Product Pages that have been disabled are showing up as “Product Not Available” instead of a 404 page.
Product was disabled by marking it as Hidden.
If a product is removed from your 3dcart store’s database or otherwise doesn’t exist, then visits to the product’s URL will return a 404 Page with a link directing visitors back to your home page.
On the other hand, if the product is hidden instead of deleted, then the store will return a “Product Not Available” page instead of the 404.
The reason for this is because hiding products is intended as a temporary measure when items are out of stock and you are unsure when they’ll be replenished. Therefore, the product still exists on the store’s database, but is merely out of sight. In other words, the URL is still valid on the store, but the visitor cannot see it since it is hidden from view.
Instead of hiding items when they are out of stock, an alternative suggestion would be to mark the item as out of stock in your store’s Inventory Control options. This way, the item still appears on the store and can be navigated to, but cannot be purchased. When its stock is replenished, the product can will be made available purchase again.
For products that are discontinued or otherwise no longer available for purchase at all, then deletion would be an acceptable option since it will create the 404 page mentioned previously.
301 redirects can then be used to help you direct traffic for deleted items as needed.