Monday, June 11, 2012

Why is the item I ordered from Adorama not in-stock?


I wanted to take some time to explain why an item you would like to order online from Adorama may not be immediately available. We are always sorry when customers are inconvenienced because our website does not update in real time, partly to allow for order cancellations - the bulk of which typically occur within the first 30 - 45 minutes of placing an order eg because a customer has had a change of heart, and therefore we cannot always state that items selected by a customer are on backorder.

Adorama Camera is built on customer satisfaction and we do appreciate the frustration that may be caused. We try very hard to avoid situations that cause disappointment but providing live inventory isn't as straightforward as it might appear, because we sell via so many affiliates and partners such as buy.com and Amazon, and because we do not ever make a charge until an item has actually shipped.

What happens frequently is that a delivery may just have arrived when an order is placed so the website shows the units as being in stock. Our automated system sends a confirmation that we have actually received the order however, if back-orders need to be filled, the units are removed from the inventory by our warehouse team, and packaged for shipping. At the exact moment that the final back-ordered unit is removed any customers with unfulfilled orders would again receive an automated email indicating that the unit is on back order.
That would explain why it could appear from the site that there are units in stock, when in fact they were already allocated to customers who had placed their orders during the past weeks.
Items will show as being in stock right up until the last one is picked off the shelf. So, for example, if we have 300 delivered, and 295 back-orders there are actually only 5 available for sale. We could receive 50 orders within the space of a couple of minutes (from the 'phones, the website, from our affiliates, and partners such as Amazon and buy.com, and all such orders will receive an automated order confirmation email as soon as the order is received.
When the 295th unit is picked from the shelf, the next 5 orders that come in (and there is no way that this can be over-ridden) would be picked and allocated in strict order of receipt.
We re-stock thousands of units every day, which also means that you could place an order for an item and receive an out-of-stock notification simply because it is on one of the trailers at the DC waiting to be re-stocked, so could actually be shipped that same day.
Most items which are listed as being out-of-stock are generally back on the shelves within 5 days - although our back-order notification gives a ball park figure, erring on the side of generosity to avoid disappointment, of 10 days.

In-stock/out-of stock is subject to a number of variables: 
  • an item can be ‘in-stock’ at the time of a customer entering the order details, but as we sell across a number of portals and via several affiliate channels several other customers could have placed orders for the same product moments earlier and depleted our stock.
  • it can also be in-stock but not yet available for shipping since it has not yet cleared receiving (there is a pre-stocking process that happens before goods hit the shelves).  
  • it can be out-of-stock but on order from the manufacturer.  
  • it can be en route from the manufacturer – and literally expected within the next day or two.

We understand that timing is often critical and want to ensure that our customers are aware of any possible delays; therefore, if an order which enters our system includes an item which isn’t available to ship immediately, we will notify customers by email on the first business day following receipt of the order.

When an item is out of stock, we try to accommodate our customers as best we can.  Your options are:
  1. Wait for the back-ordered merchandise to arrive.  You will remain on the back-order list for the item and it will be shipped to you as soon as it arrives to our Distribution Center

    2. If waiting is not an option, a different in-stock item may satisfy your needs.  You can pick out a different item on the website and email us back with the substitution request.  If you are unsure what other item might work, please call our sales department at 800-223-2500 / 212 741 0401 where a representative should be able to assist you in locating a suitable replacement.

    3. You can also cancel the back-ordered item. We understand that it is sometimes not possible to wait. We'd be sorry to lose your order, but we'd be sorrier to lose your goodwill as a customer. There is never a fee/deduction, as long as it is cancelled before the item ships.  Simply reply to the out-of-stock email with your cancellation request.

    If you do not respond, the order will remain open and the item will ship automatically when it arrives.  

We will continue to work towards a solution to the live inventory issue, and hope that you will continue to enjoy purchasing from Adorama.


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