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Part 6 – Configure Inventory, Taxes & Shipping Settings

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Now that we’ve got our General WooCommerce settings configured, we’ll begin configuring inventory, taxes and shipping settings.

WooCommerce Inventory Settings

When we start creating these products we’ll use this system to track inventory for us. So, the first question here is, what happens when somebody begins a purchase but does not complete it. In other words, what happens to inventory if somebody starts a purchase, puts something in their shopping cart and then they haven’t completed their purchase. This is where you have a chance to, essentially, give them a first come, first served opportunity.

Say there are only 5 of the item, somebody puts it in the cart that reduces it to 4, rather than waiting until it’s actually purchased. But then you have to decide, how long you want that to be the case. We’ll go ahead and leave it for 60 minutes for the time being.

We’ll enable low stock notification and out of stock notification. We’ll send them to whoever we want, in this case, the site owner, me. What you use for the low stock threshold depends on how fast your stock moves but, if you’re making CDs at a thousand at a time, your low stock threshold is probably 50 rather than 2. The out of stock threshold might go down to 2 instead. Then we’re either going to say “Hide out of stock items from the catalog” or if we don’t do that, it’s going to say, out of stock.

Now, in our situation, I don’t think it makes any sense to hide out of stock items so we’re going to leave it there. Then we can show this display format like, “12 in stock” or “Only show when it’s low” or “Never show stock amount”. At the moment, we’re going to say, “Only show when it’s low” and so when it hits this low stock threshold, it’s going to say “Only 50 left in stock” and so forth. That completes inventory. Let’s save the changes.

WooCommerce Sales Tax Settings

Then we have sales tax and we’re going to enable tax calculation. We will enter the prices without the tax and will calculate the tax based on the customer’s shipping address. We’ll set the default custom address into the store’s base address, that is.

Right off the bat, it’s going to show taxes in there but ultimately, we’re only going to charge taxes in New Jersey, right? So, you’re going to pay sales tax if you live in New Jersey but not if you live someplace else. Actually, we’re just going to say no address which means that there won’t be any sales tax displayed right off the bat. You’re only going to be able to calculate sales tax when they enter their address.

In terms of shipping tax classes, it is going to be based on the cart item. At the moment, we’re going to leave that but we’re going to come back and talk about shipping classes next time. Then we’re going to round the tax at the subtotal level rather than per line. It doesn’t make any sense to round per line because really, what you’re doing is paying sales tax on the whole purchase not on each individual purchase so, I suppose there might be some other place where that’s not the case, but not here.

Display price during cart checkout, excluding tax. Now, if you’re in the European Union, you need to display “including tax” but we’re doing this in New Jersey where taxes are added on afterwards.

WooCommerce Shipping Settings

Then finally, Shipping. We’re going to enable shipping. We’re going to enable the shipping calculator on the cart page. We’re going to hide shipping costs until the address is entered. We can choose either radio buttons or a select box. I’m actually going to choose a select box for them to choose the shipping method. We’re going to ship to the billing address by default, and we’re not going to collect the shipping address even when not required, so we’re going to leave it like this.

At the moment, what we will be doing is free shipping and then a US Postal Service shipping. We’re not going to set up those shipping systems yet because the whole concept of shipping is actually a whole sub result end in itself. But we will be installing the US Postal Service automatic rate calculation for this and we will be using that to calculate shipping.

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