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Discontinued Products - Best Practices

How do your site handle discontinued product pages?



2:48 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When a user requests a page for a discontinued product on my site, they are forwarded to a special page with a "sorry" message. I am looking to change this with an eye towards...
- preserving "link juice" from old backlinks to the discontinued products
- providing suggestions for related products / other ways to keep the user on the site

Any ideas, suggestions?

Alternative Future

2:54 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have seen sites use:
This product has been sold out. This may come back again in future, we recommend you check the website regularly.

This is written in red. And all the product details are still kept in place...




2:56 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you do a search you will find several threads on this matter. Like Alternative Future says clearly state that the product has sold out and that you may get it back in stock so check back (Get their Email address perhaps?).

I would also have related products and see if you can get them to buy something related instead.



3:08 pm on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Be honest with your users. "Discontinued" is different from "sold out". If the item is permanently gone, don't pretend it might be available again. Even if that theoretically might happen, the user is shopping NOW.

"Related products" is a much better idea than "keep checking back" when products are discontinued.


3:03 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes, I would not like to keep checking back on something that was actually discontinued. When I discontinue something, I write "Discontinued" where the add to cart button used to be and often try to give a reason why (became too difficult to get, was dangerous, price rose into stratosphere, quality dropped, whatever). But I keep the page up to keep the links in and put it outside of my normal prev > next series and take its link off my index page(s). You can then find the page with a search or be drawn to my site by finding the page on search engines, but you can't just shop on the site and find it. Long time ago I tore down some pages for discontinued items and I still get 404s for them, so now I leave everything up.


5:57 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Depends on the item. For most we just say that the product is discontinued, but for some we use a line something like "this product has been replaced by xx" or "this item is very similar".

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