Inventory FAQ

From bagels and coffee to t-shirts and jewelry, inventory is what a business sells. Read through these frequently asked questions to better understand how to manage inventory and track stock items.

Table of Contents

Inventory Management

This section addresses setting up inventory, modifying inventory items, and deleting items.

How can I view my current inventory?

The Item List shows every item currently in inventory. From the Item List, you can browse all items, search, sort, and filter to find specific items, view details of individual item variants, add new items, edit existing ones, and export a copy of your inventory for viewing in spreadsheet software.

Can I customize how inventory is displayed on the Item List?

Yes. The Item List can be customized and filtered to show specific sets of inventory items. Check out our Organizing Inventory article to learn how.

How do I add inventory?

Visit the Item List in BackOffice or at the register and click ‘Add New’ to add basic items and items with variants. For large inventories, try importing items from a spreadsheet.

Can I transfer inventory from one Lightspeed Retail location to another?

While inventory items cannot be transferred between locations, they can be copied to a new linked location either automatically during its creation or manually after it is created. Read our article on new store setup for more information.

Can I add or delete inventory items in all of my locations at once?

Yes. If you have multiple linked locations and are logged into BackOffice as the Business Owner, you will see options to create and delete items in all linked locations when managing items from the Item List. Bulk Management can also be used to add items in bulk to all linked locations.

Does inventory sync between linked locations?

No. Each location’s items must be managed separately from that location’s BackOffice or registers. However, inventory can be copied from one location to another, new items can be simultaneously created in all linked locations via the Item List or Bulk Management, and existing items can be deleted in all linked locations from the Item List.

Does editing an item in one location affect that same item in another location?

No, each location’s inventory items must be managed separately from the BackOffice or registers for that specific location.

Can I copy the item shortcuts layout from one Lightspeed Retail location to another?

Yes. The item shortcuts layout from an existing location can be automatically copied, or applied, to a new linked location during its creation or to all existing linked locations at any time. Read our new store setup and item shortcuts articles for more information.

Does editing the item shortcuts panel in one location affect shortcuts in another location?

No, each location’s item shortcuts must be managed separately from the BackOffice or registers of that specific location.

Is it safe to delete an item that I no longer carry in inventory?

Yes. The item’s sales history will still be recorded in reporting up until when it is deleted. Beware that if you recreate a deleted item later, you will be creating a duplicate that may affect reporting accuracy. Additionally, labels printed with the SKU of the deleted item will not scan if the item is recreated and would need to be reprinted. Deciding to delete an item is completely up to you. Alternatively, you could uncheck the item’s ‘Register Status’ box, so that the item remains in inventory but no longer appears for sale at the register.

How do I delete inventory?

Select an item on the Item List, click ‘Delete’, and select ‘Continue’ to remove the item from inventory. Businesses with multiple linked locations can check a box before selecting ‘Continue’ to delete the item from all linked locations. To remove many items at once from a single location, use Bulk Management.

Visit the Inventory Reporting section below to learn how deleted items affect reporting.

What is the difference between basic items and items with variants?

Basic items are sold individually or with modifiers. Items with variants are items sold in variations, such as one shirt with several size options.

Where can I learn about items with variants?

Visit our Items with Variants Article Index for a selection of articles to help you understand, set up, and use items with variants.

Should I use basic items or items with variants?

Visit our Variants vs. Modifiers article to compare the benefits of using items with variants to basic items with modifiers to decide which is best for your business.

When I enter 4.039 as the price of an item, the system adjusts it to 4.04. Why is this happening?

Item prices are always automatically rounded to the nearest hundredth place.

How can I modify my current inventory items?

Items can be edited one at a time from the Item List. Modify multiple items at once by bulk editing items directly from the Item List or exporting your inventory, editing the export spreadsheet, and uploading it to Bulk Management.

How should my spreadsheet look when using Bulk Management to add inventory?

Make sure to prepare the spreadsheet properly by following the template in our Bulk Management articles for basic items and items with variants.

Is it possible to modify or add on to an item at the register?

Yes. If set up in advance, cashiers can select modifiers to customize an item as it is being rung up. Employees with the relevant BackOffice permissions can also access the Item List at the register to edit items directly.

