2013 Recap and Goals for 2014 from Online Selling

January 7th, 2014

Hope everyone’s New Year is off to a good start! Today’s post will be a recap of 2013 and I will be sharing some of my goals related to this business for 2014.

Without too much doubt, I can say that the highlight of my 2013 was making the decision to step away from my job to pursue my dream of making a living being completely self employed.  September 20th, 2013 was my last day employed, and in case you missed the post explaining my reasoning at the time, HERE it is again.  I didn’t share this in the initial post, but I almost quit my job about 9 months prior to when I did.  It was early January 2013 and I was quite hesitant about having to work another “busy season” at the accounting firm I was working at.  I was in the office of one of the more senior partners of the accounting firm, with my manager, and 2 HR employees discussing whether I would terminate that day, or stay on and continue working at the firm.  I had indicated that I was looking for less hours (busy season lasted from January through mid-April and the expectation was you would work at least 55 hours per week, and coming into the office on Saturday was required) or an increase in pay or I would be putting in my resignation.  I only had 1 year of experience at the time, so not too surprisingly they were not willing to adjust my compensation package.  They did however provide some reasons why it would be a bad career move to leave at that point, and some of the benefits I would gain by obtaining more experience.  They created enough doubt in my mind that day for me to commit to stay with the firm, and I wimped out on my plan to either quit or have my hours adjusted.

It probably worked out well that I ended up working almost an extra 9 months, as it put me in a better position financially.  However, I do believe I would have enjoyed these 9 months quite a bit more if I had actually pulled the trigger on my plan to quit in January and jumped into online selling right away.  My point with this narrative is that you know what you want to do with your time and your life.  Make sure that you are pursuing these things and not just letting life pass you by.  I have posted this quote by Steve Jobs before, but I really feel that this a valuable quote to think about:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Think about it.

As for the recap of 2013.  I will be posting 2 screenshots from my amazon account to show my sales for the year on this account.  I was previously using the account related to my textbooks business, and created this one to separate the activities.  My first sale on this account was on June 21, 2013 and here are my sales for 2013 (click to enlarge):

Amazon sales for 2013

Amazon sales for 2013

As you can see, the sales didn’t really start rolling in until November.  My biggest sales day in terms of total sales dollars was December 9th with 59 units for $2,637.16.  Here is another screenshot that shows my sales by category for 2013 (click to enlarge):

Sales by category 2013

Sales by category 2013

As you can see I dabbled in many different categories, but toys and groceries were the categories I had the most success with.

The results I have seen from 2013 have surprised me, and I am very excited about them.  The great part is that I have so much to learn and have just barely scratched the surface of so many of these categories.  I am excited for what the future holds and putting some of the knowledge and experience I am gaining to use, particularly Q4 of 2014.  I wasn’t able to find as comprehensive of reports on ebay, and most of my sales and profits came from amazon, so I will not be including any ebay screenshots or commentary in this post.

Here are my goals for 2014 related to online selling:

  1. Exceed $100,000 in profits for the year with at least 90% of these profits coming from amazon FBA
  2. Separate my home and work by moving all work related items into a warehouse/workspace
  3. Hire at least one employee
  4. Take a “sourcing road trip” during the year covering at least 2,000 miles.  By this I mean going to different locations throughout the US and buying items to resell and shipping them into amazon along the way.  The focus of the trip would be on finding inventory, but would include stops for fun and entertainment as well.
  5. Share what I learn along the way by posting a minimum of 2 blog posts per week on this blog

These are the highlights of what I hope to accomplish through online selling in 2014. By posting them here, I believe this will help to hold me accountable, and provide some targets to strive for. What are your goals for the upcoming year? Please share in the comments! or if you would like, send them to me via email (grant.ryanj@gmail.com) and I will post them at the beginning of my next blog post.  Having your goals published could be a great way to hold yourself accountable!

Thanks for reading, and let’s make 2014 our best year yet!

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19 responses to “2013 Recap and Goals for 2014 from Online Selling”

  1. Ken Bryant says:

    I love the idea of the long sourcing road trip. I look forward to reading your about your exploits.
    Would you care to elaborate on the type of grocery products you source? And, from where?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      I think a sourcing road trip would be a lot of fun as well! As for the grocery products, I have been getting quite a few emails and questions about this, so I will put together a blog post on this for later in the week to help answer some of the questions I have been getting (including yours). Stay tuned.

