Square Inventory & Item Management: Ask our Product Manager Anything!



On Thursday, September 9th @elaine_p from our Inventory team joined us in the Seller Community for another Q&A all about Inventory and Item Management.


This event has now ended - thank you for everyone who asked a question!


We've released a lot of features over the last year, and we asked you to share what's working well and where are the areas where we can improve. We can't share out specific details on our roadmap, though we make sure any feature requests that came through during the event are considered for further versions of our products. Read through the replies below to learn more! 


Inventory Q&A.jpeg


Seller Community Manager, Square

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Message 1 of 101
1 Best Answer

Best Answer

Thank you again to everyone who posted a question or shared feedback during today's Live Q&A! The experiences you've shared will help us as we continue to iterate based on your feedback.


We wanted to share a short recap on three themes that came up during today's event:

  • Bundles: This is something we are working towards. Our first step is in beta and will be widely available soon in Square for Retail Plus which allows for selling one thing using different units of measure.  
  • Inventory for Modifiers: We hear this loud and clear as a need so that you can track things like a side option that is part of a plate meal order and do things like mark it as sold out when it’s gone.  
  • Custom Adjustments:  This was the third top need that came up to allow for things like donations or accounting for sales outside of Square. 


We are inspired by the different businesses that you run and want to continue to improve Square’s products to save you time and make the business decisions you need to make around inventory. For the latest updates on Inventory, keep watch for announcements of new features in Product Updates.

Again, thank you for your participation and stay tuned for our next Q&A


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Message 100 of 101
100 REPLIES 100

I just set up my account. I started adding items to my account via mobile app. The app would not let me add stock quantities, it throws an error message. When I log onto the dashboard via desktop, my items aren't there and it still doesn't let me add item quantities. How can I fix this?

Message 2 of 101

It might just need to sync.  Sometimes it's fast/instant. And sometimes it takes a long while... how long ago did you add the items?

The Violet Fox
Message 3 of 101

My item listed in the online store is "Out of Stock" - how do I change this setting so it's available for purchase?

Message 4 of 101
Super Seller

If you open up that item and scroll down a bit, there should be a section that says "Additional Information" where the Stock is listed.  You need to turn on "Track Stock" and add stock there.  Also, make sure your Visibility on the item is set to "Visible"

The Violet Fox
Message 5 of 101

Hi @nyfslo! There are two options: 

  1. If you are tracking inventory on the item, then you can add stock. In your Square Dashboard, click on Items > Click an Item > Click the stock column. Select a reason for updating inventory, like Stock Received, and then add the quantity in inventory and save.
  2. If you are not tracking inventory, then it might be marked as sold out. In your Square Dashboard, click on Items > Click an Item > Click the stock column. Make sure the highlighted toggle is off. 
Message 6 of 101

Can you make the modifiers sync with inventory? That would be the silver bullet solution for my restaurant.


Message 7 of 101

We don’t have the ability to make modifiers sync with inventory today, but it's great to hear the suggestion @MacHenrys. One follow up question for you: are you tracking specific counts, or is it more sold out/available? I’d love to hear a few of the ways you’re using modifiers and how inventory would be helpful there to give me a better picture of the problems you want to solve.


Message 8 of 101

Thanks for the reply. Really its both. I'd love to have the data of each individual modifier to know how many people build a plate with mac & cheese, green beans, and such. We have those items a la carte of course but the bulk of our business is create a plate. Or you could think about it as pizza toppings, or coffee flavorings, or anything else that would be "bundled" together as a meal. 

I know a full pan of mac & cheese yields 45 servings. If those servings are a la carte (know one shops this way for food) then I know what is actually being sold. If these same servings find their way to a combo plate, (which I use modifiers as the way to designate what goes on the plate- then there is no record of that serving being deducted from the original count. 

This function would benefit my restaurant / pizza shops / coffee shops / doughnut shops / really anyone who wants to bundle items together for a common sale. Record keeping is great, but having to manually erase different modifiers whenever they sell out is a pain- then I have to go over to the online store and hide those items- then I have jump back on the line and keep feeding people. 

