Let's talk a little bit about preorder sales. Generally speaking, we do not recommend that you do preorder sales in your boutique. Let me tell you why!
In the days of free two-day shipping, online boutiques have to remain competitive. Quite simply, there are not that many people willing to wait 10+ days to receive an item. Additionally, you take on the risk of unhappy customers should the orders be delayed, incorrect or canceled. We don't see doing a bulk of preorder sales as a lasting, sustainable way to run a profitable online boutique.
That being said, there are some cases when preorders do make sense for your business! For example, if you make limited-edition specialty children's clothing, you would most likely do preorders. Also, if you have an established relationship with a vendor, have confirmed the item is in stock/ready to order or have more of a custom request (e.g. t-shirt wholesaler, since a lot of those are made in-house), you could decide to do a preorder. We do not recommend doing preorders with items from vendors such as Fashion Go, Orange Shine, or LA Showroom because there is too much risk that you will not get your items on time or at all.
Now that we've discussed the risks associated with preorders as well as good reasons to do them, let's move on to the ways you can run these sales through CommentSold™. We have a few different ways you can handle preorder sales.
First, let's discuss entering the product into CommentSold™. It is very important when entering a preorder item into the system that you uncheck the box beside Received Product on this page.
You will leave this box unchecked until you receive the product so that orders with this item in them won't process when you are doing shipping/fulfillment.
Next, you need to decide if you want your customers to prepay for the product or not.
If you do not want your customers to prepay for the product, when you enter it into your inventory, set the quantity to zero. Everyone who comments on this product will go to the waitlist. Once you have the products in hand, you will update the quantity. This will send out an email to your customers, so they will know to come to pay for the product!
If you do want your customers to prepay for the product, set the quantity to a high number like 100. That way, everyone who comments will be automatically invoiced. Once your customers have paid, you can update the quantity to remove the extras. Using this method, you will know exactly how many you need to order and run no risk of having leftovers if people change their mind. However, this method also assumes the most risk. What if your vendor can't get you the items? What if they don't get you the right sizes? What if the delivery is very late on a seasonal item and your customers don't want it anymore? You will be forced to refund and may very well have some angry customers.
Once you have received your preorder products, you will need to update their status to "Received Product" under the Products tab.
If you left your inventory at “0”, go adjust to reflect what the vendor sent you. Items will automatically go into carts after a few moments.
If you ADDED inventory when you created the item, then you do not need to adjust the inventory, unless you were sent extra pieces of that style.
That's it! Follow these instructions and you are on your way to successfully completing preorders with CommentSold!