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How do you handle partial back orders?

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  • How do you handle partial back orders?

    How do you handle partial back orders. someone orders 6 and you have 5 in stock. You would loose money shipping the back order seperately. Do you place the item on back order and ship it later? or cancel it.

    Typically we shipped all back orders. However, with 3dcart we are getting so many more since people are not alerted that they are placing a back order.

    3dcart allows customers to order more than is in stock without alerting them that some of these items are actually on back order. If we have five in stock and the customer orders 6, then 6 are added to the cart without an alert.

    We have back-order as default inventory setting. Our old cart notified the customer of this condition and gave them the choice to place the additional item on back order or just to add the five that are in stock. Then we only got back orders that mattered to the customer. But if it is all the same if they get this item or another similar that is in stock, we would not have to ship an extra box and loose money at it to boot.

  • #2
    On partial back orders of the same item, we do not ship partial. We Ship when all quantities of the item is available.

    In Settings>General>Inventory Settings
    If you have "Use Waiting List" selected, this allows the customer to accept the item as on back-order.

    We have "Allow Back Order" selected.
    Elegant Weddings +


    • #3
      We use the waiting list option for almost all of our items. It eliminates that problem altogether. Some of our customers choose to order what we have and place a second order when we restock, and others opt to wait and place the order when we have their desired quantity available. This works well for us. The only trick is that if we have any of the item in stock, the wait list doesn't show, so the only way to get the customers on the waiting list then is if they contact us and ask about it. Then we will temporarily drop the stock level to zero, and them to the list, and then reenter the correct inventory amount. It's not perfect, but it works well overall.
      Laura Z
      Brass & Silver Traditions


      • #4
        Thanks for chiming in.
        1. The system will not allow you to order more than is in stock if an item is marked with "waiting list". If you have two and someone orders 4, they will just get an error message. It would be nice if they were actually given the choice to get 2 and put 2 on the waiting list, or better yet on back order.
        2.The Waiting List as I understand it (and plese correct me if I am wrong) is not really a replacement for back orders, because you don't actually have an order. It is more of a curiosity, the customer then might or might not order when notified.
        In our business customers usually want everything yesterday, so once they order we do not have the luxury of waiting until the order is complete. We have to ship what we have the same day.
        These days it is about ten bucks for a 2 lb package, which really adds up for back orders, especially small ones.


        • #5
          Because of the cost of shipping these days, plus the amount of manpower it takes to manage backorders (customer questions/complaints, making sure you don't miss shipping a backorder once the items are in stock, etc), we decided several years ago to discontinue accepting backorders.

          The customer can order what we currently have in stock, and then we have the waiting list activated if the item is out of stock. That way, they'll get an email notifying them when the item is back in stock.

          Another recent reason we're happy with this solution is because we're finding our suppliers are NOT restocking their shelves as frequently, so in many cases, we've got a 6-8 month wait until we can get more of a certain item in stock. It really makes it hard when the suppliers can't supply us with the goods we need.


          • #6
            We have customized our emails for 2 custom statuses so that we can send it to customers based on when we expect the backordered items to be back in stock. One for orders that will be filled in a few days and one for orders with items that are backordered for several weeks. We send the email when we change their status to backordered or extended backordered and then they can respond back if they want to drop an item from the order. Usually customers just wait and are satisfied with being contacted about it. We don't fill orders until we can ship them complete. However, we do use Stone Edge Order Manager and so keeping up with backorders is not a problem for us.