June 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay

July 3rd, 2014

Summer is flying by and we are now into July, and that means that it is time for me to share my financial results from June 2014.  If you missed any of my previous financial results posts, you can find them HERE.

We’ll get started with some background information on how my time was spent this month.  I took about 4 working days completely off during June to attend my youngest brother’s graduation, to watch my youngest brother play  in the high school baseball state tournament, and to attend the wedding of one of my good friends from college.  All of these provided some good breaks from working.  With the aforementioned exceptions, I would say I averaged about 40 hours per week directly related to the online selling activities that I am blogging about here.  I am planning on doing a “week in the life” post where I track how I spend a full week, so keep an eye out for that in July.

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 for June.  There are not any new additions this month to the level of detail that I will be sharing.  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.  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 source, 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.

June 2014 Income Statement

June 2014 Income Statement

Notes: Items in parentheses indicate a negative number.  Mileage expense was calculated using the IRS mileage rate of $0.56 per mile.

As you can see, my profits were down significantly compared to what was seen in May.  As was discussed last month, about half of my working time was spent related to my textbooks business, and there were pretty significant lingering effects that were seen in June as a result of less time being dedicated in May.   My sales/profit numbers were really starting to rebound the last week of June, and this has continued for the first couple of days of July, so I expect July to get right back on track with the profits that were seen the previous 2 months.

The one-time costs this month related to the sourcing roadtrip that I took for about 4 days during June.  I did a lot of shipping to amazon during June as can be seen by the increase in inbound shipping costs.  eBay profits picked up a little bit, and other than the downturn in profits, the other numbers stayed relatively consistent.

Next, we’ll take a look at this month’s cash flow which is where things start to get really interesting: Cash Flow Statement

Note: that numbers in parentheses indicate negative numbers.

This month my cash flow was significantly negative to the tune of almost $15,000.   This was due to many factors, including the lower amount of time put in during May 2014, but the main factor is a plan to aggressively grow my numbers.

There are a couple of noteworthy items contributing to the increased spending on inventory.  The first is that I bought a liquidation lot of goods that consisted of over 5 pallets of merchandise.  This alone was $3,925 of my purchases, and should yield a solid profit after I finish processing all of it.  The second noteworthy item is that I have a couple of friends helping me source inventory in return for various payout arrangements depending on the amount of their purchases.  The combination of these factors, along with taking the sourcing roadtrip, all added up to a significant cash burn.

I have a strategy that I am confident will pay off in the coming months, and as a result am putting my money where my mouth is.  That is where the header image to this post comes in, it is a picture of a poster in my room, and really applies to my level of spending this month.  I fully expect these cash flow numbers to return positive within a few months, as a negative cash flow of $15,000 is not sustainable for more than a month or 2.

Since there might be some jaws dropping seeing the negative $15,000 cash flow, rest assured that it’s all part of my plan, and if you look at the net cash flow from the past 5 months combined it’s now about a negative $1,200, which helps to keep things in perspective.

Now, here is a screenshot of my June 2014 amazon sales to provide some backup for the numbers I am sharing (click to enlarge):

June 2014 Amazon Sales

June 2014 Amazon Sales

Sales increased significantly at the end of the month, and overall were about 10% less than the totals from May.   Now, here’s my sales by category for June:

June 2014 sales by category

June 2014 sales by category

Toys remained my number one category in terms of items sold and profits for June.  Sales in the camera and video games category increased quite a bit, but overall I am selling products across many categories depending on where I find viable opportunities.

Here is a screenshot showing my eBay sales for June:

June 2014 eBay Sales

June 2014 eBay Sales

Overall, total sales for the month were $17,238.18 versus $19,090.40 for May.  As discussed previously I believe this was mainly due to the lower effort levels in May, and I am expecting a significant increase for July.  My goal for July is to exceed $7,500 in profits and get things moving at an upward trajectory again.

Last month I did a contest in which Joe, Reba, and Heather all received a 20 minute phone/video call with me.  It was great getting to talk to each of them, and I want to try another contest this month.

The prize: Three (3) individuals will win a 20 minute phone call / video call with me via the method of their 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.

