What do you do with all of your retail arbitrage receipts? As I explained in my Receipt Organization post, I’ve been doing the Paper Filing Method. After I list my purchases in InventoryLab, then I place the receipt in a monthly file folder. It’s a pretty easy system, but last January 1, I had to figure out what to do with all of my 2015 and 2014 receipts that were in the folders.
The “old me” would have just put all of the folders in a Bankers Box and tucked them away in the closet. But, the problem with that is that I’m out of closet storage space.
To make it worse, my mother brought in close to 30 years of paperwork into our house when she moved in with us.
So, every so often, I’ll grab a box and spend the day scanning, shredding and/or tossing every piece of paper in it.
The “new me” decided that in 20 years, I don’t want to go through all of my 2014 and 2015 receipts. It’s a big waste of time and very tedious. By the way, the receipt ink fades over time so it’s hard to read many of the older receipts.
Going digital made sense, but I had no desire to spend my New Year’s Day holiday scanning in 2 years of receipts. So, I joined Shoeboxed.
What is Shoeboxed?
Shoeboxed is a company that scans and organizes your receipts. I signed up for a free trial of their Premium Plan because it lets me send in 150 documents per month. They mailed me a No-Postage-Necessary “Magic Envelope” for me to stuff full of receipts and mail back to them.
For my first Magic Envelope, I sent them about 130 receipts. I didn’t send in 150 receipts because I wanted to save some of my monthly quota for my January 2016 online arbitrage receipts.
In February, I mailed them the rest of my 2015 receipts and some of my 2014 receipts. Then in March, I mailed them the rest of my 2014 receipts and my January 2016 receipts.
Next month in April, I’m going to downgrade to the Lite Plan because I’m caught up with sending in my older receipts. With the Lite Plan, I can send in 50 receipts.
However, the Lite Plan doesn’t come with a Magic Envelope so you’ll have to pay for the postage to mail in your receipts. No big deal because the cost of postage should be well under the $20.00 price difference between the Lite and Premium Plans.
If I find that I’m not accumulating 50 receipts in a month, I may downgrade further to their Free DIY Plan. Once I have 50 receipts, then I’ll sign up for the Lite plan again.
Other Methods of Submission
There are other ways to submit your receipts:
- Email: Good for your online arbitrage receipts.
- Smart Phone: Take a picture of your receipt and upload it.
- Computer Upload: Good if you already have older receipts scanned in and want to add them to your Shoeboxed account.
Viewing Your Receipts
To start, you log into your Shoeboxed account and you’ll get a list of the receipts that they received and processed:
As you can see, they extracted the Store Name, Purchase Date & Amount and Payment Type from each receipt. They also categorized them (they take their best guess) and most of my receipts were initially categorized as “General Retail.” However, I changed them to my own categories of “Inventory” and “Prep / Shipping Supplies.”
Fortunately, the system learned that my future Walmart receipts should be categorized as “Inventory” so I only have to edit the receipts with odd purchases such as when I buy prepping supplies.
Then to see a specific receipt, you just click the row and a new screen opens up that displays your receipt and receipt information:
If you are audited by the IRS or for some reason you need a copy of that receipt, then you click on the “download pdf” button to save the receipt to your computer.
One easy way to get all of your receipts onto your computer is to create an Expense Report. You select your filters (store name, date range, category) and then chose PDF report. Shoeboxed will then create an expense report and every receipt in that report will be included in the PDF file.
Below is a snapshot of the bottom page of my Walmart Expense Report and the beginning of my first scanned receipt:
Whenever I use an online service, I always have a small fear that one day they will go out of business and I’ll lose all of my data. Therefore, to make me feel better, I will create Monthly Expense reports to save onto my computer. Tip: If you saved all of your receipts but are behind on bookkeeping, this will help you calculate your monthly purchases.
For those of you that prefer storing your receipts in other software, you can import your receipts into Evernote, Quickbooks, Xero and other programs.
Sometimes the System is Slow
The only downside that I’ve seen so far is that sometimes the system is slow. I don’t know if they’re doing maintenance, but there were a few times that I couldn’t log in. For now though, I can live with it because I don’t look at my receipts very often.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re ready to organize your online and retail arbitrage receipts, then click here to get started with Shoeboxed. They offer a 30-day free trial on all of their subscription plans. At the very least, send them all of those receipts that are cluttering up your drawers and shelves. Even if you cancel your paid subscription, you can still access your receipts with a Forever-Free DIY account.
If you have any questions about Shoeboxed or if you have any Shoeboxed tips, leave me a comment below or on my Facebook page!