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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From Soup to Nuts » » "sales" from online dealers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

revlovejoy
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And I will not name names, but I am referencing two major, well-respected magic dealers with a large mail-order and online business.

While the nature of magic buying and selling may be different than other retail, there's no reason that they can't utilize the same tools as other online retailers.

I took advantage of a "sale" from a big timer. It was buy one, get one 50% off, with some exceptions. The customer was assured that this was very complicated math to do (uh huh) and the system would figure it out for us, so just submit the order with the full prices, and we'll do the hard work for you after it's submitted. I took that at face value. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, in the sales promotional material, did it say "we'll discount the 3 cheapest things for every 6." So, here's what happened. I ordered 2 items both around $100. Had my order stopped there, I would have had $150 in charges. Easy, simple. But I went ahead and ordered a few more cheaper items from the same dealer, giving them more business. And for this, I was effectively penalized. Because now, the two cheap items I ordered were made 1/2 price, and the 2nd $100 item was back to full price.

Of course, I didn't learn any of this until after the order was shipped. I called in and discussed it with someone. Ultimately, I was allowed to make a return if I chose to do so, but the tone of the conversation was that I was a moron for thinking it would work any other way. I was told that this is exactly how it would happen in any retail store with the same offer. This is patently untrue. I have never been in a situation where the sale is least advantageous to the customer, especially when you add cheaper items. I was assured I was the only person who ever questioned this, but it sure seemed like a canned response was at the ready. I still think they're a good dealer, and will do business in the future, but I didn't appreciate the attitude that I was some cheap skate who was trying to beat the system.

The example I asked about was this: so if I ordered an illusion for $4000, and another for $3000, and let's say they were both qualified for the sale, my bill would be $5500, (plus shipping), right? Yes. OK, now let's say I add to my order, two silk fountains for $80 each. My new bill will be $7080. Right? I was told - right, that's why you would not order those items on that order during this sale.

Maddening. Utterly maddening. Of course now I know the proper way to approach this sale in the future, but am I alone in thinking this is a bit nutty? I'd go so far as to say the sale promotion is a bit deceptive. To be fair, had I called to clarify my questions I would have been given all the info I needed, but one should be able to take the materials at face value.


Story 2 - (shorter I promise) - another online major retailer who offers sales by email, not listed on the website. But again, your shopping cart shows the full non-discounted prices at checkout. You get the sale by putting the right thing in special instructions. But why not give the same info in a coupon code box that would appear in final checkout? This is not new technology.


Bottom line, I am tired of being made to feel that if I try to save any money at all, I am a thief and a scumbag, and not appreciative of what creators put into magic. Before I knew there was an original PB&J by Wenk, I ordered the ripoff from penguin. I sent it back because it was a ripoff. I am not looking to undercut for my own profit.

But if you're going to do a sale, do it right. I was flat out told "look, most people are just happy to have a sale." And fine, that may be all right. But my problem isn't "hey, this outfit never has a sale." My problem is advertising a sale, and then going through all the above nonsense. I realize the market is small. But if these dealers were going out of business from sales, they wouldn't offer them. If ordering more stuff kills your other promised discount, that's absurd.
idris
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I don't agree with you. Any sale in the normal world works the same way. For instance, I frequently see sales at Barnes & Noble or Borders which are by 1 get another for half price or some other form. If you buy multiple items the cheapest are always the ones that get the discount.

I don't know if it was clearly spelled out anywhere on the website but I would have expected this to be the result regardless.

Better luck in the future.

Jerry
Jerry
Skulldini
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I know other people have thought of this-- Why not order the two items one day and order the other items the next. The savings would more than cover the shipping on all the items combined. Plus you could send back the order and get a refund and reorder. Just a thought.
Skulldini
Zazz
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I would be upset too.
I would guess, maybe the only reason you bought the two expensive items from their service in the first place was because you were lured in by their sale.
JL608
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I'm with revlovejoy on this one. The dealer's explanation makes absolutely no sense.

I've taken advantage of the "Buy One Get One at 50% Off" sales quite often and have never had a problem...even when ordering multiple items. But I never use the automated shopping carts, rather just email with what I want to buy and how to pair them for the best discount.

These sales should basically have the net effect of giving you a 25% discount overall. So that $7,080 example is just absurd!

Anyway, you're not alone. That is truly maddening!

Joe
revlovejoy
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Glad to see I'm not totally nuts. To answer Jerry's question, this was not clearly spelled out on the website, and I will know better for next time. Skulldini, I asked about executing your suggestion when I called in the first time about this. I said "so, if I want to order 6 items, I should make 3 different orders?" - A qualified "yes" with the caeat that this store would combine orders within 24 hours of each other.

The end result here was that I did a return ajd it took almost from the 13th to the 28th for a refund to start processing.

On another "maddening" note, I received another package from a different dealer doing a 25% off with some exceptions, which were well noted I think. I still didn't get a detailed invoice of anyh kind in my shipment , just a credit card printout in the package. But hey, the props were all just what I wanted, as described, and I do believe I will use them all in my act! So that's what really counts.
Mad Jake
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All the voices in my head helped me make
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Why not save all the headaches and just shop at Steven's Magic Emporium? I've been doing business with them for over 15 years as a retail customer and just over a year wholesaling to them. They're professional, never give an attitude when you query them about an order or pricing. Each staff member at Steven's is well versed on products they sell, store policies and above all CUSTOMER SERVICE.

The so called Exclusive that a few of these online shops have generally show up on every other e-emagic store within a few weeks, not too exclusive and generally they show up at 10-15% less than what it appeared at the exclusive dealer site for.

Jake
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pdmedic
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As maddening as it is that seems to be the way most buy 1 get one half off's work is that they will always keep the highest priced full price and cut your cheeper items.
benrl
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The best on-line system for sales is Hank Lee. The computation is done at the time of
the sale and confirms the discounted price. Bravo, Hank!
poprocz
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Quote:
On 2006-03-04 12:26, Zazz wrote:
I would be upset too.
I would guess, maybe the only reason you bought the two expensive items from their service in the first place was because you were lured in by their sale.

I don't have a problem with this way.
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Companies will do anything to make a profit...

It is silly that if you can place 2 seperate orders and save money, yet when you order the same things in one order, you are stiffed. So much for making their job easier. And thanks for the unspoken warning.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Drs_Res
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That's odd, I used the buy 1 get one at 50% off and never had that problem, but I called the 800 number on the phone with the prices in hand and paired off.

Bought 6 items and they were paired off just as I asked them to be. That is something like: $100.00 and $90.00, then $50.00 and $46.00, then $35.00 and $30.00 which, if I had bought items of those exact amounts would have equaled $268.00. I got it for that amount and not the $295.50 calculated the way you mentioned.

Never any problem with the person on the phone telling me that was not how it worked.
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ceme20
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I have also had great luck with Hank Lee. They were able to tell me right there on the phone what was in stock, and what was not. Once the guy actualy said he was going to wait 2 days to process my order because they were going to have a sale at that time!
The Magical stage parallels that of the Stage of Life. We can step off, re-direct, and Create new Miracles as easily, and as naturally as taking in a breath...
revlovejoy
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Actually, it was the aforementioned dealer that everyone is raving about, with whom I have had this problem.
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