Can I add, modify, or delete modifiers in bulk?

No, you cannot bulk manage modifiers. Modifiers must be manually added to items one at a time or copied from one item to others.

How do I add size, color, or material options to inventory items?

Create items with variants to track items with multiple options and styles. Variant options can include things like color, size, and material.

How do I make an item active or inactive?

To make an item active or inactive, change its Register Status via the Item List or Bulk Management. Active items can be sold normally at the register, but inactive items remain in inventory and cannot be sold.

How do I make an out-of-stock item unavailable at the register?

Select Lightspeed Retail merchants can manage item availability at the register to manually make items unavailable for sale. If this feature is not available to you, visit the Item List to edit the item and change its ‘Register Status’ to make it inactive.

Can I set up an item to automatically become unsellable when its quantity on hand reaches 0?

No. However, you can manually make an item inactive via the Item List or Bulk Management at any time to prevent it from being sold at the register.

Can I schedule inventory uploads?

We do not support scheduled inventory uploads at this time. Items must be manually added, adjusted, or deleted when desired.

Can I import my inventory from QuickBooks®?

Inventory cannot be imported directly from QuickBooks, but we do offer an accounting integration with QuickBooks Online. Visit our QuickBooks Integration guide to learn more.

Can I add inventory by scanning barcodes?

No, you cannot add new inventory items by only scanning barcodes. Either manually add UPC codes to items as you create or import them or use the barcode scanner to add UPC codes to existing items.

How do I print barcode labels for my items?

Visit the BackOffice Item List from a computer to print labels to a connected DYMO LabelWriter 450 printer, either individually or in bulk. Visit our Lightspeed Label Printing article for step-by-step help printing labels.

Can I customize what appears on my labels?

Yes. Labels printed from BackOffice can be customized to show or hide a barcode, an item description, a price with a currency symbol, and more. Learn how to customize labels here.

Does the cost of a raw good count towards the cost of an inventory item?

No. Raw good cost does not contribute to item cost or to cost of goods sold (COGS). Raw good cost is independent and is only used to track the value of raw goods.

What is the difference between departments and categories?

Categories are subdivisions of departments. For example, a department called Hot Drinks might have the categories Coffee and Tea. Departments and categories both serve the same functions: they organize inventory, help with reporting (Sales by Department and Sales by Category), and are used for ticket printing.

Can I edit the name of a department or category?

No. If you need to change the name of a department or category, delete the department or category, create a new one with the correct name, and assign items to it.

Can departments and categories be deleted?

Yes. Departments and categories can be deleted by visiting ‘Departments & Categories’ on the Items sidebar in BackOffice. Visit the Organize Inventory article to learn how to delete departments and categories.

Can I edit or delete a supplier?

Yes, visit our Manage Suppliers article to learn how to add, rename, and delete suppliers.

Is it possible to add an item description that cashiers can see at the register?

No. An item’s Name or its nickname on the item shortcuts panel is its sole identifier at the register. Items do not have additional fields for including descriptions.

Can I change an item’s SKU?

No. SKUs are generated automatically, are unique for each item, and cannot be changed.

How do I make an item non-taxable?

Make an item taxable or non-taxable by updating the taxable field when editing an item from the Item List or by specifying ‘TRUE’ or ‘FALSE’ in the taxable column of your spreadsheet when using Bulk Management to update items.

How can I generate a list of taxable inventory items?

Taxable and non-taxable items can be sorted and filtered in spreadsheet software after running the Stock Items export. The export lists all of your inventory items, including items with variants.

How do you set up a liability item?

Set up a liability item by creating a new basic item and selecting an active liability tender. Liabilities do not contribute to net revenue and are tracked separately from other items and tenders. Visit our Liabilities and Redemptions article to learn how to enable liability tenders and create liability items.

Can I set an age or quantity limit for specific items?

Yes. Sales restrictions allow a business to regulate the sale of specific items, such as alcohol and vape products, based on customer age or by purchase quantity. Learn how to set up sales restrictions here.

Can I adjust the price of an item at the register?

Yes. Employees with the relevant BackOffice permissions can access the Item List from the register to edit items and change prices.

Is there a limit to how many items I can have in my inventory?

