Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Peek Inside My eBay Inventory Listing & Storage System

One of the keys to eBay success is developing a system. A system for listing, a system for storage, a system for shipping, etc. But what system is the best? How do you get your system in place. Well, I'm here to say that's all up to you! I wish I could help more, it's just that everyone is different.

Just like it works better for some people to list 40 items all in one day, I'd rather list 5 or 6 items per day, a few times a week. There are lots of options for keeping eBay stock neat and tidy. I'll show you what I do, aka "my little system".

A customer shopping in my store will see this, but the picture here on the right is what I see. Looks pretty much like organized chaos to me. :)

In addition to lots boxes, I also have 21 clear containers that I have labeled. For example:

Girls 0-4T Winter
Girls 0-4T Summer
Boys 0-4T All
Mugs (I have 4 of these so far!), etc...

As I begin my listing process, after photos have been taken, I usually have a pile of random stuff. For the most part as I list, I also wrap the item and prep it for shipping. Things like mugs, and plates I can set to the side while listing and I wrap them up last. Since I've listed and shipped so many of them, I can weigh them alone and know what packing and a box will take the shipping cost to. But for the rest of my stuff, this process really helps me "guess" what the shipping will be. This way, the customer is not over-changed and I'm not losing money by undercharging.

Here's the same bunch of merchandise pictured above, ready to go to "the store" after being listed. I see several advantage to my system. First everything is protected. Clothes, are wrapped in bags, then in a poly bag (or small box) and then kept in a plastic bin. If that won't keep out odors, I'm not sure will. Mugs, glasses, trinkets, and other breakables are protected from breakage. I will add more packing to box when these items are shipped, but for now, they too are wrapped in a plastic bag (I recycle!!) and padded (wrapped) in newspaper. I can also store items more per square foot. This is super important to me because we live in a small house to begin with (only 1800 sq feet). There's just not the room to spread things out on shelves.

For example, here's a tub of mugs and glasses that I just started filling. Once at capacity, I might get 40 to 50 items in that space. Tubs are also great because you don't need shelving to store them. In my photo at the top, I have one cute shelving unit, but the rest of my tubs are stacked beside the shelf, one on top of another. Worst case, I move 6 tubs to get to the bottom one.

You'll notice that when I'm listing, I'm also printing out the first page of the listing and taping it to the outside of each item. The picture and title make finding items super easy. Not to mention the tubs are clear and I can see where things are right away. Normally if something sells, I can locate it within about 2 minutes and that's a worst case scenario. Overall, I actually know where most things are and find them right away.

The last benefit of my listing/storage process is that once something sells, it takes no time at all to ship it. When I weigh each item during listing/wrapping process, I also note the weight on the print out. Once I head in from the storage area, the weight is plugged into PayPal and a label prints right out (on plain paper!). Tape it to the box, and I'm done!

Some people might think it's backwards to wrap up things before they sell. But, what I've found is that after a few years of selling and trying other ways, this is what's works for me and my space. I hope maybe you got a few ideas on how to list or store you eBay item. I have many more helpful eBay articles here. Like, what supplies to gather to get started on eBay or where to get free packing.

Thanks for reading!


Keith Wilcox said...

Oh my God, Angie! I had no idea you were such a machine! That's impressive. You've got like three full time jobs going on. How the heck do you have time for relaxing?

Angie said...

YAY!!! Someone realizes I working my ass off everyday! :)

I figure I might relax when money trickles in at a faster rate. :)

Thanks for recognizing my hard work!! My mom seems to think I sit at home playing all day on the computer and can't figure why I always say I'm "busy". But, the fun part is that I can drop everything and play whenever I want. :)

About Me

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DFW, Texas
I'm a married, stay-at-home mom to two kiddos in grade school. I love to save money as much as I like to make it! Coupons, thrift stores? Lead the way! But wait....there's more! I have a BBA from University of Oklahoma and I was a banker and an accountant before I became a domestic goddess!


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