How does the inventory sync work?

The inventory sync of WP-Lister Pro is a background process that looks out for new sales on both WooCommerce eBay and automatically reduces the stock level quantity on the other platform. When the quantity reaches zero, the listing is ended or the product is marked as out of stock.

New orders from WooCommerce are processed instantly during checkout while new orders from eBay are fetched up to every 5 minutes so there might be a slight delay syncing from eBay to WooCommerce. This limitation will hopefully be lifted in the future.

Please note: if you manually change the stock levels on eBay, these will not be synced back to WooCommerce automatically.

Locked vs unlocked items

Additionally you have the option to  lock a listing which will enable instant inventory status updates when you update a product in WooCommerce, but other details like the listing title or description will remain unchanged. Imported listings are locked by default.

When you update an  unlocked listing in WooCommerce that is currently published on eBay, WP-Lister will mark the listing as changed and will prompt you to revise all changed items. This extra step is required as this revision process is much slower than only updating the inventory status – and it provides an extra “safety net” allowing you to change your profile or template and first revise a few listings only to confirm that your changes achieve the desired result before you revise all listings which can take hours if you haven thousands of products.

How do I enable the inventory sync?

Inventory sync is disabled by default. To enable it visit WP-Lister -> Settings, enable the  Sync Inventory option and set the Update Interval to 15 minutes.

Why WooCommerce becomes your central database

When using WP-Lister for eBay you should not be making manual changes on eBay anymore. Instead, your changes should be made directly in WooCommerce - and WP-Lister will take care of uploading your changes to eBay.

One of WP-Lister's core features is submitting products and changes from WooCommerce to eBay. This is what WP-Lister does "out of the box" - and it's not required to enable the inventory sync option to do so. When you update a product in WooCommerce, all the data that has already been sent to eBay will be submitted again with your update. That's why when you use WP-Lister, WooCommerce will become your "central database".

How it works under the hood

"I have enabled the inventory sync, and wanted to see if it's working - but when I change the stock level in WooCommerce it doesn't update the listing on eBay..."

You should know that  placing an order in WooCommerce and manually changing the quantity in WooCommerce are two entirely different things. Both are about updating eBay, but what happens "under the hood" could not be more different:

When placing an order in WooCommerce, WP-Lister will process it immediately during checkout. It will check each purchased cart item whether it's listed on eBay - and if it is, it will send a ReviseInventoryStatus request to eBay, basically saying "The new stock for item 123456789 is now 3." for example.

The  ReviseInventoryStatus request runs very fast as it can only update quantity and (optionally) the price - but it can do so for multiple items at a time in a fraction of a second. That means your checkout process will only be delayed for that fraction of a second.

When manually changing a product in WooCommerce however, WP-Lister will not update eBay immediately - at least not by default - because the required ReviseItem request is pretty slow (a couple of seconds) and can only handle one item at a time. If WP-Lister would attempt to apply all your changes in real time, it would stall and break with server timeouts when you edit products in bulk, or change a listing profile for example.

That's why (by default) WP-Lister simply marks those items as  changed - and prompts you to revise all changed items. Which youhave to do manually in order to upload your changes to eBay - and which gives you the option to verify your changes in thePreview window as well.

Now, this  default behavior might not always be what you want - or expect. That's why there are two different options to upload your manual changes immediately:

  • Option A: Simply tick the "Revise listing on update" checkbox when you update your product manually. You'll find this checkbox on the edit product page directly above the blue "Update" button. Ticking this checkbox saves you that extra step of having to "revise all changed items".
  • Option B: You could lock your items which will always use the fast ReviseInventoryStatus request - but this means that only price and quantity will be updated on eBay, everything else will remain unchanged. I wouldn't recommend doing so, but there are some use cases where it makes sense - for example when updating product prices and quantities from a CSV file. I suggest you read this About locked vs unlocked listings if you want to know more.

You have probably noticed by now that manually changing the quantity in WooCommerce is not the right thing to do when you actually want to test what WP-Lister does when an order is placed on your site. To test that part, you will have to place an actual order. We recommend to create a coupon about 100% so you don't have to pay - and go ahead and place a test order for a product which is currently published on eBay. 

If WP-Lister did  not reduce the stock on eBay after placing that test order, please contact us and we'll investigate the issue on your site. 

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