This year seems to have flown by until I hit the month of August. This month actually felt like it was moving at a snail’s pace and I attribute much of that feeling to the fact that I was on pins and needles throughout this month for one reason or another related to re-selling. Nonetheless, I got through this month and walked away feeling quite accomplished (despite having a ton of unprocessed inventory staring back at me as I type this post). I met a few milestones this month and I’m proud to report that I’m on an accelerated path to paying off my student loans much faster (more on that below).

—-

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 to help make accelerated payments towards my student loans. 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 in all likelihood be higher than those that I report on this blog.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump into my sales and how I fared in meeting my student loan payoff goal.…

 eBay

I didn’t focus much on eBay this month and my sales show it. I only created one (1) new listing this month and it was for an item that sold, but I can’t even include in this month’s totals.

Before I clarify that last sentence, here is screenshot of this month’s numbers:

The total shown above is actually incorrect. I actually sold a total of 7 items for $234.37. I had to remove one item from those numbers because it was a personal sale, unrelated to re-selling items for profit.

The personal item that I sold was my Scanfob bluetooth barcode scanner. I FINALLY got rid of my Scanfob 2005 after holding on to it for a few months even though I stopped using it about 2 months after buying it. I originally purchased it at full retail price ($279) and sold it 4 months later only to take a $100 loss. To be honest, such a huge loss is mainly my fault. The item was still in great condition, but I listed it as an auction that ended at time when buyers are not actively bidding on eBay. Nevertheless, I was just happy to get rid of it. I thought that having a bluetooth scanner would make scouting easier, but I would never recommend a Scanfob again after owning one.

but that’s another story for another post.

Here were my eBay expenses for August:

  • Shipping fees: $67.91
  • eBay AND PayPal fees (final value fees, listing fees, subscription fees, etc): $36.71
  • Cost of goods sold: $75.99

Net profit = $66.75

Ouch! I think this was my lowest performing month ever, but when you don’t put much into it, these are the results that you get.

My top performing item this month was something I thrifted in “bulk” a few months ago. I had every intention of sending those items to Amazon — and I did — but I was hit with a policy violation from the manufacturer stating that I was guilty of copyright infringement for selling their product as “new” without being an authorized seller. I didn’t feel like fighting it and I took the issue to Amazon who quickly removed the violation/closed the complaint and simply blocked the listing for any future resellers who tried selling the product as “new” via FBA. In the end, I just decided to have all of those units shipped back to me. I was told that I could relist them by downgrading the condition, but I didn’t feel it was worth it. Once I got the units back, it took me another month before I decided to list them all on eBay so that I wouldn’t lose money. This item sells for 50% less on eBay AND I’m offering free shipping (which I hate doing), so I’m not making much profit, but I am getting my initial investment back. My COGS for eBay this month are definitely higher and that is attributed to the price I paid per unit with the expectation that I would sell these items on a different platform for 5x my cost.

Amazon

So much of this month was spent focusing on Amazon (FBA). I attended several noteworthy sales to acquire new inventory and I shipped quite a few items to Amazon as well. I only managed to get one large shipment into Amazon this month, but it was a decent sized shipment that consisted of 497 books.

Here are the numbers for Amazon:

I feel I did pretty well this month and I actually surpassed selling over 100 units in a month *without* selling any retail arbitrage inventory. I sold 61 units over last month’s numbers. I expect this number to increase as my inventory increases.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have resumed selling as a merchant-fulfilled seller too. I have included a screenshot detailing how much of my earnings were directly related to shipping orders myself:

I didn’t start listing items through this channel until the 3rd week of the month but I feel I did pretty well in making this decision and I plan to continue fulfilling orders myself in addition to sending in merchandise to Amazon.

It should come as no surprise (judging from my last few posts) that a great deal of my sales this month were attributed to a surge in book sales. I’ve never experienced “textbook season” as an FBA seller, so I was actually quite surprised at how well my small inventory of textbooks did. I definitely plan to ramp things up for January’s buying season since inventory can be acquired so cheaply. This is definitely an instance where I don’t have a problem sitting on inventory (or money) until then.

