As a reseller, it is vital to have an organization system for your inventory. This helps with quickly finding an item when it sells and makes inventory audits a breeze. If you don’t have a system in place yet, no worries! It’s never too late to get started, and you will be thanking yourself that you did.
How To Store Clothes
Clear Plastic Tubs
There are a variety of ways to store clothing items for your reseller inventory system. What I have found works best is putting the items into clear plastic 66 quart storage bins.
For this process, start with buying 1 gallon plastic storage bags. I like to use plastic bags for my inventory system because it keeps the items sealed from any odors or damage that may occur in storage.
Next, label a clear plastic bin with the letter “A”. From there, take a piece of clothing, fold it nicely, place it in a bag, and label it “A1”. Continue this process until the bin is full.
More on tracking your inventory on the back end to come...
Important note: avoid stuffing it to the brim because you will have to pull out items once they sell. Leave enough room to make it quick and easy to pull an item without throwing off your inventory system.
Once an item sells on a platform like Poshmark, eBay, or Mercari, go to the bin and pull the item. Remember, you already folded the item prior to putting it in the bag so that it would be ready to go!
If you want, take the item out of the bag and wrap it in tissue paper and/or write a little note.
Alternatively, you can keep the item in the plastic bag and ship it out as is, bag included. I avoid doing this for two reasons:
- I want to limit waste, so I would rather re-use the plastic bag.
- I end up saving money by not having to continually purchase plastic bags.
If you choose to ship the item out in the original bag, make sure you have a system for tracking open spaces in your inventory system so you can filter in new items.
Another route for storing your resale inventory is a clothing rack. This method has benefits including being able to see the items for a quick retrieval, and ease of access.
I personally use the clothing rack method for bulkier items that take up too much space in a bin like coats, jackets, and formal dresses.
My anxious brain is a little uneasy with the items being open and exposed to the elements, so make sure the items are stored in a secure place away from pets, kids, and food and drink.
How To Store Shoes
Shoes can arguably be a more difficult resale inventory item to store. This is because they may take up more space, especially if the shoe box is included.
One option of shoe storage can be using USPS Priority Mail boxes. Putting the shoes directly into a shipping box can be a quick and easy way to not only store shoes, but to cut down on the time it takes to package them once they sell.
From here, stack your shoes whether they are in their original box and/or a USPS shipping box.
Alternatively, you can purchase small, clear plastic stackable bins so shoes are protected and also easy to see and retrieve once you make the sale.
Where To Store
In Your Home
Storing your inventory in your living quarters is the cheapest and easiest method. Whether it is your basement or spare bedroom, this FREE inventory space may be the best option for newbies or small scale resellers.
By storing your items in your house, you have easy access to the items when they sell or when buyers ask questions.
However, if you are going away on vacation or have an employee in your reselling business, you may want to consider a storage unit to limit others coming into your home.
And for my apartment peeps, store in your apartment provided common area at your own risk, as I have unfortunately seen padlocks cut on tenants storage units.
In A Storage Unit
Whether you don’t have enough space in your house or have too much inventory to fit in your space, a storage unit may be a feasible option.
This is true with all listings, however be sure to provide extreme detail, measurements, and pictures of your items. This will limit the amount of times you need to visit your storage unit.
Additionally, this will make visiting your storage unit quick and easy if you just need to grab and go, and not take the time to get an item out for a few measurements then put it back.
I bet you were expecting me to tell you about some fancy pants inventory software for resellers to solve all of your inventory needs. However, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to hear about a FREE solution- Excel or Google Sheets!
You can create a reseller inventory spreadsheet in less than 5 minutes. Here are some suggestions of columns to include:
- Title of item
- Cost of item
- Date item was purchased
- Date item was listed
- Inventory location
Although not necessary, I also use a secondary backup method for my inventory with Vendoo. Vendoo is a crosslisting platform that houses my entire reseller inventory.
In the notes section of each listing, I record the inventory location. That way, if I have a mental lapse and forget to add the location in one area, it’s always in the other.
Tracking Your Inventory
Once your inventory system is set up the way you want it, the work is not over. Each quarter you should be performing an inventory audit.
This will ensure items that have already sold can now be accounted for to prevent selling a listing twice. Additionally, you may discover items in your inventory that were somehow never listed!
You can also double check to make sure each item matches its place on your spreadsheet, and that there are no duplicates.
If you don’t have an inventory system just yet, it’s never too late to start. Be patient with yourself in the process, don’t expect to have a foolproof system overnight!
Spend a little time each day, and before you know it, you’ll be the reseller inventory storage queen.