May 2014 Financial Results from selling on amazon and eBay

May 2014 Financial Results from selling on amazon and eBay

Another month is in the books and that means it is time for another financial results post.  If you missed last month’s or any previous results posts, you can find them HERE.

We’ll get started with some background information on how my time was spent during May 2014 before getting into the numbers.  May was a unique month in that a significant portion of my time was spent related to activities for my textbooks business.  Some of this was by design, and a few things came up during the month that required my time that were not planned for.  I spent about 100 hours over the course of 3 weeks directly related to my textbooks business, which was time that I did not have available for the online selling activities that I am blogging about here.  In addition to this, there was one day that I took completely off to attend the college graduation of one of my brothers.  So in total, for the month of May, about half of my working hours were spent on activities not related to selling online.  This is a very significant amount of time, and it did have an impact on my May results.

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 May.  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.  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.

May 2014 Income Statement

May 2014 Income Statement

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

Profits for this month took a significant dip, but this was due mainly to the way that I spent my time this month.  Overall, I am quite happy with this level of profits as it was reached with about half of my working time being spent on other activities.  I am planning to devote the vast majority of my working hours this month to selling online, and it should result in seeing an increase in profits for June’s financial results post.

A note on the inbound shipping, there were a good number of heavy and oversize items that I sent into FBA during the month of May.  This is the reason for the inbound shipping amount not decreasing more substantially compared to April despite the less overall time spent related to amazon and eBay.

Next, we will take a look at this month’s cash flow:

May 2014 Cash Flow Statement

May 2014 Cash Flow Statement

Total cash inflows decreased a bit compared to last month, but remained significantly positive.  Inventory purchases decreased for the first month in awhile, and this was due to the way my time was spent.  It’s good to see cash flow be positive for the month, but in reality as long as it’s around zero as I grow my business I will be happy.  Down the road I will definitely looking for a nice positive cash flow month after month, but growing quickly often necessitates having a low cash flow.

Now, here are some screenshots from my amazon account to provide some support for the profit numbers I am sharing.  Sales for May 2014:

May 2014 Amazon Sales

May 2014 Amazon Sales

Overall, sales were down about 33% which is significant.  This was due largely to the way my time was spent.  Another factor playing a large part, was the decrease in average selling price from $48.07 to $33.91.  This was due to selling many items during April that were over $100, that are unlikely to be as profitable as they were during April.   I am going to continue to look for ways to increase my average selling price, and keep it as high as possible.

Now, here’s my sales by category for the month:

May 2014 Amazon Sales by Category

May 2014 Amazon Sales by Category

There are a few noteworthy items here.  Toys remained my number one category in terms of sales dollars, but in terms of items sold the beauty category was my top category for the month.  In addition to this no single category was over 20% of my sales, which is a change from the past months.  I plan to continue to stay diversified across categories to help minimize the overall risk in any one category.  I am happy with this mix of categories for May, but it is somewhat unlikely that I will see no single category representing even 20% of my total sales volume again soon.

I won’t be showing an eBay screenshot as the total amount was less than $100.

Overall, total sales for the month were $19,090.40 versus $29,707 for April.  As previously discussed, this was mainly due to how my time was spent for the month.  My goal for next month is to exceed $7,500 in profits and get back in line with what I saw in April.  I believe there will be some lingering effects in June from the lack of work in May, but my goal is to work hard to get the inventory levels back up, and get the profits increasing as well.

Last month I did a contest in which Jenn, Meredith, and Hendra 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.

How to enter: You can enter this contest by either of the following methods:

  1. Subscribing to the blog using the button below if you are not currently a subscriber.
  2. Leaving a comment below answering either of these questions:
    1. What are your goals for June 2014 with selling online?
    2. What has been the most beneficial tip or piece of advice that you have received related to selling online?

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 June 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.

 

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