No, there is no limit to how many items can be added.

Can I perform a year-end physical inventory count in Lightspeed Retail (S-Series)?

No, but there are several tools available to help facilitate this process. Use the Inventory Value Report or Stock Items Export to find the current quantity on hand for your items. After counting what’s physically in store, use the ‘Count inventory’ action to adjust each item’s quantity to the correct value, then run the Adjustment History Report to review all adjustments made.

How can I get help if I have an issue managing my inventory?

Visit one of the following troubleshooting guides for help solving some common inventory related problems:

Update Inventory

As you run transactions, inventory will need to be replenished and item quantities may need to be adjusted. Here are some common questions about updating the quantity on hand of inventory items.

How do I receive inventory?

Visit the Update Inventory page in BackOffice to receive new units of items or raw goods, update costs and prices while receiving, and print barcode labels for received items. Read our article on updating inventory for more information.

Can I adjust my inventory count?

Yes. From the Update Inventory page, you can add to, remove from, or replace the quantity on hand of an item. Learn more about adjusting inventory here.

Do I have to enter a quantity for my inventory item?

Entering a quantity is not required, but is recommended for most items. Learn more about inventory tracking from our Inventory Tracking & Reorder Report article.

Can I receive an alert when my inventory is low?

Yes. Set up inventory reorder triggers to be notified when items are low.

How do I view the quantity updates made to my inventory?

Run the Quantity History Report to view the adjustments made to item quantities via Update Inventory.

Inventory Reporting

The robust reports available in BackOffice can sometimes raise questions. This section addresses common inventory reporting questions.

Do deleted items appear on reports?

Deleted items appear on sales reports, such as the Transactions Report and Sales by Item report, but do not appear on the Item List, Reorder Report, and Stock Items Export.

How do I see my top-selling items?

The Sales by Item Report displays top-selling items by quantity and by amount sold.

How can I find my top-selling modifiers or variants for each item?

Use the Modifiers and Variants report to find information on modifiers and variants sold. Visit the Modifiers and Variants Report article to learn how to run this report.

Can I run a sales report for a single item?

Yes, filter the Sales by Item report so it displays only that item.

How can I check an item’s quantity on hand?

Visit our Inventory Tracking & Reorder Report article to learn how to view an item’s quantity both in BackOffice and at the register.

Can I see when each inventory item was last sold?

Yes. Export your stock items and look at column P, ‘Last Sold Date’.

Can I download and print my complete current inventory?

Yes, current inventory can be downloaded from BackOffice by clicking ‘Stock Items’ on the Reports sidebar. Open the file in any spreadsheet software to print it out.

Can I view or print inventory by department, category, or supplier?

Yes, follow the steps to export stock items and then sort the export spreadsheet by the relevant column.

What is the difference between a UPC and a SKU?

‘UPC’ refers to the barcode and barcode number that come printed on a product. UPCs are added to items so the items can be scanned at the register. Lightspeed Retail (S-Series) accepts UPC codes 2 – 55 digits in length which do not contain letters.

‘SKU’, also known as the store code, is an item identification number automatically created by Lightspeed Retail which is used to generate barcodes for labels printed via Lightspeed Label Printing.

What is the value of my inventory?

The Inventory Value report displays the value, quantity on hand, and cost of items for a selected date.

How can I find my inventory value for a certain date?

Just run the Inventory Value report for that specific date.

How can I get an end of year inventory report?

Run the Inventory Value report for the date December 31.

Can I look back on the inventory adjustments I made?

Yes, view a history of inventory adjustments on the Quantity History Report.

Is there a report for received inventory items?

No. However, the Quantity History shows the total number of units of each inventory item that were received, adjusted, sold, and returned.

How can I track my inventory?

Enable inventory tracking on your items to be able to track their quantity on hand as they are sold and returned at the register. Learn more about inventory tracking here.

How can I see when items are running low?

Use the Inventory Reorder report to check which inventory items, variants, and raw goods are running low and need to be reordered.

How is my cost of goods sold affected when I sell or return an item?

When you sell an item, the cost of goods sold increases by the cost of the item at the time of the sale. When you return an item, the cost of goods sold decreases by the cost of the item at the time it was originally sold, not by the item’s current cost.