Posted on June 8, 2015 | Written by Sarah Lofgren
Magento offers a range of solutions for keeping track of your inventory and connecting information on product stock to your catalog. If you don’t want to use the tools available for managing your stock, then you can disable inventory management within the system. However, if you want to keep track of your stock, the options Magento provides are flexible and can be edited on both the store and product level.
General Inventory Configurations
- To access and configure your store’s general inventory settings, go to: System > Configuration > Catalog > Inventory. You’ll see two panels titled Stock Options and Product Stock Options. To expand each panel, just click on the arrow to the right. (Please note: the settings you choose will affect all new products in your catalog, but you can override them with the Inventory settings on individual product pages. We’ll show you how to do that in a moment.)
- Stock Options: The fields in this panel are used to manage the way that stock is counted when orders are created and cancelled, as well as how inventory numbers affect the way products display in the front end catalog.
- Set Items’ Status to be In Stock When Order is Cancelled: Leaving this option at the default setting of “Yes” means that when you cancel an order, the products in that order are returned to Magento’s record of your inventory.
- Decrease Stock When Order is Placed: This option allows you to decide whether you would like the stock on each item to go down when that item is ordered. The default for this option is “Yes”, but if you switch it to “No”, inventory numbers of products will be kept the same unless manually changed.
- Display Out of Stock Products: Magento automatically hides items from your frontend catalog when those items are shown to be out of stock. If you want to keep those items visible to customers, switch this setting to “Yes”. (Note: even if this setting is left at “No”, customers will still be able to view the product when they use a direct URL.)
- Only X left Threshold: The default setting on this option essentially disables it. If you would like to set a threshold number, just type it into the field. What it means is that when the stock on a product gets down to that threshold or lower, a message will be added to the frontend product page. The message informs customers of the remaining inventory for that item.
- Display products availability in stock in the front end: If you want customers to be able to see whether or not an item is in stock, set this option to “Yes”.
- Don’t forget to click the Save Config button when you’re finished editing your settings.
- Product Stock Options: This section allows you to create setting for the parameters of your inventory. Note: these settings apply to individual products, not the whole cart.
- Manage Stock: The default setting for this option is “Yes”. This means that inventory will be automatically subtracted from stock totals as it is ordered. If you don’t want to manage inventory for a particular item (for example, a downloadable item or something that is created to order) then you can manually change the settings for that item on its product page (we’ll talk about that later).
- No Backorders: The default setting for this option, “No Backorders” means when inventory on a product reaches 0 it can no longer be ordered.
- Allow Qty Below 0: Choosing this setting means that customers can order items that are marked as out of stock. Inventory on ordered out of stock items will switch to a negative number (-1, -2, -3, etc.).
- Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer: This setting allows customers to order out of stock items, but it also notifies them of the product’s status. Likewise, inventory for these out of stock items will be recorded as a negative number until more stock is added.
- Maximum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart: The default setting for this option is “10,000”. This means that customers can’t add more than 10,000 quantity of any product to their shopping cart. You can edit the maximum quantity to reflect any number you wish.
- Qty for Item’s Status to Become Out of Stock: Automatically set to “0”, you can edit this option to mean that items are marked as out of stock when inventory remains at a higher number. For example, choosing “3” means that your products will switch to out of stock when there are still three of them left in inventory.
- Minimum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart: This option is automatically set to “1”, but if you’re a store that sells in bulk, you might not want customers to be able to order single items. Minimum Quantity allows you to choose the minimum amount of each product that customers can order at a time. Whatever number you choose will be displayed in the Qty field for your products on the front end of your store. Customers are prevented from adding a lower quantity to their carts. To set the minimum quantity, click the Add Minimum Qty button to the right of this option. Additional fields will appear.
- Customer Group: This dropdown menu displays all customer groups currently available. If you want the minimum quantity to apply to all customers, set this option to “ALL GROUPS”. Otherwise, select the individual group you wish to customize.
- Minimum Qty: This field is where you type the minimum quantity allowed for the specific group.
- Delete: You can delete previously set minimum quantities for groups by clicking this button.
- Add Minimum Qty: This button opens up another line where you can add minimum quantity for another group.
- Notify for Quantity Below: The default for this setting is “1”, which means that when the inventory on a product reaches 1 you will be informed with an RSS feed (you need to be subscribed).
- Subscribing to an RSS feed: Go to Catalog > Manage Products. Above the product list you’ll see a link that reads Notify Low Stock RSS. Fill in your username and password.
