There are many success stories of people starting their own small business by selling items on one of the several popular online market places. If you enjoy sourcing collectibles, electronics, video games, clothing, or any other type of item that people are interested in buying, you can potentially earn a good part-time or even full-time income. But in order to succeed, you need to treat this venture as a business, even if you do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront.
One of the challenges to many online sellers is keeping their inventory organized. Whether you're just thinking about selling online or you are a new seller learning the ropes, use the following tips to manage your inventory:
Create a Dedicated Storage Area for Your Inventory
To make your life easier and help your business thrive, it is essential to create your own little warehouse whether it is in a spare room of your house, your garage, or a storage shed. Two great things to have to help manage your inventory are stable shelves along the wall and several heavy duty plastic storage bins in a variety of sizes.
Categorize Your Inventory for Easier Inventory Management
Heavy duty plastic storage bins are a great tool for categorizing your inventory. If you sell several different types of items, use plastic bins to keep them separated. For example, electronics can be stored in one bin while clothes are in another. Label the bins clearly and place them on a shelf so you can always find what you're looking for. To make managing your inventory even easier, Have bins and shelves on one side of the room for items that have already been photographed and listed online. On the other side of the room, place new items into bins until you are able to take pictures, write a description, and list it online. This method will help prevent wasted time, especially as your inventory grows, since you will not have to dig through your inventory of items and try to figure out what items need to be listed.
Utilize Programs and Spreadsheets
In addition to keeping your physical inventory organized, it is essential to keep clear records of your inventory on your computers. There are a number of free or low-cost programs and spreadsheets that will help you keep track of what inventory items you currently have, how much you paid for the item, how much you listed it for, and how much it actually sells for. This information can be used to determine your profits and losses and will also be very useful when you do your taxes.
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