Organizing and Reorganizing Inventory

Organizing and Reorganizing Inventory

Over a year ago I purchased a lot of ties from another eBay seller who was moving cross country and didn’t want to deal with them. I purchased close to 200 ties for about $125 including shipping. My Valley Minions liked listing ties because I had mostly novelty ties with lots of fun pictures and cartoons and therefore easy keywords. This batch of ties were mostly business and office ties, not much fun in those for the 11-year-old and 15-year-old minions.

But they did it. They stuck to a schedule and got almost two hundred ties photographed and listed during their winter break. I now had 6 boxes of ties and my inventory labeling system only consisted of their location: Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, etc. I had to pull a few ties last weekend to ship and I quickly discovered that having one box with roughly 30 ties and one box crammed full with 100+ ties was not a great inventory solution.


I needed to figure out a better way to organize and store over 400 ties that were listed so pulling them when they sold would be a quick and easy process. I needed a plan and I had an idea. I decided to fold the ties in fourths and package them. In my old system, the ties were folded in half and sort of stacked together in a plastic box. It was an OK system when I had 200 ties to flip through, but it wasn’t working for me when I had to sort through over 400 ties. I knew this was a task that would take some time; time that I didn’t want to dedicate to doing something as mundane as packaging and labeling. I decided this would be a great project to introduce my 10-year-old and 13-year-old neighbors down the road to eBay.

Meet Kai and Sydnee. They managed to get close to 300 ties packaged and labeled in about 1.5 hours. I ran out of bags so we didn’t get them all done the first day. I ordered more bags and they came back and finished up the job, numbering all the ties and then editing the custom field on each listing with that number. They were awesome, efficient, and got the job done so quickly I had them move on to two other projects before it was time for them to head home.

We sorted the ties to group them together as best as we could by type; Looney tunes, Disney, sports, food, animals, etc. and then we grouped all the boring business/professional ties. We labeled them Tie #1-450 and put them back into boxes, #1-5. (Side Note: I thought ahead enough to label ties 01, 02, 03, etc. so they sorted correctly, but I didn’t think far ahead enough to do the same for double digits. If you have more than 100 ties, be sure to label them 010, 011, 012, etc. so they WILL sort in numeric order.) It took a bit of time to get the inventory tags in eBay fixed, but we all worked together, (including 4-year-old Pearce who tagged along one snow day and was just as helpful as her sisters), got into a groove and finished the task! Everything is organized and looks so pretty. I can’t wait to sell a few ties and see if my new numbered system really works and makes pulling inventory to ship a breeze!

I’ve got 400+ ties to sell if anyone is looking. I think I’ll create a promotion and see if I can move them faster.