December 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay

January 6th, 2015

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoyed the holiday season! We are now at the beginning of a new month, and a new year, and that means that it is time for me to share the results from December.   If you missed any of my past financial results posts, you can find them HERE.

We’ll begin with how my time was spent for this past month.  I worked the first full 3 weeks of December and averaged working at least 65 hours per week during this stretch.  From December 22nd through the 31st I was mainly spending time with family and friends and enjoying the holidays.  It was some much needed time off, and over this time I didn’t do much beyond checking in to make sure there weren’t items needing attention, and a few year end house keeping items.

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 December.  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!).  This month I will be showing a slightly different format than I have in past month’s for the income statement.  This month’s income statement will be directly from my InventoryLab account as opposed to transferring the numbers over to excel.  The cash flow statement will be in the same format as in prior months.  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.  It’s also possible that I missed a receipt or 2 and the spending numbers may be updated slightly, but all numbers from amazon/eBay are 100% accurate.  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. December 2014 Revenue

Now, in this second screenshots are the expenses for the month: December 2014 ExpensesAs stated previously, these screenshots are directly from my InventoryLab account which is the accounting system 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.   Also the “other income” is the net effect of my eBay sales which I manually enter, which happened to be a small loss this month.

The results for December really blew me away, and I am very satisfied with where they ended up.  This was due to many factors, but the largest of these was the increased customer demand surrounding the Christmas season.  One of the other major factors was the results from individuals that are sourcing products for me, as I paid out almost $12K in commissions/wages to these individuals.  In addition to these factors, sourcing from diversified locations really paid off in December.  There were a large variety of items that were sourced via wholesale and liquidation methods that really helped to boost the results this month, which was in addition to the retail and online arbitrage that continues to be a significant portion of the business.  I am considering doing another post about the December results with some deeper analysis including a breakdown of what method I used to source the products, how quickly they sold, the number of items I lost money on, and similar variables.  If you have questions along these lines, let me know in the comments and I will address them there or in a future post.

Here are the current services that I am using that make up the above numbers (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 for me is $25/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 dramatically increased 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 my cash flow for the month:December 2014 Cash FlowCash flow this month was significantly positive as this was the first month ever that I received over $100,000 in deposits from amazon.  In addition to the amounts above, I had my largest amazon deposit ever hit my bank account already in January so cash flow is looking to be significantly positive for January as well.   The one time costs this month were for the purchase of a new computer for my main listing station, as well as the addition of 4 new shelving units at my warehouse.   Overall in terms of cash flow things played out generally how I needed them too, as this positive cash flow, along with the expected positive cash flow in January will make the running total of the past 12 months significantly positive.

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:

December 2014 Amazon Sales

December 2014 Amazon Sales

If you want to see the categories that these sales occurred in December Simply click this link and a PDF will be emailed directly to you.  

Now for eBay:

December 2014 eBay sales

December 2014 eBay sales

Overall, I am very happy with how this month went, and am glad to end 2014 on this high note.  I am really looking forward to what 2015 will bring and plan to continue to share my journey here on the blog.

If you have any questions for me about the above results, please leave a comment below.  How did December go for you? What are your goals for 2015?

Thanks for reading, and here’s to making 2015 the best year yet!

 

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67 responses to “December 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay”

  1. Tzvety says:

    Hi Rayan,
    Congratulations for the incredible success you had in Q4!
    And thanks a lot for the very interesting post. I am new to Amazon FBA and I find your blog quite useful and informative.
    As i am not US resident my biggest challenge is product sourcing for the US marketplace. I still need to develop an effective technique for finding profitable inventory doing online arbitrage. Can you please share what service you use to outsource your product sourcing operation?
    Looking forward to read your next blog post.
    Wish you all the best for 2015.
    Best regatrds,
    Tzvety

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Tzvety,

      Thank you! I plan on sharing some more information in the very near future about the outsourcing system I am using in relation to sourcing, stay tuned.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  2. jay dedman says:

    So you walked away with about $45k in your pocket for the month of December? If true, looks like your experiment has really worked.

    question: what percentage of your inventory did you sell off by the end of December? Are you sold out of most things?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Jay,

      Yes that is correct, and it seems to have worked pretty well. I still have a fairly significant amount of inventory on hand, at the present time I have 5,500 items remaining in stock.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • jay dedman says:

        I’m so impressed.
        –Do you have a timeline for when you want thing sold by? Or are you willing to hold onto items for a period of time (a year?) and wait for them to sell?
        –Are you going to do a post where you detail your profit/expenses over the entire year? I’d love to see how it all worked out after inventory/commissions were all paid off.

