First Month Complete – October 2013 Financial Results

September 2020 Update:

When I first started selling online full time, I published regular financial results posts. This was the very first one – from October 2013!

A lot has changed since then, but the basic strategies I used then are still ones we use now. Retail arbitrage accounts for 7+ figures in sales for my business every year to this day.

If you read these and get excited about trying something similar, make sure to check out our Arbitrage Finds BOLO Group. This will get you 100+ retail arbitrage leads from my business every month, plus a community BOLO group.

Original Intro:

As a part of this blog I am going to be sharing the financial results on a monthly basis to provide transparency into exactly how much I am making through the online selling operations.  The goal is that over a few months’ time to show that it is possible to completely replace the salary from a “normal” job.

A little background in the time I spend working on the online selling business:

During October I would say I worked an average of 6-7 hours per day on days that I worked on selling online.  This includes time spent purchasing products to sell, researching products to resell, packing items to ship, and responding to any emails with customers.  I generally work only on weekdays.  The rest of my time is spent working on items for the textbook business, or doing things I want to be doing.  I will track the time worked more specifically in future months to provide a better idea of the time invested.

In addition during the month of October I was in Las Vegas from October 3rd through the 8th as sort of a quitting my job celebration.  This resulted in 3 working days that were missed.  In addition I went back to my parent’s house from October 21st through the 24th.  This resulted in an additional 2 working days missed.   So, I basically used 5 vacation days in this month, and didn’t have to get approval from anyone.  Obviously, taking these days off resulted in no additional income, so a balance definitely needs to be struck between working and time off.

October 2013 Financial Results

With that information out of the way let’s get to the numbers. 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. They were calculated by taking selling prices, minus all fees, minus all shipping and packaging costs, and subtracting the cost of the items.  This won’t be the exact number that goes on my tax returns as there will be additional deductions for mileage, cell phone, home office, etc.  However, these are costs I would generally be incurring anyway, so for simplicity I will be leaving them out of the calculations.

october results take 2

These are the profits from each source.  The difference between amazon merchant fulfilled and amazon fba (fulfillment by amazon) is the following: for amazon fba you ship items in bulk into amazon and then amazon ships them as they sell, while merchant fulfilled means that I stored the items myself and shipped them when they sold.

Here are some additional screenshots from amazon and ebay to show the total amount of sales from each that led to these profits.  Keep in mind that the sales are before all fees, it is the total amount the customer paid to amazon or ebay.  The one on the top is amazon, and the bottom is ebay.  If you click on either one they will enlarge to show more details.

amazon october screenshot

ebay october sales

So, $2,200 a month equates to $26,400 per year.  I could definitely live off of this, but I didn’t quit my job for this amount.  Overall, for the first month in, I am pretty happy with the results.  I have learned a lot already and expect things to trend upward.

Goal for November: Minimum profit of $2800.  This is an increase of a little over 25% from the prior month and I think it is very obtainable given that I am starting to build up a decent inventory.  Another goal for the month is to have over 40% of the sales be from amazon fba as opposed to about 17.5% from last month.

So far, the experiment is off to a good start, and I believe I am on pace to replace my salary within a few months.  Stay tuned for future results! If you have any questions or suggestions you would like to see in the monthly reports or in a standard post, please let me know.

Click here to read my results from November 2013. Spoiler: I far exceeded my goal!

91 thoughts on “First Month Complete – October 2013 Financial Results”

  1. Hey Ryan
    Are you still here on this blog?
    My name is Nora Hadj from Belguim.
    Your blog helped me a lot. But i think rearbittrage is not an option for me.

    1. Hi Nora,

      Yes, I’m still here!

      There are other strategies discussed throughout this site as well, maybe one of those will be a better fit if retail arbitrage isn’t for you.

      Best Regards,

  2. Hello,

    I am currently not a seller on Amazon either eBay but i will definitely love to learn how to start in this online business. Is there anything you can do to help me start up ? I appreciate it in advance.

    1. Hi Carlos,

      I recommend reading through all of the posts on this site. There’s a lot of good tips on how to help you get results. If you are looking for more personalized service, you can checkout my coaching services.

      Best Regards,

  3. If I live near a fulfillment center am I allowed to take my items in personally? Great info thanks for all the tips


  4. Hi, Ryan, I am very much pleased with the information you have provided here. as I am very new to this thing and soon planning to startup from scratch. I believe with your experience sharing about this field, and mentoring I can do a lot better. please email me.
    Best regards,

    1. For anyone looking to start from scratch, our Arbitrage Accelerator Challenge is the best way to get help. Ryan does offer mentor programs but they cost too much for most beginners. The challenge will still get you direct access to us, the program is designed to help you maximize your success over your first 30 days.
      If you want information about 1-on-1 mentorship, you can reach out to

  5. Hi Ryan, I been thinking of selling childrens clothes and shoes on amazon you mention on one of your blogs that you need approval to sell certain items. Where exactly do you get approval from? Im new to all of this any guidance and mentoring from you will be helpful. Hope to hear from you soon.

