Do I capture payment before or after fulfilling?

Do I capture payment before or after fulfilling?

11 0 2

Hi all,


So I've recently launched a pre-order collection so I switch my payment settings from automatic capture to manual. I just got an order that is not one of the pre-order products.


This is my first time switching to manual capturing, so I'm not sure when is the "typical time" to capture the payment? Is it now (after confirming the order)? or after fulfilling the order? or when the order gets delivered.


Thank you!

Reply 1 (1)

Shopify Partner
15 2 1
If your customer is happy to pay in full upfront, that'd be most beneficial for your cash flow.
If they prefer to pay partially (e.g. pay for the currently in-stock item first, then pay for the pre-order item later), keep in mind the standard authorization periods for credit cards are typically 5-10 days.
This means after 5-10 days, you'll need to request your customer to enter their credit card info again to capture the remaining payment. Or manually send them an invoice. Both options are under Shopify > Orders > the specific Order. Could be a slight hassle for them from a CX perspective.
You could request payment upon delivery - but this could impact your cash flow as you wouldn't know the exact date.

Many brands usually start doing pre-orders and capture payment when they've confirmed their shipment is on its way to their warehouse. There's more certainty around delivery timelines at this stage compared to when it's still in production. 
Is there a reason why you've switched your payment settings from auto-capture to manual?
We have a pre-order app (Early Bird) that allows you to capture down payment (i.e. a partial deposit of $ or % of your choice); then auto-capture the rest at a later date (also of your choice). Without requesting your customers to enter their credit card details again.
Our app will display the payment status for each pre-order, and auto-email your customers their payment receipts when capturing the remaining payment.
This way you have the best of both worlds:
  • Customers can pay a partial deposit to reserve their items
  • Or pay in full upfront would be most ideal (In our app you could entice them with a customisable discount separate from Shopify promo codes)
  • You get to secure cash flow earlier rather than wait for payment upon delivery


All while saving time from the manual admin of tagging pre-orders, keeping track of payment and fulfilment statuses, manually sending invoices etc.


We have a free plan available with no commission fees. If this is relevant to what you need, happy to jump on a call to help you set it up (we've just opened up for early private access), or share two 5-minute videos to show you what the end-to-end payment process looks like.
Product and Growth Marketer
Co-founder at Early Bird: Pre-order campaigns with no commission fees.
Co-founder at Bloom: Local delivery and Store pick-up management app.
Co-founder at Relay: Customise your Shopify sales notifications for Slack.