Magento Open Source, 1.9.x

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Stock Availability

You can define an inventory level that becomes the threshold to determine when an item needs to be reordered. The out of stock threshold can be set to any number greater than zero.

Another way you can use the stock availability threshold is to manage products that are in high demand. If you want to capture new customers, rather than sell to high-quantity buyers, you can set a maximum quantity to prevent a single buyer from taking out your entire inventory.

Your catalog can be configured to display the availability of each item as “In Stock” or “Out of Stock” on the product page. The configuration setting applies to the catalog as a whole, and the message changes according to the stock status of the product. There are several display variations possible, including how “out of stock” products are managed in the catalog and search results lists.

“In Stock” Message on Product Page