Candy Japan April income report

How much money can you make by sending surprise candy to people around the world? I see no reason not to be open about how things are going, since I am approaching this whole venture as a learning experience. Here goes line by line from initial revenue through expenses to the final profit number.

Total revenue for April was $7234 from 312 subscriptions. We don't get to keep most of this money as there some very real expenses too. First thing is PayPal fees, after which we are left with $6895. We are switching from PayPal to accepting credit cards directly through WireCard + Recurly, but that will likely just raise our costs a bit (but will hopefully improve conversions).

Sending packages internationally and buying the items inside of those envelopes are our biggest costs, about $6.40 / month / subscriber for shipping and $5.80 / month for the items. After these, we are left with about $3088. Envelopes and packing materials aren't free (pretty close though). Those are about $0.50 / subscriber, so we are left with $2931.

Sometimes mail isn't delivered properly (usually address was wrong) and we have to send packages again, sometimes also replacing the items. We don't charge the customers for this but just re-send after confirming the address (as it very well might be our fault or just random error in postal delivery), so after accounting for this, we have about $2805 left.

We send things twice a month. 312 subscribers means stuffing 624 envelopes each month, which is time-consuming manual work. Luckily at this point we have managed to outsource this. After paying for that outsourced service, we have about $2450 left. We have an accountant doing the books. They charge $75 / hour and spend a little over an hour on Candy Japan -related things (I have other projects they also handle), costing roughly $100 / month. After that there's $2350 left.

One expense has been marketing experiments, such as buying ads on Facebook and other sites, which so far have been almost complete failures. The costs vary, but last month it was $260. After that there's $2090 left. We have to buy some misc. things like camera equipment, computer stuff, candies for deciding what to pick the next time, pay for website hosting (App Engine) etc. so after all these misc. things I feel safe saying we would have about $2000 left.

Now this sum is finally income. As a Finnish citizen I am paying about 20% taxes and other fees (such as health insurance) on this, so the final sum we get to spend on our rent, food, champagne and overpriced Steam first-person shooter games is about $1600. This is quite good I think, almost matching my living expenses in Japan.

Thanks for reading, and please do give our service a shot if you're not a subscriber yet. The RSS feed for this blog is here.

Note: The average subscription fee in this calculation is lower than what is advertised on the website, because in the past subscribers had the option to choose to pay either in USD or EUR. Some people chose EUR and because the value of that currency hasn't been too great lately, they are now paying a bit less for their subscriptions in USD terms.

Thanks to micrypt, blackwhite, davidw and salisbury on #startups for valuable feedback on this post.