When 20,000 people attempt to buy 5,000 copies of an item - there are very, very few ways to handle this and none of them are completely elegant. Our site handles inventory in the following way:
- When you've successfully initiated a checkout due to a Shopify update, you may still be greeted by a "sold out" message at any time, your cart contents are no longer reserved during checkout so as to more accurately reflect available inventory at all times.
- So long as items are available for purchase, the site will show inventory as existing because you do still, in fact, stand a chance to get it. While an item is showing as in stock, you can still add it to the cart because there is still a chance you can get the item.
- Nearly 25% of successful checkouts are abandoned and never successfully completed. If we actually removed items from inventory when checkout was initiated, the site would incorrectly reflect the status of 25% or more of the current inventory. Without the possibility of adding the item to the cart, people would immediately leave the site and never come back incorrectly believing that the game is sold out when it is not.
Our current system accurately reflects *sold* inventory and provides some glimmer of opportunity for people who have the item in their cart to get through when copies free up.
- We can not easily create a queue like Amazon or PAX use for their in-demand items. No e-commerce systems (BigCommerce, Volusion, Shopify, etc) support this functionality out of the box and developing it would be prohibitively expensive within our current budget. We're planning to make some great changes to our site in 2017, but it's unlikely a queue will be feasible unless we become flush with cash or miraculously discover a functioning Shopify app that provides the functionality in a clean and useful way.
- We can not reserve items in the cart and as much as you may think you want this, you don't. 25% of checkouts are abandoned but over 80% of carts are abandoned. Do you want an even more frustrating checkout experience? This would lead to it.
Please note that this exact same inventory control method is utilized by sites like Mondo, which also sell limited quantities of high-demand items. We're not copping out here and this is 100%, not a glitch. It is quite literally a case of demand far outstripping supply. When that happens, it's hard to not notice how our system is working and it may affect people who have never had to experience this before.
We want to provide a better experience for everyone, but inventory control is not a simple issue. The most recent update makes the process first-come, first served queue while circumventing the previous issue of abandoned checkouts.
As always, thank you for support and we hope you understand that we're not out to make the experience inconvenient for you! We care about our customers and want your experience to be pleasant.