      -Ryan

  2. Sharon says:

    Ryan, Thanks for the update. Wow, What a goal! So after renting a space and hiring someone you still feel you can profit 100k? I have read of the sourcing trips from others, that sounds Awesome! How do I get the product review for my Amazon account? (your second picture)

    • Ryan Grant says:

      $100K is the goal after all expenses, I am not sure it is possible but it is what I am shooting for. It is a bit of a stretch goal. I believe that hiring someone and renting space should both allow me to increase my profits, despite the increase in costs. If they do not provide value beyond the cost, then I will have to reevaluate. As for getting the report shown in my second picture. I believe you have to have a pro merchant amazon account. You click on “view your sales statistics” on the right side of the screen that shows the snapshot of the sales for the past 7, 15, and 30 days. Then it will be available on this screen.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have further questions!

      -Ryan

  3. amanda says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the helpful blog!! Could you share what kind of software/method you use to track your inventory and where that inventory goes? Do you ever dual list? If so, how is that record keeping done also?

    Thanks for your time,
    Amanda

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for stopping by the blog and for the kind words! Currently I am using a service called InventoryLab that keeps track of my amazon inventory for both FBA and merchant fulfilled. For ebay, I currently track everything in Excel. I maybe looking into some more advanced systems in the near term, but for now these methods have served me well.

      I will occasionally dual list on ebay and amazon. I only do this with a handful of items so I don’t have a good system for this, I just know which items I have listed in multiple places, so if one sells on one platform I will adjust the quantity available on the other. As a general rule I only do this with items that I have multiple of so that I am not forced to cancel an order if it is ordered on both places close to the same time. I have had this happen in the past, and particularly on ebay if you sell an item you do not have, you get some very unhappy customers.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  4. Wayne says:

    Congratulations! I just left my job to give an honest go at entrepreneurship. Good job at hustling and making a good first step toward you dreams!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thank you! And great to hear that you are giving entrepreneurship a shot. Keep me updated on how it goes for you.

      -Ryan

  5. […] Hope everyone had a good weekend.  I only did one post last week, as I was visiting some friends in Austin, TX from the 5th through the 9th.  I also did some sourcing in Austin while I was visiting on the 5th through the 7th.  It was sort of a practice run to see what shipping items to amazon fba from the road is like, for when I take a longer “sourcing roadtrip” later in the year.   If you missed the post where I discussed the goal of taking a sourcing roadtrip, you can read a little more about it HERE. […]

  6. Javier says:

    Great post and great goals I am sure you will achieve them! Question how would you ship to fab on the road will you be able to modify your location in the shipping from section amazon fba asks for?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hey Javier,

      Thank you and I hope that I do! As for shipping to FBA from the road, you can edit your address on when you are creating FBA shipments on amazon. I tried it earlier in the year when I was visiting a friend in Austin, TX and it is surprisingly easy.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  7. Doan says:

    That’s a great Steve Jobs’ quote. I really enjoyed reading and following your blog. It’s inspiring to read the information from your posts.

    Doan

  8. Dave Koziel says:

    Hey Rysn!

    I’ve been reading through the archives on your blog and I’m seeing a lot of great stuff! I can really relate to the meeting you had with a senior partner, your manager and two HR employees at the accounting firm you worked at. I just quit my job in June and I had really wanted to do it years earlier. Every time I’d try to quit I’d have a meeting similar to yours and they would basically scare me into staying saying how much of a mistake I would be making. Looking back it was a joke that I was scared to quit and now having quit I do not regret it for one second!

    • Dave Koziel says:

      Wanted to apologize for typing “Hey Rysn” instead of “Hey Ryan” lol!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hey Dave,

      Glad to hear you can relate, and congrats on quitting your job! How are things going so far now that you have quit?

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • Dave Koziel says:

        I’m not really sure yet. I originally quit my job in the beginning of June because I wanted to go back to school full time and find a different career. I started reselling around the same time and really liked it so I decided at the beginning of July to just focus my efforts on building my resale business. I’m happier, more alive and more myself than ever before but the financial results have yet to come. The results you have had are awesome and it’s really motivating for me because we are about the same age and have similar interests in business.

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