Managing Inventory Audits for Consignment Boutiques

by Craig Anthony

2 min read

For some consignment shop owners, tracking inventory may seem like an exhausting and time consuming task. But by finding an inventory management system and learning to properly manage your merchandise, you can increase efficiency and maximize profits. Since your inventory usually doesn’t have a standard bar code, you have to find other ways to streamline your inventory audit process.

Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Systems

Cloud technology lets you keep track of business inventory anywhere you have an internet connection, because it stores all of your information in a central location online. It also offers cost savings for small businesses due to the low startup costs. A POS system is accessible from your smartphone or tablet, and most systems are compatible with printers, cash register drawers and other point-of-sale hardware. Every item you take into your shop gets a serial number or bar code. You can enter the original owner’s information and any other details about the product. During intake, you scan the bar code and to automatically enter the product into cloud storage. In a POS system, scanning the product during a purchase removes it from inventory. Many POS systems offer QuickBooks integration to make financial management easy.

Spreadsheets

If you’re just starting out and have a small business, you may want to use spreadsheets to track inventory. This main benefit of this method is that it is cheap and easy to set up. An inventory sheet should include the product name, product number, price, item description and the consigner’s information. You add Items when you receive them and mark them sold after you sell them.

Point-of-Sale Systems

A point-of-sale system helps reduce the human error that may occur with a cash register or adding machine inventory system. A POS system works by tracking every item in an electronic database. POS systems can often be expensive to implement, but they offer the big benefit of letting you track down your inventory efficiently. Some systems are geared towards specific industries. A system tailored to a consignment shop may be able to monitor inventory by each individual vendor so the person providing the merchandise for sale gets proper credit. This type of system usually includes a computer, software and a bar-code scanner. Initial setup can be time consuming because you have to enter every customer, create bar codes for every piece of merchandise, and scan every item into the system. Once in place, the system is simple to use and lets you add or remove items from your inventory database with a single click instead of tracking items by hand or using a spreadsheet.

Inventory of Unusable Merchandise

When counting current inventory, be sure to keep a running tally of damaged or dirty merchandise that either never makes 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 an inventory count. Regardless of which inventory system you use, it’s important to track all types of merchandise to get a correct count. Tracking inventory is an essential part of any business. For a consignment shop, it can be a challenge to keep track of inventory that is constantly coming in and going out. To maximize efficiency, it’s important to find some sort of inventory management system so you have a searchable document for accounting.

References & Resources

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