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Inventory Examples

35 Examples of Inventory

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Inventory are products to be sold and all non-capital goods that are directly used to produce products and services.

Inventory Types

There are four basic types of inventory as follows. These categories can be used as a test to determine if an item is inventory or not.
Raw materials - basic materials, ingredients, parts and components used in products and services
Work-in-progress (WIP) - partially completed products
Finished goods - products that are ready to be sold
Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) - supplies necessary for the maintenance, repair, and support of production processes and facilities

Inventory Examples

What is considered inventory depends on the nature of your business. For most businesses a computer isn't inventory because this is capital that you use to produce value. However, if you're a retailer or manufacturer of computers then this is inventory. The following are examples of items that are considered inventory in a particular context.
Wood on a construction site
Packaging materials
Food ingredients
Product samples
Cleaning supplies in a factory
Cakes in a cake shop
Partially completed products on an assembly line
Small tools used in production
Computer parts in a data center
Stock such as boxes of shoes in an ecommerce fulfillment center
Soap used to stock rooms in a hotel
Kimono in a kimono rental shop
Clothes in a clothing retail shop
Cake decorations in a cake shop
Goods in transit until they are owned by the customer
Excess inventory such as unpopular colors of a product that won’t sell
Cotton fabric in a textile factory
Glass bottles in a recycling facility
Soybeans harvested from a farm
Wood logs at a sawmill
A partially completed painting in an artist’s studio
A partially constructed house owned by a house builder
Lubricants in a repair shop
Fasteners such as screws in a craft shop
Air conditioning parts owned by a HVAC repair person
Safety equipment in a factory such as a fire extinguisher
Receipt paper in a retail shop
Antiques in an antique shop
Fuel in a airline’s airplane
In order to be considered inventory an item must be used to produce goods and services. For example, a cleaning product used in a restaurant is inventory but a cleaning product used in a back office is a supply.

Inventory Concepts

Inventory is also a common business concept. For example, a hotel may view an unsold night in a hotel as service inventory.
Service inventory
A unit of a service that can be sold that expires. For example, a seat on a flight. Not a true type of inventory but an important business concept.
Perishable inventory
Inventory that expires at a point in time such as food.
Obsolete inventory
Inventory that is outdated or obsolete such as a case for an electronic device that is no longer on the market.
Consignment inventory
A retailer that sells inventory that is still owned by the producer.
Safety stock
Inventory held to guard against supply shortfalls or sudden demand surges.
Service parts
Parts and components used to provide repair or maintenance services.
Backordered inventory
Inventory that hasn’t arrived yet that has already been sold.
Seasonal inventory
Stock used to meet seasonal demand.
Excess inventory
Inventory that hasn’t been sold in the expected period of time. For example, unpopular colors that remain on the shelf as other colors sell out.
Cycle inventory
Inventory that a business replaces regularly such as shampoo in a drug store that sells many units a day.
Transit inventory
Inventory that is in the supply chain or that is being delivered to customers.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about inventory.
Current Assets
Finished Goods
Inventory Examples
Inventory Management
Inventory Risk
Inventory Shrinkage
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The common types of inventory.


The common types of merchandise.

Work In Process

A definition of work in process with examples.

Finished Goods

The definition of finished goods with examples.

Goods In Transit

The definition of goods in transit with examples.

Service Inventory

The definition of service inventory with examples.

Goods In Process

The definition of goods in process with examples.

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Field Service

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Operations Management Examples

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Standard Operating Procedures

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