The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind, between our regular work and getting everything together to take down to the Barn - but we managed, and today we moved in!
Now, I had grand plans to take a bunch of photos - the pile of stuff waiting to go to the car, my car and my friend Gary's truck filled with stuff (thanks Gary!), the spaces in progress... but, of course, I kept forgetting about my camera.
I did remember to take some photos when my main squeeze and business partner, Will, was putting together the shelves. What is it about a man using tools?
See that white table with the chrome legs? $32. I can't believe I didn't buy it - but Will had a point when he said Um, where would you put it?
For some reason, I just kept taking pictures...
I think I could look at this little scene all day...
See that little grin? I think I was telling him how hot he was looking, working with tools and all... ;)
Even though I didn't get any photos, I thought it might be a good idea to give you all a breakdown of exactly what I had to do to get everything ready to move in:
Step 1 - Choosing Items
I went through my eBay store and both my Etsy shops to find items that had been there a while, items that are a bit of a problem to ship, and items that hadn't had very many hits. This took a couple of hours, because as I looked over all of my 800+ listings, I also had to write down each item's inventory number before ending the listing.
Once I had my list of item numbers, I had to go to my handy dandy filing cabinet and pull all of the inventory sheets. To get a more in depth description of how we handle managing our inventory, see the post I did on The Vintage List blog about running a home office.
Will and I took the stack of sheets down to the basement, where all of my store inventory is stored. We found all the items and brought everything upstairs. Making room in the main office for all that extra stuff was fun, let me tell ya!
Step 2 - Pricing and Tagging
This was a huge project - partially because I made a mistake starting out. I thought that because I will be getting a single check each month for sales, I would just imput that number into my accounting software and that would be it.
Of course halfway through I realized that when taking inventory at the end of the year that single sales number wouldn't be enough - I need to be able to figure out the cost of goods sold vs. cost of goods unsold, which means each item at the Barn would still have to be treated the same way as each item we have online. I can still imput the sales number just once a month, but I need to keep inventory sheets together for everything that sells so I can get the numbers I need at the end of the year.
So, I had to go back over everything I had done and add the inventory number to the tag, and tuck the inventory sheet away into a For Sale At The Barn folder in the filing cabinet. Each month I will move sold items to a Sold At The Barn folder. Make sense? It does to me, but just barely!
Pricing was also pretty hard work - I did price research online like I usually do, but often got stuck wondering, is that too much (or too little!) for what people will pay in real life, where they are able to touch the item, and they don't have to pay for shipping? I think pricing for the "real world" is just something that I will have to become more familiar with over time, with some experience...
So in the end each tag had to have all of this information on it:
- Item description: I tried to be as specific as I could, to give buyers the most information possible, and also to reduce the ability of some sneak switching tags out to get a lower price on an item
- My initials and dealer number
- Our inventory number
- Date added to the Barn: I want to be able to look the items over in a few months and know what has been sitting and needs to be removed and sent to Goodwill
Step 3 - Pull Items From Waiting To Be Listed Shelves
I also pulled some items from my waiting to be listed inventory - stuff that wasn't really worth listing so it had been sitting around for a while, or stuff that I thought might do well at the Barn - a patchwork quilt I got last weekend, for example.
I had to do all the same things for these items as I did for the items from online, except I had to create new inventory sheets for each one to put in the For Sale At The Barn folder.
Step 4 - Pack For The Drive
The Barn is about a 40 minute drive from my house, so I had to do a bit of wrapping and creative packing to make sure everything would arrive safely, and also that I would be able to fit it all into my car! I am happy to report there was no breakage! :)
The shelves wouldn't fit in my car, so that is where Gary and his truck came in - what a lifesaver!
Step 5 - Assemble & Fill The Shelves
We (Will, mostly!) assembled the shelves outside. Thank goodness we had good weather!
To be perfectly honest, we ended up just kind of sticking everything on a shelf - it was getting close to closing time, and I knew I would be back with more things (and without Will) so I could spend some real time arranging everything to my liking on my next visit. I imagine I will do quite a bit of shuffling around from where things ended up today to where they will be for the final product.
I'm heading back down tomorrow or the next day to finish up, I WILL remember take photos of the final product, I PROMISE. :)