E-Commerce Inventory

FOBSIDE

Platinum Member
Mar 16, 2000
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This isn't exactly e-commerce software related, but it does tie into the logic behind setting up a store.

When you are dealing with inventory, it's best to have perpetual inventory. That way you don't have to have someone manually taking inventory each time an order is placed. I wouldn't want to increase my own inventory significantly just to sell online. I would not want to run the risk of ending up with a whole lot of unsellable, leftover stock. The only problem is that if lead time on the products from the manufacturer is not always precisely the same, I can't guarantee a ship date. Do online stores just give themselves a large window of time to get products in and out to customers, letting people know it ships within 1-2 weeks?

Also, what happens when you order more than are in stock? I know you don't see inventory numbers for most online stores. I don't think I've ever encountered a sitation, where I have tried to purchase more than is in stock. How does this normally work?

Seconly, if I am using a third party processing company, can I delay the charge on a customer's credit card until the item is shipped? I haven't looked too much into the payment processing side yet. Can anyone point me to some good resources on this?

Thanks in advance for all of your responses.
 

Cheetah8799

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2001
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Dealing with stock quantity can be tricky. For a small ecommerce site, it might be too much work to track it all. Better to just deal with customers via email if for some strange reason an item is out of stock.

As for payment processing, some credit card processors do a "temp charge" and don't actually process it until the site operator goes in and clicks saying the product shipped. Then the customer's card gets charged. Companies like Verisign's PayFlowPro are instant processing though. It all depends what you want to do, having to go in and say an item shipped before processing the card can be a hassle if the site operator has to go through two completely different web sites to manage their store...
 

FOBSIDE

Platinum Member
Mar 16, 2000
2,178
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Yeah, I'm realizing that any online vendor, including the big ones, don't really guarantee anything. They typically do get things out when they say they will, but you will get emails sometimes saying we can't get the product shipped and asking whether to wait or to cancel.