March 2015 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay

April 8th, 2015

Hello Everyone, hope your 2015 is off to a great start! March is now in the books and that means it is time for me to share my financial results from the past month.   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 March.  I only worked on weekdays on the amazon business for the most part, and only took 1 week day off from working.  Overall, I would estimate I average a little above 40 hours per week in March 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 March.  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!).  I will be changing up the format a bit, but will be sharing numbers exported directly from my InventoryLab account.  The cash flow statement will be in the same format as in prior months.  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.

March 2015 Revenues

March 2015 Revenues

Now, the expenses:

March 2015 Expenses

March 2015 Expenses

Now, a chart view of the sales and profits by week:

March 2015

March 2015

The excel files are exported directly from my InventoryLab account, and the chart is a screenshot of an analyze tool within my account as well.  InventoryLab is the main 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 was a small profit this month.

March was a big step in the right direction in terms of profits for my business.  Profits were just over $16,000 for the month, which is a little over double the amount from last month.  This has been due to a variety of factors, but the largest has been consistently sourcing high quality inventory.  This includes items sourced by me,  as well as by individuals sourcing products for me.  As you can see from above I paid out a little over $5K in wages and commissions.  Outsourcing Sourcing shares the details of these 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:

March 2015 Cash Flow

March 2015 Cash Flow

Cash flow was a decent amount in the red for this month.  This is by design as I am working to continually grow the business, and the inventory spending should lead to greater results in coming months.  I didn’t break the amount out separately on the cash flow statement, but I placed my first private label order in March.  The total was just under $5,000, and I have not received it yet as I am having it shipped via ocean freight which takes about a month to receive.  This inflated the inventory purchases a bit, but the other sourcing methods (retail, online, wholesale, and liquidation) have all been big contributors as well.

My plan is to continue to spend aggressively on inventory, and I don’t expect cash flow to be significantly positive for quite some time.

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:

March 2015 amazon sales

March 2015 amazon sales

Now, the eBay sales:

March 2015 eBay sales

March 2015 eBay sales

Overall, this was a great month.  I am very happy with how things went, and am really looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2015 holds.  The goal for April will be to maintain a similar level of inventory purchasing to March, and to keep the trend of sales and profits increasing month over month.

If you are interested in a video tour of my warehouse, I did a youtube video showing it during March.  If you are interested, check it out HERE.

That’s all I have for today.  How is 2015 going for you so far? 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 “March 2015 Financial Results from Selling on Amazon and eBay”

  1. paul says:

    Curious how large tour first PL buy was in terms of units or cargo space?

  2. Brendan says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Great content on this blog, it’s been very helpful and I’ve enjoyed reading it. Like Paul, I’m curious to hear anything else you could share about the Private Label experience and how you are navigating the importing process in general (i.e. shipping, clearing customs, sending inventory to the warehouse, etc.).

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Brendan,

      Thank you! I will be sharing more about my steps into private label in the near future, stay tuned .

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. Jim Hrbek says:

    Congrats on your first PL product, I can not express what it has done for my business.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have been following you from the beginning and I am really impressed at how your Amazon business has grown. One question, how do you keep your shipping costs so low? I’m in Canada and I ship to FBA sites in the US as I sell toys on amazon.com but the shipping costs are very expensive almost to the point of not being worth it to ship inventory because of the costs.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you! As for the inbound shipping, I just pay the amazon partnered UPS rates. I really don’t have any special tricks there, besides putting as many items as possible in each box.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  5. John says:

    Great results!

    I finally tried appeagle and like the results.

    You only use the $50 option, not premium $150 option? Wondering why? Your results the same, have you tried both?

    Thanks!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you! I haven’t tried the $150 plan. So far I have been happy with the results of the lower option, and haven’t felt the need to go for the additional expense. It’s possible I will try it in times of peak demand such as Q4, but for now, the entry level option works well for me.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  6. Cheryl says:

    Ryan,

    You are making fantastic progress! How do you track your EBay sales? I talked with inventory Lab and they are not set up for EBay Sales. I am currently using Go Daddy but it is very labor intensive. I sell on both EBay and Amazon.

    Thanks,
    Cheryl

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Cheryl! Currently for tracking eBay sales I just use a google doc with automated formulas. Lately I have only had 20 or so transactions per month so it only takes a few minutes to get it all tracked. Once I get the final number each month, then I put it into InventoryLab.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  7. Bill says:

    Retail Arbitrage makes page B1 of the Wall Street Journal yesterday (4/10/15)
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/webs-most-maniacal-bargain-hunters-1428619524

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks for sharing Bill, it’s definitely interesting it’s getting that kind of exposure.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Brian says:

    Hi Master Ryan,

    Have you thought about selling in Canada or overseas? I’ve stayed away from it because of the administrative burden of tax reporting. I don’t think Taxjar can be used in this case, are you aware of any other services for managing taxes?

    I am selling from within the US by the way.

    Brian,

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Brian,

      I have thought about it, but I haven’t tried it out this far. My goal is to fully optimize my US business before I begin to expand overseas. I do think there is a big opportunity there, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin, so I haven’t jumped into the international selling thus far.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  9. Ron says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Great post, like usual. Love that you are able to keep aggressively pumping everything back into the business and it’s continuing to show great results. It’s only April but I can’t wait to see your Q4 results after all the hard work.

    I had a question about how you use ebay…do you only use it just to list random items that are not a great fit for Amazon or do you “cross list” items on both and use FBA to fultil ebay orders as well? I’ve done one fulfillment order using FBA to send to an ebay listing sale and it seemed kind of expensive overall but the unit was kind of large so hard to judge if it’s a good price. But I was curious if cross listed like that at all. I assume your usual inventory sells quick enough on it’s own on amazon to worry about getting more exposure though lol.

    I was also curious if you were willing to share what your average number of items you have listed on FBA. I keep trying to build up my numbers but with limited cash flow I only make small jumps after getting paid lol. I was just wondering what kind of inventory numbers it takes to start getting numbers you have.

    Thanks as always and keep it up!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Ron,

      Thank you. I just use eBay to unload things that I can’t sell on amazon. This is mainly slightly damaged items, or things that require pictures to sell. So, amazon is my first choice, but eBay I will do if needed. I don’t currently do any cross listing, although I am sure that is an opportunity.

      As for my current inventory levels, I currently have about 6500 items in stock across around 1500 SKUs at FBA warehouses. I also probably have roughly 1,000 units at my warehouse waiting to replenish on certain items I have in stock.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  10. Marshall says:

    Ryan:

    Just dipping my toes in the water. Why do you even bother using eBay? It is such a small percentage of your sales. Thanks.

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