Keeping track of your eBay inventory is crucial to having a successful business. Whether you have 1,000 items or 10 items, it’s important to make sure you store and organize your ebay inventory in a way that keeps it safe and also makes sense. Not being able to find something you just sold is the worst and making sure you’re organized is key to preventing this.
Today I want to show you how we keep our inventory organized so that we can quickly find sold items and get them shipped out to our customers.
If you didn’t know, my husband and I work from home full time and ebay is our main source of income. We also sell on Poshmark, Mercari and Etsy, but ebay if by far the bulk of our sales so we structure our business and inventory management around what works best for ebay. But as you’ll see this system will really work for pretty much any platform.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
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Ebay Clothing Inventory Storage
Since we do mostly clothing I figured I would show you how we store clothing first.
The first thing I want to show you is our inventory bags. These are simply plastic resealable bags that have a sticker with our inventory ID on them. Until it’s time to ship, each item we list is assigned to one of these numbers and stored in one of the bags shown below. Once empty we reuse them for future inventory so we constantly have our items rotating through the inventory bags.
The bags we use are simple 9” x 12” that you can find here for pretty cheap. To label the bags we personally have printed on a full label sheet and cut the numbers out because that’s what we had on hand, but for ease I recommend these labels if you want to print yourself. Otherwise you can also buy a roll of stickers like these that go from 1-500.
What our inventory IDs mean
Now how do we come up with our numbers? We use letters and numbers to come up with our inventory numbers. Because we store our items in bins we found it easiest to label each bin with a letter (so bin A for example). And then each item is numbered 1-25 in the bin. So we would have item A1, A2, etc all the way up to A25.
The reason we lettered our bins is it’s a bit easier to remember a letter with a small number. We originally used just numbers so we’d have bin 1-25, bin 26-50, etc. but it did take a little more thought and it was easier to transpose numbers when pulling or putting away inventory so we moved to lettered bins and it has worked out perfectly.
Where we store our ebay inventory
Since I mentioned the bins above I’ll tell you a bit about our organization system that we have in our one car garage in our home that is dedicated to our reselling business.
We have bins similar to these (ours are a different color and discontinued) placed on shelves similar to these from Costco. I spent a while doing research to make sure we could fit 3 bins wide on the shelves and picked these bins for that specific reason. Some bins are a bit wider so just make sure whatever system you decide on measures up.
So we are able to fit 12 bins on each shelf. Right now we have 3 of these shelves with inventory, though they’r not completely full.
So if we do the math we could fit 25 items in each bin, 12 bins per shelf and 3 shelves so a total of 900 items on 3 shelves.
We also have one clothing rack that we hang items that won’t fit in an inventory bag or is too delicate to leave folded up for an extended period of time.
How we store shoes and hard goods
Storing our inventory of shoes and hard goods, basically any of our non clothing items, is a bit different. We have various methods for this depending on the item.
We store shoes one of two ways: pre-boxed or wrapped in plastic and in a bin. Items in bins are numbered SB1-14, for example, with SB1 meaning Shoe Bin 1 and 14 being the number of the actual shoe.
Many shoes we pre-box so they’re ready to ship. Those are numbered SH-45, for example. We know exactly where to look if we see something labeled SH.
Hard goods are stored similarly to shoes. Most are either sitting in a bin or pre-boxed. We prefer to pre-box our hard goods so that we can properly pack them and weigh them so that our shipping weight is accurate and we don’t lose money on shipping. But some items we do just loose pack in a bin to save space.
How much does it cost to store and organize 900 ebay items?
Since the hard goods and shoes really vary, I’m just going to talk about clothing storage here so we can have more definite numbers.
500 pack of 9×12 bags x 2 at $29.99 each = $59.98
750 label pack x 2 at $8.97 each = $17.95
Shelving x 3 at $80.47 each = $247.41
Bins (6 packs) x 6 at $55.31 each = $331.86
Clothing Rack $42.87
I know that looks like a lot. It is! But you’re not going to go from 10 items to 900 items overnight. It took us two years to purchase all of these items, so don’t feel like you need to run out and spend $700!
Some ideas to save on this system
Buy secondhand: As resellers we know all about this right? See if you can snag shelves or bins from yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist, FB marketplace, etc. I bought my clothing rack for $10 from someone on FB Marketplace. You could probably cut that total in half doing this.
Price shop: I like to link to these items so you can easily buy them, but they could be cheaper elsewhere. For example we actually bought our shelves at Costco for $60! If you have a costco nearby and a truck you can save $20 per shelf by buying them at Costco. They have a similar shelf at Sam’s Club as well.
Bankers Boxes: If you want to skip the plastic bins at $6-$10 each you can opt for banker boxes! They’re sturdy cardboard boxes that you can get for cheaper ($2-$3) each click here to see an example. You won’t fit as much in them, maybe 15 items, but it’s definitely a cheaper option.
So now you’ve seen how we store our inventory. We’ve been perfecting this system over the course of a couple of years and think it works pretty well!
If you have any questions or would like to share how you store your inventory I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Related post: What you need to sell on ebay (ultimate resource list)