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How To: Manage Inventory

by Rachel Petersen

GUEST BLOGGER: Dot Jones

How To:
MANAGE RESELLER INVENTORY

Having your own business is an exciting journey with so many opportunities for personal and financial growth. For me, reselling started out as a hobby, something that I could easily tackle by keeping my inventory in a designated area in my closet.

Now that I have transitioned to a full-time business owner, the size of my inventory has exceeded the capacity of a shared shelving area! With over 1,000 active listings, I need to have a way to safely store products of all different types and I need to be able to quickly locate the items once they sell in order to keep my customers happy. 

Having an efficient, simple, and expandable inventory storage system is a crucial part of running an online sales business, whether you’re a full-time reseller or hobbyist who’s running low on space. In this article, I’m going to offer you some tips that I use to make my life easier!

For this article, I will specifically be talking about what I need for my inventory as a full-time reseller. Keep in mind that if your business is smaller and doesn’t require quite as much room, this can all be modified to best suit your needs.

The base of your inventory storage is shelving. I like to use a sturdy HDX brand shelving unit from Home Depot that can handle some weight. I am fortunate enough to have an extra bedroom to set up my inventory storage, and these fit nicely along the walls with room in the center for work space.

Each shelf holds two 12-gallon clear plastic boxes, and I like to get the units with 5 shelves each. I have also chosen to use HDX boxes with a 2-part flip-top lid for ease of access.

After I list an item, it is folded neatly and put into a gallon freezer zip bag. You may occasionally need a larger size zip bag for bigger items like sweaters, but I have been surprised at what I can fit into a gallon bag. I then label the bag with a letter and number for storage. 

For example, when I started out on my first box, I labeled it with a card that read “A”. Everything that went into that box was put into a bag labelled “A01”, “A02”, and so on. On my listings, I will make a small note at the end of my description indicating what letter and number combo that item is stored as.

When something sells, I can easily go to my storage room, locate the lettered box, and pull out the correct number. This streamlines the whole process and makes everything so much more convenient, especially when dealing with a larger volume of inventory and sales!

That's great for clothes, but what about other inventory?

For items such as shoes, I will use those large shelving units, but separate the items depending on the type of shoe. Right now I have separate shelves for sneakers, heels, flats, and boots, though those could be broken down even further if you have more room and need.

Large jackets and coats will often get hung up in an extra closet so as to keep them wrinkle-free. Everything can easily be incorporated into this versatile shelving system, depending on what your business specializes in and what you need space for.

You can also continue to expand your business with this system, continuing on to double letters once you reach the end of the alphabet, and so-on.

A well-oiled inventory storage system is absolutely necessary to have, in order for your business to run efficiently. You can use the tips I shared with you and modify them as needed to fit the size and requirements of your personal business model.

The ability to locate and store inventory in a tidy and hassle-free manner makes customer satisfaction so much higher, with faster ship times and less stress on your end. Building your own business is an exciting venture, and with a streamlined inventory storage system you have unlimited opportunity for growth!

We'd love to hear from you -- tell us your favorite inventory tips in the comments!

Dot has been dabbling in resale since she was a teenager, and in fashion even longer. As a life-long artist, clothing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.
After graduating with a bachelor’s from Emory and exploring the corporate world for several years, she decided a different path was in order. Life has taken her on a wide variety of paths, but reselling and fashion have remained constants throughout it all.

After experiencing some major life changes, she made the leap to start reselling full-time. Following a year of hard work, she has made over 1,000 sales and that number is growing exponentially. Dot is working on streamlining her business and creating a brand that will not only focus on curated fashion, but also showcase her original artwork and designs.

You can find Dot on Instagram @mechanicalwomb and on Poshmark @1013thrift.

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