Written by Joseph Stock, One Step Retail Solutions Implementation Specialist.
One of the best features of a good point of sale system is inventory management. The ability to look through the entire history of an item and find all the sales, receiving, transfers, and adjustments that include that item is great. However, sometimes you don’t need that. Sometimes all you will want to do with an item is sell it.
There are many reasons why a retailer would want this. Maybe the item is actually more of a service you provide to customers, like gift-wrapping. Maybe the item is a promotion that you don’t really need to keep track of. Whatever the cause, if the on-hand quantity does not need to be tracked, then that item can be marked as a “Non-Inventory Item”.
Most point of sales systems include this feature. To be specific, Retail Pro, CounterPoint SQL, and Retail Teamwork all include this option. Be careful to note that some systems require you set an item as a Non-Inventory Item when it is created. If the item already exists, you may need to delete and recreate it.
Once you have an item marked as a Non-Inventory Item, you will always see its on-hand quantity as zero. You cannot receive the item or transfer it. But you can sell it and thus it will appear on receipts and sales reports. It also can be discounted and even returned if needed.