  6. Hi, Ryan
    I want to tell you that I saw a news story about you since I’m a studio camera operator at a tv news station and I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration. When I went looking for an Amazon seller app, I found a whole list of them and I chose, if I remember correctly, the second one from the top. Would you happen to know which app is best for starters and do I need to delete the app and get the correct one if I need to? Thanks!

      1. Jean-Rene Dubuisson

        Hi Ryan Grant , my name is Jean-Rene Dubuisson , I would start to sell on Amazon but I’m new ,I don’t have enough knowledge for this reason I would like to need a Mentor .Thank you !

        1. Hi Jean-Rene,

          Thanks for your comment. You can see the ways to work with me directly on this page:

          Best Regards,

  7. Hi Ryan, I watch you on Good Morning. I am retired .I need something to do.This seems like the perfect thing.Buying low and sailing high.Do you have a book explaining on this subject matter.Thanks Peggy Richardson

  8. hi Ryan,
    I believe this amazon FBA programme seems exciting.I am from the Caribbean and was wondering if I can sell products on Amazon as well and can I just sell one product at a time. If so can you advise me on the process of how you went about selling on amazon beggining to end.

    1. Hi Ayanna,

      Checkout a couple of the blog posts linked to on the homepage of my site. Reading through those should give you a good idea of the process. And there’s no reason you can’t sell only 1 item at a time.

      Best Regards,

  9. I live in Oklahoma, where Amazon just agreed to collect sales tax on all Amazon sales to Oklahoma customers. Presumably other states have, or soon will, similar agreements with Amazon. Do you know what Amazon does with the sales taxes they collect? Do they pass them on to me as a FBA account, or do I have to pay the sales tax as a seller, which in my county is a hefty 8.517%. On sales volume like yours it could be a huge number! I can see where I might wind up paying the taxes twice! Once when sourcing the inventory, and again quarterly when I file my sales tax report to the state of Oklahoma!!

    1. Hi Max,

      As it sits today (November 2017) Amazon collects the tax, sends the tax collected to the seller, and then the seller remits it to the state.

      This may change if / when Amazon agrees to collect taxes in more states, but that’s the way it works now.

      Best Regards,

  10. Hello sir!
    Very interested in getting started with this! I am married and have 4 little ones, so as you can imagine funds are really tight! I would love to have extra income to spend with my family and pay bills. Just starting out do I need a lot of money to buy a bunch of products or can I start small? Lol please help also would love mentoring if still available

    1. Hi Blake,

      Thanks for the comment. I’d recommend getting started with this post as it shares how I recommend getting your feet wet with Amazon.

      Best Regards,

  11. At what point do you think that the market will be saturated with people doing this? I recently started selling on eBay things that I bought in the past 10 years and have been doing ok on selling. Do you have any recommendations for online inventory sources?

    1. Hi Trey,

      I don’t see it becoming saturated anytime soon. It’s more difficult than 5 years ago, but still lots of opportunity in my opinion.

      For online inventory, I won’t be able to share specifics, but just about any website can present an opportunity.

      Best Regards,

  12. Hi Ryan,
    I’m not sure if you’ve already answered this question…I’m already an Amazon Prime member. Would it be best to create a completely separate seller account with no ties to my main account?

    1. Hi Dee,

      In a perfect world I think it’s best to have them separate, but either way will work. If you have a prime account you just want to be sure you aren’t buying items with your prime account that you are going to turn around and sell again on Amazon.

      Best Regards,

  13. Hi Ryan,

    I am also looking for a mentor. I am new and have just acquired all the tools to begin. Please email me if you could do any coaching or mentoring.

  14. Is this something someone from Canada can use as well, or are the products and information more geared to USA market and pricing.

    1. Hi Alecia,

      Thanks for the comment. My experiences are all based on the US market, but I think this would be viable on as well.

      Best Regards,

  15. I have read through your blog and I’m very much impressed. It’s very kind of you to take your time to explain and advice on how to go about things. Thank you. I’m very new in this kind of business and would like to be mentored more one on one if possible.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You can see the options for more of 1 on 1 here:

      Best Regards,

  16. Hi Amin, I am glad I found your post here, I’m going to read carefully it. I am very new in this business and I have some questions. Where do you buy the products, how can I learn step by step to get into the business. Thank you

    1. Hi Tracy,

      There’s a free account available that does not have a monthly fee. You will want to sign up for the “individual account.”

