If you've ever heard about Notion you know that it's good at managing your thoughts and your notes and organizing yourself with to-do lists and tasks but can you use it to run a six-figure reselling business?
Hey there everybody this is Steve Bailey and I did my talk show a couple of nights ago where I talked about a variety of topics -- my reselling business being one of them and I talked a little bit about how notion can be used to run a business and I didn't dig very deep on it so I thought I would go into a little bit more depth today and kind of explain to you how I'm using notion not just as a task management and a note taking app but also to run my reselling business through it so I can keep track of sales and taxes and reimbursing for loans that I get to buy large purchases. It's really quite powerful and there's a lot of advanced capabilities you can have with it so I'm going to take a second and kind of show you my setup here real quick.
Now on my monitor that's over here you see it up here. That's where I'm going to talk about my eBay sales and in the monitor that's over here this is where I've got my Notion database running so I want you to take a look at this real quick.
Basically what I've done is I've built a Notion database that will keep track of large lot purchases when I'm buying something to resell on Amazon and eBay I usually buy it through thrift stores and flea markets and pawn shops and things like that. There have been times (and they're becoming more frequent) as the business is getting bigger here I will buy a large lot of something to resell. What started me on this journey was I bought a large lot of video games. It was probably almost 1,000 video games. I paid $26,000 for it and at the time I didn't have the money but I knew that if I could get the money I could sell the product -- that I could make that money back because I've been reselling video games on Amazon and eBay for years and I knew that this was an opportunity that was not going to come again and I just had to find a way to get the money.
So I borrowed the money and that meant I had to pay the money back. So what I ran into was a situation where when I was getting my paychecks from eBay and from Amazon and some of the money was for the things that I bought from the lot and some of the money was for things that were just normal things that I buy through my normal travels.
I had to have a way to separate that so I could see this money came from lot sales because I need to take this money to pay back the money that I borrowed. Then, the money that came from regular sales needed to be put into the regular bucket.
What I did was I built this system in Notion and then as time grew on you'll see here I've made other purchases since then. I bought a lot of amiibos for $1,300. I bought a huge Nintendo collection from a guy for $3,000. I bought a bunch of Hallmark ornaments last year right before Thanksgiving for $1,100 and now not all of this money is borrowed money. I mean I've got the money for a lot of these purchases but I wanted to be able to keep track profitability of the different lots.
You can see from looking at this database that all the lots with the exception of the Hallmark ornaments have already been paid back and are now in the profit so anything that I make from this point forward will be profit. But this still gives me a way to separate profitability.
Not only that, I'm building a huge database of sales -- what products sell, how much I sold them for, how long did it take to sell them, what's the ROI so I can start tweaking my my purchasing process and my buying decisions based on data that I've gotten.
If you're in the video game reselling business you know about pricecharting.com, for example. This isn't based on bogus price charting data, this is based on real data from real sales that I've made so that's why I thought this was a good idea.
I really wanted to take some time to kind of show you guys a little bit in depth of how this works so what I'm going to do is I'm going to walk you through my process. I just got paid from eBay so I'm going to walk you through the process of how I reconcile that eBay paycheck with all these different categories and it starts by recording sales.
So right here on my screen I've got a link that says "Record eBay sales" so I'm going to click on that and when I do what you're going to see are two columns. On the left hand side, these are things that have already sold on eBay and I've already reconciled. On the right are things that are still out there for sale that people can buy from eBay. Now this particular page is just eBay. I have a separate page for Amazon. When I was doing WhatNot auctions, I had a separate page for them, but this is strictly my eBay
I'm gonna pop over here to this Monitor and I'm going to work with just this one ornament which is the Hallmark Andy Griffith Show 50th Anniversary ornament. I've recorded all the rest of the transactions because I didn't want you to sit through all of that so I've recorded everything but this one so you can see how the process works.