Here’s how to enter

  1. Subscribing to the blog using the button below to join over 600 current subscribers (if you are already subscribed, skip this step)
  2. Leaving a comment below answering either of these questions:
    1. What are your goals for July 2014 with selling online?
    2. What part of sourcing inventory in retail stores do you find the most difficult?

That’s it, either subscribe or leave a comment answering one of the 2 questions and you will be entered to win.  There will be a maximum of one (1) entry per person.  The deadline to enter is July 10th 2014 at 11:59 PM ET.  At this time 3 individuals will be chosen by using www.random.org.  Winners will be contacted via email to arrange scheduling.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any other questions or comments, please leave them below or send me an email at grant.ryanj@gmail.com.

 

 

Read More

69 responses to “June 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay”

  1. barbara says:

    My goal in 2014 is to sell full time on ebay and Amazon. I now work three part-time jobs and ebay so my time is limited — and I’m tired. 🙂

  2. 1. I am going to send my first amazon FBA box in this month.
    2. I don’t have a lot of cash flow to start so finding items to purchase at a super-low cost (and risk).

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      That’s great to hear you plan on sending your first box in, good luck!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. jcharles says:

    Ryan will also be doing a presentation at the midwestecom.com conference.
    Come mingle with him and many other.

  4. Dean says:

    Getting ready to write that book? Lol…..

    Been there done that.

  5. Costa says:

    Thanks for opening up your business like you do. I haven’t done much retail sourcing, but when I go out the most difficult thing is finding a good clearance section. I seem to only find good items when they’re on a designated clearance rack, and it seems most stores don’t have that. What’s your strategy when you go into a retail location?

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Costa,

      Thanks for the comment! I am planning on releasing some information in the near future about sourcing in retail stores, stay tuned.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  6. Iqbal says:

    Thanks for your income reports – great how you always provide so much clarity. I don’t think there is anyone else that discloses so much information about their income.

    You really are in a league of your own in this front.

    Long may it continue 🙂

  7. Rosaline says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for an excellent post and sharing valuable information about your experiences with Amazon and Ebay.

    I am just starting out myself and love to meet and learn from people like you who have benefitted from taking action and who reassure me that I can too if I take the risks and do the work.

    I look forward to following your progress and wish you all the best for increased success, contentment and prosperity for the future.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Rosaline,

      Thank you for the kind words! I can tell you that if you put in the work that you can see great results selling online.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Mark says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for another glimpse into your business.

    My main goal for July 2014 is to get to $2,000 in gross sales from all my sales channels. FBA has finally started to kick into gear for me at $500 just in the first couple of days of July so far. I have a lot of inventory ready to process and get shipped as well.
    My second goal is to get my wife educated and confident listing our garage sale sourced items up on our eBay store. I have been focused on Amazon since we really started and our eBay store items have just been sitting there.
    Finally, my ultimate goal is to get out of debt completely and quit my job and do this full time.

    Well I hope I win this month’s contest. I have a bunch of questions I would like to ask you.

    Wish me luck,
    Mark F.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hey Mark,

      You are welcome, and sounds like you have some great goals for this month!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  9. Shayna says:

    Ryan, thank you so much for all of the wonderful information. I have been doing this since January mainly on eBay. Reading your page has been an inspiration to me and I just sent off my first FBA shipment yesterday. My goal for July is to continue to grow my inventory. Thank you again for this wonderful resource.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      You are very welcome Shayna! That’s an excellent plan to keep growing your inventory.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  10. DM says:

    The most difficult part of sourcing retail for me is actually finding a good deal in the stores available to me. I live about an hour to hour and half away from 3 cities of around 200,000-500,000 people. I frequent the walmarts, targets, toysrus, tjmaxx, etc. but find very little clearance/sale items that will return a viable profit. So, either our store managers are more stingy, or they are more savvy in not collecting overstock, or our fellow buyers excel at not letting inventory make it to clearance stage! The frustrating thing is that I have the money and time to invest in purchasing inventory, just not the product selection.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks for the comment DM! What area of the country are you located? and have you considered trying online arbitrage or wholesale? as sourcing in retail stores is just one of many ways you can find inventory to sell.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  11. Gina says:

    Love to read your posts, Ryan! Thanks for being so transparent with your income, sales, goals, etc. It’s very helpful to hear from others who are selling on Amazon. I have a unique, patented product – but now I have begun selling other items on Amazon as well. I’ve found the toy category to be HIGHLY competitive with regards to pricing. How do you deal with / handle the pricing wars? I had no sales on toys when offered merchant fulfilled, so I’m hoping FBA makes the difference in that category – otherwise, I may shy away from it in the future. Best wishes to you with all your goals, Ryan! Way to take some risks and just make things happen! You’re an inspiration!

