Bug: Inventory changes not sticking

8 0 11

We have a shop with 5000 items. We are encountering random bugs where even though we've zero'ed out inventory, customer is still able to purchase it. It is random but occurs once a week. We've even made sure after we saved the new inventory to zero to go in and load the product page to make sure the change was saved.

Has anyone else experienced the same issue? Is it some weird shopify sync'ing issue? I can't reproduce it in a single use case but it's happened once a week consistently for past few months where a customer purchases a product where we set the inventory to zero.

Replies 11 (11)
Shopify Expert
10882 190 2178

A couple of questions to start with:

  1. Are you sure that you have not check the box to enable the product to be oversold? (aka, keep selling even if sold out)
  2. Have you checked the inventory history to make sure that an app (for example) isn't changing the values?

More info on inventory here:

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★
8 0 11

1. None of our 5k products have "allow customers to purchase this product when it's out of stock" selected and we always use shopify tracking for inventory policy. Have been the same for 2 years and sell over a few thousand products per month.

2. When checking inventory history on the items where this has occurred, none of the manual adjustments to zero are saved. But when we adjust the inventory manually, click the purple "save" button bottom right, get the pop-up confirmation, then and reload the product page, the inventory correctly shows zero. Then sometime a few days later, customer order comes in and the inventory history shows no manual adjustment.

Bottom line here is *something* within Shopify is not retaining the manual inventory adjustments even after we confirm the adjustment was saved by reloading the page a few seconds after clicking "save." This happens only occasionally - a few thousand orders a month and we encounter the problem once a week. I can't reproduce it because it is intermittent. The only thing I can think if something on the backend is not saving correctly, and surely we can't be the only store with this problem?

We are at our wits end. The only other thing I can do is record my screen for days at a time until I encounter a problem and do a video edit to show support.

New Member
1 0 2

I have the same issue, did you guys find a solution?

11 0 6

We are having the same issue in 2021. I approached Shopify last year, but they didn't seem to understand what I was trying to explain - I even sent a link to a form chat to show I was not the only one having the problem, but was then asked for screenshots and that's when I gave up. I can't take screenshots of every 'sold out' products inventory history, in case the issue happens to one of them. But over the weekend it has happened again on a product, that was manually adjusted to zero, and a customer has now purchased the item, which is when we have become aware of the issue.

The product had 'continue selling' unticked, and would have been 'sold out' on the front end, but the stock has adjusted to the originally stock level, so therefore came back into stock. When you go to the inventory history, there is no record of any manual adjustment. 

This is really frustrating as now I have to let down the customer. We're a relatively small shop but nevertheless, this sort of inventory issue should not be occurring.

Does anyone know if this issue has ever been resolved and is anyone else still having this issue?


New Member
1 0 0

Hannah, I believe our store is experiencing something similar. We've had some issues with items still showing in stock and prices showing up as $0. We manage our inventory manually, so at first I figured it was human error, which is possible. But given the frequency we are seeing, I started looking into glitches. A few of us swear we added prices, so it's like they didn't save. And the same with moving inventory to 0. I'm not sure how we can replicate the issue either BEFORE it results in a problem. 

We are working toward integrating our POS with our Shopify site. I wonder if anyone has these same issues with an integration, or if it's just with manual changes?

New Member
1 0 0

Hi, Our store is also experiencing this problem. At least once a week, an item sells on our website while our actual inventory have been manually set to 0. It seems like the system does not save the changes. It is really frustrating for both the client and staff. 

5 0 3

+1, inventory levels are so glitchy; changes seem to revert themselves

New Member
2 0 2

Yes and I have seen my inventory updates get undone right on my device.  I'll raise an item's on hand count to one and see the number go right back to zero.  If this platform can't hold the data and be relied upon, what am I doing wasting my time and money here?  Shopify is most likley going to have customers demanding full subscription + app refunds.

3 0 1

This exact issue is happening to us all the time, too. It has occurred probably every 5 orders for the last year and a half or more. I am constantly emailing customers and removing items from their orders that we cannot even recall having in stock for YEARS. It's incredibly frustrating. The number of partial payments accepted in my admin order page should be proof enough of the issue being persistent. We feel like are going crazy every time we receive a new order with items we don't have. None of the products are ever listed as oversold. I only use the feature for custom products that need to be made on demand. Each and every item is one we could swear we have not had in stock recently. Is Shopify somehow still replicating and activating old, deleted inventory? I think this began before they introduced the "active," draft" and "archive" attributes, but I wonder if that is contributing to the problem.

5 0 2

I hear ya. I am running a sample sale where there is only one of each item available, over 250 listings. All inventory was triple checked at QTY of 1 each and we have not ticked the "allow to sell when out of stock" box. Five items have oversold and are now -1 inventory each. Incredibly frustrating and damaging to have to contact each customer with the disappointing news that our Shopify system glitched, and we have to refund them.


The linked post below doesn't explain how items that are listed as 0 inventory could magically be purchased during times when there is not a lot of demand for the same product, or for products that had been sitting at 0 inventory and unavailable for some time. But, maybe it's a piece of the puzzle. A poster on the thread below said the oversell can happen if you have more than one customer checking out the same item at the same time, through different payment gateways. https://community.shopify.com/c/shopify-discussions/same-item-selling-twice-when-i-only-have-1-in-st... 


Have you enabled any third party gateways like AfterPay?

"One of the main risks with using an offsite gateway is the chance to have
an inventory oversell due to a number of checkouts placed simultaneously or
almost simultaneously.

This is something which can happen when there is an offsite/external
gateway in use for the checkout. Because of the way these gateways interact
with Shopify, we're currently unable to apply our [Cart Hold Policy.](

This stock discrepancy occurs because once the request to move to the
gateway is triggered in the checkout we check for available stock.
If stock is available, then we permit the customer to proceed to the
transaction externally to the Shopify checkout.
However if it’s the case where multiple orders come in at once, they all
have the ability of making it to the external gateway provided there is
still at least 1 stock available when they click *Complete Payment*, this
is because we can't decrement inventory levels until the initial customer
has returned from the gateway with a successful transaction.
Then because other customers were permitted to proceed to the gateway, any
successful transactions they place will also decrement inventory even if
it's already at zero due to the fact there was still at least one in stock
when they began payment and the order was permitted to proceed.

It is a factor that our support developers are working on and they're
constantly testing for a new method of offsite gateways integrating with
our inventory services, but as it currently stands this is something that
can happen with use of an external payment gateway which is not directly
connected to an online checkout, and would not be limited to just Shopify."



5 0 2

So frustrating. No ideda how to solve it but it may also be a cookie issue? https://community.shopify.com/c/shopify-discussions/products-selling-into-negative/m-p/438241  Someone over on this post found that two customers who were able to checkout with OOS items had entered back to the site through their "contact info" page at checkout via a URL ending in  /checkout/contact_information. The product may be cookied at checkout from a point in time before it sold out down to 0 inventory, its then genuinely sold out, but the later orders were still able to return to their checkout and make a purchase.