How inventory management works

Illustrated guide of the options customers and providers have with inventory management.

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Written by Sharetribe
Updated over a week ago

Your marketplace has inventory management features to help providers keep accurate stocks of their products. Inventory management is automatically enabled whenever a listing is created using the "Purchase" transaction settings. You can also get an overview of the different Stock types in this article.

The rest of this article shows you how inventory management works when products are added by providers and purchased by customers on your marketplace.

One item stock - Finite or Infinite

Buying the listing as a customer

Customers purchase single-stock listings from the listing page. They do not have the option to choose the quantity to purchase because there is only one item in stock.

The pricing of a single item stock is determined by the provider and displayed on the listing page. A shipping fee is added to the price if specified by the provider (and enabled in the default listing fields). Customers can review the price before deciding to make a purchase.

Finite Stock - Single Item

With a stock quantity of 1 in a listing, once the item has been purchased, the listing automatically closes to prevent additional purchases. This ensures that there are no over-sales.

Infinite Stock - Single Item

With an infinite stock quantity, customers can only buy one item per transaction, but once the item has been purchased, the listing remains open for additional purchases. This is a great option for digital sales, for example.

The customer view when purchasing an item with 1 stock:

How it works for the provider

For the provider, managing a single-item stock is straightforward. When creating the listing, the system automatically sets the stock to 1 or to "infinite".

Finite Stock - Single Item

If the listing is created in a Listing type with finite stock, once the item is purchased, the listing is closed and marked out of stock, and the provider will receive a notification to prepare the item for delivery. The seller will not be able to add more stock to this listing.

Infinite Stock - Single Item

If the listing is created in a Listing type with infinite stock, once the item is purchased, the listing will stay open, and the provider will receive a notification to prepare the item for delivery. There is no need to add stock to this listing since it has an "infinite" quantity.

Multiple items in stock - Finite or Infinite

Multiple-item listing types allow the Providers to control their stock within each listing and allow Customers to purchase multiple items at once. The pricing of each item is set by the provider. The total cost for the customer will depend on the price per item and the quantity purchased. Shipping fees are added according to the listing’s shipping price: there is one price for shipping the first item, and a different price can be set for shipping each additional item.

Creation and editing of a listing with multiple items as a provider

Finite stock - Multiple items

When listing multiple items - finite stock, providers have the ability to set and adjust the stock quantity according to their wishes. This feature gives the provider control over their inventory, ensuring that only the available quantity is listed for sale.

When creating or editing a listing, providers can set the initial quantity of stock to a number of their choosing. Additionally, providers can adjust the stock quantity as needed based on external sales, additional inventory, or if an item becomes unavailable. Similarly, listings can be closed or stock added after the stock runs out.

The listing management page with options to close the listing or add stock

The provider view when adjusting the number of items in stock

Infinite stock - Multiple items

When adding a listing in a listing type with infinite stock (multiple items or single item), the system sets the stock quantity to "infinite," and it is not possible for providers to adjust their stock. This feature allows providers to sell an infinite amount of items without needing to add stock to their listing ever again.

The main difference between the infinite stock types, single items or multiple items, is in the purchasing capacity of the customer.

Purchasing a listing as a customer

Finite stock - Multiple items

Customers can purchase one or multiple items at once, depending on the available stock. The drop-down menu for choosing the purchase quantity is limited to the available stock or 100 items if there are more than 100 in stock. This, in general, prevents customers from being able to purchase more stock than is available.

If the order quantity requested happens to exceed the available stock, which would happen if another customer completes checkout before the original customer completes it, the customer will be notified and requested to adjust their order.

The total cost for the customer will depend on the price per item and the quantity purchased. Shipping fees are added according to the listing’s shipping price(s).

Sharetribe automatically adjusts the inventory based on customer purchases. When a purchase is made, the quantity purchased is deducted from the available stock. This feature ensures real-time accuracy of the inventory, preventing over-sales and helping providers manage their stock efficiently.

Infinite stock - Multiple items

For the Customer, the infinite stock listings work pretty much the same as the finite stock. Read the section above for more information. The drop-down menu for choosing the purchase quantity is limited to 100 items. Stock will not be reduced based on the Customers' purchases. After someone purchases any number of items, the next customer would be able to purchase up to 100 items.

The customer view when purchasing multiple items from a listing with more than 1 stock

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