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Sam Mehmeti
Level 1

Importing Inventory Into Categories

When importing inventory, is it possible to import them straight into a category or sub-category? Or the only way to categorize is to import as normal, and then categorize them?


Or another way is do I have the ability to import them with a specific category field? From what I see, you can only chose a category when adding inventory one by one. This is not possible for me as because I have 3000+ products to upload, with many being differently categorized. 

7 Comments 7
Level 15

Importing Inventory Into Categories

Not as far as I know, unless there is some recent changes to the process

QuickBooks Team

Importing Inventory Into Categories

Yes, it's possible in QuickBooks Online (QBO), @Sam Mehmeti. I'll make sure you can import your inventories with specific categories and sub-categories.


You can edit your inventories from Excel, then ensure that they’re set up properly. The cell for Products/Services can act as a placeholder for the main categories and subcategories.


This is how to map them in Excel:

•    For Category only.

Name of the category: Name of Product/Services.

•    If with Sub-category.

Name of Category: Name of Subcategory: Name of Product/Service.


For example, the category is Size, sub-category is Color, and the Product is Phone. When you input it on the cell, it should look like this (Size: Color: Phone).




Also, the Import functionality can support up to 1,000 records at a time. Since your list is longer than that, you split it up into multiple, smaller files.


For additional details about importing products and services from Excel, please refer to this article: Import products and services into QuickBooks Online.


In case you want to manually adjust your item quantity after importing them. To be guided, you can utilize this link for reference: Adjust inventory quantity on hand in QuickBooks Online.


Additionally, I'm adding these resources that serve as your guide in flawlessly accounting your inventory:



Should you need further assistance recording tips and retained earnings in QuickBooks, please don't hesitate to comment below. I'm always here to help. Take care!

Level 1

Importing Inventory Into Categories

Hi , 


I am trying to import items across multiple categories and sub categories. For some reason it is only importing the categories and sub categories but won't import the items in those. The only items it seems to import are the ones in a single category. 


This is the error message it gives me :

  • One of your products or services already uses this name, so you can't use it as a category. In your Excel or CSV file, change the category name to something else and try importing again.

 I have added an image of the item names. This was imported from QuickBooks Desktop 2010, and I had to add the various fields to the template provided. There are no other errors now apart from the above.


Importing Inventory Into Categories

I appreciate you joining this thread, @KevinZa.

I'm here to share information about importing items across multiple categories and subcategories in QuickBooks Online (QBO). 

When importing inventory items by categories and subcategories, let's make sure not to use the same category name multiple times, as the system will detect those as duplicate items. 

To sort this out, change each category's name or label to something new to avoid duplication when importing your CSV or Excel file in QBO. Moreover, you may also want to review your formatting to ensure that you have entered the categories and subcategories correctly before importing.

For detailed information, kindly visit: Import products and services into QuickBooks Online.

Additionally, I'll also share this article that can serve as your reference if you want to learn more about inventory quantity in QBO: Adjust inventory quantity on hand in QuickBooks Online.

Feel free to leave a reply if you require further assistance with importing inventory in QuickBooks. The Community team always has your back. Have a good one!

Level 1

Importing Inventory Into Categories

I want to import an excel file to pos 19. what format do I need?


Importing Inventory Into Categories

Thanks for joining this thread, @vikingoutfitters. I’ve got the information you need to import your Excel file to QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale (POS) 2019.

The formats you need in order to import your Excel file smoothly to POS are the following:


  • There should be no dashes in empty Excel fields
  • Remove empty rows and columns
  • Delete hidden columns
  • Don't use formulas, hyperlinks, and special characters like @,#,$,%,&,*
  • Use clear content instead of deleting the information separately

Furthermore, before importing your data, please make sure to create a backup of your file, do a quick scan of the whole worksheet before mapping, and break large lists into smaller sections.

You can use this reference to guide you further about the process: QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale: Import and Export overview. It contains templates to make sure everything is correct.   

If you have any other concerns or questions besides file formats, feel free to reach back out or mention me in your comments. I’ll be here anytime to assist you. Keep safe always!

Not applicable

Importing Inventory Into Categories

I'm replying on this comment because I found out an easy way today. simply import your products using the default excel, and once you have added all your products, go to the products and services section and tick the products that fall into a specific category and you will see an option to assign category on top. Make sure you add the categories before you use this.

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