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Web site sale of an item that had qty of 0


Hi guys

It’s Friday so of course I’m posting all my problems.

This has happened to us before. Some how someone ordered an item AFX21005 that we have qty = 0 on our website. When an item is out of stock, we even have the add to cart button removed, but somehow they are still able to add it to their cart. Here is a link to our store: http://chicagolandtoysandhobbies.com/Giant-w-Lap-Counter-by-AFX-(AFX21005)-AFX21005

I think they are adding it to their list or registry and purchasing it from there. I was able to do that myself.

We want some items to be shown even if we have qty of 0 so at least the customer can see we carry it. We just don’t want them to be able to add it to their cart. Obviously, taking away the add to cart button wasn’t enough.

Any ideas as to how we can keep them from doing this?



Hi Bob,

That’s interesting and I just thought of a potential scenario where this could happen: when an item is removed from the webstore, we automatically submit a product feed with action ‘Delete’ to the Amazon MWS API. In theory, that should delete the item almost immediately. I suppose it is possible that the deletion didn’t effect on the spot and the inventory feed wasn’t updated to reflect the new quantity (0) in the meantime.

Interestingly, having just reviewed our feed logs, I see that we did in fact feed a quantity update of 0 for that SKU:


That was contained in a feed with timestamp: amazon-2149-20141212212020-InventoryUpdate.xml, i.e., 2014-12-12 21:20:20. Does that roughly correspond with when the item went out of stock?

My best guess is that there was a delay with Amazon handling the deletion, which resulted in a kind of race condition between the shopper and MWS’s request processing.

As a precaution, you might try not setting out of stock items to inactive, so that they remain on the webstore for at least an hour, ensuring that the Inventory feed is always updated to 0 first. Then, afterwards, you can remove the item entirely.

To be honest, though, I’m not sure there’s anything we can do better in this case. Unfortunately, the MWS API is not real-time and I guess these kinds of delays will occasionally cause problems.

I’m not sure how practical this suggestion is but: another alternative might be to pad your quantities a little. For example, always subtract 1 from the quantity you upload to Seller Central. Obviously, if you have lots of items with a stock level of 1, this won’t work.

Would welcome any suggestions you might have, Bob, we’re always happy to respond to feedback.

Kind regards,



One question that came to mind in retrospect: does the item still exist on your Seller Central Inventory page?


HI Donogh

I should have made my post a little clearer and I"m sorry for not doing so. This, believe it or not, has nothing to do with our Amazon feed. Even though I do have a thread about an inactive item being sold on Amazon, this question has to do with our Nitrosell store and how customers are able to order items even though the add to cart button is gone. An I was guessing they do it through the list or registry.

So, I am sorry if you spent anytime thinking or researching the Amazon feed about this problem.



Not to worry!

That’s an interesting one Bob. Assuming you have the restrict purchasing to in-stock items only option enabled, if the quantity is 0, it can’t be added. There is both client-side and server-side validation. We even double-check the quantities as you move through the checkout process. (We have another retailer who does fire sales on Mondays and we had to implement it for them to prevent double purchasing.)

If you can spot this issue in the wild again we’d happily review it.




I to have this same issue. I believe it allows customers to purchase from there wishlist even if we dont have the item. Any fix?



Hi Zac,

Can you give me a link to an example product, please?