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Inventory by the Milliliter

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  • Inventory by the Milliliter

    I sell bottles of e-juice for e-cigs and would like to control my inventory by the amount of juice I can make, as opposed to the number of bottles. I offer bottles of 5, 10 and 30 milliliters. I want to be able to input the fact that I can make, say for example, 50 milliliters, which would be enough for one 30 ml, three 15 ml and ten 5 ml bottles. If someone buys six 5 ml bottles, I would like it to subtract the six 5 ml bottles, but also subtract one 15 ml bottle. Since I would only be capable of making 44 ml in this instance, less than enough for three 15 ml bottles.
    Does anyone sell fluids in this way? Is there a way to adapt the -selling by the yard- inventory approach? Am I over thinking this and missing something obvious?

  • #2
    The only way to do this is to make a product that is not listed for 1 ml.This is what you actually inventory.

    Then make the actual listing a bundle. Then hide out of stock items. It will work but its crude. Your invoices will also look odd since 3dcart seems to think every bundle item needs to be listed :/


    • #3
      Is there a reason why you must have the bottles listed as separate products at all (it sounds like you are measuring out the bottles on demand and they are not pre-packaged)? I would think it would just be easier to put 50ml down in inventory as 10 "items" (10x5ml) and let folks buy based upon that. If you give a lower price based on how much they purchase, you could set up quantity discounts for 10ml worth and 30ml worth.

      I buy lots of yardage and beads and that is how I am used to seeing it done.


      • #4
        Danab - that is exactly what I need and how I approached it at first. The problem with that method is that buyers can add 10 of the larger sizes to their carts also. I have tried advanced options, but that does not work well for me either. I have additional options for the products, which puts the total possible combinations over the limit (of 200 I think).

        Ruppy - bundling looks like the way to go. I have been experimenting with this today. I see what you mean about the invoices. I am going to try wording the option labels to make a little more sense on the invoices. Maybe I can make the image file state something like “Not to worry, this line is supposed to be here”. The way the invoice looks now, one might think they are paying for the bottle and getting the juice at no charge.

        Thank you both for the quick responses. They have helped a lot.


        • #5
          Why not just sell by the milliliter. Let your QTY amount be in milliliters.

          Your inventory would be 45 milliliters.

          As people purchase amounts it would decrement your stock.

          You could alter your template so the QTY field is a drop down box. The drop down box would only showed quantity options of 5, 10 and 30 instead of a free form text field.

          This would keep the system working as designed and no funky work around with invoices, etc.

          I ran a quick test and the drop box model works great. You will want to make a similar change in your view_cart template.
          HTML Code:
                                <select name="qty-0">
                                    <option value="5" selected="selected">5 Militers</option>
                                    <option value="10">10 Militers</option>
                                    <option value="30">30 Militers</option>
          just a thought.


          The Wedding Printer


          • #6
            I don't think I was clear enough =)

            If you want to sell in 5ml increments and have 50 ml juice total, you would set up the product inventory as 10 items.
            In your product description you tell them 1 quantity= 5ml.
            If the customer orders 3 quantity= 15ml which would take your inventory down to 7 quantity=35 ml remaining.
            This way customers can never order more than what you can make.

            If you use multiple drop down menus, then all the options show up in advanced options in every possible combination which messes up the inventory numbers. The way around that is to only use the item you need to track for inventory in a drop down. Any other options you have, set them up in radio or checkboxes. There might be a prettier way to do it, but this does not require any special coding and you can add price adjustments for options as well.
            Last edited by Danab; 10-23-2013, 12:45 PM.


            • #7
              I understand that you trying to force the system to think in bottles versus what is inside of the bottles.


              Think in quantity of liquid sold. You sell a liquid product. Inventory and sell a liquid.

              Ignore the bottles. Treat the bottles as shipping containers. I don't sell small, medium and large brown boxes and try to inventory as a side activity what goes in the boxes. The bottles are irrelevant.

              For example, I am selling Sour Green Vapor. I make 50 ML of the product.

              I place 50 in my quantity.

              I setup my product page only to sell in batches of 5ml, 10ml and 30ml. (via the select statement shown earlier.)

              Person A shows up and buys 10ml. Inventory reduced to 40.
              Person B shows up and buys a 5ml and a 10ml. Inventory reduced to 25.
              Person C shows up and tries to buy 30ml. System will not allow it as the inventory shows 25 and the person wants to buy 30.
              Person C tries to buy 10ml. Inventory reduced to 15.

              I think you are complicating it by trying to manage your shipping containers (bottles) versus managing your product (liquid).


              The Wedding Printer


              • #8
                Yes, selling by the milliliter works. It is a bit confusing for the buyer though, if they want more than one bottle. I could explain the procedure in the description, but I do not want them to have to think about it. That may be beyond some people’s capabilities. The bundle method is not confusing until after the purchase. It is more work for me, but I would rather they be confused after the payment is made.


                • #9
                  TimCad: Maybe simplistic but I think Jcocking has it right, the bottle is a box (irrelevant). inventory in ml or 5ml increments, sell by 5,10,30 ml quantity then box (bottle) it any way you want. Replace the 'bottle' with amount/volume/units Etc. in the ad to remove confusion. If someone orders 30ml and your out of 30ml bottles send 3 10's. if you only have 15ml then 30's are out of stock.
                  Last edited by mondo; 10-23-2013, 06:42 PM.


                  • #10
                    Thank you mondo, you are right. In fact, all of you are right. I am simply trying to figure out what will work best for my situation. Some of my customers would be upset if they were to receive three 10s instead of one 30. You see, I am not only selling a liquid product, I am also selling a service. A service my customers could do themselves but choose not to. A consumer only uses a few drops of this e-juice at a time. A difference of one drop of flavoring mixed into a small size is more noticeable; the larger the size, the better the consistency. Might be different if I were just transferring liquids from a larger container to a smaller one.
                    Still, all good ideas. Any more out there?