Shelving your profits

Before you stock the shelves, it helps to have some! You also need a place to put the shelves: your garage, a spare room, or somewhere else. You have a choice between two basic kinds of shelves:

i Plastic: If you're just starting out, you can always go to the local closet and linen supply store to buy inexpensive plastic shelves. They're light and cheap — but they'll buckle in time, rendering them useless.

i Steel: If you want to do it right the first time, buy steel shelving. The most versatile steel shelving is the wire kind (versus solid-steel shelves), which is lighter and allows air to circulate around your items. Steel wire shelving assembles easily; I put mine together without help. They come with leveling feet or four-inch casters, so you can move the unit, if necessary. Installing the casters is up to you. You can combine steel wire shelving units to create a full wall of shelves. Each shelf safely holds as much as 500 pounds of merchandise.

Search eBay for shelving to find sellers offering this kind of industrial shelving. The main problem with ordering this product online is that the shipping usually costs more than the shelving.

To save you time, dear reader, I researched the subject and found some readily available, reasonably priced shelves. Just go to Target or Costco and look for steel wire four-shelf commercial shelving, sold in 36- and 48-inch-wide units. Each shelf will hold up to 500 pounds. These shelves are available also on the Costco Web site, but you have to pay for shipping.

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