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How to Set up a Simple Spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel to Track Your Amazon Earnings

Updated on December 18, 2013

I have written this tutorial on how to set up a simple spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel to track your Amazon, Ebay or other affiliate earnings because Amazon affiliates sometimes struggle to see how much they have sold over the month, and if everything has been shipped.

You should be able to set up the same spreadsheet on any platform, like OpenOffice or whatever you have on your computer. I only have Microsoft Excel. I'm not an expert by any means but I do love playing with Excel and their number formulas.

For a while I myself depended on Amazon's own reports to let me know what has been ordered, paid for, and shipped.

The trouble I found came at the end of the month if there were a lot of items, as the ordered items and the actual number of sent items didn't seem to tally. In the first week of the new month when things from the previous month are being sent it is very easy to become confused. Some items were maybe never sent, and the only way for you to know that was to tick them off in a separate list you wrote out yourself.

Never be confused again. Make yourself up a simple spreadsheet to track the ordered and sent goods from Amazonor any other company you are an affiliate of.

A new Sheet in Microsoft Excel 2007
A new Sheet in Microsoft Excel 2007

I am assuming here that you do not know how to make up a spreadsheet. Unless you have previously worked in an office or have studied computing at school or college, chance are you haven't a clue as nothing on the opening page makes it immediately obvious what you are expected to do.

Type some headings in the first few columns at the top of the sheet, as shown here.

place headings in your columns
place headings in your columns

I have put in "December" "#" "Price" "Total" "4%" "6%" "6.5%" "7%" "10%" "Capped" and "Date Sent". For prolific sellers, you can manually add in higher percentages in new columns.

By placing the mouse at the line between the column headings (where the sheet is pale blue) the mouse pointer changes into a black perpendicular line with an east and west arrow on it. At this point you can drag the lines to widen or shrink a column, depending on the data you want to input.

I widened column A to make room for product descriptions. Also by placing the mouse on the blue 1 at the start, that whole row gets highlighted. You can then bold and/or centre the words in the whole row.

highlighting a row in Excel
highlighting a row in Excel

You will want to freeze that top row so that it always stays in view even when you scroll down. To do that, highlight it as shown here (by clicking in the blue box at the start of the row), then go to View ~> Freeze panes ~Freeze Top row.

Now we want to add in some products. I just made up the examples here, but you may want to write in the actual product name that you have sold. They go in the first column, under December.

I don't add a price in until it has been shipped. That way you can tell at a glance what has shipped and what hasn't. Amazon prices change quite a lot and even if you go straight to the page on Amazon to look at the price of the item sold, remember that whoever bought it, bought it the day before when the price may have been higher or lower.

So whatever product you put in first, make sure it has shipped so that you can prepare all your sums to autofill the data that comes next.

For this example, item 1 which sits in the cell A2 is a red toy car. I have sold 5 of them, and they cost $5.99 each.

In cell D2, under the heading "Total", type in =B2*C2. The equals sign tells the program, in this case Excel, that you are entering a function. Miss it out and it will not work.

If you look you are telling it to multiply the unit cost times the number of units. 

The function of a cell is also viewable in the white row above, next to the fx sign. You can make changes to any or all of your functions up there, or in the cells themselves.

how to insert a simple sum function
how to insert a simple sum function

Now we are going along inserting all your sums.

You don't have to do this of course, as Amazon work out your percentages for you (and they always round partial numbers down!), but its handy to see at a glance how much more money you make when you reach a higher percentage.

In cell E2, under the "4%" sign, put in the formula =D2*.04

This is telling the program to give you 4% of the 29.95 the cars sold for.

It has come out at a long figure that you don't want, but that is easily fixed.

Right click on the cell and from the drop-down list that appears, choose Format Cells.

It would have been sitting on General at the very top. Click on Number, make sure it is on 2 decimal places, then click OK.

Then do the same sum in F2, G2, H2, and I2, replacing the .04 for .06, .065, .07 and finally .1.

Your spreadsheet now has its basic functions inserted.

Now you want to make sure the same formula is applied to everything in those columns. I'm sure there are other ways to set that up, but all I do is highlight the cells I want repeated.

Place the cursor on the little black square at the bottom right hand side of your highlighted cells, and you will see it change from a thick white cross to a thin black cross.

At that point, grab the corner and left-button click and drag it down as many cells as you like. Your formula will input automatically in a sequential fashion. The sum in the first box will change from =D2*.04 to D3*.04, D4*.04 and so on.

Where it has no data to work with, it will return 0 until data is put in the required cells.

drag the box by that little black square as shown.
drag the box by that little black square as shown.

Now when we input our selling price for each item, the spreadsheet will automatically work out the correct figure for each cell.

What I tend to do is make a sheet for each month, and bold the column that is receiving that particular percentage. If I make enough sales to move up a percentage, I just unbold the column it was on, and re-bold the new one.

