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View Full Version : Be careful of ordering unique items from Epicurean Edge, buggy web site



gic
06-16-2013, 04:31 PM
While I am sure they are nice people and certainly have nice knives for sale, the code behind their web site ordering system is buggy and this bug shows up if one is ordering unique items.

The story is that I placed an order for a custom knife that was one of a kind, their web site accepted my order, took my credit card payment, issued an order number etc. Only, soon thereafter, I got an email from the owner saying the knife I wanted had sold 2 hours before I placed my order. No well designed web site would *ever* allow this to happen -and I used to teach (and still write about) this stuff, so I speak from experience...

Personally, I do not relish getting excited about a very very special purchase only to have my hopes dashed by a buggy web site.

So, my suggestion is that you verify that a unique item really is for sale before you get to excited about your potential purchase from them. This is especially true if it is a special present to yourself or to a loved one. It's a real downer to psych yourself up for a major purchase of something so beautiful and so expensive, then make it, only then be told "oops you didn't actually buy it" because our web site has a bug.

jaybett
06-16-2013, 05:19 PM
Oh Please!!!

I don't know you nor have I ordered from Epicurean Edge.

Anyone who has worked in sales knows, despite the best efforts, there are going to be screw ups, and usually its pretty spectacular. Sometimes everything does go wrong. **** happens. Most businesses would love a second chance if the customer would give it to them.

Jay

EdipisReks
06-16-2013, 05:32 PM
for pete's sake.

scott6452
06-16-2013, 05:32 PM
If it was the Burke then I really feel for you, it would be horrible thinking you had a once in a lifetime knife only to be left disappointed. Unfortunately though these things happen and I'm pretty sure this was a very rare circumstance.

tk59
06-16-2013, 05:33 PM
Maybe it sold to someone who walked into the store, in person? Anyway, I appreciate the comment the OP made. If you're sensitive to that sort of thing happening, the moral of the story is to call in.

Timthebeaver
06-16-2013, 05:35 PM
Personally, I do not relish getting excited about a very very special purchase only to have my hopes dashed by a buggy web site.

So, my suggestion is that you verify that a unique item really is for sale before you get to excited about your potential purchase from them. This is especially true if it is a special present to yourself or to a loved one. It's a real downer to psych yourself up for a major purchase of something so beautiful and so expensive, then make it, only then be told "oops you didn't actually buy it" because our web site has a bug.

#firstworldproblems

kalaeb
06-16-2013, 05:41 PM
Ehh, crap happens. Upward and onward.

gic
06-16-2013, 06:55 PM
Ran a pretty successful business for a bunch if years before I retired, I'm quite aware that !#$& haPpens.but I also no how programing works and this is clearly a bug or a poor design to begin with and I think people should know about it and verify a very desired item is in stock until they fix the bug.

I did in no way disparage them personally.

And yes it was the Burke.

Lefty
06-16-2013, 07:00 PM
I think gic is just giving us a little "warning". As said earlier, it's good to call ahead for a big purchase like that one, when there's a brick and mortar and an online shop. Lesson learned, and I'm sure Daniel will make sure all is right.

JBroida
06-16-2013, 07:24 PM
for what its worth, this happens to me sometimes too with my website... we do our best to deal with it in a quick and reasonable way, as i'm sure the guys at EE do as well... sorry to hear you had problems, but sometimes these things happen.

pkjames
06-16-2013, 07:41 PM
if the website and the shop front shared the same database :(

gic
06-16-2013, 08:03 PM
If the web site and the store don't share the same database, he's really asking for trouble and if they do share the same database, then real time updates to inventory and thus a check as to whether an order can be completed are really not that hard to code - it depends on locking the inventory database temporarily after a sale to make updates - it should be really really fast and thus customers will never even notice. Then, one puts some code to check that the items in the shopping cart are still available, if not the purchaser is notified"sorry it's just not your day"

But in this case we aren't talking about microseconds, he claimed it was sold 2 hours before he "completed" my sale and no POS system should allow this to happen. IT's really bad programming (and karma).

Well, I'm still in the queue for a custom Burke but I suspect I am a year away from my turn and god was that knife a beaut...

