eBay Accounting Solutions - The Automated Solution
By Ethan L Pepper
Anybody who's sold on eBay for a while has learned that eBay doesn't make it easy to calculate how much money you are actually making or losing. With Final Value Fees, Listing Fees, PayPal Payment Fees, Shipping Costs and Returns it can get to be a bit much. Especially since eBay treats all these different fees and transactions in different ways. For example Final Value Fees and Listing Fees are added to your monthly eBay invoice. However, PayPal Payment Fees are take directly out of the payment itself. Returns are treated like a separate PayPal transaction altogether. Most people rely on Spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or accounting software like Quicken or Quick Books to handle their accounting. The problem with this approach is that they don't allow you to easily import data from PayPal. Instead you must download files and then edit the results using a CSV file. Which is all very time consuming.
Then there is the simple idea of doing everything on an Excel Spreadsheet. Which I also tried, creating columns for all the different eBay fees, PayPal Fees and Shipping Cost. When you have hundreds of transactions a month though it can become mind numbing to go back through all your PayPal and eBay records and manually transcribe the data. Plus, a simple error can ruin everything. That's when I came across an interesting solution: an accounting application being offered through an eBay third party developer. The application promised to do some pretty amazing things, namely to import all PayPal Payments and eBay and PayPal Fees. Fees would automatically go under expenses and Payments under income allowing you to only enter shipping cost and cost of inventory. It also said that it could create tax information for quarterly or yearly tax payments. I was skeptical but at the time the application was free so I gave it a shot. I must say I was amazed at how much they delivered on what they promised. It become very simple to keep track of expenses and to see how well I was really doing as a seller.
Even though they have recently moved to subscription based service I still believe it is one of the best accounting solutions for eBay sellers. For small monthly fee it frees up much of the time spent on mundane accounting tasks to allow you to focus on what you need to: growing your eBay business.
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