    Thanks for your insight,
    Gina F.
    Owner, FaceWeights.com

  12. First off, I feel very inspired looking at these numbers, Ryan. I know they are negative and I would be scared to death being a bit risk adverse but you stay calm, its all part of the plan. That makes me feel better about this month’s goal which is;

    Taking a big break in FBA because I need to ramp up my time with my other side career, writing. I have two signings and a workshop to get ready for in August so July was always slotted as a time to get these in order. And that is what makes FBA so great! There can be months were we hit it hard and months were we let things slide. This is the beauty of being in business for yourself; you make your own decisions!

    I am going hard on Sunday sourcing and then I am sending out the last box I will do for the month of July.

    Cheers!
    Kim

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Kim,

      Absolutely, a few risks here and there are definitely necessary. I definitely agree that being able to choose what you work on and when is a HUGE benefit to working for yourself. It sounds like you have some great goals for the upcoming month! If you are interested in sharing, what is the book that you have the signings for?

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  13. Todd Baker says:

    Ryan,
    Again, thanks for all th einfo and transparancey (good or bad)it helps!
    My biggest challenge sourcing is knowing wether an item will sell or not. Rank, number of sellers, number of FBA sellers, etc,ect etc is confusing to me.

    Thanks for everything

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Todd,

      You are welcome, and thanks for the insight into the challenges with retail arbitrage. I am planning on coming out with some information about how I determine if I think an item will sell or not based on rank, # of sellers, as well as other factors in the near future.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  14. Jerry says:

    Great blog as usual. I’m pleased that you show negative numbers as well as positive, and that the negative isn’t a bad thing.
    What are your goals for July 2014 with selling online? I like buying inventory. I bought so much inventory in the last couple of months that I barely have any more room for storage. That being said, my July goal is to get a good chunk of it to FBA and get and get it sold.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Jerry! I can definitely relate to buying too much and getting a little “backlogged” on processing. Best of luck on getting most of it to FBA.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  15. Nicholas says:

    What I find challenging in retail sourcing is when to buy an item with a high (bad ) sales rank and when to leave it. Example I just bought an item for $5 that is currently selling for $42 the problem is that it’s rank is about 280k. I guess time will tell the story if this was a good buy or not.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Nicholas,

      Thanks for the comment, and I can tell you that if there was only one of the item in the scenario you mentioned above, I definitely would have bought it.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  16. Anita says:

    Hey! I know you are busy, but I am waiting for a response to my email. Just thought I would post here in case you are like me and don’t check your email very often. 😉

    I ready to learn and move FORWARD! Thanks for being an inspiration. 🙂

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Anita,

      You are welcome! I responded to your email on July 1st at 11:30 PM according to my outbox, let me know if you are able to track it down, and if not I can send it over again.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  17. Benjamin says:

    My goal for July is to send in as many products into Amazon for FBA as possible to see how everything works out. I recently left my part time job as a server to focus more of my time on selling online.

    Like you said in your post with risk comes rewards. I’m hoping that all of my work researching everything will help me reach my goal!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      That’s a great goal Benjamin, best of luck in sending in a ton of inventory to FBA!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  18. chad says:

    1. To double my sales to around 4,000. I just got started in March and have been gaining momentum.

    2. Just having enough time to source is the difficult part to me. Oh also those times when something looks great in the store so you load up on them then by the time you get it listed and sent in there are 40 people on the listing and the price had tanked.

    Thanks
    Chad

  19. Anita says:

    Well we were supposed to meet via telephone anyway, and I have been emailing to set up our appointment, so why not sign up to try to win a call for free?! 🙂

    My goals for this year are to be able to support myself with my Ebay and Amazon businesses plus my other at-home part time job, so I can work from home and mainly for myself. I want to set some smaller goals for myself while I work toward that big one!

