Set Your Initial Stock Counts

Explains how to set your initial stock levels with ShipStation's internal inventory feature.

When using ShipStation's internal inventory management, you'll need to set your initial stock levels before ShipStation can start deducting inventory as you ship.

The best way to set up your inventory's initial stock levels is to upload a specially-formatted CSV that contains information about your stock level and inventory location.

In this process, you will:

  1. Export an Inventory CSV from ShipStation.

  2. Add your inventory values to the CSV.

  3. Import the updated CSV to ShipStation.


  • Before setting your initial stock counts, make sure you have completed the Internal Inventory setup process - create an inventory warehouse, link the warehouse to a Ship From Location, and enable inventory tracking. Review our Set Up Internal Inventory article for details.

  • You must also have product records in ShipStation to set inventory counts for. If you do not yet have product records in ShipStation, first review our article about adding product records!

Once you have set your initial counts, ShipStation can start deducting inventory as you ship your orders. Review our Update Your Stock Levels article to learn how to update stock counts after setting the initial levels.

Export Your Inventory CSV

First, you must export your existing product list in a specially formatted inventory CSV file from ShipStation.

Using the Sample Inventory Template

While we recommend first exporting your product records as described above, you do have the option to instead download an inventory sample template CSV from either the Inventory Import pop-up or from the bottom of this article.

If you use the sample template, you must manually add your product names and SKUs in addition to the stock counts and warehouse locations. Please note that the sample file has slightly different column headers than the exported version. Both versions are correct and will successfully import your inventory counts and location data.

Add Products and Inventory Values

Next, you'll add your inventory details to the exported CSV file.

Warehouse Name Field

The Warehouse Name field is a read-only field that lets you know which warehouse the product's stock is located in. When setting your initial stock levels, this field will most likely be blank. There is no need to add any value to this field as you set the Warehouse the stock uploads to during the import process.

The Warehouse Name field is not included on the sample template, as it is not needed in the import process.

Import the New CSV

Last, you will import your updated CSV file back into ShipStation.

Once your import is complete, your stock levels and locations will be established for that Inventory Warehouse. Repeat this process for each Inventory Warehouse you have stock counts for. Read our CSV Import Troubleshooting and Tips article if you encounter difficulty importing the CSV file.

Notes About Importing an Inventory CSV

  • The SKU and Stock/OnHand fields are required!

    The OnHand field (exported CSV) and Stock field (sample template CSV) both import the stock level to the On Hand field in ShipStation.

  • OnHand (Stock) refers to the number of items you have available and allocated to fulfill orders..

  • The CSV's Loc1Loc2Loc3, and Loc4 columns map to the AreaUnitShelf, and Bin portion of the Warehouse Layout, respectively.

  • If you don't specify at least one 'Loc' value during the import, ShipStation will display the Inventory Warehouse Location as (Unspecified).

  • You may add additional rows in the CSV that specify additional Inventory Warehouse Locations for a single product, and ShipStation will add each location to the specified SKU.

  • You can include stock for multiple Inventory Warehouses on a single CSV file. However, to upload the inventory for multiple Inventory Warehouses, you must do multiple imports, selecting the Warehouse to apply the import to each time.

  • The inventory sample template includes a Cost field, but the exported inventory CSV does not. This is because the Cost field is not stored in a database like the other fields. This data is only reflected in the History of the inventory record in ShipStation.

    You can add a Cost column to the exported inventory CSV if you wish to record product cost changes in the product record history, but it is not required. Additionally, this data will not be included on the exported inventory CSV.

View Internal Inventory Stock Counts

You can now view your inventory stock levels at the product level , the order level, and in the shipping sidebar.

View in the Products Grid or Details

View in Order Details

View in Shipping Sidebar