I sold a total of 88 books this month with an average sales price of $23.26. I had quite a few smaller sales averaging $9.95 per book, but there were also a few larger sales to help balance things out. By far, paperback books were my bestsellers.

As you can see, I am not a high volume book seller. Despite attending an awesome estate sale where I walked away with a few hundred books, more than half of my book sales this month were actually from books that I purchased from thrift stores. The jury is still out on whether or not I will continue to pursue books to re-sell. I have mentioned in a previous post that the other side of selling books that no one talks about is that it takes a LOT of work to process books. In the time that I spend sorting, cleaning, grading, listing, and packing books, I could process other types of inventory in half the time! Going forward, I either need to refine the way I process books to get them out the door faster or I need to become much more selective about the types of books I send into Amazon.

Moving along, the following were my expenses/fees for the month:

I believe this number is only going to increase in the upcoming months as I send in more inventory and prepare for fourth quarter.

This month I received $1,550.20 in payments from Amazon. For accounting purposes, that number only reflects deposits into my account up to the last day of the month. Any deposits that were pending or en route to my bank account (approximately $720) on the last day of the month are not included. Instead, they will be reflected in next month’s income report.

Total Earnings

For the month of August I grossed $3536.02 in sales and took home a net profit of $1616.95.

Student Loan Payoff Progress

I am proud to report another successful month of meeting my student loan contribution goal!

Let’s take a look at my current student loan balance:

I originally set out to re-sell enough items to contribute an extra $500 in monthly payments towards my loans. Doing so meant that I could pay my loans off in under 3 years as opposed to 10 years. Each and every month I see the potential to do better and that is why I plan to increase my monthly payoff goal again.

Beginning in September, I will begin dedicating $900 from my re-selling income towards my student loans. Additionally, I mentioned in my previous income report that I intended to use a portion of my part-time income working for my father’s company to help make accelerated payments and I have settled on contributing $600 from my paycheck going forward.

In total, I will begin increasing my extra student loan payment to $1500 per month. That’s an increase of $800 over what I am paying at the moment. I believe this is a feasible goal without overextending myself. I would like to do more, but my income fluctuates based on the amount of time I can put into re-selling, listing, shipping, and also based on my fixed monthly re-selling expenses.

If my calculations are correct, I may be able to knock out my loans by April 2015 instead of my original goal of December 2016. 🙂

Moving Forward

I’m taking the first week of September off from any re-selling activity, but my main goal for September is get the remaining inventory I have designated for Amazon out of my house and into Amazon’s warehouses by the 17th. Afterwards, I plan to devote a lot more energy into reselling on eBay. I need to get my numbers up over there and to be honest, I am actually looking forward to the change. There are only so many books I can grade and process before I’m ready to move on to something else.

I also plan to decrease my spending this month. I don’t have any large sales lined up and have actually put a stop to my spending until I get all of this inventory out of my house. Thankfully, my husband has been helping me when he has free time. The only way I was able to process my last shipment of 497 books in less than 3 days was because he pulled up a chair, grabbed my scanner and asked me how he could help me. With his help, we knocked out over 100 books in under 30 minutes.

…if only he didn’t love his job so much and his benefits weren’t so great…I’d certainly hire him to help out more! 🙂

Since I don’t see that ever happening, I’m going to keep on chugging along this month. I want to meet or exceed last month’s numbers and the only way to do that is to get to work.

Until next time,

Yolanda

14 Thoughts on “August 2014 Income Report + Student Loan Payoff Progress…

  1. fabulous! Your numbers are always so inspiring!

  2. Isabella on September 7, 2014 at 9:43 am said:

    You continue to do so well! It truly is inspiring to see how you keep working toward your loan pay-off goals. I am particularly intrigued to read about how the sale of all those estate sale books plays out. Just think, when your loans are paid off, you can then really invest in your business as little or as much as you want and keep all those profits for your family. You really have that risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit, Yolanda!

    • Yolanda on September 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm said:

      Isabella,

      Thanks for the big vote of confidence. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

      Later on this month, I plan to write a follow-up post once an official month has passed to update readers on how sales are going. I actually thought about showing the numbers after one week, but I didn’t feel that was a sufficient amount of time to have passed to show results.

