Amazon FBA Seller Tools Reviewed: Inventory Lab

I don’t know if you have heard of Inventory Lab yet, but if not, this is some exciting stuff.  

Make sure to read to the end for a special offer.

When I do my “books” I do what is known as the cash method.  To keep it simple, at the end of the month we compare money that came in versus money that went out and we come up with our “profit” for the month.  The problem we have been having is there are months where we spend more than what comes in.  In theory then, we wen’t negative for the month.  But, the reality is, we actually made a lot of money on the items that we sold.  There is just a bunch more inventory in our possession now than when we started. 

The only way to have an accurate number of profit per month based on what actually sold, is to keep track per item.  Well, that is a great concept, but there is no way I would have the time or willingness to input over 700 sales a month into a spreadsheet in order to get those numbers.  That left us with the cash method.  It’s worked “fine”, and we weren’t really looking for another way to do things.  Until now!

I was browsing on facebook and saw a group for Inventory Lab.  It is the group where the beta testers were in and giving input on the program.  I looked into it further and to my delight was very intrigued.

Inventory Lab is a listing service for Amazon, that also keeps track of your books!  How cool is that?!?  When you are listing your items for sale, you can input your cost, where you purchased it from and the date purchased.  Then when the item sells, you are given the exact profit for the order.  BRILLIANT!  You can also print labels out one at a time while listing if you have a dymo or zebra printer, this is great for us because there are often 2 or 3 of us working on a shipment every time.

 

I asked Ryan (the creator of Inventory Lab) a few questions, just so we could get to know him a little better as the face behind the company.


1.  How did you get started selling on amazon?
Like many of the more experienced FBA sellers, my wife and I transitioned from eBay after looking for a change. We also started out as doing FBA/eBay as a hobby…. which eventually trickled into full-time income to where we could finally make the big jump and work from home. We still consider it a hobby, and find it so much fun to source product…. We love the automation of FBA (and also the massive amounts of traffic Amazon sees on a consistent basis).


2.  When did you know you wanted to create a program for sellers?
We loved the overall automation that Amazon provided us after we transitioned over as far as the fulfillment… and we also liked a lot of the powerful listing features that some of the third party software brought to the table… But the slight speed advantage never really justified the cost. What we were spending so much time on is tracking our COGS and expenses. Like many sellers we used the accrual method where each inventory item had to be accounted for. Some months we would spend 10-20 hours a WEEK just managing our excel spreadsheet…. 

A good friend of mine, Gerry Bethel (whom I helped get started with FBA) had a great idea for software that allowed you to save your cost per each msku while you listed…. His concept was to create something that you not only would you have all of the speed features of other listing software, but would automatically account for you as well. This is the day the InventoryLab concept was born (Thanks to Gerry!) :)

3.  What was the biggest need you saw?

Automation, automation, automation…. That’s what we all want, right? Of course once you find good income streams online, you realize that it DOES require work.. But to us, we envision software that focuses on taking automation a step further, rather than just some cool features (that’s a given). Our biggest need was software that could work for us while we were sleeping… or on vacation. Something that you can sit and forget, without having to worry about catching up on that complicated spreadsheet!

4.  For me personally the bookkeeping is a game changer and I know other people will think so too.  What is your favorite feature?

My personal favorite feature (and many of our users) is being able to see your projected net profit while you list… It’s so great to see your numbers, to know your total net profit per batch (if sold at your original list price)… as well as how that compares to your total sales value and total buy cost…. But my overall favorite page is Bookkeep…. It’s SO nice not having to worry about ANY spreadsheets and letting IL do all the work for me. I know my numbers each and every day, and i’m not having to work harder just to possess that knowledge… Not to mention there is much less stress come tax time.

5.  What can we expect in the next 6 months? To finally get out Beta :-) Everyone has been ready for that… It’s taken longer than we thought to perfect everything, what we are trying to pull off has not been done before (which is a sign that it is not easy to snap together). But we’ve worked tirelessly and are very, very close to having everything 100% perfected and looking great/user friendly. 

