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how to read Amazon's profit and loss statements


how to read Amazon's profit and loss statements

Understanding your financial health is very important if you own a business on Amazon. The Profit and Loss (P&L) account is handy at this point. It helps you plan your finances by showing you how much money you make, how much you spend, and where your net profit is. Getting through a P&L statement can be like getting lost in a maze for people new to Amazon's business.

Don't be afraid, fellow Amazonian! This blog post will teach you how to read your P&L statement and give you useful information about your business's financial health.

These are the things that make up your P&L

Usually, an Amazon P&L account divides your money into three main groups:

  • Revenue: This part shows how much money you made from selling your products on Amazon. It covers both sales of products that were sold directly and sales of products that were handled by Amazon (FBA).

  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This part shows the direct costs of making or buying your goods. It includes the price of the object itself, the cost of ingredients, work, and any shipping fees.

  • Operating Expenses:  are all the other costs that come up when you run your Amazon business. It could have:

  • Fulfillment fees are the money you pay Amazon to store, pick, pack, and ship your items (if you use FBA).

  • Advertising costs: Expenses related to your Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns.

  • Referral fees: The money Amazon gives you for each sale you make on their site is called a referral fee.

  • Other costs can include all costs connected to running the business, such as marketing costs that aren't tied to Amazon Ads.

Key Metrics for Understanding the Numbers

Once you understand how the P&L is put together, let's look at the most important numbers it shows:

  • Gross Profit: This is found by taking your total income and reducing the cost of goods sold. It shows how much money you made before taking out any running costs.

  • Operating Profit: This is your net profit after taking out all your working costs. It shows how much money you make after considering how much it costs to run your Amazon business.

  • Net Profit: Your bottom line is the holy goal. It is found by subtracting your running profit from your income tax. This number shows how much money you made after paying all your bills and taxes.

How to Use Your P&L to Grow

Your profit and loss statement (P&L) is useful for making smart business choices. This is how to use it:

  • Identify Cost Savings: Consider your spending and determine where to save money. Can you talk to sellers about getting better prices? Can you make your pay-per-click (PPC) ads work better?

  • Optimize Pricing Strategy: If you know your gross and net profit margins, you can determine the best pricing strategies to make the most money.

  • Evaluate Product Performance: Monitor each product's profitability. You might want to stop selling goods with consistently low profits or high delivery costs.

  • Plan for the Future: Your P&L can help you guess how your business will do financially in the future, which can help you make smart choices about how much goods to keep, how much to spend on marketing, and whether to grow your business.

Advanced P&L Analysis: Going Beyond the Basics

Some advanced methods that can help you understand things better are listed below:

  • Trend Analysis: The best way to find trends is to monitor your P&L measures over time. To what extent are your earnings steadily rising? During what times of the year do costs change?

  • Benchmarking: To determine how well you're doing, compare your P&L numbers to business benchmarks or past data.


  • Review your P&L statement often—ideally once a month or three times a year.

  • Ensure your P&L data is correct by keeping good records of your income and spending.

  • If you need help, don't be afraid to talk to a skilled attorney.

By understanding your P&L summary, you can see how well your Amazon business is financially doing. That information gives you the power to use data to make choices that improve your business's processes, raise its income, and ensure its long-term success.

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