"holding" Inventory

Solved
ShawnBouchard
Pathfinder
90 1 74

For most all of our customers, we have a strict rule (Our items are perishable) that items must be paid for before they are held. We receive phone calls regularly for someone asking if we can hold a plant for them, and then they no show. So, our fix has been "Sorry, we can only hold plants with payment" which typically results in a over-the-phone payment. Which is fine and works well. We issue a refund if it sits for a week in the holding room without pickup. 

 

But, for some customers, who come in weekly, I'd love to be able to offer to them "Hey no problem, I can hold it for you, just pay when you show up". They are loyal to us, and I'd love to recognize that with a simple gesture that is not awarded to one time customers. The hiccup though, is if I only have 1 of that product left in stock and I offer to "set it aside without payment" for a loyal customer, it very well may sell online in the meantime.

 

If there was a feature to "hold" a product, and put that product on hold so it can't be bought from under them, our shop would use it. 

 

SO then you enter into messy mucking around with inventory territory.

1 year e-commerce, 7 years B&M store. www.shopbraeheid.com
Accepted Solution (1)

Accepted Solutions
Vincent
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
58 3 8

This is an accepted solution.

Hi Shawn,

 

Can I ask which POS device you are using? The reason I ask is that when you use an iPad for example, it's possible to create an order in the POS-app, and then mark the order as "unpaid"; this will remove the item from the inventory, and will create a (partially) unpaid order in the "orders" tab. When the customer is ready to make the payment, you can open the order, and complete the transaction.

 

 

 

Would this work for you?

Vincent | Community Guru @ Shopify
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Click Accept as Solution 

View solution in original post

Replies 16 (16)
Vincent
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
58 3 8

Hi Shawn!

 

Vincent here from Shopify.

 

There are two ways in which you could make sure that products aren't available for customers to purchase anymore:

 

  1. You can create a draft order for the item, and then "reserve" the item; if Shopify is set to track the inventory of the product, and the product is set to not allow sales when the inventory reaches "0", reserving the item will make it impossible for other customers to buy the product. The product will still show as normal on the website, but when someone tries to buy the product in the online store they will get a message that the product is no longer available when they reach the checkout. You can read information about how to create draft orders and reserve items by clicking here.

  2. Another possibility is to again create a draft order, but instead of marking the item as reserved, you can set the draft order to be partially paid, for example by USD $0.00; this will make the system think that the product has been sold, and it will be removed from the inventory. If the customer decides to not continue with the purchase after all, you can refund the partial payment and select to have the product be placed back in the inventory. To refund an order, follow these steps, and make sure that the checkbox as shown in this screenshot is ticked:

 

I hope one of these options is a suitable solution for you!

 

All the best, Vincent

Vincent | Community Guru @ Shopify
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Click Accept as Solution 

ShawnBouchard
Pathfinder
90 1 74
Thanks for the suggestions. I had considered drafts and "reserving" the products. This doesn't seem like a reasonable fix for a POS location as draft orders cannot be completed using POS. So if they show up to pay for their product using interac, well now be juggling two different "orders" for a single sale.
1 year e-commerce, 7 years B&M store. www.shopbraeheid.com
Vincent
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
58 3 8

This is an accepted solution.

Hi Shawn,

 

Can I ask which POS device you are using? The reason I ask is that when you use an iPad for example, it's possible to create an order in the POS-app, and then mark the order as "unpaid"; this will remove the item from the inventory, and will create a (partially) unpaid order in the "orders" tab. When the customer is ready to make the payment, you can open the order, and complete the transaction.

 

 

 

Would this work for you?

Vincent | Community Guru @ Shopify
 - Was my reply helpful? Click Like to let me know! 
 - Was your question answered? Click Accept as Solution 

ShawnBouchard
Pathfinder
90 1 74
You kidding me. That would work perfect. Is this a new feature? Being able to retrieve the order and complete the payment.

This should work perfect, I'll try it soon!
1 year e-commerce, 7 years B&M store. www.shopbraeheid.com
SPF
Shopify Expert
3 0 5

Hi Shawn

This works fine until you need to return 1 item off your Unpaid list of products then it will not allow you to "Take Payment" and locks the order with an incorrect Outstanding Due balance. I have reported this bug several times to support to get it escalated and pushing for a fix ASAP. Not sure why it is not a priority update but keeping my fingers crossed as is a great feature and clients use it for "On Account" sales. 

Ryanatsaltblue
New Member
2 0 1

Hey Vincent,

 

I do not see the option to partial pay on an order that I am placing in the back office.  How do I enable that?

Mage
Tourist
4 0 3

How do I... "you can set the draft order to be partially paid, for example by USD $0.00"

I need to have a deduced inventory qty for items I want to be reserved.

Having the customer find out he can't have an item at checkout is bad business.

hayleess
Tourist
6 0 1

I have tried this option and thought it would be perfect until an item what was “on hold” was paid for the next day(we have 48 hour hold policy). Since it was paid for on the day after it was placed on hold, the order didn’t go towards our total at the time of closing which made the drawer not balance at the end of shift. Any help? I’m wanting to open my website for my boutique but i need it to accurately tie in with my inventory of my store front. Any help would be greatly appreciated 

lun
Excursionist
23 0 25

Hi Vincent

The partially payment is only work for using POS system only, right?
Possible to have this functions when create order by Draft Orders?

wlg
Tourist
4 0 15

Hi Vincent - Unfortunately, I still don't consider the "solution" below to be an acceptable way of taking something out of inventory for a draft order. The way it works today has the potential of causing the customer a lot of frustration, as they are not informed that a product is unavailable until they try to check out and buy their items. This functionality should work exactly how it does when something is actually out of stock, i.e. it should inform the customer right on the product page when they try to purchase an item that it is out of stock.

