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"Brick and Mortar shops and their web sites" Topic

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Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

Yesterday I was traveling to a client in an area where I knew there to be several hobby shops that may be worth visiting. I know that I would only have limited time between seeing my client and racing to catch flight connections so I had to select only one of the shops to visit. Doing my research late Sunday evening I noticed that one of the shops listed on their website a large selection of vendors I was really interested in picking up some odds and ends from. When trolling through their online list, I noticed that they had several different categories of their product status:
Available – In Store Pick Up Only
Available – Usually Ships in One Day
Available – Not Stocked (Usually Ships in 2-5 Business Days)
Temporarily Out of Stock

Perhaps I'm an idiot, but I took it to mean that the items listed as Available (but not Available – Not Stocked) to mean that they carried those items. So, I raced an hour out of my way to hit this shop to pick up some items that my local hobby shop could only special order for me. When I got to this shop I was a bit surprised to find that they had absolutely nothing I was interested in, despite what was listed on their website, and that the items they were showing on their website add to be ordered by them through their distributor. (And they use the same distributor as my local shop) When I asked why their website had their different listings they told me their website shows the status at the distributor.

Now my rant: Bleeped text, I wasted my limited amount of time to go to a comic book store that happened to have some WH40K (neither of which I have the slightest interest in). If you are a retailer, and you have an online order facility make it clear what you have in your store and what you have to order. This isn't the first time, I've seen something like this and I doubt it will be the last, but it is very annoying. This feels to me like a form of bait and switch. I was not a happy camper.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

Never trust the web. I had this happen to me only the other way around. Brookhurst had a listing of 20mm WWII figures on their site. I call before and asked if I could look at what they had. Day of the trip I introduced myself and they first asked what I was looking for since they had a few boxes. I told them I really didn't know and could they just bring down the boxes for me to go thru. He said it would be easier for me to go upstairs and look thru the boxes there. I was taken up and shown three full six foot high shelves of boxes of 20mm WWII.

Spend a little more than expect that day.

Cacique Caribe11 Jul 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

I always called ahead.


Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2017 10:04 a.m. PST

Calling ahead would always be recommended and I would've liked to call ahead but timing didn't permit. Like many of my travels for work, I'm not always given a great deal of notice before I have to hit the road. I didn't know I was traveling until Friday (typical), I didn't get a chance to look for hobby shops in the area of my destination until Sunday since other priorities came first, I landed before they opened on Monday and the time required to visit the shop while still making my client meeting on time meant that I arrived five minutes after they opened, and there wouldn't be time to go after my client meetings since I had a plane to catch.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

While I don't travel much, I always try to check out the local stores. I check for website, use the phone book.

If there is something specific I want I will contact the store to see if they stock it. And to put it on hold for me.

For the stores that have web sites but do not really sell on the web, their sites are never accurate. Well worth the time to contact them to see if they have anything in stock.

I have learned that I should never trust websites and ads.

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