Gift Essentials sells kitchen glassware products on Amazon. Established in 2019, they’re a Connectbooks customer since 2020.
Getting clear on profits was impossible with Amazon’s obscure reports and confusing fees
Gift Essentials’ bookkeeping was a mess when they came to Connectbooks. The company’s bookkeeper, was running their accounting out of an excel spreadsheet and Quickbooks, but the spreadsheet was incomplete.
They accounted for whatever fees they knew about, did their best to keep track of orders, returns, and inventory, but somehow their numbers just weren’t right. And those mistakes were costly.
“Every month we tried to get Amazon payments to match what’s in Quickbooks, and it was impossible. If you don’t account for returns or other fees, your numbers can be off by hundreds of dollars and that adds up. ”
Trying to work out which items were most profitable and where profits were leaking away was also a challenge. They couldn’t tell which items caused which fees!
“We thought we were making a profit on certain items, but we weren’t taking into account the ad fees. Or the return fees. Those fees were eating into profits.”
Sales were high, but that didn’t translate into consistent income. Without clarity on Amazon’s fees, they didn’t know which items to continue selling the same way, which to adjust packaging or price, and which to cut from their inventory.
Flawlessly accurate reports, backed by above-and-beyond service, that made the numbers match perfectly
Another happy Connectbooks customer referred Gift Essentials to the program. They thought the price was high, but they decided to give it a shot anyway.
“They charge a lot, but we went in with an open mind. We thought ‘We’ll try it out’ and it was absolutely worth it.”
First, a Connectbooks representative helped them go back through 5-6 months' worth of orders and payments.
“It was great. They backtracked a lot of data and helped us get straightened out. It was so amazing to see how every penny matched!”
Once that was sorted out, they showed Gift Essential’s bookkeeper how to read the reports and what every fee was.
“Customer service was out of the ordinary. We were real beginners, but they explained every Amazon fee to us. You never get that fast, on-your-level help. Everything was just top, top.”
It wasn’t only in the beginning that Connectbooks offered this amazing level of customer support. They were there to help when it looked like thousands of dollars had gone missing.
“I thought Connectbooks messed up. On Connectbooks it showed that certain numbers had been pulled, but they weren’t in our QuickBooks file.
They remotely accessed my computer and figured out that it was on a different QuickBooks file. They stayed on the phone with me for 2 hours to get everything back into the right place, over 20 settlements from both files, so our numbers were accurate again.
They didn’t say this was your mistake, even though it was. They just helped me clean it up.”
This level of support was part of what made Gift Essentials upgrade to the highest tier plan after a few months, even though originally they chose the mid-tier.
“The more we used it, the more we saw how good the software is. We just really wanted to get the most out of it.”
Even more important than the exceptional support is that Gift Essentials knows they can trust every number Connectbooks shows them.
“Our business works because when we see an item that’s costing us in fees, we know we can absolutely trust it. Their numbers are all correct. When we see something on Connectbook we know that’s it - we can act on it.”
Increased profits 266%+ with smarter decisions based on reports they can trust
With Connectbooks Gift Essentials knows exactly what they’re making and from which products.
“My favorite part is getting our reports at the end of the month, because I like seeing where we made money and where we lost money.
I export the monthly file of our income from Connectbooks and I put our expenses into Quickbooks and between the two I’m able to see crystal clear what our profit was, how much we netted.”
With this information Gift Essentials is able to make adjustments to their business that keep them growing.
“We see which items bring in the most money and what’s making the least. If we see we’re losing a lot on breakage/replacement fees, we try changing the packaging. If that doesn’t work, we cut the item.
Like, we backed out of a butter dish based on what Connectbooks showed it was costing us in breakage.”
While using Connectbooks Gift Essentials has grown tremendously. They’ve been able to reinvest into the business and grow their profits. They grew their team by 150% and profits more than tripled.
Getting their books in order has given them the infrastructure and data to build their business with focus.
“When we see something on Connectbook we know that’s it. It’s truth. Our business works because now, we can see if an item’s in the red, absolutely trust it, and act on it.
The bonus is how I’m always discovering new features that make running our business easier. There's just so much it can do!”