For consignment shop owners, tracking inventory may seem like an exhausting and time-consuming task. Who knew people own that many pairs of shoes? And now, those shoes are your responsibility until they’re sold. By implementing an inventory management system and learning how to properly manage your merchandise, you can increase efficiency, maximize your profits, and ensure that your inventory audits go off without a hitch.
Cloud-Based Consignment Point-of-Sale Systems
Cloud technology lets you keep track of business inventory anywhere you have an internet connection and frees you from location constraints. It also offers cost savings for small businesses due to the low startup costs. Thinking of bringing some of your consignment items to the local farmer’s market or festival? A cloud-based point-of-sale system, such as Shopify or Square, is accessible from your smartphone or tablet. Some systems include devices like Shopify’s barcode scanner. Every item you take into your shop gets a barcode. You can enter the original owner’s information and other details about the product, including price. During intake, you scan and assign the barcode, automatically entering the product into your inventory database. Scanning the product during a sale removes it from your inventory, which keeps you on top of things and helps your inventory audits go more smoothly.
A point-of-sale system (POS) helps reduce human errors that can occur with manual entries, cash registers, or adding machine inventory systems. A POS system works by tracking every item in an electronic database. POS systems can sometimes be expensive to implement, but they offer the big benefit of letting you track down your inventory efficiently with little effort on your end besides the initial input of new items. Some systems are geared towards specific industries. A system tailored to a consignment shop can monitor inventory by each individual vendor so the person providing merchandise for sale gets proper credit. This type of system usually includes a computer, software, and a barcode scanner. Initial setup can be time-consuming because you have to enter every customer, create barcodes for every piece of merchandise, and scan every item into the system. But, once you’ve done this, the system is simple to use and allows you to add or remove items from your inventory database with a single click instead of tracking items by hand or using a spreadsheet. Many POS systems, including Shopify, offer QuickBooks integration, making your boutique’s financial management easy.
Consignment Store Inventory Management With Spreadsheets
If you’re just starting out in your small business, you can use spreadsheets to track inventory. The main benefit of this method is that it’s inexpensive and easy to set up. An inventory sheet should include the product name, product number, price, item description, and the seller’s contact information. You add items as you receive them and mark them sold after you sell them. While there are certainly advantages to this type of inventory management, it also leaves a lot of manual work to be done, and it opens the potential for errors in the event of an inventory audit. But as your boutique grows, you might want to consider other options.
When you count your current inventory, be sure to keep a running tally of damaged, dirty, or otherwise unusable merchandise that never made it to the racks or can’t be sold for one reason or another. Create a specific location for these items in a back room or under the counter so they can be included in your inventory count. Regardless of which inventory system you use, it’s important to track all types of merchandise to maintain accurate numbers for reporting purposes and for inventory audits.
Tracking inventory is an essential part of any business. For a consignment shop, it can be a challenge to keep track of inventory that’s constantly coming in and going out. Do you have an abundance of a certain brand of jeans, or a surplus of last season’s clothes? Have a VIP sale for loyal customers. To maximize efficiency, it’s important to find some sort of inventory management system so you have a searchable document for accounting. 5.6 million customers use QuickBooks. Join them today to help your business thrive for free.