-4F in North Idaho makes for bookkeeping adventures: Etsy Inventory, Fees, Sales, Shipping and Handling in Quickbooks.

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Now that I’ve been back in the States – one year today! – and I started a new business, I decided to set up Quickbooks Pro again to produce a good Profit & Loss statement in preparation for taxes AND to create a more realistic personal budget. Given I’m still using an older version of QB (2010), it cannot import the bank exported data, so it’s been a lovely tedious exercise.

As part of teaching pine needle basketry, I decided to sell pine needles through Etsy. Yeah, crazy but it works 🙂 With little effort I set up my Etsy store and have sold a couple hundred dollars worth per month. Though Etsy made a deal with Intuit and offers QB Self-Employed online, I still own a copy of QB Pro desktop, I don’t always have internet and wish to do my bookkeeping locally.

It’s been a journey over the past week, here some of the things I’ve learned.

  • This past weekend I figured out how to add pine needles as inventory items, funny eh? No, I didn’t count them. 🙂 Following this video’s instructions (link) I created a spreadsheet over a couple of days and imported. Note: do not add $ formatting to your spreadsheet columns!
  • Entering in Etsy transactions into QB was an OMG experience – BYOB! Beside a 3.55% transaction fee, there are: listing fees, renew fees, renew expired fees, renew sold fees, a multi-quantity fee. Since this past month I purchase postage labels through Etsy as well, because it seems to be the only way to get USPS commercial discount.
  • All Etsy fees but one are billed in a lump-sum. Etsy takes out the transaction fee PRIOR to the transaction’s payment, so how to account for that transaction fee? It took some digging and I found two of the same answers on the Intuit Community forum (https://community.intuit.com/questions/790273 and https://community.intuit.com/questions/1483487-how-do-i-account-for-a-sale-on-etsy-so-i-can-track-items-sold-if-etsy-automatically-deposits-funds-into-my-bank-account-with-fees-already-deducted): create invoice or purchase receipt, receive payment into Undeposited Funds, then when Making Deposit, add a line with the expenses. Cumbersome, but correct. It all shows on the P&L, yay!
  • I am still refining shipping and handling. I added non-inventory and service items for shipping and handling. (link) Since those are billed separately by Etsy, it does not become part of the transaction. I learned that Etsy multiplies the handling charge per bundle, which gets outrageous. The solution is to figure out custom packaging preferences (https://www.etsy.com/help/article/6167) and shipping profiles (https://www.etsy.com/help/article/190) to make the charges more reasonable.
  • There are still more things to figure out with inventory. I’ve bought items at different costs. Do I use an average cost or FIFO (first-in-first-out) method? I need to re-read this post: http://firstclasstaxsolutions.com/account-inventory-shipping-costs-quickbooks/ I am also still figuring out how to set up a Basketry Workshop as a non-inventory/service item. This uses some of my inventory items, mileage, classroom rental, however also a teaching fee. So it draws from my inventory per participant. I may write a separate post on this one.

And now a break: hot tea, my kitties, snow, and a wood burning stove. Since it took some time finding info, I figure I’d share. Anyone interested in more?

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