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4 Tips for Organizing Your eBay Inventory

Do you have eBay inventory sitting around the house? Maybe you are new to eBay and just have a few items on hand that you are waiting to sell. Or, maybe you have turned selling your eBay inventory into a part-time or full-time income-generating career! Whatever your case may be, you are more likely to make more money if you keep your eBay inventory organized. So before heading out to garage sales, auction sales, and secondhand stores searching for those unique products, make sure you have a plan in place for organizing.

Depending on the amount of you eBay inventory you currently have to sell–or plan on selling–will determine how much space you need. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you plan on running this business at a rate where you can manage the inventory from your home. However, many of these same techniques can be used if you decide to upgrade to a small warehouse.

If you are new to selling on eBay, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the world's largest e-commerce site and want to sell everything. However, I encourage you to start selling at a low number. This will help you become familiar with how the auction process works. Your goal is not only to sell items for profit, but to develop a good feedback rating. This rating is based on product quality and customer service, so the better service you can provide the higher rating you will receive – which is key for building a good reputation.

4 steps to organizing your eBay inventory:

1.Dedicate a spare room, basement, or garage to organize and manage your eBay inventory. Ideally, you will clear out this space before you bring your newfound treasures home. Within this room, keep a filing cabinet with plenty of files and folders with tabs. You will create a new file for each product you sell. By keeping your inventory in one confined area, you can keep better track of your inventory and reduce the chance of items getting misplaced or broken.

2.Categorize your merchandise. Think of your eBay room as your "store." You know how convenient it is to walk into your local grocery store? You know just where to go for the milk, bread, and cheese. This is because items are laid out in a fashion that makes sense. Literally, set your eBay room as a store. Set up tables or shelves where you can display the products in a nice and organized manner. "Seeing" these products will help you know what is in your inventory and know where you have "empty shelves" to fill.

Let's say you specialize in selling perfume, vintage t-shirts, golf clubs, antique teapots, unique dolls, and collector baseball cards. It would make sense to group all of your fragile items (perfume, teapots, and dolls) together. Perhaps keep these items on a higher shelf or table out of the reach of small children or pets. Then, organize these items within each category. You could organize by value, brand, etc.

If vintage t-shirts is a category that you anticipate selling on an ongoing basis, it would be wise to hang these in a closet or hanging rack, or fold nicely so you can easily see the graphics. Again, organize these within its category. You could organize by size, color, graphics, brand, etc.

The golf clubs are unique because they probably won't sit up on a shelf or table. In this case, simply line them up along a wall in an organized manner.

And last, the baseball cards. You would want to keep these organized in a protective baseball card organizer. You could organize by player, team, year, value, etc. It would be wise to keep a print out of your card inventory right inside the organizer.

3.Organize merchandise information. Just as important as the merchandise itself, is organizing the information that supports it. For every product you bring home, create a file. This file should contain product information, photos, and a copy of the description you post on eBay.

Items to include in each product file:
•Product information - For example, let's say you just found a beautiful unique doll at a garage sale. Create a file where you will keep all of the information related to that product. If you don't know much about this particular doll, research it. Find out about her origin, her history, her creator, etc. Keeping all of this information in one file will help you as you go to write your product description.
•Product descriptions - When you write your product descriptions, be as visual as possible. Make your products sound exciting to draw the bidder in–just be sure to not over-exaggerate. It is essential to be honest in your descriptions. If you have an interesting story of how you found the product, include that too.
•Product photos - To give your bidders a fair picture of your items, invest in a high-quality digital camera. Take clear pictures at different angles. It might be wise for you to set up a corner in your eBay room for a mini-photo studio. A well-lit corner with a nice backdrop would suffice. Setting up a permanent mini-studio will save you the hassle and time of doing this every time you sell a product.

4.Shipping center. In your eBay room, don't forget to include an area or "station" for shipping supplies. A variety of padded envelopes, boxes, padding, packaging tape, and mailing labels should all be set up in an organized manner. This station will help you ship your products out quickly–which is an excellent customer service practice.

With this useful organizing system, you will feel like you have better control over your eBay inventory–enabling you to make more money, faster!

Copyright 2005 by Kathleen Elias - Editors are welcome to use this article for content as long as the article and author biography are reprinted in their entirety and an active weblink remains intact.

About the Author
Kathleen Elias is the editor of, a website focused on organizing your home room by room. It offers original ideas, expert advice, and a monthly newsletter to help you reach your organizing goals. To contact the editor or find more information on organizing your home and life visit