November is already here and it’s hard to believe that the New Year is just around the corner. For me, this holiday quarter has been pretty slow and I’m not experiencing the crazy 4th Quarter sales that I often hear about. My October sales were disappointing and I attribute part of that to getting very behind in sending in new inventory in September. In that month, I spent less than my usual amount of time sourcing because of vacations and being sick.
In October, I did play catch up and shipped in new inventory every week. Still, my weekly shipments are tiny compared to most FBA Sellers as I usually send in between ten and twenty items per week. Because I do work 50 hours per week at a regular job, I don’t have a lot of time and energy to shop in the evenings after working all day. However, I am very happy at what I have accomplished so far considering that six months ago, I knew nothing about selling online.
Sometimes I do feel silly posting my numbers because they are very low compared to many others that I see in the FBA Facebook Groups. But even so, I hope that you find my blog helpful because I’m sharing what I am learning with you. No matter what your sales numbers are, the Amazon FBA processes are still the same. Whether you do $100 in sales or $10,000 in sales, the same Amazon rules for listing, prepping, packaging, shipping, creating bundles, getting approved in gated categories, etc. need to be followed.
I love Amazon FBA and even if my sales aren’t high, I’m going to continue learning all that I can. One day, I’ll get the nerve to quit my full-time job and make a go at FBA full-time. When that day happens, I want to give my full attention to finding lots of inventory with high returns rather than figuring out how to file a state tax return or going through all of the hoops on getting approved in the gated categories.
Now, the moment that you’ve been waiting for – my Profit and Loss statement!
Even though my sales dropped, I’m actually surprised that my sales was over $500.00. This is because the first two weeks of October were terrible. Take a look at the difference between my sales for the first two weeks versus the last two weeks:
- Oct 1 to Oct 15: Sales of $57.86
- Oct 16 to Oct 29: Sales of $231.44
- Oct 30 to Oct 31: Sales of $240.50
As I said earlier, I believe most of this was due to the lack of inventory shipped in during September. Plus, ever since I turned on Inventory Placement, everything gets shipped to either Virginia or Tennessee. Since I live on the west coast, it takes ten days for my products to get to those Amazon warehouses. So, inventory that I sent in during the first part of the month didn’t go live until the last half of the month. That’s probably why my sales for the first half of the month were pretty much nonexistent.
When you look at my Profit and Loss Statement, you’ll see that higher sales doesn’t always mean higher profits. What I learned over the years in the business that I work at and in creating my own home budget is that how much you spend is just as important as how much you make. So, taking that into consideration, I made a big effort to keep my expenses as low as possible.
In October, I did not purchase any new education/training materials. In fact, I got a $18.71 refund on the Online Arbitrage book that I purchased last month. After buying it, the price went down and Amazon reimbursed me for the price difference.
For supplies, I was able to get $44.92 of supplies for $4.92. This is because I received a $40.00 Amazon gift card because I purchased the Online Arbitrage book during a promotion period. So, I used it to buy poly bags, more labels for my DYMO 450 and a box resizer. The box resizer is nice that it’ll make larger sized boxes smaller, but I definitely need practice in using it. You can see a list of the other supplies that I use by visiting my Amazon FBA Resources Page.
Right now, my current services are Quickbooks Online, Profit Bandit and ListLabelShip. One of my website visitors did instruct me on how to print to the DYMO using Amazon’s Scan And Ship feature, but I haven’t had a chance to try that out yet. That is on my “to do” list for November. If I’m able to get that to work, I may cancel ListLabelShip.
I was a member of the Scanner Monkey Group for two months but I cancelled that subscription. I enjoyed being a part of that group and benefited from their private Facebook Group, BOLO’s, extended free trials and discount codes. However, since my sales are low and every dollar counts towards making or not making a profit, I cancelled the membership. Later on when I’m making more $$$, I will probably rejoin the Scanner Monkey group.
I also cancelled my free trial period of Repriceit. At this point, having an automatic repricer is a “want” instead of a “need”. Since I don’t have a lot of active inventory, I can reprice my inventory pretty quickly on my own. I will look into using a repricing service in the future once I have more inventory and my profits are up.
To be honest, Amazon expenses are pretty low. Most subscriptions services are $50.00 or less and you can probably get all that you need for under $100.00 per month. That’s really nothing considering that the monthly electricity bill at the business that I work at is over $300.00 per month. So for sellers that are making those large profits, paying $100 in services is just a tiny drop in the bucket for them. But for low to no profit sellers like me, those subscription fees do add up.
In November, I want to continue with my weekly shipments. Once the holidays are over, I’ll go back to shipping every two weeks to save on shipping costs.
I’m also going through the Online Arbitrage: Sourcing Secrets for Buying Products Online to Resell for BIG PROFITS book and have learned several online shopping tricks. I’ve already made a few online purchases and hope to find more good deals soon. I believe that shopping online will be better for me in the future as it takes less energy to shop at home than it does to go out at night. But for the holiday season, I’m going to concentrate more on retail arbitrage because the turn around time with online shopping is much longer. It takes over a week for what I ordered to get shipped to me and then it takes another ten days for those products to reach Amazon.
I wish all of you a profitable November!
p.s. I have a new Facebook page. I hope that you stop by and leave me a comment. I’m on Facebook a lot and would enjoy talking Amazon FBA with you on there. But if you aren’t a Facebook person, then always feel free to leave comments or questions in the comment box. I answer them all.
Featured Image: © Matauw – Fotolia.com
Profit and Loss Statement: Diana Poisson