      Best Regards,

  17. Pingback: How to Sell on Amazon - A Beginner's Guide to getting started selling on Amazon - Online Selling Experiment

    1. Hi Alexey,

      I am not sure about that one. I would recommend reaching out to Amazon to see their answer.

      Best Regards,

  18. You’ve come a long way in a short time. You are a insperation to the rest of us. Keep on trukin.

    Thanks for your Blog.

    Freddy D

        1. Hi Trent,

          I go to a large variety of stores, here are a few: Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Thrift Stores, Big Lots, among many others. Literally any store can be an opportunity.

          Best Regards,

          1. Jean-Claude Mulemba

            Hello Ryan,

            Thank you for sharing your experience. This is great for me at this point. Any way you guide me to where I can start now? Or work in tandem?

            Thank you,


          2. Hi Jean-Claude,

            I’d recommend starting with this post.

            In terms of coaching / working with me, you can find a link to that towards the header of my site if that’s something you are interested in.

            Best Regards,

  19. Ryan,

    I’ve been reading through your blog a lot lately because I’m trying to start FBA. I’ve been going out to stores almost everyday for the passed week, but I’m having some trouble finding good items to sell and was wondering if I could get some guidance from you. I’m so impressed with what you’ve been able to do in just a year and would love to learn from your success!



    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for the kind words! My advice would be to keep at it and keep going to the stores. It takes some time to get the “eye” for what is a good seller and what is not, also keep in mind that I had been selling online part time for several years prior to going full time. Keep trying new things, and trying out new strategies. I do plan on addressing sourcing more in future posts, so stay tuned.

      Best Regards,

  20. Been reading through your entire blog the past week, and I’m thoroughly impressed! I’d like your thoughts about entrepreneur anxiety. I’ve seen a couple friends start their own private business with their savings, and for a while they’d constantly stress about spending when there was not an equal amount coming in return at first. Even though they set a chunk aside to give their business a kick start.
    I am considering getting into FBA, but was wondering if you ever went through a stress phase, or if not, how long did it take for you to realize that buying a lot of inventory up front was worth it?

    1. Hi Emi,

      That’s great to hear you have read through my whole blog, thank you!

      As for the anxiety, I don’t think I really went through a stress phase. There were certain times where I would be slightly uncomfortable with a buy, but I generally got over it pretty quickly as items started to sell. I will say that I am a pretty risk tolerant person financial wise though.

      Here’s what helps me when buying a significant amount of inventory at one time. I look at what the item is currently selling for online. As long as it’s selling for a price that allows me to make a decent profit, then I am comfortable with my buy, I just have to have the patience to wait for my item to sell. I also find that not watching your sales constantly helps you to not worry about if things are selling as much. In this business you have to put up money in order to make money, and the more you do it the more comfortable it will become.

      I am not sure if this is the type of answer you were looking for, so please let me know if you have any follow ups.

      Best Regards,

  21. Ryan,

    What was the ROI you were willing to accept when you started this? I have very little startup funds and have just started buying some toys to get a taste of FBA. I am curious to know which categories/niches have given you a better ROI, now that you have done this for a few months. Look forward to hearing from you!


    1. Hi Carol,

      When I first started I was looking for 100% ROI on everything I purchased. I have done well in a large variety of categories, but toys has been consistently #1 thus far.

      Best Regards,

      1. I too had 100% ROI in mind. But I wonder if sourcing online yields lesser returns than going store to store. Anyway, thanks for letting me know! 🙂


        1. No problem! Online sourcing typically has slightly lower returns than in store, but the margins are still there and it can be significantly less work.

          Best Regards,

  22. Love your blog! I’m curious what you had for startup funds? Thank you and congratulations on your success!

    1. Thanks Desiree! I didn’t really start with an exact amount as I was doing this part time for several years and just kept rolling the money over from that. I would say I started with about $5,000 when I started full time. I wish I had a better answer for you, but I didn’t have a separate bank account that I transferred money to at the beginning, so unfortunately it’s a slightly fuzzy number.

      Best Regards,

    1. That is definitely something I am considering adding soon, I just have to figure out where I want to spend most of my time.

      Best Regards,

  23. Pingback: December 2013 Financial Results from Amazon and eBay

  24. Pingback: November 2013 Financial Results from Amazon and eBay

  25. If you don’t mind saying, what types of items are you selling thru ebay and amazon? I am brand new as well however my profit is not nearly that high and I did not quit my job but am able to put in the needed hours because I was let go from my job. Thanks for putting this info out there for us to learn, that is one thing I have learned about ebay and amazon sellers so far they are helpful.

