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TIAS

I Have A Sale! - Now What Do I Do?

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Congratulations! You have a sale! Here's the steps to follow to get the ball rolling.

The first thing you need to do is to look over the information on the order you have received. If you are not using automatic tax calculation and automated shipping calculation or automated inventory management, you may need to contact your customer, confirm the item is available, thank them for the order, and check to see if they have any preference in how they want the item shipped.

Note:  If at ALL possible, its a good idea to give the customer as few opportunities to change their mind or to forget about the order as possible.   You should ALWAYS use automated tax calculation.  If you are running a physical store on a separate inventory system, using inventory management may be difficult.  And using automated shipping calculation involves weighing your objects, so its not an opportunity for everyone.  But you may want to seriously consider whether this is possible and, if you have questions, contact customer support and ask for help in making this possible.

When you get an order, you'll receive an email that has the order number.   Because email can be lossy, you should also log onto your members page at least once per day to see if you have orders that didn't get through your ISP.  Click here to read more about reviewing your orders.

On your store, you will need, on a daily basis, to review your orders, to collect payment and to ship items.

The order processing module combines all the functions that you execute when processing an order.  These are presented in a single, convenient and unified format that easily allows you to move orders from one stage of their processing to another.   When you first load the order processing module, you will see a summary of all your unprocessed orders.  The orders that are closest to being shippable are at the top, the newest ones are at the bottom:

On any order, you can click the order number to enter the editing mode on that order -- handy if you need to make account notes, add line items or perform other routine order maintenance.   You can also click the history link to see all transactions that you've previously had with that customer.

Depending on your business process, you may want to deal with your shippable items first.  Or perhaps you want to deal with new orders.  The choice is yours!  In this document, we will start with the order as its first received and review the process that you'll go through to document and ship your product.

If you are using automatic shipping calculation, tax calculation and credit clearance AND you have inventory available, you will never see orders in the 'New Orders' or 'Waiting for Payment' areas.   But if you need to calculate shipping or taxes, or if you have offline credit processing, you'll see your new orders in the section titled 'New Orders'  You have the choice of approving these or declining them.  If you are going to void an order, click on the 'void order button'  You'll see this page:

Select the orders to be cancelled, enter a reason (note that this is going to be seen by the customer, so be judicious in what you say!)  Click the button that says 'Void these Orders'.  They will disappear and you will not see them again, except in void order review.

If you want to accept orders, add shipping and insurance and create a pick ticket for them (the pick ticket is the document you use in your warehouse to find an item -- if you don't want one, set the preferences in your site maintenance menu to not use pick tickets).  When you click 'Accept', you'll see this page:

On each order, you have the chance to enter shipping information, comments and to select the shipper.   Make the choices that are appropriate and click the button that says 'Accept Order'.  The acknowledgements will be sent to your customer (comments included) and you'll return to the main page.  Note -- to simply add comments that you do not want the customer to see, just click on the order number in the main order processing page.  If the order you are changing is a PayPal order and your PayPal information is in file, your customer will receive that information and a 'magic link' that they can click and make their PayPal payment.

After you've dealt with the new orders, you'll want to process any check or money order payments that you've received.  On the main order processing page, you'll see a list of such orders.  After you get your checks for the day, click on the option titled 'Payment Received, Print Invoice' and you'll see this page:

This allows you to document the payments that you've received.  When the information is complete and correct, just click the button and return to the main page.

Do you have some orders for which you have overdue payments?  No-pays, slow-pays?  You can easily remind these people of their orders by using the 'feature to email customers.  Select those customers that you want to write memos to and click the 'Email Buyer' button.  You will see this page:

What could be easier!  Select the customers with whom you want to communicate, write them each a message, and click the button at the bottom of the page.  An email will be sent to each one with your message.   If the order is a PayPal order and your PayPal payment id is on file, the customer will receive a 'magic link' that they can use to go to PayPal and send your money.  Note that this is a messaging function only! If you want to cancel the order for non-payment, use the feature to do so.

If you accept credit cards and there were some cards were declined, you have two choices -- you can void the order or you can retry the charge.  Simply select the orders to retry, and click the button to do so.   You'll see the normal credit processing page.  This is the same page you'll see if you select cards to be charged:

Simply indicate the action you want to take ('ship' or 'backorder'), check the shipping and insurance amounts and click the button at the bottom of the page to try or re-try the charge.

So, now you are have the money and you're ready to ship your items. Select the items that you want to ship and click the button to record shipper information.  You'll see this page:

For each shipment, you'll need to record who the shipper is.  If you have a tracking number, enter that, too and the customer will be able to see it and to click on it and find their shipment.  Your customer will receive email notification of the shipment and you can write a note to be included on the invoice here.   When the information is complete and correct, click the button titled 'Ship These Items'.

You are done!  Congratulations!

When an order is first placed on TIAS, the status is set to 'In Process' and when a customer completes their shopping cart, it is automatically changed to the status of  'Order Placed'.  What happens to it then is up to you.  The order processing module left you 'skip' or use status codes as best fits your business practices.  Your customer can see the status codes if they use the 'track orders' feature and marking the order so they can tell what is happening to it can save you a lot of time and trouble answering inquiries.  The possible status codes are:

Code

Means

In Process

If the order is a standard order, it is in the customer's shopping cart, but they have not pressed the 'order' button.  If the order is an auction order, the customer has placed it, but their information is not yet complete.

Ordered

Customer has submitted an order, but no processing has been done

Confirmed

The order has been accepted by you (you've checked to make sure the inventory is available, notified the customer of shipping charges, etc.) and you're waiting for payment.

Payment Received

The customer has submitted payment to you (this could be credit card, check, etc), but it has not cleared.

Payment Cleared

You have processed the payment and have the funds; the order is ready for shipment.

Shipped

You have shipped the order to the customer

Product Received

Customer has received the product (optional status, many businesses do not use this)

Other status codes are used to indicate order problems and are created by special processes

Void

Order was cancelled prior to shipment; use the order maintenance 'delete order' function to set this status.

Return

Customer returned product; use the returns and cancellations programs to set this status.

Payment Overdue

Dubious order; payment has not been received from the customer as planned.  This code can be set manually through Order Maintenance.

If you want to communicate with your customer, add a comment in the part described in section 5.6 above and click the check boxes to send data to your customer and 'Save Changes to Order'.  If you want your customer to send a check its a GREAT idea to make use this feature to send them the information and record it at the same time. 

If you don't have to contact the customer or if your information is complete, you don't need to do any of the above, just obtain payment for the item.  Click here for more information about getting paid.

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