Burl Source
06-16-2013, 09:38 PM
I have had a similar thing happen with my web store.
While the website removes anything that sells online from the store inventory. I have to manually remove items that were sold in person.
Sometimes things just get busy and it takes a little while to get to removing the item from the online inventory.
Those are usually the times where someone else attempts to purchase the same item online.
Now I try to remove items sold in person from the web site before anything else.
Still.....once in a while stuff happens.

JBroida
06-16-2013, 09:55 PM
yeah... i feel like sometimes people expect small businesses like us to have websites that run as smoothly as amazon... for reference, i wrote our website entirely on my own. I recently thought about getting the website re-done and the quotes i got for this (from a number of companies) were all in the $15k-30k range. Most small businesses are not going to spend money like that on their website. So we make the best out of what we have and hope that people can be understanding of where we stand.

ThEoRy
06-16-2013, 10:10 PM
Why wouldn't you ask the owners or pm them first before posting this here? They have their own sub forum at the very least you could have posted there.

gic
06-16-2013, 10:47 PM
That's my point exactly: stuff happens especially if the store and web site databases aren't linked. So people buying from EE should check by phone before getting their hopes up about getting a unique item - that's exactly what I was saying, no more but also no less.

WildBoar
06-16-2013, 10:59 PM
Lots of sites have problems like that. I guess that is why you were in business -- you were one of the ones who knew how to develop sites that did not have such issues.

Funny thing is you could have spent a week psyching yourself up to pull the trigger, then visited the site one day to buy it and seen a message it was already sold. And after psyching yourself up for a week, the disappointment would have been even worse.

EE gets Burke knives throughout the year, so chances are you'll have a shot at another.

eshua
06-17-2013, 12:47 AM
Seems like a reasonable reminder of reality.

On the other hand... Sometimes I feel lucky to have the new menu up on the site within a week of the change.

Nasr
06-17-2013, 01:09 AM
There is another one up
right now

http://www.epicedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=91521

Burkes go very fast

maxim
06-17-2013, 02:18 AM
:plus1:
It happened to me also 2 times :( But i really feel for OP


yeah... i feel like sometimes people expect small businesses like us to have websites that run as smoothly as amazon... for reference, i wrote our website entirely on my own. I recently thought about getting the website re-done and the quotes i got for this (from a number of companies) were all in the $15k-30k range. Most small businesses are not going to spend money like that on their website. So we make the best out of what we have and hope that people can be understanding of where we stand.

JBroida
06-17-2013, 02:20 AM
for sure... i understand the frustration too

ChiliPepper
06-17-2013, 06:22 AM
Oh well, the usual thing to say in these circumstances is "Don't despair, it means it wasn't the good one for you, you'll have a better one when your time comes!" .
Does that help? ahem... No? :curse:

zitangy
06-17-2013, 08:16 AM
From a legal perspective,it has to honoured isn't it.The same law applies to a vendors equally ... big or small.

The fact that was sold earlier. the software was buggy does not mean that it is perfectly all right to treat the transaction. If a hard ball customer wants it to be honoured and willing to take legal means... he wld most probably win. If it is worth it... he wld persue it.

there shld be a profusion of apologies and a token compensation to make matters right as after all.. most people are reasonable.

thus the bug has to fixed. It's a virtual store. it still has cost to set it up. Most probably cheaper than a brick and mortar store .

I suspect that the inventory database is not live as the online transaction inventory has to deducted when the deal is done and not later. Some accounting system(s) update the stock inventory via batch processing.

Once in a while a not so understanding customer will come along adn will demand his rights... and that can be costly too!

just my views..
d

mkmk
06-17-2013, 08:18 AM
From a legal perspective,it has to honoured isn't it.The same law applies to a vendors equally ... big or small.

The fact that was sold earlier. the software was buggy does not mean that it is perfectly all right to treat the transaction. If a hard ball customer wants it to be honoured and willing to take legal means... he wld most probably win. If it is worth it... he wld persue it.

there shld be a profusion of apologies and a token compensation to make matters right as after all.. most people are reasonable.

thus the bug has to fixed. It's a virtual store. it still has cost to set it up. Most probably cheaper than a brick and mortar store .

