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Poor handling of Paypal IPN data == Incorrect inventory == fake orders
 
hydra
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Strange, i can not confirm this.
If a customers on my store goes to PayPal and cancels there he comes back to his cart and can choose a other payment method.
I do get an order in the admin panel, but it has the status ‘cancelled’.
Also no stock is deducted. I am using 1.2.1.2

 
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00christian00
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Maybe because your case is an explicit cancelled order from the user side.
When the payment is simply missing(99.99% of the time in my case) magento simply flag the order as “pending paypal”,and remove the item from the stock.I have to manually cancel the order.

 
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hydra
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Hi,

Very true and i am only online for 2 days now. smile
I only have 6 orders with paypal and all of them are ok.
No pending status or anything.
I will monitor the PayPal payments for sure but no problem for now *touches wood*

 
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theresfogonthetyne
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I dont think that with this configuration Magento can do this any other way.  The only viable solution is to use PayPal direct and allow the user to pay directly on your site and let Magento manage the payment, order and inventory all in one go.

Imagine this scenario, there is one item left in a store, you walk in an you go to the sales rep with a leaflet of a product you want and say “I would like to buy this”, he sits you down and you fill in your order and he confirms “yes we have one in stock would you like it?” You say “yes” and you pay there and then and this is the point that the order MUST be placed and removed from stock and held for the customer!  Now the store is out of stock!  BUT remember the payment has been made directly to the store, rather like PayPal Direct.

Imagine though if the store wasnt able to take credit card payment directly, and they have to mess around on a virtual terminal taking payment, ring for authorisation etc that obviously doesnt communicate with the order and inventory system directly and takes some manual work between the two systems by the sales rep.  All the while the sales advisor has messed around doing this, another sales rep went to the inventory system and checked for another customer and sold the item quicker, while the customer who was first ends up paying too, and then the advisor goes to confirm the sale and dohhhh!  Its now out of stock and the customer has paid.  This is exactly what you would get if Magento did this any other way! 

The same issue applies with PayPal standard, if Magento didnt place the order before going to PayPal then people would messing around on PayPal (and include those who will get confused by PayPals stupid signup process) and orders being placed for products you may not have in stock.

You would get orders going through when you have no stock and seriously annoyed customers, who would in turn probably cancel the order and never make another purchase.  This would be more damaging than having to cancel a few orders.

In short using PayPal standard YOU are effectively allowing customers to place an order and holding stock without actually paying, and have to gamble on wether they do actually pay.  PayPal direct or other direct payment systems you dont allow an order until money is received.

My assessment is that there is nothing wrong with Magento and the way it works with PayPal Standard and this is probably the most suitable way for most sites.  Downloadable products, or ones that never go out of stock wouldnt matter and cleaning up cancelled orders every so often wouldnt be so bad. 

For those who are complaining at the time and energy needed to go in and cancel orders then maybe its time to invest in a developer and integrate with a better payment gateway and pay the higher connection fees.  The reason PayPal Standard is free is because of limitations.  If you really want to improve customer experience and better work flow, invest in a better payment solution.

 
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00christian00
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First it’s not a matter of what we want but what the user want.The user want Paypal,and that’s a fact.
I am already offering other methods that are thousand times better but if they want to pay with paypal,should I remove paypal just to overcome this issue?!

I have another store with zencart and never noticed this problem,because the order is only placed when the payment is really done,and that’s the way it should be.
Your example doesn’t fit our situation.
Our current situation is more similar to this:
A customer like a product on a store and take it from the shelf,when going to the cashier he change his mind and leave the product somewhere on the way,not returning it to the shelf.Another customer come to buy the same product and he see it’s not in stock,just because it still hasn’t returned at his place.

Two customer buying the same product and paying it at the same time,it’s highly unlikely unless you have a really high traffic store or very few items.
Plus the paypal module already support both “authorization” and “sale” request,so if you were to be really picky you could do the following :

1-take the order immediatly without removing stock
2-make the payment with “authorization” request,that doesn’t withdraw the funds from the customer.
3-once it return to the store it check if the item is still in stock or someone in the meantime already ordered it,and it there is still stock then you capture the payment automatically otherwise you cancel it automatically.Done,no need to change the payment method as you already have everything needed.

