Airtable Noob looking for ideas / advice / suggestions

Hello and Good Day to All,

As the header suggests I’m looking for some advice as to how to proceed with my project.

A bit of background. My wife started making custom jewelry for herself a few years ago. One thing led to another and now she’s taken her hobby and expanded it into a small-ish side business. She currently uses Excel to keep track of everything related to her hobby/business. I’ve even jumped on board with a Laser Engraver/Cutter and am making items for her to sell as well. (Plus it’s a frickin laser and really fun).

We both have a lot of experience with Excel and next to no experience with Airtable. I started out looking for an inventory management program that we could tweak to our needs. I couldn’t really find anything and then I stumbled upon Airtable. I already have a decent-ish handle on my inventory including setting up a form that we can easily enter in new items to sell. I have our items categorized by item type (earrings, ornaments, etc) and then sub-categorized (Christmas, Holloween, etc.) so I feel that I have a okay handle on this part of Airtable.

The next step of my project with Airtable is to figure out how to use it with her various events/markets that she sells her jewelry at. I would like to be able to select items that we are selling at each event and mark them as sold somehow. My thoughts on this had me using a form (somehow) to add a sold marker to each item sold. Ideally, we could pull up the form, search for whatever item we are selling and check a box for “sold”. (I’m unsure if this type of search functionality exists within Airtable forms) One issue that I’m having is that we might sell multiples of the same item during an event/market so we need to be able to be able to mark the same unit as “sold” multiple times. I though at one point was to assign something a rating, update said rating each time that item is sold, and then count the ratings at the end of the event/market.

I’m having a hard time not thinking in “Excel” while I’m trying to figure out how to do this. I could very easily make a duplicate base for each event. But after doing some research (i.e. watching a bunch of YT vids and perusing this forum) I realized that this isn’t a very “elegant” solution and not really the correct way to use a database program. This also doesn’t help me with finding an easier way to mark something as sold. If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m all about making this as easy on my wife (and therefore myself) as possible.

At this time I’m not looking to spend a ton of money on a subscription. If this project of hers starts growing (even more than it has in the last 18 months) then we might look into expanding our Airtable usage, say for syncing to outside sources. But for the moment I’m hoping that the free version of Airtable should get us what we need.

Thanks in advance for any and all help/suggestions that you might come up with and have a great and safe day.

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So far I’m liking this post. I think this will get me the first part of my journey.

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Hey @Eric_Cowgill!

Welcome to the Airtable community!

You’ve definitely found a great way to organize the jewelry and laser engraving products and info!

Yes, you can definitely use it for ‘inventory tracking’ purposes at events. A couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. You need to always have an internet connection. There is no offline mode.

  2. There’s no native way to process a payment. You’ll need to use 3rd-party tools.

  3. If you’re using the free version of Airtable, you only get 1,200 records per base. You’ll most likely hit this pretty quickly. Plus, if you have images, you can only have 2GB of attachments per base.

Now, if you’re processing transactions differently and just want a way to update the item as sold, this is totally doable. You really don’t even need a form for this. You can just open the database and mark it as sold.

If you do want a form that displays information from the base, Airtable forms cannot do this. Again, you need an outside tool. We have a Forms app in our On2Air tools that can do this.

If I were setting up this base, here’s what it would look like:

Tables:

Products
Orders
Customers
Order Line Items

This is a good template base to get an understanding.

and this one

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To jump onboard with Hannah’s suggestions and add a little:

I’d have a form for orders.
Each time you submit the order form it creates a record in the Order Table. The created record would be linked to the Master Record in the Products Table via a Linked Field.

Then I would use a Rollup Field to Rollup the amount of orders placed for that Product (The Rollup field would count the amount of linked records).

Next I would have a Number Field showing your current Inventory. And finally i’d use a formula field to create a dynamic Total Inventory which would be (Current Inventory - Orders = Total Inventory)

So if you had 5 necklaces made and you sold 3. Your Total Inventory would equal 2 (5-3).

Hope that helps!

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Hi Jack_P,

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m trying to wrap my head around how to link the fields once an order is created. Right now, when I pull up my very basic “sold” form (which is still very much in ‘beta’ status), I can actually search for whatever item we want via a linked field. Though the formatting of this is a bit different depending upon where you happen to be looking at it (within airtable.com (pic 2), a published form or iOS (pic 3), etc.) Please see below. Do you know if there’s a way to have the view that is presented within a mobile browser to show all of the data as shown in pic #2, or am I just limited by just searching for the name as in pic 3? Cheers



Unfortunately i’m a noob myself when it come to using Airtable on mobile. Our company have access to laptops across the board so it’s very rare I have to design anything for it.
You look like you’re on the right track with the form though. All you’d need to do now is create a Rollup field in your Inventory Table that shows how many links to the Sold table exist. Then minus that from your current inventory amounts.