I suspect that the inventory database is not live as the online transaction inventory has to deducted when the deal is done and not later. Some accounting system(s) update the stock inventory via batch processing.

Once in a while a not so understanding customer will come along adn will demand his rights... and that can be costly too!

just my views..
d

Good luck with that lawsuit.

Sheesh.

scott6452
06-17-2013, 10:40 AM
You could just go with the Damascus san mai muskox horn chefs knife that went on epic edge today...

Justin0505
06-17-2013, 10:44 AM
I think that the OP came across as pretty obnoxious. If his intention was only to let fellow potential buyers of rare, expensive, and very in-demand knives (who hadn't already figured it out years ago themselves) know "Hey when buying something like this online, make sure that you get a hold of a real person ASAP to confirm the purchase, b/c here's what happened to me..." then he would have said that.

If his intent was to help the vendor improve their POS(point of sale, "not piece of $#!7" system) he could have sent an email, PM, or call and explained the technical problem and, if he wanted to be nice, offer to share his expertise as to how it could be fixed.

Instead, he tried to publicly shame or punish them by posting here and then and to make himself sound smart by spouting off as to what a POS (take your own meaning) expert he is.
I think he succeeded only in making himself look like an ass on a world stage.
Well played sir.


Sorry for the rant...I just think everyone was being far too nice to someone that's clearly using our forum for all the wrong reasons.

echerub
06-17-2013, 11:29 AM
Just my impression but the OP was frustrated by the experience and the opening post reflected that. We've all been frustrated before and said things in a less-than-nice manner. I think it's valid to bring up this point of mismatches between inventory shown online and actual inventory... just at it is valid for vendors to note the challenges they face with creating a sync'd experience both online and in-store.

slowtyper
06-17-2013, 11:58 AM
From a legal perspective,it has to honoured isn't it.The same law applies to a vendors equally ... big or small.

The fact that was sold earlier. the software was buggy does not mean that it is perfectly all right to treat the transaction. If a hard ball customer wants it to be honoured and willing to take legal means... he wld most probably win. If it is worth it... he wld persue it.

there shld be a profusion of apologies and a token compensation to make matters right as after all.. most people are reasonable.

thus the bug has to fixed. It's a virtual store. it still has cost to set it up. Most probably cheaper than a brick and mortar store .

I suspect that the inventory database is not live as the online transaction inventory has to deducted when the deal is done and not later. Some accounting system(s) update the stock inventory via batch processing.

Once in a while a not so understanding customer will come along adn will demand his rights... and that can be costly too!

just my views..
d

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm certain the big companies do. This situation happens ALL the time with big online retailers as well. There must be some clauses in there somewhere that won't let you sue or whatever.

gic
06-17-2013, 12:01 PM
For Justin0505, I think my emails have been quite calm and I think my OP and subsequent posts are part of what these forums are for, There are numerous posts describing good and bad experiences with vendors in the forums here, no?

But, of course you are entitled to your opinion; we are both site supporters after all and thus must value the site......

***********
Two final comments on this thread and then no more from me.

First, this is actually the first time I can remember of being told after an email was sent thanking me for my order and telling me its on m the way to be sent another email saying "gee you didn't buy it after all". (And yes I was annoyed and frustrated: If I had been told before the sales completed that "oops too late", I would have been annoyed with myself, not with them.)

Secondly, we don't know it was caused by a store purchase, that was a conjecture on the part of a subsequent poster that everyone assumed must have caused the problem. I wasn't told that, perhaps if I was told that I would have been more understanding. But, it almost certainly isn't what happened.

I just checked the times on the emails from them and it would have been very unlikely, although I suppose possible that it was a store purchase since: (a)I "bought" it at 12:09PM on a Sunday. There web site says they open at 12:00 on Sunday and he said in an email at 1:00PM it sold 2 hours before I ordered it.

Looking further into it, the problem seems to have been the knife was in my shopping cart overnight while I waited for a response from the vendor about the knife as soon as I got it, I placed the order. Their online inventory system apparently doesn't check status between first placement in cart and checkout.

Justin0505
06-17-2013, 12:04 PM
Just my impression but the OP was frustrated by the experience and the opening post reflected that. We've all been frustrated before and said things in a less-than-nice manner. I think it's valid to bring up this point of mismatches between inventory shown online and actual inventory... just at it is valid for vendors to note the challenges they face with creating a sync'd experience both online and in-store.

