April 2015 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay

May 13th, 2015

Hope everyone’s month of May is off to a great start! I have been slow getting my April results put together, but better late than never, so we’ll get right to it today.   If you missed any of my past financial results posts, you can find them HERE.

We’ll get started with how my time was spent during April.  I only worked on weekdays on the amazon business for the most part, and only took 2.5 days off from working which was related to going to a friend’s wedding, and going home for my sister’s birthday.  In addition to the time off, the launch of www.yoursourcedinventory.com took up some of my working hours as well.  Overall, I would estimate I averaged around 40 hours per week in April on activities directly related to the amazon business.

Before we get to the numbers, there is 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 for April.  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 format will be the same as last month and I will be sharing numbers exported directly from my InventoryLab account.  The numbers below will NOT be the exact numbers that go on my tax returns as there will be additional deductions not included here.  It’s also possible that I missed a receipt or 2 and the spending numbers may be updated slightly.  Also for clarity, this does not include any income from any other sources, it is simply my income from amazon and eBay.

The first screenshot will be of the revenues. To get a better look, click on this image (or any others in the post) to enlarge.

April Revenues

April Revenues

Now, the expenses:

April 2015 Expenses

April 2015 Expenses

These are screenshots of excel files exported directly from my InventoryLab account, which is the main accounting tool that I am using.  A couple of notes are that certain items will only show up in one of the time periods even though they occurred over the course of the month, in these instances look at the total number for the month.

April was another step in the right direction.  Profits were just over $19K compared to $16K in March or an increase of just over 17.5%.  This continued increase has been due to continually sourcing large amounts of high quality inventory by following an aggressive cash flow strategy.  By reinvesting almost every dollar back into the business it allows me to continually compound my results.   As you can see from above I paid almost $5,500 in wages and commissions.  Outsourcing Sourcing shares the details of the arrangements that I am using for these individuals.

Here are the current services that I am using that make up the above numbers for the subscription expenses (note that some of these I paid for on an annual basis to obtain a discount):

InventoryLab – I use their service for listing all of my products for sale on amazon, as well as the majority of my accounting. I use their scanning app, Scoutify, as my main scanning app.  Current cost is $49.99/month, you can sign up for a 30 day free trial with no credit card required.

Shoeboxed– This is a service that I use to manage my receipts.  I send my receipts off to them in an envelope, they scan them into an online filling system, and mail them back to me.  If you sign up through this link you can receive a 1 month free trial, and a 20% discount on your first 6 months if you become a paying user.  Current cost for the plan I am using is $29.99/month.

Appeagle– This is the repricer I am using.  It has been saving me significant amounts of time manually repricing.  In addition, it reprices items up as well as down, so I have sold many items already for more than I have listed them for.  They have a 14 day free trial, and if you enter coupon code “RYAN_G” you will receive 50% off your first month’s subscription if you elect to become a paying user.  The current cost for this service is $50/mo.

Feedback Genius – This service automatically sends out emails when items are out for delivery to the customer, as well as 4 days after the item has been delivered.  I tried out the free trial of this service, and it nearly doubled the percentage of orders on which I receive feedback without adding negative/neutral feedback, so I am now a paying customer.

Now let’s take a look at cash flow for the month:

April 2015 Cash Flow

April 2015 Cash Flow

Cash flow for April was just barely positive.  I am continuing to run a fairly aggressive cash flow strategy to allow me to continually grow my inventory, and as a result of that my future monthly results.   It was good to see the cash flow be significantly better than the prior month with close to the same amount of spending on inventory, as this provides further assurance that cash flow will catch up when buying high quality inventory.    My plan is to continue to run an aggressive cash flow strategy for the foreseeable future.

Now I will share some screenshots to provide some support for the above numbers I am sharing.  Please note that the amazon sales number will not be exactly the same as what is shown above, as the screenshot below shows all orders that have been placed (but not necessarily shipped), while the above numbers are only for items that actually shipped during the month.  Due to this the variance is to be expected:

2015 AZ Sales

2015 Amazon Sales

Now, for eBay:

2015 eBay sales

2015 eBay sales

Overall, I am very happy with how the month of April went.  The results turned out well, and I have been investing time into creating systems that will pay off in the future.  My goal for May is to keep a similar level of inventory purchases this month, and to get my first private label product live on amazon.  My product should be arriving within the next week, so I am looking forward to seeing how it will do.

That’s all I have for today.  What are your goals for May 2015? Let me know in the comments below.  Also if you have any other questions or comments, please let me know below!

