Inventory Management: Sorting Pieces For Your Store

Once you have your store set up you need to get some pieces to inventory.  Everyone has a different way to sort.  I have changed the way I sort many times.  When you get a large lot of parts like this to sort it can be daunting.  

I sort according to Bricklink’s categories since it is how I have to list the pieces.  I usually start with a few of the big categories first.  Bricks, Plates, Slopes, Tiles and Wedges.  I have this checklist on the totes that I store pieces in.  When I sort out the categories I check it off with a dry erase marker so I know what has been done in that tote.

I will go through a box of parts and pull out all the pieces that fit in those categories.  No matter what the size or color.  This five main categories I might just put all together in a tote depending how much I have to sort and separate them further later.

I have two Ikea kitchen cabinets with six drawers each.  The boxes are from Ikea as well.  When it is time sort down to the part level I sort into this boxes.  You can use anything but I like that I can keep the parts in the drawer and shut it when I am done.  The above pictures is all Plate Modified.  At least with these pieces I try to keep each box a different piece but will put some together to save space.  For the Animal categories I put them all together.  

When those bins are too full I will either bag them up to inventory later or I will take a bin and sort it out by color.  At this time I will check the condition.  If it is too scratched, has bite marks or discolored the piece is discarded.

I use trays from the Master Builder Academy sets.  I got a lot from a seller on Bricklink some years ago.  I use zip bags as well.  Other sellers use cups or make a custom sorting tray.  Find whatever works for you and works for your sorting area.  Now it is time to enter the pieces into my store.

The only thing that I never do is sort by color.  I did it once.  I had a very large amount of pieces to sort and I had help.  Instead of trying to explain all the categories to everyone it was easy to say pick a color and bag them up.  It was a lot of extra listing because I had to look up the same piece every time I did a new color.  It worked for that situation but I will never do it again.   Also never store the parts in your store by color for the same reason.