    1. I don’t mind at all. Through ebay I have been selling primarily clothes for the past month, and a few electronics. Through amazon I have been selling mostly electronics, toys, games, and books. There are random items here and there as I will buy basically anything that looks like I can make a decent profit on, but these are the main categories I have been selling in.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!


      1. Thanks for quick reply. I am looking for a personal mentor since I am new if you or someone you know is interested in having an intern or person to mentor please let me know. Sharon

          1. I am also looking for a mentor. I am new and have just acquired all the tools to begin. Please email me if you could do any coaching or mentoring.

          2. Hi Ryan,

            I would like to get the email as well if you don’t mind. Thank you very much.

            Take care,
            Quinn Tay

          3. Hey Ryan,

            I just got into selling products online and I’ve learned so much already from your blog. I had a question regarding if it would be better to start off selling items like you do by going to clearance ailes and checking for items to flip or would it be better to start with one item and buy in bulk from like alibaba and sell like in shopify. Hope to hear from you.


          4. Hey Justin,

            Thanks for the comment and glad to hear my blog has been helfpul.

            I do think that’s a viable strategy to buy from Alibaba, but it’s a bit boom or bust, especially when you haven’t done it before.

            I tend to think getting started with retail arbitrage is better right out of the gate. It allows you to learn the rules, learn the process of selling on Amazon, and see if it’s something you really would like to pursue. Then once you get a bit of the lay of the land, then use that experience to launch your own brand.

            I’m not advocating someone do RA for life, but I think it’s a great way to learn the process and build up some capital first.
            This post dives a bit deeper as well if you haven’t come across it already:

            Best Regards,

      2. Hi Ryan,
        I am also new in online business and looking for a mentor. If you could send me an email too. Thank you very much.

      3. Patricia C. Cornell

        I handcraft icon art prints on wood. I believe I could sell them on Amazon.

        How do I subscribe to your writings…or just follow these essays you wrote that I accidentally stumbled on?

      4. Hey Ryan,
        Thanks for the great post! I am on the very first stage and I am just totally confused. I am researching consistently but would like to know how much inventory did you buy in the beginning. I understand this may be too much of a personal question but if you can give me an idea, it would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Hi Mike,

          Thanks for the comment.

          When I very first began selling on Amazon I started with just my college textbooks. So you can really get started with any number of items.

          When I started this experiment of selling items online full time, I started with about $5,000 of capital, most of which was invested in inventory as quickly as I could.

          Best Regards,

    2. Hi Ryan,
      Are you still active on this blog? I would like to talk to you and get your guidance about this business.

      1. Hi Tarun,

        Yes I am. The main option for working directly can be found on my coaching page which is linked to at the top of the site.

        Otherwise, leaving a comment on a blog post is a good option as well.

        Best Regards,

        1. Hi Ryan, I read the article on several times and could not help but be inspired. I had done a lot of research and watched so many videos about selling products online. I strongly feel retail arbitrage is a very good way to learn about online business as opposed to drop shipping, print on demand, etc. I actually enjoy going to Walmart, Target, Costco and finding great deals (my wife teases me about it). I am also the type of person who needs to “get my hands dirty” and do the fulfillment (I have experience with this already) as I feel this experience is invaluable. I will continue to read all of the information on your website. I’m highly educated and already make a six figure salary at a Wall Street law firm but my job demands so much of my time away from home and I know I cannot do this forever. I want to ask you if you could be my mentor .

          1. Hi Patrick,

            Thanks for the comment and it does sound like you have a good background for this. In terms of working with me directly, you can see the options I have available on this page.

            Best Regards,

  26. Can you explain why you have both accounts with Amazon and what products you FBA and what you ship out. Thanks will keep checking on your adventure! I’m on the same path, just started eBay and working towards Amazon. Take care Sherri

    1. Hi Sherri,

      Yes I would be glad to. For amazon you are able to both FBA and merchant fulfilled under one account, which is really nice. I utilize both features of the account as they both offer certain advantages. Fullfillment by Amazon (FBA) is great for shipping in many bulk items that may not have a huge profit margin. For example, shipping in about 10 of a small toy that you would only make a few dollars each on. Doing it in one shipment makes it a much more efficient use of time. I have been using merchant fulfilled for more valuable items that I wasn’t sure if they would sell and wanted to be able to list on ebay if they did not. Overall, I am finding that amazon fba is a very convenient service, and I am going to work to use it as much as possible.

      Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will be sure to post more about this in the future!


      1. Hello Ryan!

        I am on my second day, reading through your blog entries. So far, so good. I am not sure if you may have made another post about this concern but just to clarify, are you now exclusively using FBA? Or, up until now, you are still using both FBA and Merchant Fulfilled?

        Thank you!

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