The way the process works is I have to find this item in my eBay inventory and then record the sale transaction for it and one of the first things that I do is I actually copy the order number - press Ctrl C - because I'm going to need that when I'm recording the data in notion. What I'm going to do is I'm going to come over here to my eBay inventory and I'm going to look for Andy Griffith and here's the item right here. I'm going to click on it and when I do, I'm going to see all the information about this particular ornament. For this particular ornament, I can see where it's located (in container labelled "Hallmark 56") and how much I initially listed it for.
Obviously it's not sold yet, so there's no sale price. The "Value" is $60.00. That was what it appraised for at the time that I bought it. My "Buy Price" was $19.77. My disposition was on eBay. You can see here, I have eBay, Amazon, and if I kept something for personal I can flag that as well. I also have the date that I listed it on eBay, the lot that it came from and then all the rest of this gets filled in over time as transactions happen.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to come down here in the corner and I'm going to record the "Sale" transaction. Now this transaction happened on the 18th, so I'm going to record the date as the 18th. What type of transaction was it? Well, this was a sale but as you can see from the list I can do, advertising fees, returns to pull the money out of the transaction and give it back to eBay in the case the customer returns the item. For Amazon, I have lost items where they've lost it and they just reimbursed me for it. Adjustments are just general adjustments based on this particular transaction.
So I'm going to record this as a sale. I'm going to paste in the order number and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy and paste the title generator into the name and here's why.
In Notion, you can't have the name field be automatically generated. It has to be hand entered and it also needs to be unique. So, what I've done is I've created this this little calculated field and if I come in here and I look at the formula of the form of this particular field, you can see that what I'm doing. I'm taking the name of the item I'm adding the platform that it's on in this case "Christmas" I'm adding the condition which, in this case, is CIB and the type of transaction. I'm generating the value dynamically that I want to put into the name field so since it can't do that automatically.
What I do is I basically come over here and I hit Ctrl C on this field. I come over here and I hit Ctrl V on this field and it gives me a unique value. It says that this is the ornament that it was a Christmas. It was CIB and it was sale. For the sale price the sale price on this I know happened to be $70.00. In this case there were no advertising fees so I'm going to take that off and I'm going to pop over here and show you what I'm talking about.
If you've sold on eBay before, you'll know that when you get your list of transactions from eBay you'll see that sometimes they separate out, as a separate line item, an advertising fee. So, in this case, this Nintendo Wii lot that I sold was sold as a promoted listing and it was $1.51 for the advertising fee. For this particular ornament, I don't have an advertising fee, so I'm going to put a fee of $0.00. Now, the next field that comes up is shipping.
Now I don't know what the shipping is yet, because I haven't shipped it. I'm going to skip that and I'm going to come back to the field that says "Amount I Got" so if you look over here on this order, it says the amount that I received was $71.59 so I'm going to copy that.
If you're asking yourself why I got $71.59, it's because I charged the customer shipping on this item so the amount that I received is the sale price minus eBay fees plus the shipping charges so the amount that I physically received was $71.59 but some of that's going to go back out for shipping.
Once I fill that in so you'll see the next field after that is "Net Proceeds." The net proceeds is another calculated field and is based on the amount of money that I got which is $71.59 minus any advertising fees minus shipping, so this is the actual realized proceeds from the sale.
If I put a dollar in the shipping, you'll see that it automatically updates this to $70.59 not $71.59. Now if you come back up to the top and take a look, you'll see that the profit is actually $51.82.
Let's take a look at that, because what you're going to see on that is that the profit is actually the net proceeds which was $71.59 minus my "Buy Price". Since my buy price was $19.77 and my "Net Proceeds" were $71.59, that gives me a profit of $51.82. So, after I have paid back the $19.77 that I spent, I made $51.82.
That's how I keep track of profit. Now, in the case of the video game lot, what I did was I not only paid back the buy price but I also took the profit and paid back as well so that way I paid the bill down faster. Once I got that $26,000 paid off, from that point forward the buy price doesn't matter. The net proceeds were what I got because I'd already paid everything back.