Order Statuses Defined for Merchants
I get a lot of questions about order statuses in Magento, especially when working with 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) integrations. So here is a quick guide for you to use, to help make your life a little easier.
Pending = an order which has been placed but not invoiced. When a check is received in the mail, the order should be invoiced.
Processing = an order which has been invoiced. When payment is made via the web site (credit card, paypal), it invoices automatically and skips the Pending status and goes straight to Processing. Only orders with a processing status should be shipped.
Complete = an order on which all of the items have been shipped. If an order has multiple products on it which are shipped at separate times, the order will remain in Processing status until the last item has been shipped or refunded.
The other statuses refer to orders that are either cancelled or refunded
Cancelled = an order that was cancelled before invoicing. Only orders in Pending status can be cancelled. For example, the customer elects to pay by check, but, the check is never received. Another example would be where an order is paid via PayPal, but, PayPal detects a problem with the payment and you elect not to collect the money and complete the order. Orders that are in Processing status can only be refunded.
Closed = Orders that were invoiced (Processing) and, could even have been shipped (Complete), but, were refunded either offline, online, or given a store credit (Enterprise Edition). This is often the case with returns.