Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why can't you tell me how many customers ahead of me for a back-ordered item?

I’d like throw something out there in relation to the b/order lists and customer expectation........With new releases and hard-to-obtain units, many customers place multiple orders across several retailers - often 7, 8 or more. I actually heard today of someone with 20 back-orders in for the new Canon MKIII!!!

So if you imagine, the first retailer to unpack their delivery fulfils say 100 back-orders. Customers receiving shipping notices cancel their orders at all other retailers so everyone else on every retailer’s pre-order list moves up 100 places immediately.
If this pattern is repeated across 6 retailers on the same day, the person who was number 650 at the retailer who unpacks their delivery last will receive his unit the same day, even if he ordered from a retailer who only received a consignment of 50 units - and even if he placed his order 3 weeks after everybody else!

It sounds a bit simplistic, I know, but it is pretty much how it works.

In addition, retailers will almost never have any idea whether we will receive 20 units, 200 or 2000 until the trailers are unloaded and the units are logged into our stock-keeping system. because manufacturers keep both the ETA and the quantity they are shipping close to their chests.

This is why most reputable retailers simply don’t give out waiting list info. The ones who do, will be at best making an educated guess, and then ‘losing’ a percentage of them to encourage customers to place an order.

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