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This article is a work in progress.
Issue: BigCommerce does not allow items to be passed through checkout when they are out of stock, or set as unavailable to purchase in the catalog.
While we can often put these items in the customers cart, when they attempt to complete checkout, they will be notified of the out of stock items, and won't be able to complete the checkout until those items are removed.
Solution 1: Don't send the quote with a checkout link.
We will notify you when we detect a checkout link will not work for you customer. You are given the option to send the quote with or without a checkout link. By sending a quote with a checkout link when this warning is shown, you are acknowledging that you accept the out of stock items will be processed as custom items.
[Insert Image of notice]
[Link to No checkout template sample]
Solution 2: Send the quote with a checkout link, and we will process any out of stock / unavailable to purchase items as custom items.
These custom items are one time use custom items. They do NOT get created in the BigCommerce catalog.
They only "survive" on the order(s) created using the Quote Ninja checkout link.
The SKU will match that of the original SKU used to add the BigCommerce item to the quote.
BigCommerce will not connect the custom item with the catalog item even though the SKUs match, as a custom product does not have a product ID.
This custom product will behave the same way a custom product would that you add while manually adding an order to BigCommerce.
IMPORTANT: What about Shipping and Tax On these custom items?
The short answer is it depends on your store settings, and you should run some tests to be sure what happens on your store. (Important notes on how to test quotes correctly here.)
In "most" cases we see that taxes are applied based on the tax settings for a typical default catalog item, and/or customer exemption settings.
For shipping, if it is only 1 item on the order, it's likely that the shipping quote will fail. This again depends on your store settings. ie: If you offer free shipping on everything in the US, it will likely go through fine.
If the item is part of a quote with other valid items, it will typically not get counted in the shipping quote as the item does NOT have a weight or dimensions. (There's no where to add that info via the BC API.) It will simply be ignored in the shipping calculation. If you have custom shipping turned on in Quote Ninja, you can use it to override the shipping.
☞Note: Once an order has been received, you can always edit the order manually and exchange the custom product with the actual product from your catalog.
Why do we do this?
The end goal is to increase revenue, while also providing the most seamless checkout experience for your customer.
Allowing the order to process ensures you have the best chance at receiving the order.
What if I send a quote while the items are in stock, but then they go out of stock after the quote has been sent?
The customer will see an error message informing them to contact you.
If the store and/or rep have failed cart load notifications turned on, they will receive an email.
Re-sending the quote after the items have gone out fo stock will generate the custom items, and allow the customer to checkout.
What it looks like in BigCommerce:
[Insert image of order w/ custom product]
Potential downstream issues to be aware of:
While we will put the item in with the same SKU, some downstream integrations may actually be looking for a product_ID, to link this item up in their system. ie: Your WMS, Shipping Manager, ERP, etc.
We suggest testing a quote w/ out of stock / catalog only items to determine if it will cause any issues.
What if items come back into stock after the quote has been sent?
The items will still be processed as custom items until, or unless the quote is resent after the stock is updated.
What if we don't want orders to ever process custom items?
You will need to ensure you do not send quotes with a checkout link while there are items on the quote that indicate they are not purchasable.
When this is the case, there will be a notice on each line item, as well as at the top fo the draft quote view.