Stock type options

Different Stock types allow you to define how do providers and customers will interact with the listing inventory

Luis Rodriguez avatar
Written by Luis Rodriguez
Updated over a week ago

Stock type is a setting specific to the "Purchase" transaction setting. It determines the interaction between providers and customers regarding inventory levels of listings. It establishes the inventory management limits for providers and the purchase quantity options for customers. This article gives an overview of the Stock types. If you want to read more about how each specific Stock type works and how your users interact with it, read our article on how inventory management works.

What are the different Stock types

There are four different Stock types:

  • Finite stock, single item

  • Finite stock, multiple items

  • Infinite stock, single item

  • Infinite stock, multiple items

Finite stock, single item

"Finite stock, single item" is designed for listings that feature unique, one-of-a-kind items within the marketplace. Such listings are intended for products that exist only in a single quantity. The provider cannot control the inventory of the listing, and the customer can only buy one unit or item when initiating a transaction from this listing. When a customer initiates a purchase from such a listing, the listing is marked as out of stock automatically, making it unavailable for further purchase and invisible in search results. The inventory automatically adjusts to zero and cannot be modified thereafter. Consequently, the listing becomes permanently closed and cannot be re-opened by the seller.
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This Stock type works well for pre-owned or unique physical products. It is an ideal setting for marketplaces specializing in second-hand baby clothes, one-off art pieces, or vintage collectibles.

Finite stock, multiple items

"Finite stock, multiple items" applies to listings that have a defined, finite number of units available for sale. The provider can control the inventory of the listing and add more inventory when needed. Customers can purchase multiple items simultaneously up to the amount available in stock or inventory (or up to 100 if the stock exceeds that number). With each transaction, the stock level is automatically reduced. Once all units are sold, the listing is automatically flagged as out of stock and becomes unsearchable within the listing results. Providers can subsequently replenish the inventory to re-open the listing for further sales.

This stock type is particularly effective for professional sellers with physical goods inventory, such as apparel retailers or bookshops that offer multiples of the same item. Some second-hand marketplaces can also use this stock type to their advantage, but in most cases, they would be better served by "Finite stock, single item" instead.

Infinite stock, single item

The "Infinite stock, single item" stock type is tailored for listings where a provider may have an unlimited supply of an item but chooses to sell them one at a time. Inventory management is not a concern to the provider in this case, as the stock level is effectively infinite. The customer can only buy one unit when initiating a transaction from this listing. Once the transaction has been initiated, the listing stays open and can be purchased. The listing therefore is always open and never runs out of stock. This listing can always be closed by the provider or marketplace operator.
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This Stock type works well for digital products that are downloadable, where purchasing multiple copies is unnecessary. It's also applicable to marketplaces for other digital goods or services that do not require inventory tracking.

Infinite stock, multiple items

"Infinite stock, multiple items" is designed for listing types where providers can offer multiple copies of the same item and sell multiple copies simultaneously. The provider cannot control inventory since it will be set as infinite, and it will never run out. The customer can buy multiple units when initiating a transaction from this listing. Once the transaction has been initiated, the listing stays open and can be purchased. The listing therefore is always open and never runs out of stock. This listing can always be closed by the provider or marketplace operator.

This Stock type could work well for selling digital but unique items, like offer coupons or license codes. It could work well for selling hourly units of complex services like accounting or software development (and customers choose the number of hours they want to buy). It could work well for selling tickets to a virtual event with unlimited attendees. Essentially, this stock type is suited for any listing where inventory is not a constraint and quantity sold directly influences the listing's pricing.

Can I change the Stock type of my existing listing to a different one?

Yes, you can. The changes you make will be applied immediately and may cause unintended side effects in the design of some pages. But in general, these might not be bad; they're just something to consider when making changes if you already have multiple listings in that category.

What are the limitations of the current stock types?

Purchasing limit

Each customer can only purchase up to 100 units in a single transaction, even if the stock is infinite or higher than 100. The limitation is currently only present in the No-code version of Sharetribe. If you want to allow your customers to purchase more than 100 units, you would need to customize your marketplace with code. Alternatively, you can suggest that your providers add their listing in a way where each unit is more than 1 item.

Infinite stock

The infinite stock model in the backend is modeled via a very, very big number. If you make changes to your stock type from infinite to finite, you and your providers will see this number when trying to manage stock for the first time. You and your providers can change this stock number to the real amount of stock.

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