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Need ideas - items made to order.

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  • Need ideas - items made to order.

    We have 100+ designs of a handcrafted product that at this time would be impossible to keep even one of each in stock. Hopefully in the next year we will, but it won't happen in time for the holiday season. We'd like them to be preordered or reserved on advance. However, i'm not sure that i'd like them on perpetual backorder... any thoughts on how you'd handle this?

    Thanks for any tips and ideas!

  • #2
    A few thoughts/questions/suggestions ...
    1. Are your items one of a kind (no two exactly alike)? or are they all made exactly the same? If they are one-of-a-kind, I would be up front with that as it could be a selling point. Keep in mind it could also hurt sales as customers may need to know what they are buying!!! You would have to decide and test.

    2. If they will be made exactly the same, I would test the waters without inventory and see what happens. Let the customer order, then tell them it is on backorder. Just be sure to send a backorder email notice as soon as they order WITH the option to cancel with a refund if they don't want to wait.

    3. Do you know what are your top sellers? If not, the suggestion above (#2) will let you start to see a trend. This way maybe you can get a jump on these items and stock a few.

    3. No matter what, after the order, keep the customer informed as to expected delays, delivery dates, etc and always give them the option to cancel with a refund (you'd be surprised - most customers will wait - especially if they want/need the item)