I want to know what my net eBay profits have been this year.
August 12, 2018 7:01 PM   Subscribe

I sell things on eBay, as a hobby. I have a new goal -- clean out my basement and buy myself something nice. I can't tell if I've reached my $$$ goal yet. Help?

I find things from various sources and sell them on eBay. It's been part hobby and side-hustle for several years. I haven't really tracked net profit before because, again, it hasn't been that important to me (until now). I have a particular profit goal in mind, and I've been increasing the number of sales for the past few months. It seems that the fees involved have gotten more complicated, specifically the 'shipping discounts'. The PayPal fees seem somewhat more straightforward. Oh, and another wrinkle, eBay will only give you information for the previous 60 days. Am I overthinking this? My thought was to create a spreadsheet to track these things, but there may (maybe?) an online tool that I grant read-only access to that grabs PayPal and eBay info and generates reports.
posted by Wild_Eep to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you log into Paypal (assuming you don't use it to accept other payments) can't you just look at your activity/statements?
posted by pinochiette at 7:18 PM on August 12, 2018

eBay will only give you information for the previous 60 days.

This is emphatically not true, but they do make it hard to find.

Pull down your name at top right > Account Settings > View All Account Activity

On the right hand side, there's a box called "Invoices" from which you can download any of your monthly invoices in CSV format (easy to open in excel). Those will have all the information on how much items sold for and how much you paid in listing fees, etc.

Unfortunately, for anything paid through paypal , you'll also need to download those invoices and figure out the cut that paypal took.

If you have substantial income or are making a business of this, you're probably going to have to do this all for your taxes at the end of the year anyway, so might as well get a head start.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:26 PM on August 12, 2018

After reading these answers (and thank you for them!) I went back to PayPal, had them prepare a Year-to-date activity report, and exported it to CSV.

Then I opened the CSV in Excel.

I noticed that there was a Gross, Fee, and Net column. The Net column was the result of the payment minus the fee. As I had been using PP for all of the shipping costs, and all of the eBay Final Auction Value fees, the PayPal activity report had the information I needed. PayPal recorded the inbound payments were positive, the outbound payments were negative. Seeing that was the 'a-ha moment'.

So, I went to the bottom of the Net column, and created a cell with a SUM() function that added up the whole column. Positive values were added to the total, negative values were subtracted.

Then I went through line by line and removed (that is, simply deleted the value from the cell) any entries that weren't related to what I wanted to know. (I had made other purchases and sales with this PP account.)

Within a minute or two I had my answer about Net profit.

Note that this approach does not take into account any Cost Of Goods Sold, so if you bought stuff to flip it on eBay, this approach will not give you an accurate result. In my case, since everything was from my basement, the acquisition costs were zero.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:05 AM on August 13, 2018

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