Of course excel also gives you the choice of color-coding each column to make them stand out. You can play around with the program to get things looking the way you want.

highlight a column (click on the blue bar at the top) and then click 'bold'.
highlight a column (click on the blue bar at the top) and then click 'bold'.

When you make more sales and want to add them in, simply highlight the bottom row and drag down as far as you want to continue the formulas down the page.

highlight the bottom row and drag downwards by the black box to extend the functions.
highlight the bottom row and drag downwards by the black box to extend the functions.

Now you will notice from this example spreadsheet that we have an electronic item in there which in is capped at 4%, while you may be earning 6% or more on other items. I find the easiest thing to do is to highlight all electronic items in a stand out color. I have chosen yellow.

To do this, simply go to Home ~>fill color, which has a little paint box symbol. Choose your color then click on the cell.

You can also empty the other cells in the row so you don't have to look at commission you are not earning.

In the example below I am going to show you how to add columns, though I don't usually bother. You already have your total from Amazon over on the Reports page, and chances are yours will add higher thanks to their rounding down if partial numbers.

To add any column, go the the cell you want the results to show up in, and type in =sum(). Inside the brackets you want to the the first cell you want counted, and the last cell you want counted. Between the two place a colon sign.

Sop if you wanted (as in the example above) to add the column containing your 6% commission earnings, you would put in =sum(F2:F10)

But...what about the 4% you earned for selling that electronic item? Just add on the sum as I've done above - =SUM(F2:F10)+E4.I

If you wanted to know the average price of all items sold, the formula would be =average(C2:C10) or which ever column you wanted to know.

The way I have set this example page up, you would need to save it to template to re-use it every month instead of having to set up a new one.

Of course, you can also continue to use just the one sheet. replace the December heading with Product and add another column called Date.

Excel can fill each day in automatically too, just by dragging that little black box.

Have fun :)

Not got your copy of Excel? Check out the different versions of Microsoft Office available at Amazon


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    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 2 years ago from UK

      T hank you all so much! I'd no idea this was HOTD until I noticed a lot of hits on this hub. WTG folks!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 2 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      A very helpful and well-written article. I have used spreadsheets for years, and can't imagine working without them. I'm still not thrilled with the new Excel that came along with the new Windows desktop, but that's just me.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD!

      This was interesting, and useful for those folks who want to track Amazon earnings. I don't get many; I think I've gotten a total of two (count them: 2) sales from Amazon capsules. There's nothing for me to track! LOL

      However, I am very familiar with spreadsheets, and have used them for many things. Currently, I require a spreadsheet to keep all my husband's medications straight--which ones, at what time of day and what quantities. Yes, he's on that many meds; he's a heart patient.

      However, the gem I did pick from your hub is how to have the top row stay with the rest of the sheet when scrolling down. That, I've never known how to do, and it is annoying and frustrating to have to keep bouncing back to the top of the page to be sure of the correct column.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • DawnMSamora profile image

      DawnM Samora 2 years ago from Akron, Ohio

      Hi Izzy, Congrats on the HOD!

      I love this, and how you explained things step by step. I could probably use this for a yard-sale we will be having. There could be many people involved, and this spreadsheet can help me keep track of only my earnings. :) Great Hub!--DawnM

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 2 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on HOTD! I really enjoy using spreadsheets too! I don't keep track of the detail of my Amazon earnings, but I do keep track of my monthly earnings on HubPages from the various sources. Then I have the spreadsheet show me a chart so I can visually see how my account is working.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Congrats on HOD! Right now I can track my earnings on a post-it! But this is good information for "someday".

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Izzy, congrats on HOTD! What a clever idea. I would keep this in mind for my Amazon or ebay earnings. I've made one sale last month for an ebook, but that's not enough to log down on a screensheet. I do use my OO spreadsheet to track down my earnings from HP every month in a simpler template form. Voted up for useful!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Very well explained. It'll be useful for so many people.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

      Hey thanks! I'm not great with spreadsheets, but they are such fun to play around with, and I love that they do all the computing and sums for you, once they are set up. You should give it a go.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      This is really well explained. I have never created a spreadsheet but I may now give it a go. VOTED UP AND USEFUL

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      The main reason I started an Amazon spreadsheet was to track items that seem to go missing every month. These are items that I assume are cancelled in some way after the order is made, but don't show up as cancelled on your affiliate account. With a spreadsheet you can see at a glance what hasn't shipped and what might never ship.

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Excellent article, Izzy. I am way too lazy to do something like this, just like watching the numbers go up, but for those who like to track every item, this is very well laid out, and very helpful. Also motivates folks to get more sales when they see the higher percentages. :)

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks Boomer :) It's certainly a good guide for complete beginners or for those who haven't worked with spreadsheets for years and need reminding.

    • Boomer60 profile image

      Boomer60 7 years ago

      Good stuff on setting up a spreadsheet. I definitely bookmarked this article.