I don't encourage or make excused for temper tantrums for 2yr olds... sure not gonna start making exceptions for adults.

gic
06-17-2013, 12:06 PM
I'm not a lawyer, but I'm certain the big companies do. This situation happens ALL the time with big online retailers as well. There must be some clauses in there somewhere that won't let you sue or whatever.

I'm not a lawyer either but a lawsuit about something like this would be proof positive of how insane the american legal system is! (And how crazy the person was filing the suit was IMHO). IT's a customer service issue for crying out loud and that's the reason I started the thread...

echerub
06-17-2013, 12:08 PM
I don't encourage or make excused for temper tantrums for 2yr olds... sure not gonna start making exceptions for adults.

That's the thing: I don't read it as a temper tantrum. Frustrated, yes, but not a tantrum.

echerub
06-17-2013, 12:12 PM
Looking further into it, the problem seems to have been the knife was in my shopping cart overnight while I waited for a response from the vendor about the knife as soon as I got it, I placed the order. Their online inventory system apparently doesn't check status between first placement in cart and checkout.

Yeah, sounds like there could either be some business rule issues or they were not implemented properly on the site. Give EE a call or send them a note about it so that they can suss it out and maybe fix whatever the issue is so that it doesn't happen again.

Something good can still come of this :)

DeepCSweede
06-17-2013, 12:30 PM
I have had this happen several times to me with vendors on Rakuten and it definitely sucks and it is disappointing, but in this age, it also happens. I agree with Jon, there is a cost associated with such systems and you have to think about how much product you need to sell to make it worth it. I would have a hard time justifying 15-30k.

Maybe EE could commission BB to make a replica for you if you ask them nicely?:angel2:

labor of love
06-17-2013, 12:32 PM
mm

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-17-2013, 06:41 PM
Why wouldn't you ask the owners or pm them first before posting this here? They have their own sub forum at the very least you could have posted there.

This.

danielomalley
06-17-2013, 08:37 PM
Unfortunately, as I mentioned to this customer by e-mail, strange things happen on websites ... especially websites that get lots of traffic. Our website is database driven and is automatically updated both on sales online and in store. Once in a great while (1-2 times per year) an item isn't marked correctly sold in the database. In this particular case, a customer ordered the item through our website approximately 2 hours before gic placed his order. Gic had apparently previously added the item to his cart and saved the cart. Even though the item was already marked sold on the site, because Gic placed his order through his saved cart, he was a able to complete his order. The site send the standard automated e-mail to thank him for his order. About 40 minutes after that, when processing his order, we noted that he had purchased an item that was no longer available and immediately e-mailed him.

While it is annoying to not get a knife that you want, I hope Gic will understand this wasn't a personal offense and try again.

As noted by another poster, the Burke's sell pretty quick. Since the item was marked sold on the site at the time of the purchase, I would encourage customers to check the site for availability (or call) when ordering unique items from a saved cart.

Sorry for the trouble!

-daniel


For Justin0505, I think my emails have been quite calm and I think my OP and subsequent posts are part of what these forums are for, There are numerous posts describing good and bad experiences with vendors in the forums here, no?

But, of course you are entitled to your opinion; we are both site supporters after all and thus must value the site......

***********
Two final comments on this thread and then no more from me.

First, this is actually the first time I can remember of being told after an email was sent thanking me for my order and telling me its on m the way to be sent another email saying "gee you didn't buy it after all". (And yes I was annoyed and frustrated: If I had been told before the sales completed that "oops too late", I would have been annoyed with myself, not with them.)

Secondly, we don't know it was caused by a store purchase, that was a conjecture on the part of a subsequent poster that everyone assumed must have caused the problem. I wasn't told that, perhaps if I was told that I would have been more understanding. But, it almost certainly isn't what happened.

I just checked the times on the emails from them and it would have been very unlikely, although I suppose possible that it was a store purchase since: (a)I "bought" it at 12:09PM on a Sunday. There web site says they open at 12:00 on Sunday and he said in an email at 1:00PM it sold 2 hours before I ordered it.

