Mar 18, 2006 at 10:51 am #1218065
We have changed our prepurchase policy at BPL.
If an item is out of stock in the gear shop, a customer will no longer be able to backorder or otherwise prepurchase it.
The reasoning behind this:
1. It’s not fair to the customer to charge their credit card prior to shipment of the goods, and our software unfortunately has no way of doing the Amazon thing whereby subsequent shipments are charged at the time of shipment. For us to do this “manually” would be a nightmare of inefficiency and place undue burden on our customer support staff, whose time is far better spent dealing with customers who have real issues. Over the long term, we expect to rewrite some of the code and bring this functionality in place.
2. It’s been very difficult to hold some suppliers accountable for reliable shipping dates. We communicate to our customers the best we can, but when a supplier doesn’t come through, our customers get frustrated because they’ve paid already. It’s simply not fair to the customer to take their money and string them along. Consequently, the bulk of new production runs will now be financed by BPL and not by the customers.
For large items, like Vapr Bivies, Tarps, etc., we will open up a pre-purchase period shortly before a CONFIRMED shipping date, but IT WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO STAFF, PRO DEAL CUSTOMERS, AND PREMIUM MEMBERS.
I’m open to feedback on the policy change. In the short term, this policy change will dramatically and negatively impact our cash flow. However, over the long term, I hope that it will provide a better customer experience and relieve some of the administrative stress (which is severe) on our shipping and customer support staff.
In light of all this, I am nothing but grateful to customers that have pre-purchased items from us in the past. You have helped us “get off the ground” and your pre-purchases have contributed in a meaningful way to helping finance the growth of BPL by helping us with our cash flow.
This policy change in no way affects those of you who have pre-purchased items that are currently out of stock. Nothing will change with your priority order or delivery.
RyanMar 19, 2006 at 8:20 am #1352855
Ryan,I don’t buy much, but if it works for you, it works for me. And, please, pay no attention to those mongrels barking about the subscription price.
Jim EllsMar 19, 2006 at 8:49 am #1352858
An update: we are fine tuning the code so the policy per se is not quite yet “activated” on the site. it will be in the next few days, so all out of stock items as of today can still be backordered/prepurchased.Mar 19, 2006 at 10:00 am #1352867
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
the only problem I have had with this website is the fact that most of the gear in the shop is usually out of stock.
Is BMW still searching for a reliable supplier, or is it that pertex quantum/NANO fabrics are hard to come by?
If there could be any improvement with BPL. it would be the gear is always/ usually in stock.
I am sure BPL will do better in the future.Mar 21, 2006 at 9:54 pm #1353089
@chirodrLocale: Southern California
Yes…this new policy is a very good thing. I didn’t continue my subscription because of this very issue. Most items have been out of stock. This interests me to reinstate my subscription.
Jim AugustineMar 22, 2006 at 11:03 am #1353136
We are working on the stock issues for soft goods. I think we’re getting dialed in on maintaining inventory for the rest of the small stuff, as long as the suppliers have it in stock, we will too.
The issue with the soft goods has always been cash flow. We’re in the process of figuring that out.
The other issue is that I usually underpredict demand. I need to change my focus groups, obviously. The locals just laugh at me when they see a 3 oz bivy. You have to understand, Bozeman is the land of Dana… :)Mar 22, 2006 at 11:23 am #1353138
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Yeah, so is the bivy in the pics from your Utah trip made all out of Nano material? Non-breathable? Top-secret government-issue translucent sub-1 oz W/B fabric? I am intrigued.
BenMar 23, 2006 at 4:32 pm #1353281
I think this is a positive step. Glad you are able to take it. Thank You!
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