Understanding Initial Costs

Initial Cost is fundamental in determining many important aspects of your business health, such as Cost tracking, Profit Margin reporting and getting the Total Stock Value.
 
In this article, we will be covering Initial Cost and why it is important for your business through the following topics:
 
  1. What is Initial Cost?
  2. Why should I care about Initial Cost?
  3. How is Initial Cost determined?
  4. How can I set up Initial Cost in TradeGecko?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
 

What is Initial Cost?

Initial Cost is the average cost of acquiring your existing stock on hand, at the point of importing your products to TradeGecko. Most products imported/created in TradeGecko had a history of being acquired, either by purchasing the item from your supplier or manufacturing them. The cost of acquiring these products into your inventory is referred to as Initial Cost.
 
Initial Cost is an integral part of your business. The importance of Initial Cost will be explored more later in this article under “Why should I care about Initial Cost”?
Warning
Once you have imported your products into TradeGecko, you must promptly set up your Initial Cost to ensure accurate calculations. There are many ways to set up Initial Cost, which is covered under “How to setup Initial Cost” section below.
Initial Cost cannot be changed after any transaction that creates stock movement has been performed on a variant. These transactions are:
 
This is due to the fact that Moving Average Cost (MAC) is continuously recalculated with each stock movement mentioned above. Once a variant’s stock has moved and its MAC has changed, you can no longer change the Initial Cost of that variant. However, it’s still possible to fix! See "What if my Initial Cost is incorrect?" for more information.
 

Why should I care about Initial Cost?

If you have many products, setting up Initial Cost might seem like an unnecessary additional task. However, having the correct Initial Cost is extremely important for your business. It gives you a better picture of your business by providing accurate cost tracking and better profit accounting.
 
Let’s take a look at why setting up the correct Initial Cost is a well-worth investment of your time:

1. Maintain the correct MAC (Moving Average Cost)

Moving Average Cost is a very important concept for cost tracking in TradeGecko - it determines the true cost of a product over its lifetime. In TradeGecko, the MAC of a variant started off with its Initial Cost and is continuously recalculated with each stock movement on the variant. By setting up the correct Initial Cost from the beginning, it will give you the most accurate MAC from the start of your TradeGecko time. You can learn more about MAC here.

2. Correct Profit Margin Reporting

Cost tracking is essential in calculating the correct profit margin of an item. Profit Margin tells you the profitability of your items and can provide important data for your business. Knowing the correct Profit Margin of each item lets you to know how much each item actually contributes to your business and allows you to prioritize which items you should be focusing on.

3. Accurate Calculations of Business Tax

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is an important accounting item required for calculating your business tax. Similar to MAC, in order to determine COGS we need to know Initial Cost of an item. You need accurate COGS for your accounting to calculate the correct tax. Therefore, getting your COGS calculation correct can potentially reduce your business tax, so it’s definitely something you should care about.
 

How is Initial Cost determined?

At first glance, Initial Cost may sound like a Buy Price. However Initial Cost might actually be different than Buy Price due to a few reasons:
 
  • Discounts: Getting a discount when acquiring a certain product will result in a lower value of the cost price of your inventory, due to bulk discounts that may have been provided by your supplier. Let’s say an item cost $5, but purchasing it in bulk may result in the price being reduced to $4, even though the item still costs $5 in your supplier's price list.
  • Landed Costs: Having a landed cost in the process of acquiring a product will result in a higher value of the cost price of your inventory due to shipping and/or handling fees related to acquiring stock. If an item costs $5 to purchase, it has not included the cost of getting it to your warehouse (for example $1 shipping), which will raise the cost to $6 per item.
  • Multiple Supplier Cost: If you are buying your products from different suppliers and they are giving you different prices, this might result in a lower or higher value of cost price than the current buy price.
 

How can I set up Initial Cost in TradeGecko?

Warning
Once the initial cost value has been imported, it cannot be updated again as we already start calculating your Moving Average Cost and Cost of Good Sold. If you want to readjust your Moving Average Cost, contact us at support@tradegecko.com
Initial Cost is set per variant in TradeGecko. This can be done a few ways:

On Manual Product Creation

If you are creating your product manually in TradeGecko (Inventory > Create New), Initial Cost is already required field. Simply input your cost price for the product you are creating in the respective field.
 

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If you have specified multiple variants or pack sizes on the product, you can also specify Initial Cost per variant on the next page.
 
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On Product Import

If you have imported your products into TradeGecko from a sales channel (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc) or from a CSV, you can then import Initial Cost using our “Import Initial Cost” tool (Inventory > Products > Bulk Manage > Import Initial Costs). Click here to learn more   setting up Initial Cost on imported products.
 
Note that the Retail and Wholesale price columns within the Initial Cost CSV template CANNOT be used (changed/updated) to update your variants' prices. To learn more about updating your Variants' Prices, please click here.
 
Please keep in mind you must promptly set up your Initial Cost as soon as your products have been imported to TradeGecko to ensure accurate calculations. Initial Cost cannot be changed after any transaction that creates stock movement has been performed on a variant.
 
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Note
The Import Initial Costs option will not be displayed if you have installed an accounting integration.

Fulfilling a Sales Order/ Receiving a Return

When fulfilling a Sales Order or receiving a Sales Return, if the Initial Costs aren’t set on the products within the order, you will be prompted with a cautionary message that the Initial Costs aren’t set and the implications with accounting integrations (if you have any). Once you proceed to fulfill the Sales order or Receive the return, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up warning with two options: Ignore and Ship Anyway OR Set Initial Costs Now.

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Note: You can select "Set Initial Cost Now" to import your Initial Cost prior to fulfilling your Sales Order. Clicking on this button will re-direct you to the Import Initial Cost page where you can upload your product's Initial Cost via CSV.

Receiving a Purchase Order

When receiving a Purchase Order, if the Initial Costs aren’t set on the products within the order, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up warning with the implications. Here, you’ll have the option to either use the Cost per Item values within the Purchase Order as the initial costs (landed costs will not be taken into consideration) OR set up the initial costs manually. Please note the Cost Per Item option ONLY takes into consideration the cost of the line items and NOT the landed costs.

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Create a Stock Adjustment

When creating a Stock Adjustment, if the Initial Costs aren’t set on the products within the Stock Adjustment, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up warning with the implications. Here, you’ll have the option to either use the Cost per Item values within the Stock Adjustment as the Initial Costs OR set up the Initial Costs manually.

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Adding a new Sales Channel

When adding a new Sales Channel, the Initial Costs are not added for all products being imported from the Sales Channel automatically. Once you’ve finished with the Product Import process from the Sales Channel, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up message indicating the products that do not have Initial Costs set - here, you can set up the Initial Cost for each of your imported products.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my Initial Cost is incorrect?

If your Initial Cost was not set up correctly and you have already done transactions that change your MAC on the variant, please contact our support. We’ll get in touch with you with next steps on how to fix your Initial Cost.
 

What if I don’t know what my Initial Cost is?

If you are not sure of the Initial Cost of your variants, or if you get free shipping (and thus no landed cost), it's safe to say that you can have the Initial Cost value set to be the same as the product's Buy price.
 
Regardless, Initial Cost should not be left as 0 unless it was obtained for free. Otherwise, setting it at 0 might render your MAC value inaccurate which will consequently provide incorrect cost tracking.
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