Well we done did it. We’ve moved our family and businesses over to our new state of Montana. Still working on some of the paperwork and some things have to wait until offices and businesses open up again. (This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full policy here)
Having moved my reselling business a few times over the years…twice across the entire country…I can tell you that there’s no ONE right way to do it.
A lot depends on how far you are moving, naturally. Will your inventory be tied up for a week or more? Or just a couple of days?
Another factor is your level of organization. And how much warning or notice you have about the move.
So having just undertaken the fairly daunting task of moving a reselling business and not lost or broken anything….AND having continued to make a bit of money through the whole process….I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned.
Sort. Sift. Cull.
First of all…cull dead inventory. Stuff that never sold. Stuff that you don’t know why you bought it in the first place. Stuff that wasn’t worth what you thought it was. Stuff YOU WILL NEVER LIST because you don’t like it. Lol. Yes I said it.
There are a couple ways to do this. In normal, non-pandemic times…you could have a moving sale. This was not an option for us and since I have vowed never to hold a moving, yard, garage, G-sale, tag sale ever again….we didn’t. Ha! Famous last words. I’ve said the same thing before the last 5 sales I’ve had.
Personally we decided to donate A LOT of what we no longer wanted. We were ruthless not just with our inventory but also personal items too. The sad part is that thrift stores were closed and we couldn’t donate anything before we left…so our stuff is waiting in storage til we can resolve that part of our lives.
Another thing you can do for your stale listed inventory is to run sales and markdowns. One thing I also did was make up lots. This took a bit of time but it made me feel better about donating other things. At least I was making some money on the items I had already acquired.
I lotted up sewing patterns by decades and subjects. I lotted up stainless flatware. Since in the past I bought inventory in large lots…I always have a surplus and have items that may not be worth listing individually. So I made up some groupings and they sold fairly well. I moved large quantities quickly.
And finally, I made use of the Mercari selling site. In my head, it’s very much an online yard sale type app. I know many sellers who do very well on it, even selling higher priced items. But for me, I’ve done best with just random items from around home. The app is extremely fast to use. So I could be sorting and culling and just snap a few quick pictures and pop it on there. One of my stainless flatware lots sold faster on there than on Ebay.
I am not the most organized person on this planet. I am the first to admit it. Hubby is better but just not consistent. Keep this in mind when reading my tips. If you’re super organized…you probably don’t even need to read this…just skip over..you got this. 😉
Things must get labeled! Especially listed inventory. Either label the box with what’s in it or label where it came from. (Second cabinet in bedroom on left). (As you can see from the above photo…I’m telling you what you SHOULD do, not what I did, lol) If you have a good memory of where your listed inventory was stored, this will probably suffice.
For us, thanks to culling inventory and the majority of my inventory being patterns, flatware and jewelry..(those items are already organized and labeled)..we had relatively few ‘odds and ends’ boxes. If I had more such things I would have HAD to be more organized about labeling those boxes. Labels like these might have come in handy.
To Close or Not to Close
This is going to definitely be a personal decision. Like I said before, so much will depend on the move itself. Are you moving across the country and your inventory will be in transit for several days? Can you get your inventory unpacked or at least accessible pretty quickly after you arrive at your new destination?
As far as closing down your reselling shops or putting them on vacation mode, you have a few options. At least for Ebay store owners. I’ll get to Etsy in a moment.
- Extend your handling time for the amount of time your move will take. Process orders when you get to your new home. I would even suggest emailing buyers and explaining the move and the unusually long handling time.
- For a little more protection, put your Ebay store on vacation mode with your items still visible and able to be purchased. And be sure to extend your handling time as well. The vacation mode will notify buyers that there will be a delay. I usually follow up with an email as well. Buyers are usually super accomodating. Many wished me well on the move. Kinda helps to have them view you as “real people” too.
- Another option which is totally fine…is to put your store on vacation mode with your items NOT visible and not available for purchase. Sometimes you just need a break. Moving is stressful. Other sellers do claim that items are still able to be purchased (from a Watch List, etc) so they recommend to extend handling time anyway. I have never had this happen, however.
For Etsy, I believe there are just a couple options. Extend your handling time and stay open. Message buyers about the delay. Again…super nice customers usually. Or…put your shop on vacation mode and have peace of mind. 😉
On other sites like Mercari, Poshmark and Amazon…your items are usually just available or not. You’ll have to just decide how you want to handle those…again depending on the length of the move, complexity, etc.
For us, I have to say that I probably used every single one of these options at different times for the move. Mix and match!!
Our move took several trips. The first trip over to MT, we left listed reseller inventory back in WA and just brought some unlisted things and personal items. I had my Etsy, Amazon, Mercari, Poshmark stores closed down. Ebay was on vacation mode but visible. I listed some items while in MT, waiting for the passes to clear so we could go back and get load 2. Halfway through that week, I took vacation mode off and just adjusted my handling time to fit the days I had left until I got back to my inventory and could ship.
Quick tip: That reminds me…bring or have easily accessible, small items that can be quickly listed on your phone. Try to do a couple every day. This helps keep your Ebay store “alive” and avoid a huge disruption in your selling stride.
Finally, at the very end of packing up load 2…crunch time…I just shipped the last few orders and shut everything down. Inventory was packed and I couldn’t answer questions. I had lots of other things on my mind! We drove our stuff over and maybe within a day or two I opened things back up. Gave myself some breathing room and set everything to 2 or 3 days handling time.
And then it was done! It was probably more whirlwind than any of my other moves…but it worked. Now I’ve got my inventory in my garage and not in my house with me. So nice! Lots of unlisted inventory still available (yes i brought plenty…didn’t cull it all!) for selling during this unique at home time.
One more tip….
Don’t forget your shipping supplies! Just as important as listed inventory! Hubby did awesome with that. He had some huge bins he put all the shipping stuff we needed and knew exactly where it was when it came time to ship!
What about you? Do you have experience moving a reselling business? Any tips?