If this is too complex to accomplish i would still prefer to refund payment manually once a while than continuosly cancel pending orders everyday…

 
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theresfogonthetyne
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00christian00 - 21 March 2009 04:35 AM

First it’s not a matter of what we want but what the user want.The user want Paypal,and that’s a fact.
I am already offering other methods that are thousand times better but if they want to pay with paypal,should I remove paypal just to overcome this issue?!

I have another store with zencart and never noticed this problem,because the order is only placed when the payment is really done,and that’s the way it should be.
Your example doesn’t fit our situation.
Our current situation is more similar to this:
A customer like a product on a store and take it from the shelf,when going to the cashier he change his mind and leave the product somewhere on the way,not returning it to the shelf.Another customer come to buy the same product and he see it’s not in stock,just because it still hasn’t returned at his place.

Two customer buying the same product and paying it at the same time,it’s highly unlikely unless you have a really high traffic store or very few items.
Plus the paypal module already support both “authorization” and “sale” request,so if you were to be really picky you could do the following :

1-take the order immediatly without removing stock
2-make the payment with “authorization” request,that doesn’t withdraw the funds from the customer.
3-once it return to the store it check if the item is still in stock or someone in the meantime already ordered it,and it there is still stock then you capture the payment automatically otherwise you cancel it automatically.Done,no need to change the payment method as you already have everything needed.

If this is too complex to accomplish i would still prefer to refund payment manually once a while than continuosly cancel pending orders everyday…

Yeah your 3 step approach above would be better, but as a Relationship Manager my focus is customer experience.  I ran a site a few years ago with 75 - 100 orders a day average.  The basket sizes were about 6 - 7 products average too (sold vitamins).  We came across this when we developed the checkout to integrate with WorldPay.  Should we place the order before redirection or not.  We decided before then and I still think that now if using a redirection to a off-site payment gateway.

I would not be happy getting all the way through PayPal, to get back to the site to be then told “sorry we are now out of stock”.  Regardless of the option of Sales and Authorisation options, I think its its still giving the customer a bad customer experience.  This would have happened a few times with our old site and most of the time they would have probably cancelled the rest of the order too.  Telling a customer who thinks they are getting a product when they think they have paid (authorisation) to then tell them no you’re not getting it now here is your money back (dont capture) to me is a risk that can be erradicated by direct payment. 

I agree the order should only be placed at the exact moment a payment is taken and removed from stock but only if its still in stock.  As I stated PayPal standards is too limited.

 
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eiocreative
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I agree with the people here who think it’s an issue. It’s much more inconvenient to have all these ‘fake’ orders which deducted stock than the possibility two people could buy the last item at the same time causing issues when they both return from payment. 99% of cases the customers are leaving at the payment stage and it’s easy to argue that an order isn’t an order if the customer has not even reached for their credit card yet.

On a site of ours we started using ProTx Form but soon switched to Direct as it was just impossible to manage all the fake orders and incomplete stock. It simply does not work how the Magento team choose to handle the stock and ordering at the moment. Would much prefer the orders to be seen as temporary until the customer has returned back from the store and confirmed the order.

I was expecting this would be fixed by now as it must make managing a store with anything but direct onsite processing impossible

 
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J_T_
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The fact Magento creates an order the moment they go off to PayPal is not a big, that’s a great feature. If PayPal is down or the customer gets distracted, at least you have a record of the order, can follow them up and convert them. If no order was created at that stage, this sale would be lost unless the customer comes back. As soon as they leave your site, you need a record of the order. That’s a great feature IMO.

The stock is indeed an issue. In osCommerce, this is how I recoded it all.

1. Order gets placed and this has no repercussions on inventory as an order placed is not a promise to fulfill. There can be a thousand reasons to cancel.
2. If we are happy the order is legit, we tick which products we despatch. Only when ticked despatch does inventory gets subtracted. In other words, if stock leaves the warehouse, it gets reduced from the database.

