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Preventing two customers from purchasing the same one-of-a-kind item…
 
tlafleche
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I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this question, but nevertheless, here it is…

I am helping a business-owner who is unhappy with her current shopping cart. Magento seems like a great option for her, but before we go forward with the installation, I want to know if Magento can manage a problem she often faces with her current cart.

Much of what she sells is one-of-a-kind. When she receives something new, she will announce it to her customer base, and there is sometimes a race to purchase. The other day, two people bought the same one-of-a-kind item. The first person put the item in her cart and walked away from the computer. The website did not mark it as sold because payment had not gone through, so someone else came along and bought it. The first person’s cart did not reset, so her sale went through as well.

Obviously, this is a problem she would like to avoid. How would Magento handle a situation like this?

 
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alkarim
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wew… yeah that right. but what do you mean by ‘how would Magento handle this situation ?’

beside before we purchase it, we already know the item that we’re going to purchase right ?

 
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bzsaw
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You’d set the inventory to only “1” once the 1 original is gone the cart would say out of stock.

The other thing I’d mention to your client is to use an h1 header to notify people if they don’t actually pay for the items in their cart they didn’t buy it so the first person that does gets it.

Hope that helped.

 
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tlafleche
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tparsons - 18 April 2008 06:24 PM

You’d set the inventory to only “1” once the 1 original is gone the cart would say out of stock.

The other thing I’d mention to your client is to use an h1 header to notify people if they don’t actually pay for the items in their cart they didn’t buy it so the first person that does gets it.

Hope that helped.

So, to be clear, what you’re saying is the very same problem can occur with Magento. Is this correct?

Of course, the store’s policy indicates that whomever pays first receives the item, but it would be nice if the technology worked in such a way that the problem is unlikely to occur in the first place. Perhaps, it could allow a short lag between when an item is put into the cart and when payment goes through (so another customer cannot put the identical item into their cart before the transaction is complete), or the system could prompt customers’ carts to automatically refresh periodically (so if a customer steps away from the computer before completing their transaction, they will see, upon their return, that the item is no longer available).

Do you know what I mean? Does Magento do either of these things or something similar that solves the same issue?

 
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alkarim
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I don’t think that Magento support kind of that, I guess… the only thing that we can do is to make the lifetime of the cart.... we could set if the cart was abandon for long time we could make the cart empty automatically.. You know what I mean ? kind of that .... but I am not do that way cause its make the web look bad…

 
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bzsaw
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I would consider the lag time in the cart a flaw.

If someone walks away their thinking about it twice. That means it leaves the opportunity for someone else to grab it.

In Magento there is a setting of when you consider a transaction done or how long it can last in the cart.

Shopping Cart
Shopping Cart
Quote Lifetime (days) 30

It’s auto set to 30 days as you can see above but you could set it to .08 which would be around 5 minutes.

 
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mr_dimsum
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I haven’t put my site up for production yet, but to my knowledge, as stated above, you can set an item to automatically become out of stock once a certain quantity is reached (in this case, 0). Furthermore, you can also set Magento to not accept backorders on any items once it has reached that status/quantity.

Hope this helps, though the post doesn’t necessarily answer your question. Hopefully someone with a full production cart can be more of help. It would make sense that Magento only depltes the quantity once the item has been placed and payed for rather than when it was added into the cart, as technically nothing is purchased even if it’s added.

 
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Crucial
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Hmm, doesn’t look like anyone really answered the question. Yes, by setting the quanity to 1, if someone buys it no one else can. That’s not the question (or answer) though.

The question is, what happens if one person comes to buy a unique item, adds it to their cart, and even goes through a couple steps in the checkout process. For some reason, they step away from their computer.

During this time, someone else goes to the site and adds that unique item to their cart, only they finish the checkout process. They’ve successfully ordered the item.

What happens to the other guy who first had the item in the cart, even if he was on the very last step (let’s assume he was on the final step before hitting ‘submit’). Does his order go through too? Does he get an error message telling him the item is now out of stock?

Or does the item’s quantity go out of stock from the first guy because he’s already started the checkout process, and if he abondons completely, does the quantity go back to 1.

You brought up an interesting question, I’m looking forward to see what the devs have to say about this.

 
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tlafleche
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Yes, yes, that’s exactly it. Thanks for re-stating my question so clearly!

 
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bzsaw
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@tlafleche

I tested what I mentioned above and it worked flawlessly. I set the cart timeout to .008. Then left the cart sitting for a short time. Then hit refresh and it was removed from my cart.
http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewreply/24164/

 
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tlafleche
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tparsons - 19 April 2008 05:47 AM

@tlafleche

I tested what I mentioned above and it worked flawlessly. I set the cart timeout to .008. Then left the cart sitting for a short time. Then hit refresh and it was removed from my cart.
http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewreply/24164/

Thanks! What happens if you don’t hit refresh, and try to complete the transaction?

 
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tlafleche - 19 April 2008 07:05 AM

Thanks! What happens if you don’t hit refresh, and try to complete the transaction?

Exactly. What happens if the user who left the computer was on the very last step and all they had to do was hit the Submit button. Does that order go through? Do they get an error message telling them the item is gone now?

 
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alkarim
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Hey, did anyone test this before ? What happened ?

I think we should to check every order of the cart if some one hit the checkout button ....

 
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tlafleche
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Just bumping this thread up in hopes of more input. Anybody?

 
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bzsaw
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@tlafleche

I would suggest installing it and testing it out yourself at this point. Most everyone here has one issue or another they’re dealing with. Who knows you might figure something out with this issue and be able to help someone else out in the future.

Best,

 
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