    As far as sourcing in retail stores, the most difficult thing for me is just finding that “diamond in the rough.” Seems I have to scan so many items to find one that is worth purchasing. I am grateful for the apps that take away the guesswork, because I am not experienced enough yet to know what might sell and what is not worth purchasing for resale.

    Finally, I just want to say thanks for taking the time to write these blogs and sharing with us.

    I look forward to our phone conference! I hope you check your email soon. 😉

  20. Anita says:

    Hi Ryan!

    I found it! Sorry about that! I have been checking in every day (which is not like me at all when it comes to email, lol), but somehow I missed it. Thanks for your prompt response!

  21. Amanda says:

    My goals for July are to test out some new product categories and to dig deeper into learning about how to prep for the Q4 selling season.

  22. Lisa says:

    Thank you for your blogs and sharing your experience. I started selling fba parttime in mid April. I’m a stay at home mom and I only have about 3 hours each day to source. With this last disbursement from Amazon I’ve got $2000 to spend on sourcing. I’m having a difficult time finding enough items. I usually send 50 items every 1 1/2 weeks. I usually source clearance at Walmart/target/big lots etc. When I went toys r us last month during their clearance sale it seemed that every item that I scanned had at least 10-15 fba sellers fighting to get the buy box. I’m on the conservative side picking items with the 3x rule. (Unless I know that I can flip it fast) What are your thoughts on rankings and # of fba sellers. Do you have a rule of thumb? I’ve never said this before, but my problem is spending money!

    My goals for July are to find 1-2 wholesalers. Finish Jessica Larrews online strategy guide and do more online sourcing, and net $3000.

    Thanks!!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Sounds like you are off to a great start with FBA, congrats! Those some like some great goals as well. I will definitely plan on covering the questions you asked in a post in the very near future.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  23. Denise says:

    Hi, Ryan –

    Really enjoy your posting and seeing how your business is progressing month over month.

    My goal for July is to increase sales by $1k over June. I had a good bump in June for Father’s Day, so it’s a stretch goal. Overall, I’d like to make Amazon + eBay = full time income.

    I don’t source a lot in stores – I’m about 70% wholesale. I would like to source more in stores though to get product ideas and then find wholesalers. My biggest issue when I do source in retail stores is knowing what to scan. And then when I find a product, having a sense of whether it will end up being commoditized with an ensuing race to the bottom.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Denise,

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the posts! That’s good to hear you set stretch goals for yourself, as I have found they can lead you to achieve more than you might have otherwise.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  24. Bill says:

    Hi Ryan.

    My goal for July 2014 is to send in my first shipment to FBA for a total of 3 boxes in that first shipment. I just started by listing my first items on Ebay June 1st. Only 1 has sold for a small loss. I used it as a learning experience. I have since sold 2 items on Amazon – Merchant Fufilled for a break even (2 items I had lying around the houe). I priced them too low as shipping was more then I had envisioned. So, I haven’t had any profit yet but now I know where I have to price some items to make any money at all.

    My most difficult part of sourcing retail is finding the right item to buy and then resell. I find my coverage inside stores is spotty when trying to scan items even with the Galaxy S5 with Verizon.

    Thanks for everything. Bill.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Bill,

      Glad you are learning as you go along. That’s an excellent goal for July, best of luck in getting your first shipment sent in!

      -Ryan

  25. grace says:

    i have a hard time sourcing inventory in retail stores because of the price margin/stiff competition. I have only been doing merchant fulfilled for about a year on and off and 2 shipments to FBA (less than a month). I am still trying to find a “sweet spot”. Plus I feel really conspicuous scanning items in a retail store LOL

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Grace,

      Thanks for the comment! I can definitely relate to feeling very conspicuous, as I have had people many times think I work there and ask me where they can find a certain item. I sometimes can help them, but usually let them know I don’t work there at the same time. I can say that, for me at least, it starts to feel pretty comfortable after awhile. I will definitely plan on addressing how I deal with competition and low margin when sourcing retail in the near future.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  26. DanB says:

    Hi Ryan:

    We will hit $1000 in sales this month. I’m surprised how quickly we’ve hit that mark considering we sent our first fba shipment in April and are only doing it part time. I think I’ve got the knack for pricing and getting better at sourcing. I’ve even started doing more online sourcing too. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

    -Uncle Dan

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Uncle Dan,

      That’s great to hear you will hit $1,000 in sales this month, and you are very welcome for the advice and encouragement!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  27. Chris says:

    Thanks for all of the information you share on your website. Many people ask us what we sell and how we manage to sell things online. I have shared your website with many people as you describe the process so well.

