online inventory system for handmade etsy shops: using craftybase
recently i started using an online inventory management program for my craft etsy business, called Craftybase, to track all of my inventory and materials. for years i've been looking for an online 'cloud' solution to track my finished products, as well as my materials. google spreadsheets was my temporary solution, but i knew there had to be a smarter system out there. then i heard about craftybase. i've had an account now for a few months and it has been pretty amazing.
overall, Craftybase does exactly what I want it to do. it lets me track my inventory to the level of detail that i set. it's online, so if i sell an item, i can login to CB from anywhere and see if i can relist. it's smart - materials link to inventory, which link to sales, which link to expenses. it's pretty and well-designed. it's constantly improving. it's new so there are still some quirks, but Nicole and Nathan and awesome (they read your suggestions and questions, and implement them!). so, overall, i'd highly recommend it if you're into things like organization and wanting to track inventory. now on to the more detailed review...
craftybase lets you enter and track your materials (down to a single seed bead, if you'd like), number of finished items, sales, expenses and contacts. i only use it to track my inventory, materials and sales....and leave all of my accounting and bookkeping aspects to Outright.
my favorite things
you always know what you have on-hand and when you need to place an order for new materials
you can see trends in sales, what you've sold the most of, and which items are your most profitable
you can see at a glance your costs for materials per unit and see where you can save on supplies
everything is customizeable to the level of detail you prefer - only want to track products by not materials? no problem
help determine how much you should charge for an item by seeing your costs at a glance
Craftybase one-time account setup
so, here's how i use it. first, i set up my account
1. painstakingly enter all of my materials. i'm obsessed with organization so i logged every. single. bead. for weeks i sat in the middle of a pile of beads, counting, entering, counting, entering. you only have to do this once....afterwards just add new items when you buy them. (tracking materials is optional, so you don't have to do this if you're not concerned with this level of detail).
2. import in all of my current items from etsy. this part is simple - just link up your etsy account and click 'import'. done.
3. for each made item, you can create a 'batch recipe' where you log how many and what materials it takes to make that finished product. you only need to do this once, and again, completely optional but highly recommended in order to link your materials and projects.
4. go through and add your inventory for your finished items. each time you add a made item, CB magically decreases your material counts that you set up in your 'batch recipe'. neat!
Maintaining your account
so, that was the tough part. after that is out of the way, maintaining your account is super, super easy.
1. import your etsy items regularly. simple as a single click. this will tell CB if you've made any sales, added new products, or had any fees.
2. when you physically make an item, click the 'add a made item'. if you've setup your batch recipe, this automatically subtracts from your materials (my favorite part!!)
3. anytime you make a supplies purchase, you'll need to enter it in.
all in all, Craftybase does take some work to setup, but for me, it's completely worth it. it is a new program, so it's constantly evolving and changing. there are some bugs and quirks here and there, but the team is very responsive and quick to fix things. they also really listen in the forums, and will add new features that you suggest if they think it makes sense for the whole community. it's also exciting because who knows what kinds of fun things there are to come. if you've tried out craftybase, let me know what you think!