- Enable Qty Increments: The default setting for this option is “No”. If you set it to “Yes”, another field will appear right below that allows you to choose the number for the increments you would like enabled. For example: if you would only like customers to be able to order pencils in increments of 25, then setting Qty Increments to 25 means that they won’t be able to place 28 pencils in their cart. Only 25, 50, 75, 100, etc. (Consider setting the minimum quantity to 25 as well.) A message on the product page will inform customers of the quantity increments allowable.
- Automatically Return Credit Memo Item to Stock: With the default setting at “No”, products are not returned to inventory when you issue a credit memo for an order. (This option cannot be overridden for individual items via their backend product pages.) If you enable this option, products will be returned to inventory when you issue a credit memo.
- Please note: When you issue a credit memo you will have the option to return products to stock, even if you’ve left this option disabled.
- Don’t forget to click the Save Config button when you’re finished editing your settings.
Individual Product Inventory Settings
The individual inventory settings for products are also highly customizable and override the general settings in the System section of your backend. If you leave the products alone, they’ll be preconfigured with system values from the Product Stock Options panel. However, if you want certain products to have their own, unique inventory settings, Magento allows you to edit them on a product by product basis.
- To do so, go to Catalog > Manage Products. A full list of the products in your catalog will appear. To manage stock for a particular item, click on that item.
- Click on Inventory in the menu on the left hand side of the page. The inventory page for your product will appear.
- Manage Stock: If you enabled stock management in the general settings above, then this field will appear as a grayed-out Yes.
- Use Config Settings: This checkbox is checked by default so that product settings will conform to the general settings you created above. Unchecking the box will enable you to create custom settings for this particular product.
- You’ll notice that when you uncheck the box, the “Yes” option for Manage Stock is instantly editable. If you wish, you can switch this product so that stock is no longer managed. Doing so gets rid of a number of filters so that the only ones available are:
- Minimum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart
- Maximum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart
- Enable Qty Increments
- Switching Manage Stock to “No” means that this product will be permanently available to your customers. If you switched this option to “No”, go ahead and change it back to “Yes”.
- Qty: This where you can enter the current quantity for this product. Qty is a required field.
- Qty for Item’s Status to Become Out of Stock: This field will default to the config settings, unless you uncheck the Use Config Settings box.
- Minimum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart: If you would like to set a custom, minimum number of items that customers are allowed to order, you can type that number in here (after unchecking the Use Config Settings box).
- Maximum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart: This field limits the quantity of a product that the customer can place in their shopping cart. It will also default to the config settings unless you uncheck the Use Config Settings box.
- Qty Uses Decimals: Why would anyone want to use decimals when managing inventory? Well, perhaps your product is one that is sold in units of length, width, weight, or some other measure. For example, fabric that is available in yards, half yards and quarter yards. If you sell a product that utilizes decimal quantities, set this field to Yes. Setting it to Yes makes another field appear.
- Can be Divided into Multiple Boxes for Shipping: The default for this option is “No”, but you can switch it to “Yes” if you would like shippers to have the option to divide your product into multiple boxes.
- Backorders: This field will automatically be set to the config settings you created above. To edit it, uncheck the Use Config Settings checkbox. Options are:
- No Backorders: Customers cannot purchase items that are out of stock.
- Allow Qty Below 0: Customers can purchase items that are out of stock. This is useful if you refresh inventory for this item regularly and would like to allow customers to order it regardless of its current status.
- Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer: This option allows purchases of out of stock items, but it also sends a notification to the customer of the current status of the item.
- Notify for Quantity Below: To set a custom quantity for notifications, uncheck the Use Config Settings box and type in the number that you would like to use.
- Enable Quantity Increments: This field also defaults to config settings. To customize it, uncheck the Use Config Settings box and choose “Yes” or “No”.
- The “Yes” option creates another field where you can enter the Qty Increments you would like to use.
- Stock Availability: If you want customers to be able to purchase this item, then the Stock Availability has to be set to “In Stock”.
- When you’re done making edits to how your product’s inventory will be managed, be sure to hit the Save button.
Low Stock Report
To view a report on which of your products are getting low in stock, go to Reports > Products > Low Stock. A list will appear showing you the quantities for your low stock items. This report can be exported as a CSV or Excel XML file.
For further reading, we recommend: Configuring Shipping Taxes in Magento.