Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Shopping Discussions > Store Forum
Reload this Page >

Tired of etailers showing "in-stock" when they know they are out!

Store Forum Share Your Shopping Experiences at Stores both Online and Off.

Tired of etailers showing "in-stock" when they know they are out!

Old 02-25-01, 11:06 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How often does this happen to you? You check a site, inventory shows clearly "in-stock" or "ship immediately" or whatever euphemism the on-line store uses for product in-stock....place in your cart - no problem. Place order - no problem.. Then get an e-mail confirmation showing "item on backorder". Then you go back to the website, and they continue to show it "in-stock". This bugs the living crap out of me!!!! Why? Well, its deceptive first of all. Second, I often put in a large order to minimize my shipping costs - if most of the order is "back-order" (and odds are won't ever ship), then I have wasted my money on shipping for one or two products. Finally, depending on the store, this may cause your on-line coupon (X off of Y) to become invalid since you don't have the minimum purchase.

My on-line hit list of stores who consistently do this:

Alphacraze.com - Beware of this site folks. This is standard practice with them. I have sent them many e-mails, and they haven't answered one of them. They blatantly continue this cheating practice.

Bestprices.com - Has happened a few times, although this seems more like a slow database update than anything else.

Anyone else had experience with this deceptive practice?
Old 02-25-01, 11:26 AM
  #2  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yup. Happened to me not long ago when buying a DVD player at 800.com. Site listed item clearly as 'in-stock' but after I placed the order and checked the shipping status a few days later it was listed as 'in process'. Went back to the item listing and it showed 'on backorder'. I sent 800.com an email and they replyed "Sorry, item must have gone out of stock between inventory updates which are done every 24 hours." But they couldn't be bothered to send me a notification - just let me wait and find it myself.

It worked out OK in the longrun. I cancelled the order and placed it with Amazon.com which had $50 off at the time. (Buy.com was $30 off). Amazon delivered quickly and I saved a few bucks.

I generally like 800.com but this really put me off them.
Old 02-26-01, 03:13 PM
  #3  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: SoCal
Posts: 232
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
software/hardware limits

Gentlemen,

The way Oracle database software works it would be next to impossible (or prohibitively expensive) to offer real time, %100 guaranteed product availability information. Think about it - it's easy to imagine that there could be 50 people hitting their servers at the same time querying a product's availability, putting it in their 'shopping cart', checking out, cancelling an order, etc...

An email would be nice if an order switches from 'in stock' to 'backordered'. You've discovered that staying on top of it yourself is the best way. If you find that unacceptable then I guess you'll have to stick with B&M purchases.
Old 02-26-01, 03:33 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 3,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

IMHO, inventory management/order fulfillment is the biggest overlooked problem with ecommerce sites now by the investment community that is so bent out of shape of getting profits *now*. They would rather get them by cutting support staff that typically deal with problems in this area, which make things worse rather than better. If they'd fix their software/operations so that it works *reasonably* well, then they wouldn't have to have as much support staff (lower costs!) and have even happier customers. The way it is going now, those etailers that survive the shakeout are largely not dealing with this problem which I think is ultimately going to kill ecommerce on the internet in general when the customers walk away.

OK, I understand that you can't have completely real time stock status estimates that are down to the minute, but they should at least be accurate to the end of the day.

I really have a problem when I have a shipment that is showing it is backordered for a month and the web site has been saying for at least a week or longer that it usually ships in 24-48 hours. This has been happening *CONSTANTLY* with many vendors (Amazon, Buy.com, 800.com, etc.). Others don't even have stock estimates or a way of getting order status either (i.e. FilmEmpire.com), nor a way to get ahold of people unless you go the the CSR thread (twec.com).

In stock statuses on many sites now are close to meaningless. They need to be more meaningful to be anywhere close to the experience of *seeing* the product you want to buy in a B&M store.

This doesn't speak well for this industry segment, and I have to believe if CEO's, managers, etc. had some degree of freedom towards how they show they are improving their profitability and service to the investment community, that at least some of them would try to improve this infrastructure. The fact that hardly any of them are I think speaks volume of the ignorance in the investment community on how to judge online business models. They way overstated things last year, and this year they are being overly draconion to the point of destroying this market.
Old 02-27-01, 12:35 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,149
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My problem is when I've placed an order for something listed as "in stock" only to later be told (when I inquired about it) that the item was out-of-stock AND THEN still seeing the item listed as "in stock" on the website.

