Hope everyone is doing well! April 2014 is in the books so it’s time for another financial results post. If you missed last month’s or any previous month’s results you can find them HERE. One item worth noting from last month is that my goal was to exceed $25,000 in sales for April, so keep reading to see if that happened (the featured image for this post was intentionally edited to not give away the total sales for the month immediately).
We’ll get started with a little background on how my time was spent this month before we get into the numbers. I took about 3 working days completely off in April mainly to spend time back at my parents and spending time with family. Besides these 3 days I put in a lot of time directly related to online selling activities, around 40-45 hours per week for the remainder of the month. There was also time spent on taxes (so much fun) and some research activities that will not be immediately revenue generating.
Before we get to the numbers, one more topic to discuss. My goal with sharing my financial results is to show what can be done, and is not meant to be seen as bragging or anything of the sort. I want to show that working hard and sticking with your plan can pay off. If the results turn out to be poor at any time I will share that too.
With that said, let’s get into the numbers. I have a couple additions to the financial results that I am sharing. Going forward I will be sharing my mileage expenses, as well as my monthly insurance expenses related to selling online. I want to provide as much clarity as possible into what I am doing on a month to month basis (if you have suggestions for additions to these posts, please let me know!). The numbers below are basically the profits that I am making for the month. The profits are calculated only on items that have been sold and shipped during the month. They were calculated by taking selling prices, minus all fees, minus all shipping and packaging costs, and subtracting the cost of the items. Certain important numbers such as: inbound shipping to amazon, customer returns, supplies, storage fees, and services have been broken out separately. The FBA profits number factors in reimbursements from amazon for items lost or damaged at the warehouse. This will NOT be the exact number that goes on my tax returns as there will be additional deductions for cell phone, home office, etc. However, some of these are costs I would generally be incurring anyway, so for simplicity I will be leaving them out of the calculations. Also for clarity, this does not include any income from www.textbooks4you.com, it is simply my income from amazon and eBay. To get a better look, click on this image (or any others in the post) to enlarge.
This was an excellent month for me in terms of profits on amazon. My sales as you will see shortly were my best month ever which is really exciting considering that it is April and not December. You will also notice that I didn’t even make $1 on eBay this month. This is mainly due to focusing almost exclusively on amazon for April. I am quite confident you will not see a zero in the eBay column next month as I have a good number of items that I will be listing there in the coming weeks. I also had a very significant portion of my profits come from merchant fulfilled items. This was mainly due to finding a couple items that were very good sellers that I was able to sell for about the same price as if I would have done FBA. The $347 one time fee is registering for Jim Cockrum’s CES II conference that will be held in Dallas in September. The event is now sold out for in person attendees but if you want to see what I spent the money on HERE is a link.
Also, the mileage is calculated based on the miles I drove multiplied by the IRS deduction rate for 2014 of $0.56/mile. So the 746 miles I drove ended up being the amount seen above. This isn’t necessarily my actual cost (they were likely a bit lower) but it’s what I will be able to deduct on this years taxes for mileage.
Next, we will take a look at my cash flow for the month:
You can see there was a significant improvement in cash flow this month as well. I still continued to increase my spending on inventory but my sales kept up this month and allowed me to have significantly positive cash flow. It’s good to see as now I have that cash ready to spend on additional inventory.
Now, here’s some screenshots from my amazon account to provide some backup documentation for the above numbers. This months sales:
You can see that I exceeded my goal of $25K by a significant margin and far exceeded March’s total of $17,500. It was great to see, and a large factor of making this happen was my average selling price of about $48 per item. I barely sold any more items this month compared to last month, but they were significantly more valuable. I plan on working to continue to maintain a high average selling price, although I don’t think I will be able to keep it this high. I sold about 60 items for over $150 this month that will not be consistent year round sellers for me. It was great to be able to take advantage of the opportunity, but I will have to continue to find opportunities with big dollar items to maintain a similar average selling price.
Now, here’s my sales by category for the month (click to enlarge):
Toys were at the top of the list again. I had some good finds in the camera category this month and that contributed to about 10% of my total sales for the month. It’s also good to see that the grocery, health & personal care, and beauty categories combined for almost 20% of my sales for the month. These categories should be more consistent year round and lessen the seasonal swings.
As there were no eBay sales this month, there won’t be a screenshot to prove it 😉
Overall, total sales for the month were $29,707 versus $18,583 last month. I am very happy with this month over month increase, and a very large portion of the increase is due to an increase in effort. The more you put in, the more you get out, so don’t allow a lack of effort to yield you poor results. My goal for May 2014 is to exceed $25,000 in sales. I will be dedicating more time this month to my textbook business, which is the main reason for not increasing my monthly goal.
Also this month I want to try something new in the form of a contest.
The prize: Three (3) individuals will win a 20 minute phone call / video call with me via the method of your choosing from the following options: phone call, skype call, or video call via google plus. In the call you can ask me any questions that you would like about selling on amazon, selling on eBay, tips to grow your business, board games, sports, products you sell that I should be using, or any topic you would like to discuss. Each winner can ask whatever they want.
How to enter: You can enter this contest by any of the following methods:
- Subscribing to the blog using the button below if you are not currently a subscriber.
- Liking the Online Selling Experiment Facebook Page.
- Following Online Selling Experiment on Twitter.
- Sharing ANY blog post of mine of your choosing via any of the social media buttons located at the bottom of each blog post. (options are Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, or emailing to a friend).
After you have completed one or more of the methods of entry, leave a comment below or send me an email (email@example.com) letting me know how you entered. If you enter using option 4, please include a link to your post (if you don’t want the link to be public, email might be a better option for your submission). Each person may obtain a maximum of 3 entries in the contest if they complete 3 of the entry methods above (option 4 can be done up to 3 times if you so choose).
Deadline to enter is May 7th 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. At this time 3 individuals will be chosen by using www.random.org. Winners will be notified via email to arrange scheduling.
Thanks everyone for reading! Any other questions or comments please leave them below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.