Inventory, also known as “stock,” are the physical goods that a business sells, like raw materials, components, finished goods, and returned goods for resale. A company’s goods can be made manually, manufactured, sourced through wholesale, or dropshipped. In choosing which products to sell, merchants can consider the following categories: underserved niche products, trending products, bestsellers, and goods that sell all-year-round.

“Inventory management” is the process of controlling the flow of stock to ensure that there is always enough to meet demand. An alternative method called Just-In-Time (JIT) focuses on ordering inventory exactly when it’s needed. Although it prevents sellers from holding a lot of inventory, it requires exceptionally good forecasting of demand to avoid lost sales and customer dissatisfaction.