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How to Minimize Backorders

Lily O'Halloran

How to Minimize Backorders

Minimizing backorders is crucial. Customers need to know that they can count on you to deliver the goods. When a customer places an order they expect to receive it in a timely manner. The time it takes customers to receive their orders has a direct relationship with the well-being of your business. Backorders have a way of making negative feelings rear their ugly head.

Stop back orders before they start to minimize disappointed and disgruntled customers. To cut to the chase, unsatisfied customers turn to other retailers for their purchasing needs. Since it cost more to attract new customers than it does to retain current ones, this is very bad news for retailers. Not to mention it is difficult to reverse a negative image. Studies have shown that consumers are far more likely to pass on a negative experience than a positive one. Keep your customers happy with timely shipments to earn customer loyalty.

Minimize backorders by implementing four simple strategies:

1. Monitor inventory levels.

Keep a close eye on inventory levels to monitor the quantities of the products that interest you. The easiest way to monitor quantities on hand is by using the Drop Ship Access data export tool. Select products to sell that have high quantities to decrease the chance of selling a product that becomes backordered. By watching inventory levels, you may notice that some products have a longer shelf life – they are not disappearing at a quick rate. These products are also a good bet; they aren’t likely to disappear before your auction ends.

2. Keep a few products on hand.

A surefire backup plan for sellers with a market niche is to simply order a couple extra products to keep on hand. When a product you sold does become backordered, you will have one on hand to ship to the customer. Obviously, this could be costly if you sell a wide selection of goods. In that case, you may want to limit your own on hand stock to the most popular products.

3. Decrease auction duration.

If you find that certain products continue to sell out rather quickly, you may want to decrease the length of your auction listings. For example, rather than a seven day auction, run a five or even a three day one instead. Most auctions receive the majority of their bids within the last 24 hours of the listing, so running shorter auctions can be a very good thing.

4. Cancel auction if necessary.

One more easy method of minimizing backorders is to simply cancel an auction listing if the product quantity reaches zero or the level that you become uncomfortable. It is far easier to cancel an auction and pay the listing fee than it is to upset a customer and pay for your mistake. Appeasing a customer could take offering them a generous discount, an additional product, or some other gift that in the end will result in far more than lost listing fees.

These techniques are designed to reduce the chance of selling an out of stock product; however, there are no foolproof methods of guaranteeing that you will never end up with a backorder. Before backorders make an appearance, be sure to check out How to Deal With Backorders for information on how to turn an annoyance into an opportunity for success.

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