After 14 months as an Amazon Seller, I finally signed up for an InventoryLab subscription. Not only that, I bought an annual subscription to save a little bit of money off the subscription fee.
Why I Signed Up
Because I’ve finally outgrown my Excel spreadsheet system. As my volume has increased, so has the amount of time that it takes to enter my data. Right now, I have a lot going on and need to improve my time and efficiency. Plus, I’ve been making data entry errors which isn’t good.
From what I’ve seen posted in the Amazon FBA Facebook groups, InventoryLab speeds up the list/label/ship process and it’s easy to track your cost of goods sold. Plus, I’m interested in seeing my per-shipment and individual sku profitability.
Please note: I signed up for InventoryLab’s free trial one year ago, but didn’t spend too much time using it as I couldn’t justify the monthly fee back then. What’s great is that all of data from one year ago is still in my account today. If you haven’t tried out InventoryLab, be sure to sign up for their free trial!
What Does InventoryLab Offer?
In this post, I’m just going to give a brief overview of InventoryLab. Once I get going with it, then I’ll go over the program in more detail. To get started, here are the main subject areas of InventoryLab:
Research: This brings up the Scout program which is used for online sourcing. Just like your phone scouting app, it’ll give you real-time data such as selling price, number of sellers and net profit.
To take your sourcing to the stores, InventoryLab also has a phone scouting app called Scoutify. I used it with my Scanfob 2006 for a few hours last Sunday and it was easy to figure out. However, it seems to drain my iPhone 5c battery down to 20% charge after two hours of scanning.
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List: This is where you list your products and print your labels (requires compatible printer). From what I understand, it should eliminate a few steps of my current process:
- Enter receipt information into Excel
- List products in Amazon Seller Central, go to Amazon’s website to do product research and use the FBA calculator to check profit
- Copy my MISKU number from my Inventory Page and paste it into Scan & Label so I can print my label
- Every night, go to Seller Central and copy the current day’s transactions into Excel
- Then for every item sold, find the buy cost in the Inventory spreadsheet and enter it into the Sales spreadsheet
Don’t get me wrong, my Excel system works and isn’t too bad for a small number of transactions. Plus, it’s free. I have a couple of posts that explains my system in more detail:
Once I do a few shipments with InventoryLab, I’ll let you know how it compares to my Excel system.
Inventory: This is where you view your inventory and it’s pretty much what you’ll expect – a listing of your inventory items. It’s nice that you can sort by the different column headings.
I’ve been spending most of my time here as I’ve been going through each inventory item and adding in the buy cost, store name and purchase date. Kind of tedious, but it’s easy.
On the bottom of the screen, you’ll see your total buy cost and sales value. This data should give you an idea of the average ROI to expect for your items. For example, if you follow the 3X Rule, you’ll want the “Total in-Stock Sales Value” to be 3 times higher than the “Total in-Stock Buy Cost.”
The next two sections are Accounting and Analyze. Here are the main topic areas of each of them:
If you plan on using InventoryLab for your Profit and Loss, then this is where you’ll do it. You don’t need to enter your Amazon FBA fees (inbound shipping, pro membership, selling fees), but you’ll need to enter your “outside” expenses.
Obviously, you’ll use the “Mileage” section to enter your mileage. You’ll use the “Other Expenses” section to enter your monthly subscription fees (InventoryLab, TaxJar ), supplies (boxes, tape, polybags), training materials (ABC Boot Camp) and anything else that you buy to run your business.
Since I use QuickBooks Online for my Profit and Loss Statement, I won’t be entering my outside expenses. However, I’m interested in all of the reports. Here’s what my Reimbursement Report look like:
I really can’t do too much analyzing until I finish entering all of my buy costs. But I did take a peek at my Category Profitability and saw that the Kitchen Category makes up over 40% of my sales revenue.
p.s. I realize that many of you may already be InventoryLab users. If so, I would love to hear about your experience. Do you like it? Dislike it? Any tips? Please share below or on my Facebook page!