A well-organized inventory is crucial. It helps your in-store customers find what they want and empowers you to process your orders more efficiently. Here are some tips our team put together to help you organize your trading card games and other merchandise.
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Select an Intuitive Organization Method
Should you organize your cards by set, by condition or alphabetically? Depending on your inventory, you might use all three. In our TCGplayer Direct warehouse, we separate our Magic: The Gathering cards by condition, then by set, then alphabetically within each set. Consider sorting your cards according to other criteria like set number or release date. Which categories you use should depend on the size of your inventory, your available space and what’s intuitive for the people managing your inventory. In general, we’ve found that sorting our cards according to multiple criteria makes our inventory system slightly more complicated to learn, but much faster to use.
Store Your Cards Safely
Whether you’re organizing your trading cards using cabinets, cardboard boxes or binders, it’s crucial that you keep them safe. Place your storage containers above floor-level to reduce the risk of flood or water damage. Keep them away from pets and sources of fire. Plus, make sure the space you’re using is free of any undesirable smells like mildew and smoke that could contaminate your cards. We also recommend sleeving your most valuable cards to maintain their quality. Sleeves are especially useful for protecting foil cards, which are otherwise vulnerable to curling in high humidity.
Remember That Your Inventory Is Always Moving
Whether adding new inventory or filling orders, you’ll go into your cabinets (or boxes or binders) regularly. It’s important that this activity doesn’t endanger your cards. Our cabinets have tall plastic dividers between each type of card we store. Not only does this help us stay organized, but we can flip through our cabinets without touching any cards directly, which prevents incidental damage. We also put foam padding in the back of each row of cards. The little bit of give keeps us from over-stuffing our cabinets and makes it easier to add or remove cards without harming them. Remember that keeping your cards safe also means protecting them as they move in and out of your inventory.
Always Look for Ways to Improve
As your business grows, look for new ways to keep your inventory efficient. Are some cards easier to find than others? Are you using your space effectively? Do you have extra storage for when that new set is released? You can solve these problems by periodically reevaluating your system. Remember that your business peers are a great source for new ideas! Before you reinvent the wheel, ask other sellers how they’ve handled similar challenges with their inventory.
How do you organize your store’s inventory? Let us know so we can share your advice with the seller community!