Looking further into it, the problem seems to have been the knife was in my shopping cart overnight while I waited for a response from the vendor about the knife as soon as I got it, I placed the order. Their online inventory system apparently doesn't check status between first placement in cart and checkout.

danielomalley
06-17-2013, 08:39 PM
We'd be happy to have Bill make a similar piece (Gic wouldn't even have to ask all that nicely!) ... though Bill's wait list is quite long, we can often get something faster since we have so many outstanding orders.

It was an amazing knife!

Any interest Gic?

-daniel


I have had this happen several times to me with vendors on Rakuten and it definitely sucks and it is disappointing, but in this age, it also happens. I agree with Jon, there is a cost associated with such systems and you have to think about how much product you need to sell to make it worth it. I would have a hard time justifying 15-30k.

Maybe EE could commission BB to make a replica for you if you ask them nicely?:angel2:

danielomalley
06-17-2013, 08:52 PM
For what it's worth, I've had this happen on the Barnes and Noble website as well as Amazon ... In their cases, their inventory was off. They sent an apologetic e-mail.

-daniel


I have had this happen several times to me with vendors on Rakuten and it definitely sucks and it is disappointing, but in this age, it also happens. I agree with Jon, there is a cost associated with such systems and you have to think about how much product you need to sell to make it worth it. I would have a hard time justifying 15-30k.

Maybe EE could commission BB to make a replica for you if you ask them nicely?:angel2:

gic
06-17-2013, 09:22 PM
So in the end Daniel and I are exactly in agreement since, as my OP said exactly what he said here: "I would encourage customers to check the site for availability (or call) when ordering unique items"

I'll be taking his kind offer up in a PM to Daniel.

ThEoRy
06-17-2013, 09:45 PM
So it wasn't a bug, turns out it was a user error. lol

jaybett
06-18-2013, 03:32 AM
It kills me, when people complain about a situation, and then fail to acknowledge their own role, in it.

Kudos to Daniel O'Malley, for stepping up and taking care of the customer, even when the customer isn't right.

Jay

Bill Burke
06-18-2013, 11:00 AM
This sort of thing happens in real life as well. Last year at the blade show Koji Hara had a fantastic black lip mother of pearl folder on his table. Koji San and I are friends and I have been wanting one of his folders for a few years and had been to his table several times trying to make up my mind to buy. Finally I decided to pull the trigger and head over to pick up the knife. As I walked up to his table there was a young couple looking at his knives, just as I got to the table the couple handed Koji San my knife to purchase it. I swore under my breath but they heard me and ask what was the matter. After I explained they graciously offered to let me purchase this knife because there was another that they liked as well. I said they must have liked this one a bit better because it was the one they decided to buy and refused their kind offer.

On several other occasions I have had people come to my table and look at knives. After browsing for a while they decide that a certain knife is what they want but decide to "think about it" and walk away claiming they will be back. In most cases someone else will walk up and buy that same knife Within a few minutes of the first person leaving. When the first person returns they are usually very upset that I sold that knife when I knew they wanted it. I don't know what to do in these situations and have probably lost customers because of it. I don't want to come off as a used car salesman and tell them that it will probably sell to the next person that comes to my table. I know other makers who take a no refundable deposit to hold a knife for someone and that don't see right either but it does suck to hold a knife for a buyer and then have them not show up to buy the held knife when you could have sold it to another person.

Sorry for the long winded post.

Gic if you can work it out with Daniel ill be happy to make a similar piece in one of his upcoming orders. But it will still be awhile as I have let some of my other orders slip in getting ready for blade show.

Happy days

HHH Knives
06-19-2013, 11:39 PM
First rate. classy and very cool! On both Bill and EE.

Well played!

Bill Burke
10-14-2013, 09:49 PM
follow up: here are some pictures of of the knife for GIC.

19425

19426

19427

19428

gic
10-14-2013, 10:08 PM
And way cool it is, I am so pleased and Dan was a mensch as was Bill!

cord_steele
10-15-2013, 01:36 AM
Picture links aren't working for me.

Customfan
10-15-2013, 01:43 AM
I would like to see the pics as well! Sounds like an awesome knife!

