I have recently moved my shop for used motorbike parts to Shopify: https://globalmotoparts.com/
And Shopify is doing a great job. BUT: Most of my parts are used parts in different conditions (color, scratches, age etc.). The problem is that parts can only be sold once and I currently have one product page for each item. Once it is sold, the product page says: Sold out. Not a good experience, especially as the product might be available in a different condition on a different product page. I don't want to delete the product page either after every sale to not lose the SEO juice and direct the visitors to a 404 page. I also don't want to redirect to a new page as over the time there would be many redirects which would not be good for SEO either and I would have a lot of duplicate content.
I thought about having one product page and adding new parts using variants, but as I am syncing the products to eBay via Inkfrog, this can be problematic as eBay only allows variants for certain categories. Would be perfect if Inkfrog would create one eBay listing for each variant, but it seems not to be capable of that.
Is there any better solution to my problem? What would you do? I'm happy for any ideas or feedback! :
I've had the same issue when selling vintage furniture - one-off pieces. It took me ages to write product descriptions and take beautiful photos of each new furniture, and then the piece was gone. Good problem to have, but I feel your pain.
In your case, the best solution would be to specialize and narrow down your selection. After a while you will notice which parts are the most popular, and for which cars, so stock more of these products [you can find specific parts on the scrap yards]. You can then create an option to pre-order the part on the listing that's sold out [you cannot display the sold out sign, otherwise people won't click the listing - it will have to say 'pre-order only']. This way, you'll end up ordering the parts someone already bought and paid for ;)