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My Inventory Management System – And It’s Free!

How I manage my online and booth inventory

A question I hear a lot from vintage sellers is how to manage inventory? I’m more than happy to share my method if it might help. It’s easy to adapt to your specific needs. 

When you first start out, a notebook seems to be fine. But after awhile, it becomes a bit unwieldy. Ratty, tattered and annoying. I found that a Google Drive spread sheet works great! Any spreadsheet you have will work just as well, but this is free, available wherever you might be and not likely to get lost or accidentally deleted. 

***Disclaimer — I’m not always on top of things. Sometimes, most times, I don’t make a note the day I bring something in. Oftentimes, I have something a year, or years plural, before I ever write it down. Many times I keep something for myself before deciding to sell it. So, my inventory sheet isn’t necessarily accurate on dates and many don’t even have a date. Sometimes I guess when I bought it, sometimes I don’t bother. I often have to guess how much I paid, but oddly, I seem to be able to remember that. So………..Don’t be me! Do as I say, not as I do. 

Here’s a screen shot of a partial inventory page. Click the picture for a larger view, but click a little to the right or left of center. The share buttons pop up dead center:

Inventory management system

So here’s the process:

  1. Create a new Google Drive Sheet. (I’m assuming you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how to do this. It’s pretty self explanatory in Google Drive.)
  2. Name your columns in the top row. I use:
    1. Stock number
    2. Name/short description of item
    3. Date bought
    4. Cost of item
    5. Sold price
    6. Where it was sold (I sell in multiple venues)
    7. Date it was sold
    8. Any note I’d like to make, such as if it was a personal item or a memorable estate sale or a curbside find, etc.
  3. Freeze that row. Highlight the row (click and drag) then choose “view” from the menu bar, then “freeze”, then “1 row.”

Ignore the numbered rows on the left. There is probably a way to get rid of that, but I just ignore them. There’s a reason I don’t use them for my SKU numbers. After a few years, that spread sheet can get really big. My first page is several years worth. I filled it in from my notebook records. I saw quickly that not only was the notebook unwieldy, the spread sheet was as well. So I started creating a new sheet every year.

Inventory management system

At the beginning of each new year, create a new sheet. See that plus sign at the bottom left of the picture above? That creates a “new sheet.” Each of those tabs is a new sheet. I chose to name each sheet with the beginning and ending stock numbers for that year. The first stock number of the year and at the end of the year, I add the last number. If I sold an item whose SKU is 7025, I go to the page that has that number, quickly locate it and add the info of when and where it sold and for how much.

It’s pretty simple, really. I don’t do complicated. 

Hope this has helped you in some way. Feel free to copy it exactly or adapt it to your own needs. I think it would be nice to have a picture of each item beside the name, but I’m just a bit too lazy for that.

How I manage my online and booth inventory


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Hi! I'm Wanda, the owner of Just Vintage and this is my blog where I talk about buying, selling, and decorating with all things vintage. I want to help you learn what to buy for resale and maybe give you inspiration in decorating, even if it's what NOT to do.

3 thoughts on “My Inventory Management System – And It’s Free!

  1. I started a Google document, but I gave it up b/c I hated seeing them convert .20 to .2. Didn’t know how to make it what I wanted. Back to handwriting.
    Florence recently posted…Top Ten Things I Look for at Yard SalesMy Profile

  2. I do something very similar using an Excel database. I think your steps are clear and will be helpful to others! Job well done, Wanda!

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