Bill Burke
10-15-2013, 09:56 AM
sorry i thought that the links were working. Here are the photos.

http://www.fototime.com/7C20B80FDA2FC6F/standard.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/50EEB6A0B2EA162/standard.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/7767104F443E54E/standard.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/A6F56691399862B/standard.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/8771C076E4A33EC/standard.jpg

all photos from blade gallery.

Pensacola Tiger
10-15-2013, 09:58 AM
Beautiful work Bill! Thanks for sharing with us.

Anton
10-15-2013, 10:21 AM
Wow, beautiful work.
Can't get over how good the shape of your handles look, hope to hold one soon.

Brad Gibson
10-15-2013, 10:51 AM
DT Damascus is amazing.

Pensacola Tiger
10-15-2013, 11:07 AM
DT Damascus is amazing.

Agreed. But this is Bill's damascus, not Devin's.

Lefty
10-15-2013, 11:54 AM
Both make amazing damascus, but yes, this is Bill's. If I'm not mistaken, this is his "Kramer Challenge" knife. I must admit, Bill...I'd choose this!

Bill Burke
10-15-2013, 12:56 PM
Both make amazing damascus, but yes, this is Bill's. If I'm not mistaken, this is his "Kramer Challenge" knife. I must admit, Bill...I'd choose this!

Correct Lefty and thanks.

cookinstuff
10-15-2013, 02:36 PM
Ya Bill, this looks slightly better than that Kramer (Joking, this looks a world better than that Kramer, to me that is) This one is a sure sexy wee beastie she is.

Dave Martell
10-15-2013, 03:04 PM
Killer knife Bill! :doublethumbsup:

wenus2
10-15-2013, 03:37 PM
Hot damn!

Did I mention that I also tried to order that knife on EE last summer?
So, when you get a chance.... :)

daddy yo yo
10-16-2013, 04:03 AM
Stunning!

Justin0505
10-16-2013, 05:48 AM
Wow that's really a beauty!

Hey, now that you mention it, I'm also realllllllyyy upset about missing a chance to buy one of your knives one time when I decided to make a sandwich vs completing a transaction. Can I also move up the wait list? Had I know that all it took was a sad post, I'da started crying about it 2 years ago instead of quietly sitting on this list...

bahamaroot
10-16-2013, 11:55 AM
Once again the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I need to learn to complain more!

Mrmnms
10-16-2013, 12:08 PM
Just for the record, I have ordered more than once from EE. The process was not only seamless and problem free, I was given a courtesy discount as a forum member. They were not for items you would normally expect a discount for. Maybe it was the amount of the initial order. There is nothing buggy about the web site.

gic
10-16-2013, 01:43 PM
Oh sheesh, we already explained what went wrong but for the record: I left an item in my cart overnight while I waited for Dan to answer a question. After I got the answer I completed the order. AT that time the website did not verify that an item in the cart was still available when an order was finalized, it only did the verification once - when the item was placed in the cart.

Thus my order was completed, my credit card charged even though in the interim the item had sold only to have to to be reversed later on. As a computer guy, I can safely say this is a shopping cart bug that I believe Dan has already fixed and in any case Dan (and Bill of course) stepped up to the plate to get me a similar knife more quickly than I could have hoped for!

Paradox
10-16-2013, 06:09 PM
I'm glad you did get a knife you are happy with but your last post changes nothing in this thread so far. Nice try though. ;)

Bill Burke
10-16-2013, 10:19 PM
HaHaHa, Good try you guys. Maybee I should make a biiigggg loaf of damascus then all you whiners can get a knife.:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

WildBoar
10-16-2013, 10:23 PM
HaHaHa, Good try you guys. Maybee I should make a biiigggg loaf of damascus then all you whiners can get a knife.:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:No -- I want mine to be unique :viking: :spiteful:

Bill Burke
10-17-2013, 12:17 AM
No -- I want mine to be unique :viking: :spiteful:

ha ha ha there is always one.:nono::biggrin:

Mrmnms
10-17-2013, 09:53 AM
I'm all for the big loaf. Count me in

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

apathetic
10-17-2013, 10:13 AM
Maybee I should make a biiigggg loaf of damascus then all you whiners can get a knife.:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:


That would be a good idea :)