Today’s post will be the 11th month in an ongoing series of guest financial results posts from selling on Amazon. If you missed any of the first ones, you can find them HERE.
Take it away Dana:
Hey guys! Today’s post I’m going to share with you probably isn’t the best motivator for how great an Amazon business can be…or maybe it is. My February results were disastrous by many Amazon seller measurements. I’ll admit – it has also had me questioning if this whole Amazon thing is really for me. Don’t know the answer to that just yet but I keep reminding myself that if I quit – I’ll never find out.
I posted this in the Facebook group and it really rang true to me this month. I can’t measure my success (or lack of it) against anyone else but me. My goals are much different than many who take a stab at this. What is important is to know WHY you decided to do this in the first place -because it’s times like these you’re going to need to remind yourself of that. And the month of February had me reminding myself of my ‘why’ quite a bit.
For me this job is all about flexibility. I had an extremely stressful year moving, remodeling and moving again. Prior to this I had a very stressful corporate job that I was burned out on and needed a break from to give me time to focus on other hobbies and interest. Selling online was just one of them.
So what my results for February show is what that flexibility looks like. I took the entire month to focus 100% on something besides selling online. That’s right – I did probably less than 2 hours of work on FBA for February. The rest of the month was spent moving, unpacking, decorating and moving more. So while my numbers aren’t impressive, they are an example of truly passive income. I didn’t make much, but it’s 100% more than I would have made had I changed my focus completely away from my corporate job for an entire month…and I didn’t fire myself…so there’s that.
February 2017 Financial Results
So let’s dive into the numbers….
You can see my sales dropped drastically. I had a goal of $4000 (I originally had $5000 but adjusted that half way through the month). I barely reached half of my goal. Quite honestly I was surprised I sold that much.
On a brighter note, let’s look at how this compares to last year. The red bars and lines are last year’s numbers and the blue bars and lines are this year’s. So there is progress in terms of gross sales, however my net profit is lower mainly due to subscriptions and additional tools I’ve acquired since I first started (Inventory Lab, Bqool, etc). None of which I really used during February, but still was paying for.
Here’s a broader picture of 2017 to date…ouch!
Here’s a comparison of units ordered from last year:
The services that are used that show up in the subscription fees section are OAXray for help with online arbitrage, InventoryLab for listing and accounting, TaxJar for managing sales taxes, and JoeLister for selling products on eBay that are currently listed on Amazon.
Looking ahead to March I realized that I needed some cash coming in – so the first thing I did was reprice some of my items to get them moving. So for March we’ll see a spike in sales in the first week or so, but then the profit margin is going to be all that great.
I’ve made the decision to slow up on purchasing any additional inventory until I’m able to see cash coming back in. I have a bit more than I’d like of inventory that isn’t at Amazon (returns, eBay items, bad buys, etc) and I really need to dump a lot of that. So I’ll be hitting eBay harder and trying my hand at the Facebook Marketplace and maybe Craigslist.
In April I’m planning a large garage sale to maybe help with some of the stuff I’ve had a hard time selling, as well as a lot of other crap that I discovered while moving into my new house. And this house came fully furnished (kitchen plates and all!) and I’m realizing I probably don’t need 5 Pyrex measuring cups. So there has been a lot of de-cluttering and editing going on.
In addition to all that, I work with a local bank’s Asset Management group and assist them in liquidating repossessed merchandise. Sometime in mid-February they called and said they just took back an office building full of audio/video editing equipment and needed my help in getting rid of it because they had a buyer for the building. So after two days helping them move all that out, I have an entire storage building full of a/v equipment, CD/DVD disk, huge DVDR machines, disk towers, server racks, and miscellaneous networking equipment that I have to sort through and sell. Most are new, but I’m not sure I’ll sell them via FBA. I’m thinking probably eBay and Craigslist for most of the stuff. I have cases and cases of new DVDR disc but no ‘proof’ of purchase and not sure I want to take a chance on that with Amazon. So while FBA might be slowing down for me at the moment, March is going to be busy as I try and get my momentum built back up.
So recapping my goals for March:
1. I’m not setting a sales revenue goal this month, but rather a generic goal of moving old, returned inventory and the repossessed merchandise that I’ve acquired.
2. Finish my taxes – I’ve found an accountant and I’ve gathered all my documentation so we’re slowly getting there.
3. Attend Dallas Market. I originally had this scheduled for January but we ended up having to go back to Colorado so I had to postpone. I’ll be spending most of next week there and looking forward to brainstorming some new ideas.
I’d really love to hear how everyone else’s February has gone – and your ‘why’ for getting into this crazy business. Please share in the comments section below.
March is going to be BUSY!
Ryan’s last words: Thank you Dana for putting this post together and sharing this update on your business!