You can't tell me that was strictly a database updating problem.

Thankfully, most of the etailers I've dealt with have had accurate "in stock/out of stock" information. It's just a small few that give the rest a bad name (in my opinion.)
Old 02-28-01, 04:35 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 394
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I hate Digital Eyes! The site said the IFC World Tour Box set would be 2-3 days, then they told me it was backorder, and the site still said 2-3 day availability. Ended up getting it for the same cheap price from Yahoo! Shopping, shipped the next day from cddiscounters.
Old 03-02-01, 12:56 PM
  #7  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 28
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Buy.com only updates their computers once daily so they're always wrong when i order.
Old 03-02-01, 01:48 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Posts: 371
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Understandable.. but..

I can understand a 24 to maybe 36 hour delay on updating online status.. which could casue an order to fall from 'IN STOCK' to "BACK ORDERED".. __BUT__ ..it is when the site even after three to four days still lists product in stock ready to ship and the online dealer is sending you email stating that the item is out of stock... that is what burns me more than anything...
If an item goes out of stock.. they should update their site ASAP (with in 24 hours) not seven days (as has happened with two BUY.COM orders in my case). and also the dealer should send out emails to customers stating the item is out of stock and an aproxament date, not just saying three to four weeks but "..on or about May 1st..".

--David
Old 03-02-01, 02:10 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Posts: 10,470
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is now standard practice with express.com They suck.
Old 03-02-01, 02:44 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: The Quad-city area of Melonville, Meckling, the Boro of Melon, and Party Town
Posts: 5,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah, it's not like I expect any or every company to have the very latest and most expensive hardware and/or software needed for real time inventory. But when they get hammered for orders for the same title, a little bell should go off in someone's head that maybe there's a reason for it.

And when you actually go to the trouble of letting the seller know about the 'in stock' status, and it's still there a week later....well, is there any excuse that I'm missing?

And they wonder why we decide to take our money elsewhere for other products that they carry.....
Old 03-03-01, 12:23 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Posts: 371
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tower Bites Me....

Well I had been trying to find a copy of "Highlander : Endgame" all of my local stops (and everybody listed in the phone book) were sold out...

But TowerRecords.Com listed the DVD in stock so I placed an order... only to find out today that they were out of stock and had been for a week.......

--David
Old 03-03-01, 02:10 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 3,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I think another argument is that if some B-to-B software entity ever gets a software package that these various sites can deploy reliably at both their home site and distribution centers, that not only will this provide consumers with better information on what they can or can't order/receive on a timely basis, it will also help the business run themselves better as well, making sure they have minimal, yet sufficient inventory of product stocked at all times. Without an accurate status available to anyone (including themselves) they are adding additional costs to themselves as a business too, which they can ill afford in these times of cost scrutiny by Wall Street.

Just yesterday, I had a voicemail and email from a conscientious support rep at twec.com stating that the remainder of an order I had earlier placed had to be canceled since they couldn't change my address to the PO Box I switched to while I'm in the process of moving, and wanted to help me create a new order with the canceled items. Funny thing was, that I created this order with the PO Box set for it, someone later had changed it back to my old address without my asking for it and I called to get it changed back to my PO Box address. Now they aren't able to "change it" to my original shipping address. ???

Add to that, I checked my order status the next day. There were some other items canceled on it (some earlier, etc. for different reasons), but none of the ones she said were canceled were in fact canceled. In fact one of them had actually shipped! I called her back on this and she was frustrated that her distribution center had said they were canceled when they weren't, and I told her I didn't want to make another order and have duplicate shipments that I'd have to return (which has just happened to me with them on another set of items which is a whole other story).

About the only reason I'm shopping at twec.com now is their prices, which with the coupon beat everything else and still are reasonable at this time. If that were to go away, I'd cut back on my buying habits severely and probably start going B&M instead of the internet. If they were to fix their order management software, they would be a good company to work with and they'd probably reduce their costs in customer support too. They are about where Buy.com was a couple of years ago before they fixed a lot of things. Unfortunately Buy.com appears to be retreating again now too.

Web sites, fix the inventory/order fulfillment processes. This is your *biggest* fixable problem right now! Until you do, the only thing that raising prices and cutting people will do is drive away your customers! Internet ecommerce will die a slow death and you'll feel the most of it.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.