  3. Wow! You’re crushing it. I really wish I could list during the day. Since I’m working full time it only gives me a few precious hours a night to enjoy my home and time with my wife and daughter. Its hard to say no to them when I don’t have an urgent financial goal. I’m not complaining about that though!

    You are really tackling these loans. Its nice to see someone taking charge of their situation instead of just whining about how big the loans are and how long they’ll take to pay off. Keep up the great work!

    • Chris,

      It definitely takes more energy to complain about the loans than to actually do something about them! Even when I was only making $200 and $300 payments, I still saw progress and that was enough motivation to really pay them off. Thanks for the vote of confidence! 🙂

  4. April 2015 is just around the corner so before you know it, you’ll have your loans paid off.

    As always, your numbers inspire me and I’m getting ready to write my income report.

    Interesting about the scanfob….I don’t have one as that is a dream purchase way down the road. I will look forward to your post about your experience with it.
    Diana recently posted…Steps I Took to Sell a Used Game which Led to a Profit and…My Profile

    • Diana,

      As fast as this year has flown by, I definitely agree that it is right around the corner! By the way, I can’t wait to see your next income report. Hopefully Labor day weekend rewarded you with some great sales and inventory!

  5. April, 2015 will be here in the blink of an eye. Progress is so exciting to see, and you’ve got some great momentum behind you. Congrats!
    Kari recently posted…Customer StoriesMy Profile

    • Cari,

      Thanks for the well wishes! I read your post not too long ago about how much of your student loans remain and I can’t wait to read your “I’m student loan free” post which I’m sure is not too far away…especially with 4th quarter sales right around the corner! 🙂

  6. Wow, Yolanda, that is a really impressive report! I started selling on Amazon using their FBA service in May of this year (2014). My learning curve has been pretty steep and I haven’t pulled off what I would call a profit at this time.

    I can certainly see the potential, but there are land mines all over and it’s not easy to figure out what will sell and what will sit in the warehouse collecting dust.

    I’ve purchased some inventory at deep discounts only to send it in and have other people get on the listing and spiral the price down. So far, it seems that multipacks and bundles are the best way to go, but the downside is you have to create the listings and if you can’t renew your supply, it’s a lot of time invested for a few items.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experiences and I hope we can learn from each other!

    Cheers,
    Ree
    Ree Klein recently posted…Dorco Razor Review: Razors That Can Help You Retire Early!My Profile

    • Ree,

      Thanks for dropping by! I definitely agree with you and your feelings about creating listings. Every time I do it, I’m reminded of selling on eBay. I try to keep this to a minimum and only for listings that are worthwhile or those that are replenishable.

      I will definitely be keeping up with your progress along the way! 🙂

  7. Tempest Rising on September 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm said:

    Yolanda! What a day I’ve had readingyiur blog! I’ve been toying with EBay selling as well as Amazon since May of this year yet I have yet to take the plunge more so do to a lack of time and space to get business done. My family had to move in with my mother in law (yikes) and this completely devastated my freedom but not my determination to stay in tune with my Goal of becoming an online seller. Since June I have been following other sellers and taking in as much information as I can. Today I spent an entire day reading your blog from the start, along with flipping back and forth through resources you mentioned, even linking up with successful sellers found in your comments (I’m an info sponge another obstacle I have to overcome to get me in the game Smh) But your blog most importantly let me know I have to get started to even be IN the game. Just knowing I don’t have to start big is awesome. Every word was right on time. Overcoming the hands on learning curve may take a little time but the details I definitely grasp. In order to set my family free and regain my independence it is a must that I stay on a steady and focused path to growing this business. I hope to read more from you and Thank you so much for sharing as much as you do!

    • Tempest,

      Thanks so much for dropping by! I’m glad that my blog could help you out and I certainly understand being a “sponge.” I am one too! 🙂 I generally like to learn as much as I can about something before jumping in — even if it requires hours (or days) of reading/research.

      As far as starting small, you certainly can and should. There’s no need to get in over your head. There is no right or wrong way to start. I don’t regret starting small with liquidation and thrifting, but there are others who start small with retail stores, wholesale, etc. I’m sure you will find what works best for you along the way and you can always shoot me any questions you have. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation