Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday Madness - Merchandise Inventory

I tried posting this last night, but lost everything when my computer froze...so I gave up.  Please forgive my absence. After dealing with illness for the past couple of weeks, I finally went to the doctor and found out that I have pneumonia.

With some events coming up that I plan to sell at, I realized that I needed to have an updated inventory of my products for sale. This week is our annual holiday boutique at work and they have a central checkout system. That means labeling every item I plan to sell and giving them a list of products so we can reconcile things at the end of the boutique.  If you haven't been keeping your inventory current, this is a very time consuming process.

Etsy does help you a little with getting your product information into a list.  In the "Shop Settings" area, click on "Options." On the page that comes up, there is a tab for downloading data. By downloading a CSV of your shop inventory, you will have a lot of the hard work done. A CSV is a comma separated values file and it will open in pretty much any spreadsheet program. When I downloaded my shop list, I discovered just how many items I hadn't managed to add to the shop yet - oops!

Our next event is a powwow at Utah Valley University. No central checkout, so we need to stay at the table to sell our stuff. Since many of our products are geared toward fellow Native Americans, the powwow is a fun place for us to be. Getting to talk to the customers is also better for our sales since people are more likely to buy when they understand what tatting is or how to work an adjustable necklace. It's also nice to be able to more flexible with our prices and to take custom orders.

Do you have an inventory list?  Are there any tips or tricks you'd like to share with us?

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