How to Use SKU for Your Inventory

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers are a way for you to keep track of your inventory and quickly identify what you have in stock. They can also help you quickly locate items in your Etsy shop, studio, or storage space.

You can make your SKUs numbers, letters, or a combination of both—whatever you think will best help you organize your inventory.


How to add SKU numbers to your listings

To add SKU numbers to your listings:

  1. Add or edit a listing.
  2. Scroll down to Inventory and pricing.
  3. Add a SKU next to SKU.
  4. Once you're done, click Publish.


Creating an effective SKU system

Try designing a SKU system that highlights important details about your items or products. Here are some examples of how you might label your inventory:

  • Create SKUs based on the product itself. For example, if you're listing ribbon that comes in velvet, cotton, and silk, your SKUs might look like this: RV101, RC101, RS101.
  • Label your products based on their location in your workspace. If you store your ribbon in a particular location (like a desk drawer), it can be helpful to incorporate that information into your SKU system.
  • Specify different colors or patterns in your SKUs. If you offer many similar colors or patterns of an item, you could use SKUs to help differentiate between your products.


Managing your inventory with SKUs

SKU numbers will help you track items in your shop as well as your overall inventory as you're fulfilling orders across multiple channels, like Etsy and a personal website.

With an effective SKU system, they can be used to search and locate items using the search bar in the Listings section of your Shop Manager.

You can also quickly view, add, or edit SKUs to each item in your shop using Quick edit.


Tips to get started

  • Keep your SKU numbers short. This will keep them manageable for you and your shop members. We recommend 4-8 characters for most inventory.
  • Consider adding letters to your SKU system. This will help differentiate your SKUs and prevent you from using the same SKU twice. Letters can also keep your SKUs short.
  • Avoid using the letters "O" and "I". They can easily be mistaken for numbers.
  • Avoid using symbols in your SKUs, like commas or slashes. They may confuse certain computer programs like Excel.

Learn more about listing items on Etsy.

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