    We plan to incresae FBA sales 5% in July and throughout the remainder of 2014 focusing on learning the process well so 2015 can be more concentrated on FBA sales.

    Retail sourcing can be difficult but much of our time is spent researching online so we know what we are looking for when entering the store.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the comment, and for referring people to my website! Sounds like a great goal for the month of July, best of luck in reaching it.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  28. Charlie says:

    Hi
    I hope everyone here has a prosperous July.
    My goals are $18,000 gross product sales.
    Hit $16,200 in June.

    The most difficult part of sourcing in stores is the brain drain after about 2 or 3 hours. Other than that it’s fun.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Charlie,

      Great goals, those are some solid sales numbers! I can definitely relate to the brain drain from sourcing, but I do find it to be fun for the most part as well.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  29. Chaz says:

    What are your goals for July 2014 with selling online?
    My goal is to exceed $500 in profit for the month.
    What part of sourcing inventory in retail stores do you find the most difficult?
    I find it difficult to create growth, besides from sales slowly creeping up. I have a hard time seeing where I can grow. More $ for more sales? Or having a large inventory and items from the past selling that add to my current sales. I don’t see it.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Chaz,

      Sounds like an excellent goal for July! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the challenges with retail arbitrage as well.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  30. Chris says:

    My goal for July is to hit $10k in sales. It’s been a fun ride so far and thank you for continuing to write about your experiences. You helped answer so many of my initial questions when I started a few short months ago and it’s really paying off.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Chris,

      That’s a great goal, be sure to let me know if you make it happen! No problem at all for me sharing my story, I am glad to help.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  31. Frank says:

    My goal for July 2014 is to hit $3k in profits from FBA alone. I spent a ton in June, but I finally doubled every last cent that I put into the business! Also really looking to expand on replenishables and get much better at finding deals at stores like TRU. It’s still very daunting, but if I win the call I’ll be asking you some Q’s about that.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Frank,

      Sounds like some great goals for July, and congrats on doubling your investment in June!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  32. LC says:

    Ryan, your reports are excellent and a big service. The time you take in developing them is appreciated. Regardless of how automated you may have things, I’m sure it takes a good 2-3 hours in preparing the report. Thank you for inspiring us and helping us newbies.

  33. Faisal says:

    Hi Ryan

    I started selling FBA about 6 weeks ago and your site is a great resource. Funny enough, I used to be an accountant as well.

    Your sales numbers are great and I wanted to know how many products do you have on your store? The first month I did about $3k in sales because I got a pallet of some high end items. And I know that does not happen all the time. This month I may see $2,000 in sales. But in the past 2 weeks I went on a buying binge to build up my books / CD SKU based on Peter Valley’s POV.

    So I am starting to think there is some correlation to the # of items (with decent ranks/demand) to the sales amount. And I am dabbling on sourcing some products from China. So hopefully in Aug I will see a nice bump since I shipped most of those items out. I got to admit it is darn nice to get a CD for $2 that sells for $30 on FBA 🙂

    Thanks!

    Faisal

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Faisal,

      Glad you founds my site, and that’s cool that you used to be an accountant too. Currently, I have about 3,000 items in my store. Sounds like you have had some quick success in your first 6 weeks, congrats!

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  34. Donna says:

    My 2014 goal is to start selling on Amazon. I’ve been selling on eBay for years items purchased at garage sales and thrift stores. I am ready to work on retail arbitrage.

  35. Ron says:

    My goal for July is to start Amazon and the FBA program.

  36. […] June 2014 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and … – Summer is flying by and we are now into July, and that means that it is time for me to share my financial results from June 2014. If you missed any of my previous …… […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CONTROL YOUR TIME AND HAVE FREEDOM SELLING ON AMAZON
(I’LL SHOW YOU HOW!)