We’re nearing the end of our “Selling on eBay” blog series but not before we’ve touched upon eBay inventory management – specifically, are you on top of yours? With the power to sail or fail your eBay business, let’s quit introducing and get straight to the good stuff.
What is eBay inventory management?
? The amount of stock available to buy across eBay and other channels;
? The amount of stock ordered but awaiting payment or shipment;
? The amount of damaged or missing stock;
? The amount of money held up on stock;
? The length of time stock has been in your warehouse; and
? Returned stock levels.
Why is eBay inventory management important?
Good eBay inventory management results in good eBay profits – it really is that simple. Why? Because you maximise the stock available for purchase while improving your cash flow with accurate stock planning.
Are you on top of your eBay inventory management
So, how do you know if your eBay inventory management is a’ok or doomed for failure? Ask yourself these 10 essential questions to find out:
1. Are your stock levels up-to-date?
The first question to ask yourself is whether your stock levels are up-to-date – do you know exactly how much stock of each item you have sat in your warehouse?
2. Is all of your stock available for purchase?
Knowing how much stock is sat in your warehouse is one thing, but how much of that stock is available for purchase? Are you selling everything you have or are you limiting sales by ringfencing stock?
3. How much money is tied up in your warehouse?
Do you know how much of your finances are held up in stock and do you have detailed data to plan your cash flow?
4. What’s the oldest piece of stock you hold?
Do you know your slow-moving offenders that are taking up warehousing space and budget? Do you have your own data to conduct eBay product research?
5. What’s your fastest moving stock?
Do you know your best selling products and, importantly, do you know the best time to order replacements?
6. How much time do you spend stocktaking?
Are you spending hours conducting manual stocktaking exercises to keep on top of sellable, damaged and returns stock levels?
7. Where is your inventory data kept?
Are you grappling with Excel, notepads and PostIt notes? Do you have the means to run reports and examine stock performance?
8. How quickly are you updating stock levels?
If you’re a multi-channel seller, are you instantly updating Amazon’s stock levels when you sell something on eBay? Or are you regularly overselling?
9. Does it all go to pot at Christmas?
Do you struggle to keep on top of your inventory and eBay order management during peak periods such at Christmas and January sales?
10. Do bundles cause you a headache?
Do you find it difficult to calculate the stock levels of individual items that are also sold as part of a bundle?
These questions should definitely give you some food for thought in how well you’re managing your eBay inventory. But, what do you do if you are struggling?
Managing your eBay inventory
There are two main ways to implement an eBay inventory management system that promotes health stock management.
Manual inventory management
Managing your eBay inventory management manually is entirely possible for smaller businesses who are confident with Excel and have time to dedicate.
To succeed, you’ll need to:
? Keep accurate records of all of your sales data;
? Create manual re-order alerts based on historic patterns;
? Ring-fence stock between sales channel(s);
? Conduct regular audits; and
? Employ additional staff during peak periods.
eBay inventory management software
eBay inventory management software takes the time and errors out of manual inventory management while maximising your selling opportunities.
It does this by:
? Automatically syncing stock levels upon sale, including bundles;
? Automatically updating other sales channel(s) (preventing ringfencing);
? Giving you a live view of your real-time stock limits;
? Alerting you when stock is running low; and
? Giving you accurate and in-depth sales data.
If this sounds like a better option for you, take out a few free trials to see exactly how well it works. Just be sure to look for real-time sync, multi-channel updating, bundle compatibility, returns functionality, reporting, support and affordable pricing (it shouldn’t cost the earth).
Good eBay inventory management is good business sense. Supercharge your new eBay business with the best practice and right software for the beginning – you’ll be thankful later.
Expandly eBay inventory management software combines the good parts of inventory management software with listings, order management and accounting across sales channel(s), shipping carriers and accounting software. See for yourself with a free trial.