When you list a an item on Tindie, you can sell a basic product, and also add a variety of options. This could specify the color of a product’s enclosure, whether or not one would like a knob included, assembly, or any number of other services and add-ons. Some of these options may be important enough that you specify that a selection is required, however, there’s a bit of a gotcha here that may not be entirely obvious.
If you specify that a choice must be made, and if there’s only one choice specified, the buyer has to select it before making a purchase. So in the example below, the buyer is required to buy 90º headers, and has to make a choice between including clear heat shrink or not, as well whether or not to include connector wires.
The confusion comes in that buyers can select ‘blank’ as an option unless a choice is set to default, but can’t actually purchase an item until a ‘non-blank’ is selected. This was drawn to my attention when someone politely pointed out that certain selections were mandatory in a review of my EZ Fan2 board. Hopefully, you won’t make the same mistake I did; if there’s something that you want to sell with an item, you can still list it as a single item/required. I did this for the third ‘Headers’ selection option. In reality, it might be better to roll this into the basic product description, as a ‘required option’ isn’t really an option at all.
The other gotcha with product options is that it’s not always obvious when you run out. I’d advise manually keeping an eye on levels every once in a while. For ‘do not include’ selections, setting your in-stock quantity at 9999 may be appropriate. Most likely you wouldn’t need to worry about that number again, but it’s good to keep in mind.
Per a note from prolific seller Spencer Owen (RFC2795 Ltd) on Twitter, it may be better to simply leave the # in stock text box blank. This will simply not keep track of the number of options sold!