Why isn't XYZ in stock? A Guide to a "Drop" Economy
Why don't you have this? When will you have this? I really want this, but it's never in stock. Someone STOLE it out of my cart!!!
These are some common things we get in emails. If you're not familiar with what a "Stock Drop" is, do yourself a favor and read this post because it's a very common sales methodology in the fantasy community and the only way we operate!
Ourselves and many other fantasy makers, big and small, operate in this way. On certain days which are usually widely publicly known via a shop's social media, mailing list, or website, we have what is known as a "stock drop". This is where we post ready-made items for sale. It's advisable to do research on the model you want beforehand, have your payment method ready, and your address input correctly because it's going to be madness when we hit go. Things will be "stolen" from your cart if the site doesn't have cart reservations. That means that someone else entered their payment information and hit go before you, and while that sucks (we've shopped drops as individuals, we know the drill, and we're still salty about that really pretty Scylla), thems the brakes. Emailing a company because you really had your heart set on a specific item will not make that item magically appear in your cart.
Because demand for fantasy is seemingly at an all time high, many of us, even the HUGE companies, are unable to keep up. This isn't so bad, and we are sure no one is sad that their items are so popular, but it can also be somewhat stressful. These things fly off our shelves and we often spend much of the time in between drops answering emails about why we have nothing in the store, which takes away time that we could be...making more stuff for the store. The shortest answer is because it is gone. Your best bet is to wait patiently until the shop makes more, or to try the second hand sales market.
The "stock drop" method might not be the best move in a grand business sense, but speaking for Pleasure Forge only, it's the way we operate and don't see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. It's the best way for us as artisans in an exploding niche market to hang on to any semblance of a work/life balance. We definitely appreciate the interest in our stuff, and wish we could make even more, even faster. But we pride ourselves on putting out REALLY quality products, and that takes time.
We have implemented the pre-shopping event 2 hours prior to the drop so people can leisurely browse until it's time to purchase. During this time things will read as "SOLD OUT" until 8PM EST, when they will be available to purchase. Sometimes things load slowly, so keep refreshing if you don't see the thing you're looking for. If it's 5 minutes into the drop and the item is still reading "Sold Out" someone probably got it, or it's in their cart...
Speaking of carts, we are also trying out cart reservations for the next drop on Thursday, 5/28 8PM EST. If someone has "carted" the item, when you try to add it to your cart it will say "Inventory has been exhausted". It will remain in a cart for 10 minutes, and then it will either be purchased or put back into stock. This applies to EVERYTHING in your cart once the timer begins, so don't doddle once you put something in your cart! If this method doesn't work out, or we find people abusing it, we will simply turn it off and keep looking for a new method. We're excited to see how it pans out.
***EDITED TO ADD: THE CART RESERVATION SYSTEM WAS A BUST. WE DO NOT HAVE CART RESERVATIONS.
Here are some helpful hints at getting that thing that thing "you never seem to have in stock because I have been looking for weeks and it's always gone":
- Be patient and check the shop banner for the next drop date
- Join our mailing list where we will email you on drop day to remind you, and provide breakdown of how many of which firmness will be included
- Join us for our pre-shop event 2 hours prior to the drop
- Read the FAQ!!!!!!!!
- Browse the models and their specs so you know what you are looking for
- Use the filters and the search bar
- Make SURE your address is correct BEFORE you purchase
- Have your payment method ready to go
If you have an issue during the drop, send us a message right away. Being polite never hurts. It really stinks to get accusatory emails like we are cart overlords who just maniacally laugh and remove things from carts (NOT possible) when we are already really busy and stressed on drop days. We try hard to get back to you ASAP, but our customer service team is very small ( it's literally just me, PFKristen). We hope this post is useful, and we appreciate your feedback and patronage as always.
Happy Drop Shopping!!!