You find something you want to purchase, and the retailer's website says it's "in stock and ready for immediate shipment." So you place your order, and suddenly it's backordered with no estimate of availability.
I can understand this happening on occasion, but it's happening way too often for me.
(Musician's Friend, Mac Connection, DVD Empire, Amazon... And don't get me started on eBay sellers.)
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
A couple of weeks ago we were in radio shack - found the thingy we wanted - took it to the checkout clerk who scanned it and told us "the computer won't let me sell this to you - come back at the end of the month!".
When I used to work in retail, the main idea was to find a way to let customers give you money for your stuff.
Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Geez... When you're actually in the store with the merchandise in hand, that's pretty bad.
Come to think of it, Fender Musical Instruments' online store for clothing and accessories is another example. I ordered a Fender bowling shirt, and within the next day or two I received an email telling me it's no longer available. So I ordered something else, and the same thing happened. So I ordered something else... After about 4 attempts to buy different things, I sent them an email asking if they actually had anything for sale. I never received a response.
Originally posted by Bert Bates: ... When I used to work in retail, the main idea was to find a way to let customers give you money for your stuff.
In 1985 I managed a glove store. (Seriously.) Most of the inventory had been purchased by the owner using some form of credit, so every day merchandise sat in the store, it was costing us more money. The idea was to move it as quickly as possible.
Obviously, I understand why an online retailer would want to function more as an "on demand" distributor, without maintaining their own huge physical inventory. But then they should not be advertising items as "in stock" and "ready for immediate shipment." That's misrepresentation -- telling customers something that isn't true in order to make a sale.
So to Amazon's credit, I appreciate their listing some items as "usually ships within 2-3 weeks" (or whatever it might be). It's all about setting reasonable expectations. And this is why I'm particularly disappointed with DVD Empire, because they made such a big deal about their "real time" inventory updating, which didn't seem very accurate in my experience.