Getting Started Center

Create a Button That Tracks Inventory Levels

This guide will show you how to have a button track your inventory levels for an item with no options (such as size or color), and alert you when you are low on inventory or sold out.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. On the button creation page, fill out the information for your item’s name, price, and Item ID if you use one (see the Create a Buy Now Button or Create an Add to Cart Button guide for more information on creating a button).

  2. On the button creation page, click the dropdown near the bottom of the page titled “Step 2: Track inventory, profit & loss (optional)”.

  3. Click the checkbox titled “Track inventory”. You'll get access to a new set of text boxes underneath, with By item pre-selected. This allows you to track the inventory for an item with no options.

    Note: If you have added dropdowns for options, see “Create a Button That Tracks Inventory Levels for Items with Drop-down Menus.”

  4. Fill in the boxes with the information for your item:

    • Item ID is for your own use, and is not required. If you use ID numbers to help you keep track of inventory in another system as well, you can add it here to help keep those records up to date. Any changes you make here will be mirrored in the same field of the section “Step 1: Choose a button type and enter your payment details”.
    • Qty. in stock should be set to how many of the item you have in stock.
    • Alert qty. (optional) should be set to the quantity at which you want to be notified — e.g., if you want to be notified when you have 50 of the item left in stock, then you would enter 50 here.

    The Price box will be disabled -- this box actually pertains to the profit and loss tracking feature.

  5. Decide how you would like to handle out of stock items. There are two options: (a) “customers can buy the item as usual”, or (b) “don’t let customers buy the item".

    1. If you choose to let customers buy the item as usual:

      Shoppers won’t know that the item is out of stock and will still be able to order it – but there may be a delay in their shipment if you are waiting on inventory to arrive first. If a customer does order an out of stock item, you may want to notify them separately that their shipment may be delayed.

    2. If you choose not to let customers buy the item:

      Shoppers will not be able to order the item, and will see a message saying “This item is out of stock”, along with a “Continue Shopping” button that will take them back to your website.

      Make sure that you enter the URL of the page you want your customers to return to after they see the "sold out" message. You may want to have a specific page for this, or simply return customers to your store’s homepage.

  6. You can create your button now, or check out the Create a Buy Now Button or Create an Add to Cart button guide for information on other button features and instructions for adding your button to your website.

Additional Info and Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be notified that my inventory is low or out of stock?

When your inventory reaches the amount set as your Alert Quantity in the steps above you will receive an email from PayPal with the subject line “Inventory alert for [Item Name].”

How do I update my button when my inventory has been restocked?

Once your inventory has been restocked, you will need to edit your button to update how much stock you have. To do this, log into your PayPal account and click the “Merchant Services” tab near the top of the page. Then click on the “My Saved Buttons” link on the right side of the page. Find the button you need to edit and click the “Action” button to the right then choose “Edit Button” and follow steps 2 – 5 in the instructions above.

What should my alert quantity be set to?

After you start selling your items on a regular basis, you'll probably want to see an inventory report. This can help you track sales trends, and help you predict how much product you'll need to order, and/or help you to decide where your alert quantity should be set. You can see this report by logging into your PayPal account, going to History->Reports, then clicking on Inventory and Profit & Loss Report.

Why is my inventory not being tracked?

If you are using encrypted or plain-text buttons, PayPal cannot track inventory through them. PayPal can only track inventory on PayPal-hosted buttons. If you want to use encrypted or plain-text buttons, you will need to use a third-party shopping cart — you can see all of the carts PayPal is compatible with here.

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