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20 responses to “April 2015 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay”

  1. Haley Cordova says:

    Morning Ryan,

    I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and slowly setting myself up to be an FBA seller. I am happy to report that I sent my first FBA shipment to amazon on 5/11/15, yippee! I have set myself up with very realistic goals and look forward to accomplishing them. Quick question, when you say you reinvest almost every dollar back into the business, does that mean you are not keeping any of your net income from your sells? I know in a previous post you talked about being an S-Corp and taking a salary, is that how you make your monthly income from your business? Also what is your take on Amazon Sales tax collection services? I just want to make sure I am dotting all of my I’s and crossing all of my T’s so I don’t get caught off guard at the end of the year with taxes :/

    Although the process of selling on Amazon as an FBA seller is smooth once you get it down, it is still pretty overwhelming. I feel like I am learning something new everyday.

    As a full time working mother and wife, my goal is to make a little extra cash for fun family activities and with your help I’m sure I will get there, thanks for that!

    Haley

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Haley,

      Congrats on getting your first shipment sent in! I do take a small salary each month from the business, but the remainder is reinvested back into the business. This month for example about 85% of the profits will be reinvested. This post I did awhile back gives my take on sales tax: http://ose.wpengine.com/sales-tax-for-fba-sellers/

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  2. Ash says:

    Thanks for the update Ryan! Like the above poster we have been following your journey for a while and finally mailed in our first FBA shipment 2 weeks ago. It was only a small shipment of 5 collectible toys but they all sold in the first week. We matched the lowest FBA price ($74 each) and won the buy box a percentage of the time. Now we are hooked. My question is we have some collectible toys that go for $500 – $1k each and in the past we have always used ebay to sell those. Would you advise selling such a high priced item using FBA in the toy category? IF not what would be an upper limit for this category? TIA for any advice.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Ash,

      Congrats on your first shipment! On the higher priced items, it really depends on your comfort level. I have sent in a $1,000 watch to FBA before, but there are other high priced items that I have merchant fulfilled due to a higher risk of return. Personally, in the toy category the highest valued item I have sold via FBA was $600, and that went just fine.

      Selling it FBA will likely give you a much better chance of the item selling quickly, but at the end of the day you have to do what you are comfortable, and will let you sleep at night.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. Bill says:

    Hey Ryan. I was wondering if you can tell me what “FBA transaction fee refund ” is under income and what “MFN shipping label cost” under expenses is…thanks !

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Bill,

      FBA transaction fee refunds are according to amazon: “The amount that Amazon reimburses to you for FBA transaction fees from refunds of returned orders.” MFN shipping label costs are the amount I paid in shipping related to merchant fulfilled orders.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  4. Tommy Beyer says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Do you subtract shipping expenses from your Ebay Payments in your Cash Flow statement?

    Thanks for sharing,

    Tommy

  5. Hey Ryan, how are you making all these purchase? Online? And what type of payment are you using (credit card, debit card)?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Ken,

      I purchase from a variety of methods: retail, online, wholesale, liquidation, and private label. I purchase everything possible with a credit card in order to maximize rewards.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  6. zacharie says:

    how is your private label product going? Any tips on marketing my private label product other than just getting reviews?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      I should have my product live on amazon within about a week. I will plan on doing some more posts in the near future sharing some of my results.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  7. maurice matthews says:

    Hi Ryan, your blog is great and I’ve used every piece of advice to become a new FBA seller. I am using Inventory Labs for scouting. When I scan items, I do not see the FBA price in the scoutify app. I’m not sure if I’m doing something incorrect or if it does not show. I have to use the Amazon sellers app to find the FBA listings. Is this normal?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Maurice,

      Yes this is normal. It has to do with the API that amazon provides 3rd party apps to allow them to access information to provide to users. Not properly showing all FBA sellers is a common limitation across just about all paid scanning apps. The amazon seller app will be your best bet to get 100% accurate info on the current FBA seller listings.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Liam says:

    Thanks for sharing! Great stuff.

  9. tonee says:

    Wow thanks for this blog. I have been a seller reseller on amazon , eBay on and off for years. Never received much profit for all the hard work…
    my day job pretty hectic, and time intensive, so gave up
    But was considering FBA… Much success to you..
    Like the private label idea. May give it a go when things slow down at the 9-7, lol.
    Thx

  10. CJ says:

    Great job Ryan! I heard you on Side Hustle Nation and liked your interview. There are a lot of Amazon gurus out there but you and Skip Mcgrath strike me as being very genuine and really wanting to help others navigate and get started selling. I have just started selling on Amazon and I’ve listed a few books around the house just to get my feet wet. One of my books (a $200 one) sold overnight! I hope to move into wholesale and FBA once I finish reading Skip’s book and get out of my 9-5. I realize that I don’t like working 40+ hours/week to mostly profit someone else while I get the scraps. It’s time for me to let my hard work and creativity really benefit me and my family. You are very inspiring and I have subscribed.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi CJ,

      Thank you for the kind words! Great to hear you are getting started in the FBA game, hope it goes well for you.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

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