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.
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.
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.
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!