External Inventory

Explains what external inventory means, how to connect an external inventory source, and how to view external stock counts in ShipStation.

When using an external inventory solution, whether it's an API connection (like Finale Inventory) or Shopify's integrated inventory option, ShipStation can act as a window to view your stock counts so you know if it's okay to ship an order or not. As long as your inventory system is set to send ShipStation that information, all you need to do is connect the correct Inventory Source to your corresponding Ship From Location in ShipStation.

To connect your external inventory to ShipStation and view your stock counts, you must take the following basic steps:

  1. Connect your external inventory to ShipStation.

    For API partners, this means you must enter your ShipStation API key and secret into their platform first. This step is not required for non-API partner selling channels.

  2. Set your inventory source in your Ship From Location(s).

Review the sections below for detailed instructions on how to complete these steps. Once complete, you can then view the stock counts for your inventory sources directly on the orders in ShipStation.

Connect External Inventory

How you connect your external inventory partners will depend on which inventory platform you use. Some platforms will require ShipStation's API key and secret, but others will not.

In most cases, our API partners will require you to paste the ShipStation API key and secret into your partner account. See our list of supported inventory partners for more details.

Get API Key and Secret

  1. Click Generate New API Keys if no key and secret are listed yet.

    Account settings: API Keys: Reads, "You haven't generated any API keys". Generate New API Keys button.


    If you've already generated your API keys, the existing API keys will be displayed here and the button will say Regenerate API Keys.

    If you already have API keys, do NOT generate new ones. Instead, copy your existing key and secret.

  2. Copy your key and secret.

    You can then provide them to the account you wish to access the ShipStation API.

Inventory Source

In ShipStation, you link an Inventory Source to your Ship From Location. For all orders that use that Ship From Location, ShipStation will query the linked Inventory Source to pull stock counts.

Set Inventory Source

As long as you have the right Ship From Location selected for your order, ShipStation will know which selling channel to use as an Inventory Source for these counts!

Notes About Inventory Source

  • You can only pick one Inventory Source per Ship From Location, but you can link the same Inventory Source to multiple Ship From Locations.

  • The Inventory Source drop-down will show any Inventory Warehouse you have created in ShipStation under the ShipStation Inventory heading.

  • If you have connected selling channels that provide inventory information to ShipStation through either our integration with them or through our API (like Finale Inventory, or Ecomdash), the available sources for each will be listed under their associated headings.

  • If you do not see headings for your external inventory source, reach out to the support team for that channel to ensure you have enabled the proper settings within their platform.

  • External inventory linked to Ship From Locations is not related to the stock levels in Product Details > Inventory Settings.

View Stock Counts From External Sources

Once you've connected to your external inventory and set it as an inventory source for a Ship From location, you can view your stock counts directly on each order.

External Inventory Levels Unrelated to Product Details Inventory in ShipStation

External inventory linked to Ship From Locations is not related to stock levels in Product Details > Inventory Settings.

Troubleshooting External Inventory

Here are a few common issues you may encounter when using external inventory:

  • Unable to retrieve stock levels: If you see this message for items in your Order Details or Shipping Sidebar, make sure you have connected an inventory source to the selected Ship From Location.

  • If the inventory channel is not an option in the Inventory Source drop-down menu: Contact the inventory channel to make ensure the account is configured to send stock counts to ShipStation. If required, make sure your ShipStation API key and secret have been entered into your inventory platform account.