Understanding First Paid First Served

Learn all about the First Paid First Served feature and how it affects inventory & cart settings.


What is First Paid First Served?


First Paid First Served is a feature that changes how your shop reserves inventory during a sale. With this feature enabled, inventory is not reserved when it is added to a customer's cart. Instead, the first person to pay for that item is the person who will claim it.


This is quite a bit different than traditional CommentSold selling, in which the product is held for the first person to cart the item (until the cart expires).


There are two exceptions to this:

  • If the customer clicks to pay with PayPal or Sezzle, the item will be held temporarily to allow for the shopper to checkout. The hold allows the shopper to complete the payment process without losing the items. If the customer does not complete the checkout process, the temporary hold will release and the inventory will be returned to stock and available for purchase.
  • If an Admin adds an item to a customer’s cart, it will hold the item in the cart for the configured Cart Expiration time.


Enabling First Paid First Served


To enable First Paid First Served, visit the Setup tab of your CommentSold dashboard. Locate the setting Enable First Paid First Served under the Selling Preferences section.




Clicking the toggle to enable this feature will override your cart expiration settings and shoppers will need to complete the checkout process to ensure they claim items.


If you have Shopify Sync enabled and many items are currently held in carts, it may take some time for First Paid First Served to be enabled.


Note: We highly recommend refraining from enabling and/or disabling this feature during high volume times for your shop. Turning First Paid First Served on and off frequently may increase your likelihood of overselling.


The Shopper's Point of View


When First Paid First Served is enabled, shoppers will see a message in their cart warning them that items are not held until checkout is completed.




If the product is in stock when they attempt to check out, they will see the normal "Thank you for your order!" banner.


If the product is not in stock when they attempt to check out, they will see a message informing them that the item has been added to their waitlist.


Waitlists with First Paid First Served


Waitlists will work differently when First Paid First Served is enabled. When a waitlisted item comes back in stock, only the products that have been pre-authorized will be processed. Items that are not waitlist authorized are not automatically added to carts, and your customers are not notified of an item being back in stock.


You can use the Email Waitlist feature to have shoppers pre-authorize the items if they want them, as well as to alert the customers when the items have come back in stock. Read more about this here.

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