Inventory Management: Creating an Inventory Spreadsheet
Last week I took a look at how to export your item data from your Zibbet shop and suggested that you use that as the starting place for creating a spreadsheet to keep track of your inventory. Today, I’d like to talk more about how you can customize your spreadsheet to meet your particular inventory management needs.
Start by exporting your data as a CSV file and opening it in a spreadsheet application such as Excel. I recommend keeping one copy of your exported data ‘as is’ for data back up. Save a second copy to manipulate for inventory purposes. My thinking on this is that you don’t necessarily need all of the data that was exported for inventory management but you do need it for back up in the rare case that you need to recreate a listing in your Zibbet shop.
Next, decide which data fields you actually need for inventory management and delete the data that you don’t need. This will simplify your spreadsheet and make it more manageable. For example, you should keep the Zibbet ID, Title, Status, Created At, Units Available and Price date fields. It’s probably not necessary to retain the remaining fields for your inventory management spreadsheet.
After deleting the data fields that you don’t need, it’s time to consider deleting the data records that you don’t need. For example, since the exported data includes sold and unlisted items you may decide to delete them and just keep the records for active listings. This decision is entirely up to you. You can always sort your records based on the Status field and group all of your items with the same status together.
Now, add new fields for data that you need to record about each item. For example, if you use a physical storage system with labeled containers you may want to add a field called ‘Container’ or ‘Bin’ to record where the item is actually located. If you have your own system for numbering your items, you should add a field for this identifying information. I use the Zibbet ID number assigned to each item and write that number on the hang tag that I attach to the item. I use these numbers in combination with a printed list from my inventory spreadsheet when I do a craft show to record items that I sell at the show. I include a column on my list to mark items that were sold so that I can unlist those items in my shop and change their status to sold in my spreadsheet.
Finally, you may want to edit some of the data that was exported. For example, if you’re a Basic seller you may want to change the Units Available data if you have multiples of certain items in inventory even though you can only show a quantity of one in your Zibbet shop. As you sell and relist these items you’ll need to adjust the quantity shown in your spreadsheet.
How do you manage your inventory? Come back next week for tips on how to store and organize your items.
Best wishes for much success on Zibbet!
Vicki is committed to assisting her fellow Zibbeters improve their shops for successful online selling. She is the owner of five Zibbet shops: LOC Design Studio, Denim and Pearls, A Stitch and a Prayer, Black Creek Crossing and Think Like a Fish. You can follow Vicki on Twitter and through her LOC Design Studio blog.