May 2014 Reselling Income Report + Student Loan Payoff Update

It’s that time again for me to round up my earnings from last month as well as report my progress towards paying off my student loans.

As I preface in all of my income reports, the figures that I report below are from part-time re-selling (anywhere from 8-15 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.

eBay Income

I managed to list a few more items during the month of May than I did the previous month — but not by much. I really have not sat down to tackle liquidating my eBay inventory full force, so this month (June) will involve 100% focus on eBay so that I can get rid of the clutter and finally breathe again.

I grossed a total of $1031.48 in eBay sales:

This is an increase of $497.61 over last month’s numbers.

The following were my expenses:

  • Shipping fees: $176.50
  • eBay fees (final value fees, listing fees, subscription fees, etc): $74.56
  • PayPal fees: $38.81
  • Cost of goods sold: $228.41

My net profit for the month was: $513.20. Unfortunately, that number just does not sit well with me. Despite having at least two items that I did not make much of a profit on, I still don’t enjoy seeing almost $300 going towards fees alone. If I’m going to get hit with fees like this on eBay, it doesn’t make sense for me not to hand over a majority of my inventory to Amazon FBA and let them handle shipping and storage.

Amazon FBA Income

My sales on Amazon surprised me. I expected to maintain figures close to what I grossed last month, but was pleasantly surprised towards the last two weeks of the month when I experienced a surge of orders.

I grossed a total of $4,142.56 in sales, however, the figure shown below does NOT include any refunds for the month. The actual figure is $3753.47 in gross sales when you account for refunds.

As you can see from the screenshot above, I did not meet my goal of selling 200 units. I thought that I would given the personal challenge that I set for myself last month, however, I still have a lot of unsold units sitting in Amazon’s warehouse from that challenge. Nonetheless, I DID surpass selling over 100 units. I have never done that before. 🙂

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for the month:

I sold more units this month than I have since I started FBA, so I expected my expenses to increase. This figure also does NOT include the cost of inventory which amounted to $780.19.

After all expenses, my net profit was $1662.83.

Total Reselling Income

With eBay and Amazon FBA combined, I grossed $5174.04 and took home a net profit of $2176.03. I believe that is a good figure for an average of 10 hours per week of work, however, I also feel that there is room for improvement.  One of the ways I hope to increase that amount is to start charging for shipping on eBay items. That is one thing that has seriously cut into any profit that I make from selling on eBay.

Student Loan Update

I’m happy with the progress so far on my loans. I started this blog with my loans around $14.5k and I’m down to $13k as you can see below:

Hopefully by my next income report that figure will be just under $12.5k as I try to increase the amount I pay down each month.

Goals…

I set quite a few goals last month. Let’s take a look and see what I actually accomplished:

  1. Sell 200 units on Amazon FBA.   –> Unfortunately I did not meet this goal. I sold 162 units which is 38 units shy of my goal. I will revisit this goal again some time in July or August when I can focus on Amazon FBA again.
  2. Start contributing $500 per month towards my student loans.   –> I finally reached a point where I feel that I make a consistent amount of money per month that allows me to contribute $500 per month and still re-invest in inventory as well as pay other miscellaneous expenses.
  3. Begin working on a new passive income stream.  —> I took the first steps in ironing out an idea for a website. This includes drafting content and creating a marketing plan.
  4. Decrease the amount of time I spend on social media AND my laptop.  —> My social media hiatus only lasted a little while and I still spend too much time on my laptop. I’m no longer active on Facebook, but I still need to decrease the time I spend on my laptop.
  5. Begin liquidating my eBay inventory and list all of my pre-owned VHS tapes in lots.   —> Although I listed more items this month than I did last month, it barely scratched the surface. Also, I did not list a single VHS tape which was what I wanted to accomplish more than anything else.

Despite not accomplishing every goal that I set, I still feel good about the progress that I did make.

I have a few goals that I would like to accomplish this month:

  1. Ship my last batch of Amazon FBA inventory by 6/11 and leave Amazon alone for the rest of the month.
  2. List ALL of my eBay inventory and re-donate or throw away what I know will not sell or isn’t worth my time or sanity.
  3. Try to earn $2,000 on eBay this month.
  4. Stop buying new inventory until all eBay items are listed.
  5. Begin charging shipping on all of my eBay items. No more free shipping.
  6. Work on designing my niche website. This website will help generate passive income.

Retail Arbitrage Challenge Update

I talked about the personal challenge that I set for myself in my last post. You can read about it here. I believe this challenge was the catalyst in helping me break past selling 100 units and actually getting me close to reaching my goal of 200 units.

I sat down to review the numbers and here are the results:

I decided to compare those numbers to the thrifted inventory that sold last month. As you can see from the photo above, my thrifted merchandise came out on top, however, if I would have sold out of all of the inventory that I purchased for this challenge, those figures would be tied (in terms of net profit).

The question that I posed in my last post was whether or not this challenge was worth my time. To be honest, I feel that it was even though at times I felt like I wasted my time because I was making so little per item sold. After seeing the final numbers “on paper,” I can see now that those tiny profits per item really paid off.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret. All of those retail arbitrage items were purchased across two days. I spent no more than 5 hours buying that merchandise. Most of that 5 hours was spent scanning and driving; shopping was the easy part.

The reason it took two days to source was because I went home after the first day to research where all of the other stores within that chain were located. I then mapped out my route to hit them all the next day and buy what remained. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hit them all because by the time I got to the second store on my list, my funds had run out. …well actually, I went overbudget by $38.

By far, that was the quickest sourcing trip I ever experienced and it was well worth my time. On top of that, 90% of the merchandise I purchased did not require me to remove any stickers so processing was a breeze as well.

Moving Forward…

I won’t be focusing on Amazon FBA this month, but come July (Lord’s willing), I will undertake a retail arbitrage challenge again. This time, however, I will be increasing my spending and avoiding some of the buying/sourcing mistakes I made the last time around.

I hope that your month of reselling was just as profitable.

Until next time,

  Yolanda