It’s that time again for me to review last month’s sales and progress towards paying off my student loans. I wish I could say that I put a lot of effort into re-selling and meeting my goals, but the truth is, I didn’t…and I am not the least bit upset about it.
June was a special month for me. There were a lot of things going on that caused me to actually take a break from re-selling. In addition to my daughter turning a year old (YAY! 🙂 ), my husband and I also taught Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church for the first time.
I barely had a chance to breathe in between helping setup our church for VBS during the week leading up to VBS and planning lessons and activities with my husband after he got home from work. Once VBS started and we realized that we had more youth attending than we anticipated, we spent most of our nights re-evaluating our lessons and finding more activities for our group of teenagers to do on a larger scale. In short, I spent less than 5 hours this month on things related to re-selling (and that includes both eBay and Amazon FBA).
I also used the month of June to begin cleaning up the clutter that has resulted from buying inventory to sell on eBay. Things had become so bad that I was literally losing all motivation to sell on eBay because the clutter made it impossible for me to feel productive. Without organization, it is impossible for me to function at my best. I spent the second week of the month of June just cleaning up my office and organizing my garage and shed which also house eBay inventory. I also donated a great deal of inventory to local thrift stores and boxed away items that I still intended to sell, but that needed to put away for the time being until I could list them.
Now that my mini reselling re-cap is out of the way, let’s look at my numbers for this month. As I preface in all of my income reports, the figures that I report below are from part-time re-selling (anywhere from 2 to 10 hours per week). My first and full-time job is my family and my home. Re-selling is something that I do on the side. I have no intentions of turning this into a full-time career — I just want to pay off my loans and enjoy a little treasure hunting while I’m at it. With that in mind, if you can dedicate full-time hours to re-selling, your numbers will most certainly be higher than those that I report on this blog.
Do you remember that last month I set a goal to focus on nothing but eBay during the month of June? I also set a goal to earn at least $2k on eBay.
None of those goals were accomplished.
I will be honest and say, the process of listing items on eBay is very tedious for me. I thought by focusing only on eBay last month that I would at least get through some of the backlog of inventory I have, but the truth is, I didn’t focus on eBay at all. It just isn’t fun and it is time consuming so when I begin to even think about listing items, I already feel exhausted. Between cleaning items, preparing them to be photographed, measuring (if I’m dealing with my backlog of clothing items), editing photos, writing a description, researching prices, and creating the rest of my listing (i.e. shipping options, selling format, uploading photos, etc), I can barely make it through 8 or 9 listings before I’m ready to throw in the towel.
I have come to the conclusion that I have to be more selective about what I sell on eBay. I don’t want to give up eBay, because I actually enjoy selling those odd items that just wouldn’t do well elsewhere, however, my “tastes” will have to change.
I managed to make it to an estate sale this month (towards the end of the month) and 98% of what I purchased was for Amazon FBA. The two (2) items that I purchased for eBay will net me around $200 once I list them. Those are the types of items I will sell from here on out. I cannot afford to buy inventory that may or may not sell. I can only focus on proven sellers like collectibles or specific name brand items that I know first-hand sell well.
For the month of June, I managed to list six (6) new items. That’s right, six! Thankfully, all six of them sold.
Here are the numbers:
I had a total of 10 sales last month. Four of them were from items I listed in May.
If you can’t tell already, I haven’t even made a dent in my inventory. I estimate that I have enough eBay inventory just sitting dormant, that if/when it sold, I could pay off one of my student loans entirely. I just wish I was motivated enough to get things listed…consistently!
…but I digress…
The following were my expenses:
- Shipping fees: $43.42
- eBay fees (final value fees, listing fees, subscription fees, etc): $10.89
- PayPal fees: $10.99
- Cost of goods sold: $20.29
My net profit for the month was: $165.56. I must say, I’m actually happy with this figure. For all but two (2) items, I made sure to charge shipping. Additionally, all of these items were low-cost and purchased from yard sales, estate sales, or thrift stores.
Going forward, I will start using any money from eBay to first pay off my monthly re-selling expenses and the remaining money will go towards student loans. This month I added two monthly re-occurring expenses totaling $80, so any money I make from eBay will help cover those operational costs first.
Amazon FBA Income
This was the first month since I started utilizing Amazon FBA that I did not focus on sending in new items. The only thing I did was stick to the goal I set last month to get any remaining inventory out of my house by June 11th. I packaged up tons of items that actually needed listings to be created (…and I had been putting it off) and called it quits after that. I truly believed that I was going to have my hands busy with eBay, so I didn’t want to try to juggle both.
Despite not focusing on Amazon FBA, I still had a good month in terms of sales. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Once again, the figure you see above is actually incorrect. I actually had a total of $2064.23 in gross sales. I balanced my account using my monthly transaction report (.csv file) and the monthly summary report shown here:
Here is the breakdown of my expenses:
If you look at the “FBA Inventory and storage fees” line you’ll see that figure was actually pretty low this month. In fact, only $73 of that was for inbound shipping charges. The other $30+ was for storage fees and from having over 30 items shipped back to me because I made a mistake with my wholesale merchandise (…but that’s another story for another blog post).
My total cost of goods sold this month was: $253.13. Approximately 90% of the inventory sold either came from a thrift store, an estate sale, or a yard sale. The other items came from a local liquidation warehouse or retail arbitrage.
I love it when my cost of goods looks like this! Many of the items that sold this month were long-tail items. I believe it is crucial to have a mixture of both low rank and high ranking items, but if you could only focus on thrifting, I hope that you can see that it is still a viable source for inventory and you can make a great part-time/side income from it!
After all expenses and cost of goods, my net profit was $1062.15.
Total Reselling Income
With eBay and Amazon FBA combined, I grossed $2315.38 and took home a net profit of $1227.71. I am quite happy with this figure. I barely lifted a finger this month, and my inventory still paid me. I can only imagine what things will look like once I actually get back to “working” again.
Student Loan Payoff + Update
My student loans are shrinking and I am excited! Let’s take a look at where I stand:
As you can see, I’m down in the $12k range and I started at $14k. I believe that is quite some progress having only been at this accelerated payoff challenge for almost 4 months. Unfortunately, I have given up on trying to get Sallie Mae to honor my request to have payments made to one specific loan. My goal was to eliminate loan 1-06 first, but after several notations on my account and calls to customer service, no changes have been made. I suppose I could contact the student loan/financial aid Ombudsman to report what is going on, but I don’t know if it is worth it.
Moving on, I am starting to see a trend with my monthly earnings from reselling. It seems that I am averaging a little over $1k per month in net profit and currently $500 of that is going towards my student loans. From here on out, I believe I can increase that number. Starting this month, I will be increasing my monthly payment to $700 instead of $500. I want my loans gone…like yesterday!
In Other News…
Usually the section to follow my student loan progress would be my goals, however, I don’t have any to set for the month of July and I didn’t meet most of my June goals because they revolved around eBay and well…I think you’ve read enough to know how that went. What I do have to report is that I will be incorporating a new income stream this month to help pay down my student loans.
Last week I received a call from my dad asking me to take on a small role in his company. After talking things over with my husband and further clarifying my duties and role with my dad, I accepted the position. This particular job will allow me to continue working from home and would be extremely part-time, but lucrative enough to actually replace my Amazon FBA and eBay income. At the moment, I am not sure which direction I will take with Amazon FBA. I enjoy treasure hunting and reselling, but I also realize that there are other things that I would like to do that don’t revolve around packing, shipping, and following sales trends.
My reselling “business” will definitely undergo some changes, and at the moment, I am not sure what those changes will be. I have tossed around some ideas such as focusing only on estate sales and thrift stores for inventory once a week. Another option I tossed around was to look into wholesale, but the idea of buying direct from China really bothers me (more so ethically than anything else). [Side note: I realize there are more wholesale opportunities than those found overseas, however, the product(s) that I want to sell are exclusive to overseas wholesalers.]
Ultimately, I still want to continue with re-selling. I have other financial goals that I would like to achieve once I pay off my student loans and having additional income streams is a paramount to achieving those goals.
I’m not sure what this months holds, but I do want to make sure that I finish decluttering and organizing my workspace and try to get a handle on my eBay inventory. I also plan to add some more content to this blog now that things have calmed down in my personal life.
I have so much catching up to do!
Cheers to a profitable month of reselling,