Thanks to everyone who sent in how they organize their inventory! Here are tips from our own Mk Rules readers!
FROM KMH CHINO:
“I use CLEAR plastic boxes (like those from Bee/Get Organized) for all colour cosmetics. You can read the item names very easily through them, and it is easy to get them in alphabetical order. I use PCP boxes to store colour foundations on their sides, with the name facing out towards me. All my inventory is on clear glass shelves (recycled from a florist going out of business … all I had to do was buy the wall brackets and get my male relatives to install them for me). They shelves cover one wall of my apt. storage closet. The other wall has Section II stuff on white “grill” shelves (like from a bedroom closet). All samples are kept in two zippered “portfolio” type black cases, one for colour cosmetics (alphabetical, by type, in clear “pockets) and the other for skin care, perfumes, etc. I have all the foundation samples in zippered clear vinyl bags from the MK showcase, that has a divider in the middle. Each foundation colour has its own bag, so if I am not doing a class with women of colour, I don’t bother taking those bags with me that night, for example. One side of the bag has full coverage, the other medium coverage and I have a roll-up for Dual Coverage. Cream to Powder “buttons” are kept in the skin care portfolio.
If I am having a Lipstick Sale, I use two MK’s plastic holders (10 holes) and have twenty colours displayed in clear plastic tops, with the boxes underneath, in the centre of a clear glass “Caboose” and the rest of the colours run around the outside three sides of the Caboose, with their own plastic caps, so everyone can SEE the colours, but NOT TOUCH!!! Then they can just to point to what they would like to try, and I pull the sample out of the Colour Portfolio bag, along with an appropriate lip liner. For this type of demo, I have all the full-size lip liners at either end of my MK bag, held by sewn on elastic and velcro to the side of my bag. Again, an “old” rectangular bag MK sold a few years ago, and I LOVE it for doing really quick noon hour appointments. Very easy to carry. Holds the caboose, money bag, invoices, eye makeup remover for taking off lipstick, and a roll of cotton pads. Can sell 20-30 lipsticks on my lunch hour! smile The Caboose I got at Walmart, I think.
I also have a decorated “Sale Basket” I take in on payday, with everything in it either $10 or two for $10 (taxes included). Anything that is passe goes into that, and I take it in on payday. Women love a deal, and I get rid of a LOT of old colours in MK, bath products, etc. I will use this even more frequently as it comes time to change to the new compacts. (I work at a university with several hundred employees & faculty and 23,000 students!!)
A Director friend of mine keeps ALL her colour cosmetics in the MK roll on bag, but I don’t like that. She thinks it is great, though.
I do a LOT of my appointments from home, and when I open that Storage Room door, I get a LOT of people buying things just ’cause they can see them displayed on my shelves. e.g. “Oh, I didn’t know you sold shave cream; I better get one for my husband.” etc. etc. I also have a few “gift wrapped” items on the shelves, so they see I do corporate gifts, too. The neat thing about this, as opposed to having everything stored in my home office, like I used to have it, is that when the doors are closed, I can “turn off” Mary Kay. All the really POPULAR items I store at waist or eye height, so I am not constantly bending over or needing a step ladder, to reach stuff. Up there goes seasonal things, like pedicure kits, and near the floor are my sale items, so the clients get to bend to see them–ha!
For the car, I have two very large insulated bags on wheels. We get very HOT summers and freezing cold winters, so products need to be protected in my station wagon.
All I can think of for now. If you have any specific questions about something, do write back.
LOVE your blog!”
AND FROM ANONYMOUS: The No Dusting System!
“Use clear plastic over-the-door shoe bags (you know the one with the pockets) to store items like Highlighting Pens, Eye Brow Pencils, Eye Liners, Lip Liners, Lip Masks & Balms, Concealors, Acne Treatment Gels, Oil Mattifiers, Lip Balms, and Beauty Blotters. I keep each pocket labeled with what belongs in it. I use one pocket for each shade of Highlighting Pen, 2 pockets for all of my Eye Liners, 2 pockets for Lip Liners (I have the names of each shade on the outside of the pocket so I remember what’s inside), etc.
Use a plastic shoe box for lipsticks and lipglosses. I keep mine organized within the shoe box alphabetically by lipstick and then alphabetically by lip gloss. Having the lid for the box means I can shut it and just grab the box when I’m running off to a skin care class.
Use Rubbermaid containers for foundations. #8 is the perfect size. The full & medium coverage foundations will stand up and the lid can still close. I keep them organized numerically by full coverage and then numerically by medium coverage. Again, perfect to just grab the box and run off to a class.
Use Rubbermaid #8 for the TW skin supplements – Microdermabrasion, Firming Eye Cream, Age Fighting Eye Cream, Targeted Action Eye Revitalizer, Age Fighting Lip Primer, and Indulge Soothing Eye Gel. They will all fit into one container all but the Age Fighting Lip Primer can stand up. Again, keep the lid on it so it stacks easily and can be pulled out for a class.
I break up my Miracle Sets and get them out of those bags. It makes my director crazy, but for storage purposes it makes life so easy.
Use cheap plastic tackle boxes for eye shadows, cheek colors, and mascaras. I have 1 box for eye shadows and cheek colors, which I keep alphabetically to find quickly. Mascaras are in their own box.
I keep all of my inventory (except for what’s in the shoe bag) in a file cabinet where the drawers pull out width wise, not length wise. I used to keep my inventory on shelves, but then I noticed I had to dust it and I didn’t want to do that. These drawers make my life so easy, especially when I’m putting away new inventory. It can easily go behind the older products and I don’t have to move anything and I don’t have to dust! Wahoo!
Hope this helps.”