        • jay dedman says:

          Sorry, I just read your answer below that an overview of your year financials is coming. Since you spend so much on inventory getting ready for the holiday season, it’ll be interesting to see where the numbers fall.

        • Ryan Grant says:

          Thanks Jay! I generally want most items to begin selling within a month, but I do buy many items that I expect will take up to a year to sell. It really depends on the opportunities available at the time, but I am generally looking for mainly items that will sell quickly with some items that will take longer to sell mixed in.

          Best Regards,
          Ryan

  3. Connor says:

    Are most of the items you are purchasing, coming from liquidation sites? To have over 5k units to be sold in December, that has to be the only way your doing that?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Connor,

      Without doing a complete analysis, I would say that roughly 25% of these results came from liquidation sources.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  4. Derek says:

    Great results for December!

    Are you planning to do a 12-month summary post that shows your annual numbers as one picture?

    I am just curious on how you did overall with the cash flow, as the Q4 numbers here show an overall cash flow of (7,771.18). This is what I am trying to learn to balance right now as I am just starting and trying to not get too far in the negative, using profits to reinvest in new inventory.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Derek!

      I will most likely be doing a 12 month summary post that shows everything. I am working on year end numbers now, so I will have a total cash flow number soon, but it was pretty significantly positive. If I don’t do an annual recap by the end of January, reply to this comment, and I will share my annual cash flow.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • Derek says:

        Appreciate the response Ryan, and look forward to that post. You’re doing an amazing job and blazing a trail that I am trying to learn from as I go along.

        Your level of granularity with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it is truly appreciated!

  5. Jenn says:

    Love it! Can’t wait to see January numbers.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Jenn! January is going to be quite a bit down in terms of sales/profits, but the cash flow should be solid.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  6. Ryan,

    You did very well in December! After reading your post I realized that I really need to sit down and get my December income report out as well.

    Looking at your numbers I noticed that you also had a phenomenal sales week during the week before Christmas. This also happened to be the time where our sales were highest too! …it was also the same time that we ran out of stock of our best selling products. We’ll be prepared next Q4 though! 🙂

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Yolanda! The week before Christmas was a huge week, there were some items I sold out of as well. I will definitely be more prepared in future Q4s as well.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  7. Rachel S says:

    Way to go, Ryan!

  8. Steve says:

    Wow – I’ve been at this a while and it goes without saying those are some eye-popping numbers! Congrats on a HUGE month and year.

    You’ve mentioned buying liquidation/pallets before – are there reputable services you like to use?

    Also, it appears to me to be somewhat of a crapshoot – a “mystery” pallet of what you get. Or am I wrong? What’s been your experience?

    Also, is the merchandise in good condition to sell as new or is the packaging worn and/or damaged?

    Thanks for sharing.

    All the best in 2015.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you! I will consider doing a full post on the liquidation sourcing at a future time, but for now here’s some quick answers. The lots that I buy range from the “mystery pallets” to closeout liquidations which entail buying hundreds of the same item in new condition. The latter is where I plan to continue to spend more time focusing.

      Thus far I have not been buying off the major websites, so I won’t be able share the services I am using in relation to liquidation sourcing.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  9. cat says:

    Amazing Ryan! thanks for sharing your numbers with us. Can you give us a break down of your sourcing techniques: how much is retail arbitrage, online arbitrage, wholesale, PL, and other? I am wondering how one person can find so much product – I know you hired some people, how many do you have now? and at what point did you realize you hire people for sourcing? Also, the huge amount of investment money is coming directly from Az payments? or do you have savings that you are using while cash flow is tied up with Az? also, do you have set SKU goals or $ amount goals for each month? I saw one person who said their goal was to add 500 SKUs a month. And then another person said they do it by dollar amount – they add $1000 in inventory for one month, assume they will double that in profit, and add $2000 the next month. is either way better? thanks!

  10. Ben says:

    Congratulations !!! This are very impressive numbers – looks like you were able to 10-fold your sales in just a year. Think you can do it again this year ?

  11. Bob R says:

    Hi Ryan,
    Congratulations, these are very inspiring results. Since it is the new year, would you mind sharing what your overall profit was during 2014. Thanks for creating this great site!

    Bob

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you! I am going to plan on doing a “year in review” type post early in January and this will contain all of that information.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  12. Steven C says:

    Congratulations and Happy New Year Ryan! Thanks you for showing us what’s possible. I for one wouldn’t have closed out 2014 with just under $100K in sales for it wasn’t for you. Thanks again.

