What is Bin Card? | Definition, Uses, Pros and Cons

Also known as bin tag or stock card, Bin Card is the statement or report of the issue and receipt of the stocks from a retailing business’s store department. Bin Cards are primarily used by those retailing businesses that have a vast stock warehouse.

 Besides, noting down the issue and receipts of stocks, it records the current balance and additional information or problems concerning some stock items. It must be pointed out that the word ‘Bin’ in the term Bin Card is the short form for Business Identification Number.

When is a Bin Card used?

Management of inventory is not a straightforward job. However, keeping a regular record of the day to day transactions of stock items is necessary to have a rough idea of the level of available stocks.

 Bin Cards serve as very convenient tools in keeping these records. Besides that, they help the businesses in tracking the movement of inventories and documenting the issues related to them. Based on all these factors, retail companies can make decisions on capital allocation more efficiently.

How does Bin Card work?

Bin Cards are often compared with store ledgers or stock registers as both of them are used to maintain stock transactions. However, the differences between them are quite significant to distinguish them from each other.

Store ledgers need to be maintained and updated regularly. However, the task of updating is done after the transactions have already transpired. Bin Cards, on the other hand, have to be not only kept updated but also be recorded before the transpiring of the transactions.

Besides that, Bin Cards are more straightforward instruments for keeping records, which are used by storekeepers in general for instant documentation, both offline and online. In contrast to that, store ledgers or stock registers are explicitly meant for the department of finance and cost.

A Bin Card can be generated and maintained in the Excel sheet. Alternatively, one can print out a Bin Card for offline management. The format of a Bin Card mainly comprises of material name, date of receipt along with the quantity of the material, dispatch date accompanied by the product quantity and the closing balance of the materials.

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Besides quantity, a Bin Card can also consist of the location of a material’s receipt or the dispatch. However, the value of the materials is not included in a Bin Card.

Advantages of Bin Card

The following are some significant benefits that retailers are provided with by the usage of Bin Cards:

  1. Recording of inventory transactions is less prone to errors as the documentation is done the very instance a material is received or sent.
  2. As the inventories are recorded even before the transpiring of transactions, better control can be established over the level of stock items.
  3. With Bin Cards, store-in-charge can give the accounts of inventories instantly.
  4. Bin Cards make stock items more traceable as all details related to the material’s location, and quantity is mentioned in them.
  5. Bin Cards help in the counting of inventories during audits or annual counts.

Disadvantages of Bin Card

Despite its various benefits, using a Bin Card is not without its share of limitations:

  1. Updating of Bin Cards require the store-in-charge to have a lot of patience and be very careful.
  2. Stock levels cannot be inferred directly from Bin Cards. Instead, the reports prepared from them are used to verify the stock levels.
  3. Bin Cards tend to take up a lot of space in the warehouses, which otherwise can be used to store several other stock items.


  1. http://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/35190/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016636159390082C