Lack of negative inventory after years

SmartBuySmartBuy Member Posts: 1
We've been using lightspeed for over a year and have a serious issue with the lack of negative inventory.  As of now, when we oversell on items awaiting delivery, the inventory is constantly wrong when we add what we receive because we don't know how many we are oversold by.

For example:
  • We are sold out of 2 pieces in a kitchen set.
  • We sell a couple kitchen sets with deliveries pending arrival of the pieces we're missing.
  • We are now sold out and oversold by 3 pieces in the kitchen set.
  • We sell a couple more kitchen sets with deliveries pending arrival of the pieces we're missing.
  • We receive 8 of each. We're oversold by 2 on 1 item, maybe 3 on another item. I don't know how many we're oversold by because the inventory always says 0 so I add 8 of each.
  • A week later it says we have 2 microwaves or dishwashers when we have 0.
Yes, I realize I could check auto-added to sale in history but I don't want to do that because I don't know how far back I sold out.  Also, when googling this I found out its been a problem for OVER 2 YEARS. Please, the owner is looking at another POS to switch to because he's fed up with the inventory issues we keep facing. But being that I do 100% of the POS and eCom work, it's weeks of work for me. Please, I do not want to have to start over from scratch with a new POS and website because this took me forever.

Post from 2016 below

Is there anyway to work around the unfathomable decision to not allow negative inventory? I should be able to work round it by loading orderlines sales lines and manual stock adjustments and reconstitute the real stock level rather than the fictitious number lightspeed generates. Unfortunately I don't appear to be able to read "Manually adjusted quantity" transactions or "Building assembly" through the api so that might be a bust as well. Better yet I can't see the idiotic "Auto-added for sale".

So you can see how serious this is consider a scenario:
  • Something is double charged by accident and we only had 1 (2 sold, 1 in stock).
  • The stock level goes down to 0 (not -1 as any sane system would)
  • The customer returns for a refund of 1.
  • The stock level goes up to 1.
  • Real stock level 0.
  • The integrated ecom website sells this fictitious item.
  • Customers are cross and we look stupid.
And at least in that case we notice!

The only solution appears to be to search the log report for Auto-added for sale. Of course for revenue protection reasons reports aren't in the api. Great, more work to do by hand!

If anyone from lightspeed reads this. What were you thinking!? Were you thinking? We've not been using lightspeed for long and so far I'm glad I'm on the rolling contract. Plus you need to fire the person that used an unsigned integer for the qoh.



  • AsakoLSAsakoLS Lightspeed Staff Posts: 7 Lightspeed

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks for reaching out to us about this topic that is critical for many of our customers and is just as important to us here at Lightspeed.

    My name is Asako and I am one of the Product Managers at Lightspeed working on the Retail product. I myself cannot speak to what was the original reasoning and thought process behind how oversold items are dealt with, but I can speak to what we’re doing about it.

    The feedback that we’ve received over the years about negative inventory are countless and we have always taken it seriously. At the same time, we have always known that this would be a large endeavor to implement, but I’m happy to say that we are committed to delivering negative inventory and there is a team here at Lightspeed that is actively working on making it a reality.

    The project is sufficiently long enough that I cannot provide an exact estimate at the moment for when it will be complete as it requires us to make some adjustments to existing features in Lightspeed Retail that impact inventory; like purchase orders, inventory counts, special orders, etc. This means no more auto-adding, and no more auto-receiving, and allowing you to simply find the items that have been oversold so that you can choose how to resolve the discrepancy.

    Although I don’t have an exact date for completion at this time, we do know that we will need to BETA test the new workflow. If being a part of a BETA is something that you are interested in please fill out this form:

    If you have concerns or additional comments please feel free to add them in the form above.

    To answer your question on how to deal with the lack of negative inventory now, it is as you mentioned to search the inventory change logs for any adjustments done to inventory with an “Auto-add” reason.

    Thanks for the feedback and for your commitment to Lightspeed, Chris. I look forward to providing more updates on the project as we reach major milestones.

    Kind Regards,

    Asako Ide

    Asako Ide
    Product Manager II - Retail Inventory
    Lightspeed HQ
  • gregaricangregarican Member Posts: 756 
    @SmartBuy actually our company reviewed Lightspeed back in 2012, assuming prior to this cloud-based MerchantOS acquisition that is Lightspeed Retail. Back in 2012 there were similar issues in handling negative quantity sales in that product offering as well. I know that over the years this item has been a hot topic among retailers. 

    It appears as if finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel in this regard. Running the auto-add to inventory report on a regular basis is our workaround, and as long as we are mindful to do this we are okay in the interim...
  • jameybikesjameybikes Member Posts: 3
    I would highly recommend using a workorder to sell things that are pending arrival. Functionally, you can take the customer's money and and then sell it on the day that they take it. Also, the work order has far more functionality to describe where things are in the process versus a layaway. 

    For example, I don't bother at all with Lightspeed's special order system. Basically useless for bike shops. 

    Instead, I have a Work Order "status" of Special order, Orderred, Received, SO called. etc. 
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