If a small business can sell a "bundle" with one click rather than having the customer select 4 different items individually then that's a win for both. 

Message 9 of 101

Makes sense, thank you for the example!

Message 10 of 101

@MacHenrys Thank you for this! Very well said - I am wanting this feature for these exact same reasons at my cafe! We offer individual items (like pretzels or house-made cookie-dough bites) a la crate, but they can also be selected as a side for our lunch sandwiches (as a modifier). Can’t tell you how difficult it is to accurately keep track of inventory because of that

Message 11 of 101
Beta Member

Can you make it to where items used for services are deducted from the inventory? 

Message 12 of 101

When on the Edit variation - managing inventory i need a better name(s) for managing inventory, these do not suit my business needs: 

stock received

inventory re-counted




restock return


I need to manage product used on our guest (we are a salon). It would be super helpful to have an inventory name for "testers", right now I code products used as back bar as "theft" and that gets super confusing when we actually have a product go missing. 


I need to run a report on all items used in salon, so it would also be helpful to have a deep dive of the product use, so I can check the use against sales.  


I moved to square, from another big inventory POS system, and square seems behind in their KPI reporting and tools.





Studio 59 Salon
Message 13 of 101
Beta Member

Second this!

Message 14 of 101

I have issues with the predetermined reasons provided as well. Some of the options are nice but we also need to be able to type our own reasons in as well. Sometimes inventory items are donated and some items are for advertising and some are for employee use. Please give us the freedom to write in our own and once we type it in once the system can add it as a selectable option in the future.

Message 15 of 101

Thanks @Cloud_Factory . Same as the question I asked above - would you want to specify how a reason like “Advertising” would impact COGS and Inventory value?


Message 16 of 101

Thanks for the detail @59Salon ! That makes sense. I’m curious to hear if you would want to name the inventory adjustment reason and then specify how it works with Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory Value. For example, you might make an adjustment called “Used in Service” and then specify that it increases cost of goods sold and decreases inventory value. 

Question for you and @studio219ink Would you want to decrement portions of a product? - if you are tracking shampoo for example, one guest uses 1/50th of a bottle? 

Message 17 of 101
Beta Member

Yes, the more detailed the better. I own a tattoo and body piercing studio. That could definitely come in handy down the line for tracking how many piercing needles and other single use tools we have in stock to know when it's time to re-up. What about having the ability to change to a sale is attributed to? That would be life changing for me as it would make it much easier to track commissions for independent contractors and employees through Square Payroll. That and being able to set different commission percentages for different items.

Message 18 of 101

I might not be correct, the POS square for retail does have the ability to track sales, you just need to have your team log in with an assigned sales number. That way you can track sales by number/team member. Not sure if the "retail" POS can calculate commission, yet its easy to calculate ones you see all the sales defined by their number. 

Studio 59 Salon
Message 19 of 101
Beta Member

We only have one POS and a cashier to ring people up, however, we have multiple people providing services and heavy traffic. Those providing service hand off to the cashier so they can move on to the next client while the current one is paying. Only one person can be logged in to the POS at a time so it would either require multiple POS setups, which I don't have room for, or it'd create a traffic jam at the checkout counter creating chaos. The cashier would need everyone's personal code and would be required log out after each transaction in order to log back in with a new number based on who's checking out at the time. If the cashier makes a mistake, I have no way to fix it. Either that or each artist would have to wait in line to log in and check themselves out slowing things to a crawl. It'd be far more efficient and cost effective to be able to select the employee to attribute the sale to at the end of the night. It wouldn't require much more than creating a drop down menu to select from.

Message 20 of 101
Beta Member

What is the best way to inventory variable price items? We are a meat market, and I currently have all of my staff using calculators to add up the poundage of everything before putting it into stock. Could we anticipate a way to scan variable bar codes into inventory so that it adds it in that way?

Message 21 of 101