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Sale vs. Special Order vs. Layaway vs. Return

There are three main types of transactions that are used to sell items to your customers.  This article will help you understand the differences between each transaction type and when to use each one.


Sometimes referred to as a "Quick Sale", this transaction type is used when a customer is purchasing something out of stock and taking it home.  A Sale should only be used when you are exchanging full payment for merchandise and that merchandise is leaving the store immediately.  

This transaction type is most common in traditional retail.  All of the items on a Sale are taken home today.  Examples of these items would be an "Off the rack" bridal gown, Spanx, jewelry, etc.

When the "Checkout" button is clicked on a Sale, the Quantity On Hand is adjusted immediately for the items on the order.

Special Orders

A Special Order is used when 1 or more items being purchased need to be special ordered.  When you create a Special Order, you will add items from your item list to the order and change the color/size to reflect what is being ordered.  When doing this, you are essentially "ordering off of the sample".  

Special Orders remain "Pending" until the customer's merchandise is ordered with a Purchase Order, received using a Receiving Voucher and then the "Complete Special Order" button is clicked.  When the Special Order is completed, the Quantity on Hand for the items is reduced.

There are scenarios where you may have some items on the Special Order that need to be taken home that day and others that need to be ordered.  We call this a "Mixed" Special Order, to learn more about this type of transaction, check out the Mixed Special Orders article.

This is the most common type of transaction in bridal shops. 


A layaway should be used when your customer has placed a deposit for a STOCK item and plans to MAKE PAYMENTS on that item. 


Returns should be used when a customer is returning an item and their previous transaction is NOT still pending.  Processing a return will increase the QOH for the item being returned.
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