You can continue taking tentative orders for out-of-stock items on a "Raincheck/Waiting List" basis, so you can continue to collect interested-buyer info and notify them when the item is back in stock.
- Go to Seller Admin > Manage Products > Edit Products;
- Select the out-of-stock product and click View/Edit Product;
- Edit the product Name to make it clear it's not the actual product -- e.g., something like "Widget - Raincheck Only" or "Widget - Join Waiting List"
- Un-check Limit Available Stock;
- Un-check Require Buyer's Shipping Address;
- Change the Price to 0.00;
- DO NOT change the Item Number!
- Click Next until you can Submit changes
- The product's existing Add to Cart button in your site will continue to function, so buyers can simply add that item to their cart and either use Free Checkout to provide their contact info or include the free raincheck item along with other items in a regular, paid order.
Once you have the item back in stock, you can reverse the changes you made above, then:
- Go to Seller Admin > View/Download Log > Transaction Log;
- Select the Product and the Date Range when that product was out-of-stock;
- Click View Log to see all orders for that product during your chosen dates;
- You can simply copy the data from there (note at the bottom there may be links for more than one page), or use the Download Log button to export that log view to a spreadsheet file on your computer;
- Contact those buyers to let them know the product is available for actual purchase again.