SKULabs is a great solution to overselling problems but given the right circumstances there is still room for overselling.
What to do when you've oversold
- Use the lightning icon next to all stock levels under the "Listings" section on the item's page in SKULabs. This will ensure we've recently pushed accurate inventory out to all of your listings.
- Let SKULabs support know. Provide a SKU and allow us to review the logs we have that led up to the issue. It can take several hours to analyze the data we have and build a breakdown of the final moments leading up to the overselling situation but we're guaranteed to get to the source of the issue.
- Review our recommended solutions below.
Create a safety stock reservation strategy
The number one solution to prevent overselling is to limit over-advertising your available inventory. When you are selling your last available unit of inventory on 6 separate sales channels, there is a very real risk to oversell that product during a 2 to 20 minute window after a sale occurs. The only strategy to resolve this is to reserve available inventory on those channels which allows you to stock out sooner on some channels than over others.
In addition to restricting your sales channels from over-advertising in a low-stock-scenario, withholding some fixed number of units across the board will guarantee you have items available for undocumented exchanges, loss, and otherwise uncontrollable loss thereby keeping your seller performance metrics up.
- Sell out faster on marketplaces tracking seller performance using stock rules with additional reserves for those channels. Preferably Amazon, Jet, Walmart, eBay, Other in that order.
- Reserve fixed quantities of inventory across all of your products using stock rules.
- Use reserve warehouses and transfer inventory from them to maintain an additional buffer for high-volume items.
Identification of causes for overselling
Transactions outside of your inventory management system
If not properly registered in SKULabs, any of the following can result in on hand counts which do not reflect actual inventory availability. This is strictly an accounting problem where your staff may be performing inventory transactions without registering those changes in SKULabs. At a minimum, manually editing the item's inventory or using the "deduct" tab's scan-out interface can account for changes done ad-hoc in the warehouse without the overhead of manual orders, cycle counts, and RMAs.
- Replacements / Exchanges
- Loss / Damaged goods
- FBA replenishments
- On-site cash sales
Beyond inaccurate on hand values, there are still some cases where despite accurate inventory you are still able to oversell. Fortunately, we have solutions for all of these cases.
- Sales coming in from multiple channels too quickly. Set inventory reserves using stock rules or go out of stock on certain stores before others or talk with our team about Enterprise options for velocity-based inventory reserves. Set up safety stock reservation
- Orders releasing inventory for sale when archived after shipment in another software. Configuring an automated deduction strategy or using scan-based deduction if you scan all of your orders out will resolve this issue.
- Third-party listing publishing / product information management software inappropriately overwriting stock levels. Run manual stock sync after major updates to your catalog. Using re-push stale inventory will automatically correct these mistakes within 24 hours.
- Product CSV uploads direct to your marketplace / sales channel that contain inventory quantities. Run manual stock sync after major updates to your catalog. Using re-push stale inventory will automatically correct these mistakes within 24 hours.
- Advertising all of your inventory on multiple channels. This is bound to cause the occasional oversold situation. Remember that for each additional channel you have connected, you're advertising 100% more inventory than you have available. Within a 2-20 minute period, someone could buy all of your stock on more than one channel resulting in an overselling scenario. Set up safety stock reservation
- Outages at marketplaces and cloud sales channels like Shopify / BigCommerce. Amazon will not accept a ticket unless 24 hours have passed since an inventory feed was uploaded but not yet processed. Historically this has not happened but several hour delays have occurred meaning you realistically need 1 day of stock reserved to completely eliminate the unpredictable risk of overselling due to marketplace outages. Prepare for flash sales by ensuring your sync health on your dashboard is consistently green (no sales channel outages) before releasing new products or launching a new sale.