November 2014 Financial Results from selling on Amazon and eBay

December 5th, 2014

November is 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 begin with how my time was spent for this past month.  This month I worked every week day of the month with the exception of Thanksgiving Day which I took completely off, and about half the day off on Black Friday, which I did manage to get some sourcing in on.   I also worked quite a few weekend days this month as well to increase my inventory levels for the holiday season.  Over the month, I averaged about 65 hours per week specifically related to the results I am sharing here.  This doesn’t include time spent on any other business activities.

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 November.  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: COGS, inbound shipping to amazon, customer returns, supplies, storage fees, rent, 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 sources, 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.

November 2014 Income Statement

November 2014 Income Statement

Notes: These are pretax income numbers and mileage has been calculated at the IRS rate of $0.56/mile.  MF stands for merchant fulfilled and FBA is fulfilled by amazon.

This month was up pretty significantly across the board.  November was my best month so far in both sales and profits by a wide margin.   Commissions were up significantly this month as I have a friend who is working with me full time, so the increase is to be expected, and commissions should be higher by at least 3 times this amount in December.   Inbound shipping is up dramatically as I am shipping more product to amazon warehouses than I ever have before, so this increase is also expected.  The services number has changed as I have made a few changes there.  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):

Inventory Lab – 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 is a new appearance this month.  The 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:

November 2014 Cash Flow

November 2014 Cash Flow

One noteworthy item regarding the cash flow side of things is that I am on bi-weekly payouts and only include the payments received during the month, while the cash outflows I include as soon as they are incurred even if the bill is not due at this time.  I do this for both record keeping purposes and simplicity.  One particularly noteworthy item is that my amazon deposit initiated on 12/3/2014 , and while it does not show up on November’s cash flow, if it was added in my cash flow would be positive as that deposit alone is a little over $40K.

So at first glace, this looks pretty scary, but in reality it’s more due to timing. The main item to note is that I continued to spend significantly more than usual on inventory during the month.   I am going to continue to spend heavily through December, and then slow the spending a little bit, so I anticipate significantly positive cash flow in the coming months.

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:

November 2014 Amazon Sales

November 2014 Amazon Sales

Now for the eBay screenshot:

November 2014 eBay sales

November 2014 eBay sales

Overall, I am very happy with the results this month.  The profits are trending upwards significantly, and I believe I am positioned to make December by far my best month this far.  I won’t share exactly where I think the numbers will end up, so you’ll have to come back next month to find out.   If you haven’t checked out the new site, Online Selling Reviews, that I launched in November to help online sellers find the best products and services for their business, head over there and check it out.

I will probably only post 1 to 2 more posts this month on the blog due to the busy time of the year, but will be back to posting about once a week in 2015.  I will be posting throughout the month in the Online Selling Experiment facebook group, so please come join if you want to see my updates and learn from other sellers.

That’s all I have for today, if you have questions or comments please leave them below!

 

 

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17 responses to “November 2014 Financial Results from selling on Amazon and eBay”

  1. jay dedman says:

    Great numbers this month. Congrats. Do you use a paid service to list all your items for FBA?

    I’ve heard Scanpower works, but the $39.99 monthly fee is pretty steep.

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Jay! InventoryLab is also a listing service, so I list my items through that and then all of the buy costs are tracked and this makes the accounting side of things much easier.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  2. Jerry says:

    That is ridiculously good Ryan!

    How many hours a week do you scout?

    I’m doing something wrong as I can’t imagine finding that many items to send to FBA… 🙂

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Jerry! In November I would estimate I was scouting 35-40 hours per week. Keep in mind though that I have a couple of people sourcing products for me, and am purchasing from a large variety of sources. These include retail stores, online stores, wholesale sources, and liquidation sources, so some of these sourcing methods yield significantly more results per hour invested.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  3. Jason K says:

    Fantastic job Ryan. Your results are fuel to my fire. I’m working hard to one day achieve those same results.

    Thanks for all the guidance and inspiration you provide.

  4. Freddy D says:

    Nice job I’m so excited for you. Keep on rockin. I hit 6K in November. I thought I was prepared. Boy was I wrong. And with the 10 shipping time GA to CA. I got low on inventory fast. Lesson learned. Hope you have record breaking December. 🙂

  5. harvestfinds says:

    I am wondering at what point does the gross income become more than the cost of purchasing inventory in a months time. And how much money is needed to purchase inventory to get to that point? And I agree with Jason – thanks for the inspiration. I’m a newbee.

  6. Sean S says:

    I had quite similar numbers in some international Amazon marketplaces (I don’t yet sell in the US one), with equivalent of $81,190.12 of orders in November. Was a great month – not only did everything I seemed to buy sell almost instantly, but stock I’d had sitting in the account for months and months suddenly sold. I get the feeling December won’t be as high as my stock levels have fallen so much, and while I hit Black Friday hard I don’t think even that will bring my stock levels back to where they were.

  7. Anbu says:

    Wonderful job, Ryan.

    When you buy products, what markup do you look for? Do you make sure it has 2X markup? That is, if you buy the item for $10, you are hoping to sell it for $30.

    How about Best Sellers Rank? What sellers rank is good to buy an item?

    Thanks!!

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Hi Anbu,

      If you search through some of the older posts on my blog you should find some info on this. I will plan on putting out some more content in early 2015 surrounding these topics as well.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  8. Vanessa S. says:

    Hi Ryan, thanks for the inspiration! I would like to pick your brain about the commissions you are paying out. Is that to the people you are contracting to help you with the sourcing? Do you you pay them a commission on the sales of the items that they bring to you? Do yo mind sharing the details? Thanks!

  9. Warren says:

    Hey Ryan,

    These are crazy good numbers indeed — congrats! Much different from when you first started ( which is not bad either). I too want to start selling with FBA but I was wondering, when you quit your job in September to pursue this venture, have you already started selling through Amazon before? Is it possible to quit your job first and then start selling?

    Also, do you have a post dedicated to finding the right niche and products to sell because personally, that’s what’s holding me back — I want to make sure I get a good ROI that can replace my current income. Thanks for your help!

    Keep inspiring,
    Warren

    • Ryan Grant says:

      Thanks Warren!

      Prior to quitting my job I was selling on amazon on a part time on and off basis for about 5 years, but I never sold anywhere near the amount I have since I started full time. I would not recommend quitting your job prior to starting to sell online. You would definitely want to know if you are good at selling online prior to quitting.

      I don’t have a post on finding a niche currently, but I will consider one for the future.

      Best Regards,
      Ryan

  10. Leslie says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I left a post the other day and the status said it was in moderation. It no longer appears on the blog. I was wondering why.

    Thanks,
    Leslie

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