I'm working with a retail store in desperate need of an inventory tracking solution.

Basically, we just need a system that we can scan barcodes in to, and then get a count of how many times that barcode was scanned. Later, we should be able to get all this information in CSV format.

Preferably, the software should also:

  • Allow us to include names and prices on unique barcodes (and auto-fill for non-uniques)
  • Support a near-infinite amount of items
  • Support any barcode scanner
  • Be on the affordable side (< $100)

If possible, we'd also like the software to be:

  • Free and/or Open source
  • Customizable

We don't need a full-scale and fancy point of sale or ERP, just a simple tool to help us do a physical inventory.

The software needs to be able to be run on a PC (any OS can work for us), but it can not be mobile (meaning, none of those handheld inventory tools).

  • What barcode scanners are you using? Mar 28, 2016 at 6:43
  • @BasilBourque We're using generic Inateck scanners, but a solution that works with anything would (obviously) be infinitely better.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Mar 28, 2016 at 19:56

1 Answer 1



Not open source, but you might have this already. How about just scanning everything into a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel?

I'm only half kidding. We used this approach for a one time inventory cut-over.

You can set most of the handheld USB barcode scanners to add an Enter after each scan (go to the next cell in spreadsheet).

Then you can run a pivot table, vlookup etc. and get a .csv file exported to boot.

  • This is actually a decent idea - I've seen it done. Mar 28, 2016 at 10:53
  • This definitely sounds to be viable. If there's no standalone software solution available, we'll probably do this. Thanks for the idea!
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Mar 28, 2016 at 19:57
  • You're welcome! When we did this we had laptops with tethered USB barcode scanners and we set certain cells and tabs to be password locked and hidden (for the master data, lookup formulas etc.).
    – wally
    Mar 28, 2016 at 20:02

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