  13. Michael Good says:

    Congratulations on an incredible December, Ryan! Thanks for breaking everything down and explaining it so well.

    I’m curious as to what you’re pricing strategy looks like in terms of how low you’re willing to go and when you’re willing to take a loss. I just signed up for Appeagle through your link and I’m wondering what to set my minimum sell prices at. I know you said you like to move product quickly, but does that mean you’re willing set your low price at the break even point right away with your repricer?

    Thanks and here’s to a great 2015!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Michael! I will probably do a more in depth post on pricing in the near future, but I rarely set my repricer to a level that is break even or a loss. I usually set my minimum price a couple dollars below the market that is still at a profitable level, and then if it sits for 2 months or so I will lower my minimum price.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  14. Amy says:

    I am so thrilled for you Ryan. I have been boasting about your success to all of the young people in my office. I wish I could get my young twenties son to look at what you are doing. Even if FBA dries up, you have awesome business skills and DRIVE, and you will continue to leverage your hard work for success!

    I still can’t get my first shipment to FBA out the door…Hard to break away from EBAY for me. Have a great 2015!

  15. Connor says:

    So majority of your items your purchasing, your going to the retail store and just purchasing a incremental amount? How are you sourcing your inventory?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      I wouldn’t say the majority of items are retail, but it’s a big portion of the items I sell. I source via a large variety of methods, retail stores, online stores, wholesale sources, and liquidation sources. At the present time I can’t get too into the details of my methods of sourcing, but I am considering ways of sharing the specifics via paid content in the future.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  16. Bob K says:

    Having stated in August 2014 this was my first Holiday season. I am at this moment just PT and doing books only. I did $1400.00 in Dec., I hope to keep building on that.

  17. Ron says:

    Wow, awesome numbers Ryan, as expected with all the hard work you did the last few months! Congrats and hope that week or so off was enough for you to recoup your energy lol.

    Did you have anyone helping you prep/ship during the major inflow of inventory at all? Or was your only help sourcing? I’m still working out of one room in my home and even with my humble shipments, it gets a little overwhelming sometimes lol. Can’t yet imagine a small warehouse full of stuff!

    I only started in Oct but with the crazy Christmas rush, I was able to hit 10k+ in sales and was extremely excited. Even had my first $1k in sales in a one day! My main limitation ended up being funds to purchase more inventory. So it felt like I missed out on a lot of extra opportunity but not much I could do about not having money lol. I also sold out of almost everything so until I got my first check after the holiday rush, I was sitting with a pretty bare inventory which kind of messed up my first week or so back after Christmas. But quickly doing everything I can to change that and sending stuff off like crazy lol.

    Just hoping I didn’t spoil myself by starting this FBA thing during Q4 and end up having unrealistic expectations and tons of inventory that doesn’t move lol.

    Anyway, thanks for the post and congrats again! Excited to see next years Q4 results for both you and me 😉

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Ron! I did have some help with shipping as well during peak times, and this made a big difference. I am currently working on getting shippers hired on a regular part time basis so that I can continue to outsource that portion.

      Congrats on your sales numbers!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  18. pam says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience in such detail, Ryan. I’m still watching and studying, but think I may actually pull the trigger on my first FBA shipment next week. Being honest with myself, I realize that I’m intimidated by it all, and I think especially the record-keeping, IRS aspect of it. I hope you’ll share that aspect of things on some level when the time comes. I also hope that I’ve conquered my intimidation issue before your experiment ends. lol.
    You are truly a remarkable young businessman. Congratulations on your awesomeness! ;o)

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Pam! I will likely do some more posts about taxes and that side of things, I can say that I did just cut a check for $38,000 for my estimated taxes for 4th quarter, so that wasn’t the most fun, but part of the deal.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

      • pam says:

        umm…. that was no fun? No, that blows chunks.

      • Jacob says:

        that is a huge amount tax! sorry I am a bit confused, is it the profit amount that can be counted for tax collecting or it is the actual estimated tax you would paid for the quarter? thanks!

        • Ryan Grant says:

          Hi Jacob,

          That amount of tax was for related to the entire year for 2014. It was my first year completely self employed so I didn’t pay in quite as much as I should have during the year.

          Best Regards,
          Ryan

  19. Derek says:

    Awesome work, congratulations!! Have you ever sourced products from overseas and had them shipped directly to the Amazon Warehouse (FBA)? I’ve been looking at some Asian suppliers and there are some great prices to be had..