We also plan to build some really cool reports to go along with the accounting/listing features. A quick peek into our plans for the next 6 months:

Analytics overhaul:

Replenish reports
MSKU Profitability reports  (this will allow you REALLY narrow down your performance and where you should be focusing your time when sourcing)
Inventory Stock Level reports

AND…. 

A reprice feature that protects your net profit and lets you directly update from the inventory page… 

We also plan to go international and offer IL for amazon.ca and amazon.uk

Of course this isn’t all we have planned for the future, or even the next 6 months… This is just what we can share… There are several confidential ideas that we feel will take us even further to the next level of where no amazon third party software has even dreamed of going before.  We’re headed in the right direction,and the users that are with us now will define what our software looks like at this 6 month mark. We take suggestions and ideas directly to our road-map and try to fit 95% of them in.

Wow Ryan!  That is great.  I am so excited to see the future of Inventory Lab and love being in on the ground floor of such a game changing company.

I know that Inventory Lab currently offers users a 2 week free trial, but because of the relationship that I have been building with Ryan, he agreed to give my readers a one month free trial.  All you have to do is use the coupon code “JESSICA” when you sign up.  If you are not satisfied with the program during the trial, you can cancel and will not be charged a dime for using it.If you are already using Inventory Lab, I would love to hear your feedback below in the comments.

 

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10 Comments

  1. I too love IL…It was the second software I tried and I truly enjoyed it much more…the price was great too :) Ryan is very helpful and will spend hours working with you to make sure your problem is fixed even if it isn’t an IL problem…I am having issues with my Dymo printer and Ryan spent several hours with me trying to get it to work on Friday and even though we hadn’t fixed it by the time I needed to go Ryan emailed me later to see if what he left with me to try had worked…I took the weekend off to spend with family and friends so I haven’t been able to finish to try the printer yet but I am confident that if what I try doesn’t work Ryan will be right there to help me until it does :)))) I am an Amazon newbie and there is definately alot to learn and not having to worry about the listing software, and inventory management gives me more time to focus on learning how to purchase and sell items which in turns helps my ultimate goal of making money :) to be able to be a stay at home mom!!

    Reply
    • sounds like you are on the right track to be a stay at home mom Davina :) Yes, Ryan is great! That was the biggest thing for me. I’ve had some weird issues too (On my end, not the program) and a quick skype call and we are back and ready to list.

      Reply
  2. There is no place to enter a coupon code when you sign up that I could see. I guess I will try to investigate as best I can in the next two weeks.

    Reply
    • Hi Tanya. Sorry about the confusion. The spot to enter the code is in the 4th step where you are choosing a plan. On the left under the monthly choice. We got it taken care of for you thought :)

      Reply
  3. Jessica,
    Great interview with Ryan. We have been using IL for over 3 months and just love it. It takes the hassle out of listing, upfront pricing, and sending our inventory to FBA. IL has eliminated so many steps that were eating up our precious time. This software is invaluable to our FBA success. I highly recommend Inventory Lab for managing a Amazon business. Plus with so many features with more to come it is a no brainer.

    Reply
  4. Hi Jessica (and Ryan)! Do you have to use a Dymo printer with IL? All I use right for printing labels is our regular printer.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Beth, you can use a regular printer. You will process the inventory in Inventory Lab and then submit it to Amazon where you can print the labels from the shipping que.

      Reply
  5. Hi, I will be starting buying wholesale with Inventory lab. I’m confused about labels. Which labels should I get for inventory lab and do I need to get removable labels for some reason??
    Thank you! Debbie

    Reply
  6. Hi Jessica, for IL can we still use the code: “JESSICA”? I need help with my bookkeeping and inventory and I am interested in getting this service….Thanks

    Reply
    • you sure can

      Reply

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