In this brand new adventure we call selling awesome vintage stuff there's a lot we have to learn. At first, we didn't keep record of stuff because a lot of it Zach already had & it sorta was just a hobby to do together knowing that we didn't have any room for the things we'd continue to collect. Once we sold the first thing, we knew it was time to get serious. So amid the bunches of receipts & Zach keeping things in his head, we knew we had to do something different.
The glorious world of vintage shopping often looks like this:
But then when we get home, it starts to look like this - less glamourous but still pretty awesome:
We're trying to get into more of a schedule...and I'm trying to keep us from going out & getting more inventory when we need to sort through what we have. The move & renovation took a bit out of our semi-organization but we've tried to get back on track. here's what we've done:
Created an Inventory Sheet
We sat down one Sunday night & Zach put his spread sheet skills to work. We created an inventory sheet that tracks sales, profits, costs, investments in the shop, & payouts. This has helped a lot! I've actually replicated this sheet across all the shops. This spread sheet is through Google Drive & we share it across our email addresses. That way if ever Zach needs to access it he can & I can access it on all our devices. Google Drive is pretty awesome like that!
Solid Inventory Nights
Once we went through & filled in the spread sheet with our current inventory, I've been making it a goal to put in solid inventory nights where we not only list the cost but also decide what to charge. A lot of the time we talk about the price we'll list when we're our looking for inventory. But inventory night is when we see how it all plays out. Keeping costs low ensures that our listing prices are reasonable & acceptable. Also, it's pretty fun to be surrounded by awesome stuff while sitting on our new carpet! I think the spare bedroom is going to become an inventory room & I kinda like it. Though I haven't fully decided if putting things in the closet is the right way to treat some of these pieces that deserve display. Salt & Pepper shakers go well with bedroom decor right?
Solid Photography Days
These have been the hardest. If you notice, and I'm sure you do, that the product photos changed a bit after we moved. And while we were in the process of moving there was no proper place to photograph. I tried & tried & tried but the photos came out crappy. Now that we've got the house done there is a perfect little corner in the spare bedroom perfect for photographing! Since I've got a lot of things besides the vintage shop going on, I try to get in a big chunk of photographing done each week. I need to be better at this. I would like to be on top of photographing things as they are added to the inventory sheet. Meaning once a chunk comes in, it's photographed. But usually I only get around to photographing enough for a decent shop update. I'll go more into my dream schedule below!
Solid Listing Times
Just like with photographing, I make sure I have a solid chunk of time dedicated to listing. I love Etsy's draft feature! I can create a few drafts & list them throughout the week. Personally I think this is best because your products stay at the front of the Etsy pages. I try to list one or two items at a time over a period of about a week - 6 to 10 items usually. We really want to build up the shop with more than two pages....but man that mess is hard!
We've decided to set goals each month regarding how much we'll list & how much we'll promote. I think this is a great new idea rather than just leaving it up to well I'll get some done this week. This way it's more planned & just overall better for business.
Ok, now I want to share with you our dream vintage listing schedule:
We go on an awesome trip & come home with an awesome haul -> new inventory is unpacked grouped, etc -> inventory is taken & spread sheet is filled in -> cleaning & measurements -> photography -> editing & listing.
I guess that is everyone's dream schedule, but I really want to start working in batches rather than in pieces if that makes sense. It's all about growing & learning and we've got a lot to learn!
(if you're into more posts like this - inside looks & behind the scenes of vintage stuff - check out Thrift Core. Van is pretty awesome, really encouraging, & a great all around person!)
What's your process? What have you learned as you've gone through?