Preparing to Resell in 2015

While I really like to plan for the future, I find more often than not, I’m tweaking past products as I move into each new year. I like to think of this as an evolutionary perspective to things.

With that, I offer my 2015 Tracking Sheet.

2015 Tracking

I like to think I’m more technically savvy than I am, but in the event the link doesn’t work, just e-mail me, and I’ll get a copy to you.

So to give you some background of why I’ve chosen some of the fields. I’ll ignore the self-explanatory fields, and highlight the ones that for me are different or meaningful.

– CB/Miles/Points — This year I’m treating Cashback / Miles / Points as “discounts” to the product I’m selling. The goal of this is to reflect a more appropriate cost of good sold when it comes to tax time. Now you’re probably thinking: how can you value miles or points relative to this endeavor. Great question, I’m going to value every mile, point, or cashback as $0.01. If I find I’m doing a lot of Southwest, and Southwest doesn’t further devalue, I may change the Southwest Rapid Reward point value to $0.0147, however, I suspect it will be more in the rounding.

– Shipping Fees — I’ve tracked these for some time, but I have found over the last year that its easier to attribute the shipping fees distributed to the product, which impacts the margin. I tend to think this is easier than trying to charge the shipping fees as a macro-level cost at the end of the year for tax purposes.

– FBA Center — This is important because if/when I decide to charge sales tax (and my accountant is pulling me, kicking and screaming), I need to know where I have nexus. That said, it is probably not terribly important if you don’t plan to charge sales tax, however, I can’t speak to the IRS implications one way or the other.

– Comments — This is where I note the details of returned products (of course in “status” I’ll note a product is returned). This is important because Amazon gives a rather significant time to (30-90 days depending on time of year) for returns to be received. Now that said, I’ve had returns where customers haven’t sent the product back, be credited after the requisite number of days.

I realize that reselling is a rather particular niche, but I would encourage folks who do reselling to share any tweaks or other spreadsheets they use in the comments. I think we can all learn and improve our tracking that way.

11 thoughts on “Preparing to Resell in 2015

  1. I have now done reselling for two years and geez I got a bit crazy this past one. Year 1 around 20 k , year 2 90 k and if I am going to keep this up my record keeping needs a huge improvement. You do need a strong stomach for this as prices on amazon can change very quickly and you do need capital to back you up as you should never do this and carry credit card balances .

    • @Michael – Wow, that’s quite a bit of growth in one year’s time! You definitely do need a strong stomach, and really want to avoid carrying credit card balances. I have had months though where I’ve been able to convert sales quick enough that I didn’t need to dip into the accounts, which was very nice.. but can’t always have that.

  2. I have a few more categories/columns you might want to consider:
    – Order number (can be useful to track cashback)
    – Which portal I went through (so I can reconcile later whether the portal points showed up)
    – A separate column for tax received/collected by Amazon
    – Amazon (or other sales channel) sales ID #
    – I split refunds into three columns: purchase refund, tax refund, selling cost refund (to me)

    I also track FBA subscription and storage fees in there but don’t bother tracking the Amazon shipment ID for each item (though that would have been useful on occasion)

    One note on tracking the FBA center the item goes to. Amazon sometimes ships your item between warehouses so the state may change. As long as you are already set up to collect sales tax in that state it won’t be an issue but it could cause you to have a nexus in a new state.

    • @Al – Thanks for your great comments! Wow… that’s rather exhaustive. How have you felt things are going with charging tax? (I’m assuming you do presently given the separate column). Second – do you happen to export via QuickBooks or any other software or is it all handjammed? (I’m unfortunately still handjamming things).

      Second – on your note, I have seen Amazon shipping products between warehouses. Have you found a better way to track which FBA center the item goes from relative to nexus?

      • Tax has been a non-event really as I sell very few products to my home state and that’s all I’m collecting right now. I should look to expand that I think.

        I do everything by hand for now, which is a pain. My volume hasn’t justified using one of the automated services or investigating QuickBooks. It does steer me towards higher-cost items though. I sold a few toys at around $30 and made similar margins as on $150 items but it was so much hassle to track.

        I do not have a good plan for tracking centers beyond occasionally running inventory adjustment reports.

        • @Al – Good to know on tax… I completely understand the steering toward higher-cost items… I tried a bunch of $10 units, and found it was a pain, and Amazon occasionally loses one here and there… Key to keep close track of inventory.

      • @Chasingthepoints – It can become quite a bit, but there are often great benefits – if only we could re-sell magazines or flowers!

  3. Pingback: Reselling Tips

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