I am an anonymous internet stranger, just sharing what I do.

Understood!  Your experience is very consistent with what I gather is happening and it seems to be working.  Thank you for sharing and since you have experience with this, I hope you don't mind if I maybe ask another question or two down the road. 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28253
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 07:59:21 PM »
AMA?  Cool.  I was just thinking of doing one of these myself on these forums.  :)

I currently make my money online through the following sources:

Youtube ad revenue
Adsense earnings from several blogs/websites
Ebay and Amazon sales
Affiliate sales
my product website

My question: What is the breakdown for how much you earn from each of these sources, and time inputted, both up front, and ongoing?

Thanks!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Thedudeabides

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 08:05:40 PM »
Cool thread. Can't wait to hear more. Also: @arebelspy: I would be very interested in an AMA hosted by you.

lunahsol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 08:07:18 PM »
This is a good source for when your business should supposedly collect sales tax for online sales: http://blog.taxjar.com/internet-sales-tax-nexus/

My understanding is that you only have to collect in the states where you have a presence or 'nexus' so you shouldn't have to worry about it.

I don't sell a lot on Amazon, I mostly use the affiliate sales, but I believe you can now set up your account so that they collect the sales tax and then hand it over to you separately and then you would give it to the state.

The sales tax thing is fairly new, so I would guess that as of right now a lot of sellers on there just are not doing it. Not sure what kind of reporting amazon has set up with the states.

Good question, I will have to research this some more.

For books, you can avoid this by using direct buyback companies like bookscouter.com
You won't get as much per book but you get to sell instantly without holding inventory, and you won't have to worry about sales tax.

Thank you very much, Money Monk!  At least I feel like less of a dummy for not being able to figure this out; as it seems like it is not exactly clear cut.  I appreciate your comments and will take a look at the link you provided.  I was not aware of direct buyback companies, so that is an option I will explore, as well.  If you do research and find out more about the tax issue, please do let me know - or send me a link to your website!  :)

lunahsol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 08:09:30 PM »
Okay guys, one more question . . . . what does AMA mean? 

vagon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Sydney
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 08:10:12 PM »
Okay guys, one more question . . . . what does AMA mean? 

Ask Me Anything

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28253
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 08:10:45 PM »
Okay guys, one more question . . . . what does AMA mean?

Ask Me Anything - it's a Q&A thread for a particular individual.  It's popular on reddit.. idk if it started there or not, but they do it a lot from what I understand.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

vagon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Sydney
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 08:16:39 PM »
Which channel did you start with?

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1843
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 08:21:05 PM »
Following.  I am at around $3000 so far this year from various (mostly online) side hustles, but I'd love to take it up a level.

ChaseMcD

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 08:36:14 PM »
Youtube Ad Revenue...

I am curious about this. I have made a very small amount of money from Youtube ads and I have had great difficulty gaining traction with any of my original video content.

So I am curious how you generate money on Youtube. Either you are creating a lot of really good original videos that have gained you a following or you are reposting other people's viral content and running ads on that. Or maybe something else.

So I guess my question is, what does your Youtube income generation strategy look like?

Thanks

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2015, 09:49:56 PM »
AMA?  Cool.  I was just thinking of doing one of these myself on these forums.  :)

I currently make my money online through the following sources:

Youtube ad revenue
Adsense earnings from several blogs/websites
Ebay and Amazon sales
Affiliate sales
my product website

My question: What is the breakdown for how much you earn from each of these sources, and time inputted, both up front, and ongoing?

Thanks!

It can vary significantly, but I here are march's numbers:

Online Sales: $779.23 - Maybe 20 hours a week (EDIT: This is incorrect, its about 20 hours for the month, not per week)
This includes eBay sales, Amazon Sales, and Amazon affiliate revenue. In the future I plan to track these individually. This is a net total after accounting for inventory purchase, shipping, listing fees, etc.

Local Sales: $305.16 - 1 to 2 hours a week
These are all sales that I met the buyer locally and did not ship the item. I used Craigslist, Facebook sales groups, and a local auction house.

Adsense: $744.80 - 10 hours a week
I count the income the month I actually get it, so these are actually my earnings from February. Most of this was from my two main Youtube channels, with around $4 coming from Google ads on my websites.

EDIT: I wanted to add that much of the time spent on adsense stuff is on the websites that are not making me almost any money, but might in the future. If I only worked on the youtube videos which are bringing in almost all of the revenue, its less than half this much time)

BuyThermite.com: $243.78 - 1 hour a week
Solid month of sales from my Thermite website. especially when you consider this amount is after accounting for a roughly $180 inventory purchase. Normal income from this site averages 50 to 100 bucks a month.

Credit Card Rewards: $85.02 - 0 hours
Cashing in CC rewards always makes me feel good, as this is basically free money (and I’m taking it from some of the biggest banks in the world – double win!). I don’t get enough to cash them in every month, so this is much higher than the running average. But regardless, with my stable of rewards cards I am getting usually 3% to 6% cash back on almost every dollar I spend, so it still results in hundreds of dollars in free money every year.

My remaining time (I definitely spend more than 40 hours, but spread out whenever I feel like) is spent on projects that aren't yet (and may never) bringing in money. New websites, ebook, etc.

I also get 'rent' from my GF

EDIT: I forgot to mention the upfront time investment. For the youtube channel it took a few years before i started making money, but that was mainly because you couldn't automatically monetize all your videos back then, you had to be invited. i spent less than an hour a week average.

The Thermite site took a little time to set up, but nothing crazy. Maybe 20 hours? I advertise it on my prepping youtube videos

Ebay selling takes very little upfront time investment. There are very few barriers to entry, you can just jump right in. There is no residual income though, as soon as you stop putting in effort, the income goes away.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 10:19:09 AM by The Money Monk »

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2015, 09:51:39 PM »
Which channel did you start with?

I started with my youtube channel on preparedness/prepping and survival, and also have a channel on ebay selling / making money

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2015, 09:58:55 PM »
Youtube Ad Revenue...

I am curious about this. I have made a very small amount of money from Youtube ads and I have had great difficulty gaining traction with any of my original video content.

So I am curious how you generate money on Youtube. Either you are creating a lot of really good original videos that have gained you a following or you are reposting other people's viral content and running ads on that. Or maybe something else.

So I guess my question is, what does your Youtube income generation strategy look like?

Thanks

Well whether my videos are 'good' or not is up to the viewers, but it is all original content. I would never repost other people's shit. I have over 200 videos on my main channel, and I started in 09. It took a couple years before I was making money. Back then you couldn't automatically make money off each video, they had to perform well for a while and then you would get invited to monetize it.

Over the years I have built up a subscriber base of around 20K on my main channel, and 4k on my other. I get about 130k to 150k views a month on my main channel right now, and that works out to over 600 bucks the other channel is bringing in over 100. The ads are shown automatically by Google, I don't control them. I get money when people click on ads. I never click on ads, and didn't think anybody else did either, but apparently people do, and I'm totally fine with that!

My ongoing youtube strategy is to continue to create regular content in my niches of prepping/survival and reselling/making money.

Mod Edit: Quote Tags fixed.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 11:26:55 PM by arebelspy »

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2015, 10:03:27 PM »
This is a good source for when your business should supposedly collect sales tax for online sales: http://blog.taxjar.com/internet-sales-tax-nexus/

My understanding is that you only have to collect in the states where you have a presence or 'nexus' so you shouldn't have to worry about it.

I don't sell a lot on Amazon, I mostly use the affiliate sales, but I believe you can now set up your account so that they collect the sales tax and then hand it over to you separately and then you would give it to the state.

The sales tax thing is fairly new, so I would guess that as of right now a lot of sellers on there just are not doing it. Not sure what kind of reporting amazon has set up with the states.

Good question, I will have to research this some more.

For books, you can avoid this by using direct buyback companies like bookscouter.com
You won't get as much per book but you get to sell instantly without holding inventory, and you won't have to worry about sales tax.

Thank you very much, Money Monk!  At least I feel like less of a dummy for not being able to figure this out; as it seems like it is not exactly clear cut.  I appreciate your comments and will take a look at the link you provided.  I was not aware of direct buyback companies, so that is an option I will explore, as well.  If you do research and find out more about the tax issue, please do let me know - or send me a link to your website!  :)

The new website is http://www.secretoftheinternet.com. It is brand new and still under construction, but feel free to check it out.

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2015, 10:14:26 PM »
Following.  I am at around $3000 so far this year from various (mostly online) side hustles, but I'd love to take it up a level.

Solid, keep it up!

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2015, 10:24:27 PM »
Hey lunahsol, i am a small time seller on AZ (~$50k/yr). Got started a few years ago and I'm in CA, so we do have sales tax here. After a bunch of research, and its not easy to find actual info, I realized that no one cares. I have AZ collect CA sales tax, as they are the most likely to come asking, other than that, no one seems to care about the whole Nexus thing. If your state doesn't collect, they you have nothing to worry about. Worst case, a state asks and you send them the $6.34 (or other tiny amount) that you owe them.

That being said, I am not a tax guy, I am an anonymous internet stranger, just sharing what I do.

Exactly my thoughts. When he asked the question, i was like ...uh .. should I out myself as not really worrying about it at all? It is very difficult to find information, so if they come calling they can figure it out and send me a bill and i'll send them the $20 bucks or whatever it might be.


Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2015, 10:45:56 PM »
The main thing with sales tax is physical presence. That physical presence could be property or it could be employees. If you live and work in a no-sales tax state, you're done - you don't have to collect. If you sell via "the online" to someone who lives in a state with sales tax, it is -their- responsibility to report sales & use tax on items they purchased from you without paying sales tax.

Beware - if you were ever to travel to a state with sales tax and sell items at a convention or trade show or similar event, then you would create nexus in that state. For most states, that's no big deal, since you would only have to report sales tax and income tax on the items you sold there. But once in awhile you run across an evil state like California that will hunt you down and jack you up with a minimum franchise tax of several hundred dollars (plus penalties for not complying with their draconian tax laws), regardless of the amount you actually sold.

Lis

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2015, 09:23:19 AM »
Bumping to follow.

For your YouTube videos, what kind of equipment do you have? I've been tempted to make beginner's cooking videos but all I have is a point and shoot camera and my iPhone 4, neither of which produce the greatest quality video. If the quality of your content is good enough, do you think people can overlook the fact that the video quality is decent (not bad, but not fantastic)?

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who has questions about making money online? AMA
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2015, 10:03:53 AM »
Bumping to follow.

For your YouTube videos, what kind of equipment do you have? I've been tempted to make beginner's cooking videos but all I have is a point and shoot camera and my iPhone 4, neither of which produce the greatest quality video. If the quality of your content is good enough, do you think people can overlook the fact that the video quality is decent (not bad, but not fantastic)?

Absolutely. I have been using the same camera for like 5 years, so it's not cutting edge. It's a panasonic HDc-TM90. My video quality is very mediocre,  not much better than many modern cell phone cameras. I am mostly just talking to the camera though, so you don't need to be able to count my nose hairs for the video to be useful. And I do use lights and a lapel mic usually to up the quality a little bit. The lights i actually got to take pictures for ebay, where I just use the camera on my Motorola Droid Razr. So I definitely don't have a bunch of high-end equipment.

I have been trying to avoid actually posting my videos so this whole thread doesn't seem like a well-crafted shameless plug, but it makes sense to let you guys see what I am taking about, so here is a link to my channel on ebay reselling / making money: https://www.youtube.com/user/secretoftheinternet/videos

consistently producing quality content is the most important thing. As long as video or audio quality is not bad enough to be distracting, don't let it stop you.

At least make a few videos with what you have and see if people dig your style, and then you might want to invest in a better camera if it looks like your channel could be successful.