Hi! I own a primarily brick-and-mortar comic shop and am trying to streamline the process of inventory for new comics that are held by subscribers. Essentially, we get 5-10 copies of an issue in, but a certain number of those issues are taken by people who have subscribed to them. So, for example, we get 7 copies of a book in but technically only 4 are available to the public because 3 are "taken."
As I see it there are a few options to deal with this:
Put the inventory as 7 and hope no one tries to buy out the "taken" 3, cancelling any orders that DO come in over the -actually available- 4.
Put the inventory as 4. This results in an inventory of -3 when the customers who have their copies set aside purchase their books.
Use the reserve items function to create an order and reserve 3 books for each customer. However, this has a few potential pitfalls:
the sale for the item shows up on the day I reserve it, not on the day it is purchased
if the customer chooses not to pick up an issues for any reason (it's damaged, etc), it shows up as a REFUND on my sales account for the day, even though they never paid for it
If the customer wants to make any other purchases during their visit, they will be forced to make two transactions.
One of the reasons I was attracted to Shopify POS and online sales was the ability to take control of my data and make sure it works to my advantage. I've been frustrated with this particular issue. So far, that path of least resistance seems to have been #2, as weekly comics are not something I tend to need to re-order. However, I'm happy to hear if there are other options I'm missing