Also, an inventory manager is unable to see what is actually available in his/her inventory when something is reserved in a draft order. When items are reserved in a draft order, the decrease in quantity does not show up when running an inventory report. For example, we often have several draft orders open at the same time for our wholesale customers, and if they have cleaned us out of any of our items, we wouldn't know it unless we looked at our inventory report and manually subtracted those items that were in reserved status from our reported inventory. This is time consuming and prone to human error. 

I would like to know why Shopify is unable to subtract reserved items from our inventory count, in a way that allows us to see the actual inventory available (minus those reserved) on our automated reports. This question has been out on the forums for several years and it would be great is Shopify could comment on if/when they plan to fix this. Thank you!

SamG5
New Member
1 0 6

This problem needs to FINALLY be addressed by Shopify. If products are on reserved drafts, the quantities need to be decremented from the products. Vincent's answer is an admission that there is a HUGE flaw in the way Shopify currently handles this: a customer can go on your website, add an item that shows as available but is actually reserved on an invoice, and then is told at checkout that they cannot buy the item. Do you have any idea how frustrating that can be for customers? Do you realize frustrating your customers is the easiest way to lose them forever?

The other solution is just absurd. I mean, seriously, how far are we being asked to go here by setting the draft as partially paid, then having to refund the partial payment of the customer doesn't pay?

We send upwards of 150 invoices per week and neither of these are acceptable or even workable solutions. We've been forced to not post our new products as available on our website at all until the reservations come off each week's invoices. I can't imagine how much this is costing us, but it's the only thing we can do so that we don't upset our web shoppers with product that they cannot buy.

JoelNZ
Excursionist
14 0 6

This may be a work around / SOLUTION? or at least step in the right direction:

 

1: Create the draft order for the customer.

2: Do not hit "email invoice".

3: Instead hit "mark as pending". Popup> choose "other" payment method, hit "create order".

- Your shop will send an email to the customer thanking them for their "purchase". Perhaps update this email format to say the correct thing such as "order".

- Your shop takes that item(s) out of inventory. So it cannot be accidentally purchased by someone else, and negates the bollocks of a customer getting to checkout to realise something is out of stock.

4: If you want them to pay remotely from their location,  hit "collect payment".

- Choose "send invoice" and it will send an email inviting them to pay for the order by any usual means on your checkout.

- Or if they call you to pay over the phone, choose "pay by c card" using their credit card.

 

5: If the customer then comes into store,

- It seems that the order is NOT available for credit card payment on either the POS app or the shopify app on mobile. Which is shit.

- It is possible to bring up the order on your usual shopify admin, hit "collect payment" and put a credit card through, same as phone method.


Kindest Regards

Joel

albabameem
New Member
3 0 0
PatrickF1
Tourist
6 0 6

Perfectly said! This thread has been going on since 2019 and there still seems to be no solution to this. I find that Shopify often does not have the well being of the merchants and their customers in mind, as their features are extremely basic. Did you find any solutions to this inventory tracking problem? I am starting to increase my wholesaling and need to be able to see the proper inventory counts. 

Additionally, it is unprofessional for a customer to think they can buy something that is "in stock" only to find out at checkout that this is not the case.

Shopify, please do better and listen to your customers.

koolkiddoz
New Member
1 0 0

I am using the first option - creating a draft order and reserving.  But when I go to my website it still allows me to pick that item/size.  I have 'Track Inventory' selected and 'Continue selling when out of stock' unchecked.

soulchild37
Shopify Partner
98 6 23

Hi Sam and others,

It is unfortunate that Shopify's "Reserve Items" does not actually decrement the inventory count of the product, I have bitten by this issue as well. I searched the forums and seems like Shopify didn't implement a fix for this for many years 😅.


To workaround this, I have made an app (Draft Order Helper https://apps.shopify.com/draft-helper ) that allows you to deduct inventories for products used in a draft order in one click :

deduct.png

After installing the app, you can go to your draft order, select "More actions" > "Adjust inventory" , then deduct the inventories of the products used in the draft order, this will make the inventory count reflect the actual numbers, and online customer would see the product as "sold out" before they even add it to the cart (if there is no available inventory).


The app has a free plan (5 free inventories deduction) which you can give it a try, https://apps.shopify.com/draft-helper, hope this can help you as well!


There's a caveat on this feature, you have to make sure there's enough inventory count after deducting the inventory using this app (eg: say the draft order place 5 quantity for an item, you need to ensure there is at least 5 quantity after deducting inventory), this is because Shopify will deduct the inventory again when customer finish paying for the order.


Here's the inventory flow : 

1. You use Draft Helper app to deduct inventory (eg: inventory goes from 10 to 5)
2. Customer checks out and make payment, Shopify deduct the inventory again  (inventory goes from 5 to 0)
3. Shortly after the order is paid, Draft Helper app automatically replenish the inventory deducted by Shopify to prevent double deduction. (inventory goes from 0 to 5).


Sorry about the inventory flow, as Shopify will always deduct inventory when customer finish checkout. The best workaround the app can do is to replenish the inventory.


You can also restore the deducted inventory for the draft order, right before sending the customer to checkout, in case you don't have enough inventory at that time.

restore.png

Regards,

Axel Kee

Spent too much support time dealing with order cancellation request from customer? Wouldn't it be good if customer can cancel order on their own without bugging your support? Try out Cancellable app! https://apps.shopify.com/cancellable . I also write articles about store customization that can improve your customer shopping experience here : Yagi Software Blog