Subtracting upon shipping means exact stock records.

The one and only downside is if you get a ton of orders, say over the weekend, for a product you only have a couple of. It shows in stock but others may get this allocated first. But to me that’s not a major problem because it’s still far more beneficial to get the order in than showing out of stock and missing out on the orders. At least you can order new stock in and fulfill the orders with a slight delay.

Of course it always depends on your business processes but that served me well for shipping physical goods that usually always are in stock, with reliable suppliers who can replenish stock fast.

It would have been nice if Magento had a setting “When to subtract stock” Dropdown: Upon Receiving the Order / Upon Invoicing (receiving payment) / Upon Shipping

 
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John34
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I’m using ver. 1.3.2

This issue still is unresolved. The best I can do is watch for an email showing I have an order.

Where is the Magento team? Do they not care so many people are having an issue. I think it would be nice of them to at the very least chime in and say “We’re working on it” or something.

 
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bydand
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Wow, I’m just having my magento store built now, but there’s no way I’m switching across if this is how orders are handled. I’m glad I came across this thread when I did.

Magento is so feature rich, it’s a shame that this issue hasn’t been resolved - order management and payment processing is a major issue for most businesses, surely this would be a priority for magento.

Hopefully they’ll sort this out in the next release.

 
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The Sunday Paper
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It isn’t a bug in Magento. It’s a problem inherent to handling payments with a third-party gateway. Logically, there’s simply no good solution. I recommend simply dropping PayPal and running your Magento store with Authorize.net. That’s solved everything neatly for us.

 
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John34
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@The Sunday Paper - What’s involved with Authorize.net?

Will people ever have to leave our website to make purchases?

Don’t we need to get our own merchant account with a bank?

Right now my site is new and I haven’t made any sales yet. It would be nice to know I can make some $ before I spring for some services, but I’d still consider it. How much do you pay monthly as a result of using Authorize.net?

Thanks

 
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The Sunday Paper
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John,

I’d like to be more help, but I’m not certain of the specific costs or procedures, as it isn’t something I handle directly. I do know that overall, Authorize.net costs us significantly less than PayPal, and dropping PayPal was partly a financial decision. I’m not sure what volume of sales you’d have to make before PayPal becomes a more expensive option, but I would check the Authorize.net Web site and find a rate table to compare.

But the best reason to use it is that no, no one ever has to leave our site to make a payment. They have no idea that their payment is being processed by any gateway at all. And our system communicates with theirs in real time, so if a card is declined, the customer is made instantly aware and the order isn’t processed. There are no abandoned orders. There is no confusion over whether the payment is secure. I recommend it, provided the fees are reasonable.

 
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itchytrig
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Hi,

Just been reading through this thread, and it looks like the solution is dependant on what you retail and how you operate, yes it would be good for Magento to offer a switch to dictate how and when an order deducts stock and of course notifies the customer too.

This would please all, would it not?

My question today, is to do with the PayPal logo on the Basket (Cart). If a user just adds an item to basket and then hits the Paypal logo, they are transferred away from the Magento store to buy an item at x amount. Paypal has NO record of what they purchase, or do we?

If however, you hit the proceed with order and register as normal, you can select Paypal at the end of the process, thus both we and Paypal know what you have ordered!

Is it just a case of removing the Paypal icon from the cart? - Same applies to Google Checkout, but Google Checkout is not an option at the end!

Pretty confusing - would love to hear from others and how they process the above!

Thanks!

 
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kaamiljj
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Just had a fake order from paypal and considering turning it off. PayPal billing/shipping address against credit card verification is non-existent it seems which is kind of a joke.

The bottom line is that pretty much anybody can type for billing shipping:

Address line1 : Indonesia
Address line 2: Thailand
Zip code: 9671823
Country: United States

Pretty scary, isn’t it? Of course paypal will not show anything as Pending and you will not receive any payment, but still the order will most probably go through.

Does anybody know how Google Checkout handle this matter?

 
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