    Cheers from Canada!

    Derek

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Derek! I haven’t done that thus far, but it is something I am looking into early this year.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  20. Fred DeVico says:

    Ryan, Way to go kiddo!! Nice job. I’m glad to see you’ve mastered this machine. I’ll keep following you on this blog and other media. Thanks for sharing all this data. It’s sure to help a lot of people. Have a great 2015!!

    Fred

  21. bkninja says:

    Ryan, on my version of Inventory Labs I have “sales tax collected” under the Income categories. On you screenshot, you do not. Why is that? Do you have that category removed from within the settings?

  22. Geo says:

    Hi Ryan congratulations and well done you are poving whats possible when one is realy lazer focused.

    Have you read chris greens book on online arbitrage? Thats some huge book i mean the size of it and that price??

    is it worth the purchase when i hear people say lots of whats in it can be found online with lots of search??

    Whats your take?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Geo! I do have the book, and I would agree that much of it could be found online. With that said, this book consolidates all the info into one place, which would save a ton of time.

      I bought the book more for people sourcing for me to read, but I think it’s a solid investment just based on how long it would take to find all that info out from other sources.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  23. James says:

    Hi Ryan, been following your site for a while, really inspiring. I have what may be a silly question but perhaps you can help. How are you determining your “minimum” or floor pricing to set in appeagle. I have dreaded using the service because the only way I can figure to determine these prices is to perhaps setup an excel sheet and add a flat percentage onto my cost. Any tips on managing this?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi James,

      I normally just set my minimum prices a couple dollars below the current market price, so I don’t have too elaborate of a system. I do this to maximize the prices I receive from my items. Every week or so I will view all of my listings that are at my minimum price, and further adjust if needed, but for the most part I am just setting the minimum a little below market as opposed to the amount that is truly the minimum I would accept.

      Hope that helps!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  24. Chris says:

    Ryan,

    I noticed when looking at your sales by category for this latest month that the Beauty category, which at one point was one of your top 4-5 selling categories, has now fallen toward the bottom of the list. I am curious as to the reason for this?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Chris,

      The biggest reason is that there was an item I was selling in the category for 6+ months recently had a bunch of sellers come in at prices which are no longer profitable for me. I have also been finding opportunities in other categories, and really haven’t been focusing as much time sourcing for the category as I had been in prior months.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  25. Geo says:

    Thanks for your response and your time Ryan.I cant wait to see when you hit that million dollar mark. I know it will take sometimes but honestly tell me what doesnt? i also believe you can do it.. so i will be following your progress along the way.

    Peace.

  26. Paul K says:

    Ryan, it’s really impressive how you got to that level of sales so fast! I’ve been doing this PT for two years and would like to get to that level. Is it a combination of arbitrage and liquidation? Also, you mentioned that you hire sourcing agents. I thought that was a great idea and something I would like to do as well. How do you go about doing that?
    Many thanks for this blog.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Paul! I will be sharing some more info about the methods I use to have others source for me in February. As for my sourcing methods, it’s a variety of retail, wholesale, online, and liquidation.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  27. Trent says:

    Im young and don’t have a car but my mom drives me to the thrift store to get stuff to flip. Do you have any advice to be like you in the future?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Trent,

      My advice would be to simply continue to take action, and build on your progress. It sounds like you already are started, so I would encourage you to keep flipping items and reinvesting your profits. As you continue to do this, look for other opportunities to expand and grow into a business. The key though is to take action, and continually make gradual improvements.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  28. Devon says:

    Just curious, when sourcing at home(online) do you use Scoutify on the webapp to see if an item is worth buying or hand type the title and search within your phone?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Devon,

      I generally just use the actual amazon.com website on a computer when doing research online.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  29. ed says:

    Hi Ryan, Congratulations on a successful holiday season. I enjoy reading your posts and as I just started using FBA late last year for the holidays. I am curious with the quantity you sent in for FBA, could you give any insight as to how you prepped and labeled your product? This step was by far the most time intensive for me and had me running behind, especially when I had large quantities to send in. Also, with the new shipping rates going into effect with dim.weight charges, will this affect the way you do pack to send in your shipments? Thanks again for the posts!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Ed,

      Thank you! I will consider doing a post in the future covering the questions you have just brought up in your comment.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  30. […] December 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay […]

  31. Jason says:

    The breakdown is really helpful, does anyone know an alternative to Inventory Labs for UK users?

  32. Liam says:

    Hi Jason, would be great to connect with you.

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