Lee Valley - reasonable request?

I've got a friend who knows nothing of newsgroups (before I told him) so I told him I would post his question. He is a fan of Veritas planes and wants a Medium Shoulder Plane from Lee Valley as soon as he can get one so that he can finish a project.
Apparantly Lee Valley is out and won't get any more until late January. He was told to find a retail outlet that might have them. He found a store in Toronto has three but since they are not a distributor, they would not sell / ship him one. They told him to call customer service who could possibly arrange for it. When calling customer service, he was told three was not enough stock for them to have one transfered so that it could be sold to him. He offered an immediate sale in advance but was refused.
His question has to do with what is considered reasonable. He obviously feels that the store would most likely not sell three of them before they can be replinished in January and feels they should let one go. Lee Valley says that like a good friend, they will tell you when you are unreasonable and apparantly feels his request falls into this. As a result, he has decided that he needs one bad enough that he is going to spend another $160 and get a Lie Neilson but would actually prefer the Veritas because he likes them so much. He is curious as to what the thoughts of others are - I'm a little torn myself and can see both sides but it makes for an interesting question.
Don
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D. J. Dorn wrote:

LOL, he has never been in a retail LV during this time of year. They will *extremely* easily sell 3 before chrismas. I would be very surpised if the three are still there by Friday.
Reasonable? They are out of stock. He should either wait or buy an alternate (L-N as you mentioned he will). WW requires patience.
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Regardless of whether they'll sell them or not by Friday/January, I'm surprised something couldn't be worked out to throw one in a box and ship it out to a customer. That seems pretty reasonable to me, especially for a company that prides itself on it's customer service. I realize they're busy this time of year (I used to work in retail computer store in a mall), but it wouldn't take long to fulfill the customer's request.
Clint

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Clint wrote:

I'm inclined in this direction too. It really doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me for a store to make someone happy by selling something like that over the phone. Hell, I did that once at a big name retail mega corp. Some guy wanted to buy something weird, and we were the only store that had one, so somehow or other we arranged to take his credit card, a mailed in money order or soemthing, and we boxed up all our stock and UPSed it to him. That big name mega corp also has an online wing, though it isn't quite the same deal as LV. Christmas is the time of year when weird things like that happen all the time. We used to just accomomdate the customers and take the cashola to the bank. What difference did it make to us who ultimately walked away with the item so long as the full retail price, including sales tax, was paid? I think we charged him sales tax on the shipping too.
Although the tax issue does bring up some interesting angles. I'm not sure what the tax structure looks like in Kanukistan. Maybe there's some deep reason why the store can't do this tidily, because of some trouble with provincial sales tax or VAT or something. Does Canada have VAT?
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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wrote:

Most stores, at least in Canada, will not or can not take a credit card order over the phone. Their websites however have a CC validation process. For instance Marks Work Warehouse will deliver FREE to your home if you order from a local store but first you must present yourself in person to validate your credit card. Companies like Rona have a similar policy regarding credit cards. Some companies will accept a credit card order by FAX.

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Wed, Dec 15, 2004, 5:36am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@mysocks.shaw.ca (Clint) says: <snip> I'm surprised something couldn't be worked out to throw one in a box and ship it out to a customer. <snip>
Yes, it would be nice of them, wouldn't it? The however of it is, then it would set a precedent. Do it for one, do it for all.
Maybe someone in the area of the store would be good enough to pick up one, and send it on. But, that was never brought up, was it?
JOAT We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. - unknown
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Clint wrote:

I agree with you in principle, but it really isn't all that simple. The OP appears to be american (from his email addy). Now for a retail store to ship to him, they will: - need to locate a suitable box - locate suitable packing materials - figure out if they are allowed to do this without a card. I know for express orders from the store (where you call in/fax an order prepaid with a CC) they still require to see the card at pick-up - Figure out how to charge for shipping, and most importantly how to put that in the computer - Figure out the tax issue. THey won't be charging taxes; however, I doubt the retail computers will easily not charge tax without a tax examption number - Arrange with a shipper and fill out the duties information. Who in the store is authorized, how to fill it out, etc will all be issues. - Finally get it out the door.
Shipping things, especially cross border in a commercial environment, is non-trivial.
PK
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wrote:

LN dosen't make a plane similar to the Veritas medium shoulder, only the large. Clifton and Stanley make a medium plane.
As far as the store sending one back to Lee Valley? They obviously feel that they will sell the planes. In my opinion, asking the store to return a small tool to the distributor so that it can be sold to someone else is ridiculous. The store incurs the following costs:
- return shipping - handing (labor) - opportunity and goodwill cost of loss of a sale to a local.
What's in it for the store?
I think you're asking a bit much.
Barry
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Perhaps someone in this group would be willing to go to one of LV's stores and pick up a plane to forward on. I'd offer to do so myself except that both the Toronto stores would take up most of a working day to get to and return. The only difficulty would be the guaranteeing of the trade of funds for the plane and the guaranteeing of shipping out of the plane.
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According to the LN reps at the woodworking show last weekend, they _will_ be offering two additional shoulder planes in the near future to fill the gap between the existing two. They were even taking pre-orders.
Mikey
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On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 13:40:39 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@no.spam.motorola.com wrote:

Remember the chisel pre-orders? <G>
Barry
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[snipperization]

[snippage]
The store would essentially give away their potential profit. NOT to mention the paperwork with the tax claw-backs etc. I said NOT to mention it!!
I can't blame the retailers. Lee Valley has always been more than fair and things are running smoothly these days even though Leonard Lee has started an already successful new venture---> wouldn't you know it... more tools.. insanely expensive tools... http://www.canica.com /
Rob---->who is getting VERY strange looks from his wife as he just (before breakfast) cranked the Flinstones tune (B-52 version). Be careful with that 'random play' button in iTunes...
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: : I can't blame the retailers. : Lee Valley has always been more than fair and things are running : smoothly these days even though Leonard Lee has started an already : successful new venture---> wouldn't you know it... more tools.. insanely : expensive tools... http://www.canica.com /
I see a great opportunity here for cross-promotion:
...scalpels would be found near the dental picks. http://tinyurl.com/4nbl3 ...skin anchors would be found in the joinery section http://tinyurl.com/4bgfg ...chess anchor components could be dual use as gaming accessories http://tinyurl.com/5wor6
One stop shopping for the woodworker... close up that blade wound, pick up some exotic veneers etc.
-Brian
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wrote:

That site has some seriously cringe-inducing pictures on it!
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Please clarify, was this a Lee Valley store? Or an independent?
My guess is the store has no simple way of taking a CC on the phone (some pay large fees if they do). They may not have regular UPS or mail service so it would be added cost to got to a depot to ship. In any case, in the middle of a buys season it will not be profitable, will detract from serving the walk in trade, probably have some other implications. Sending it back to LV incurs even more cost. Sorry, but I think you are asking a little too much.
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There was a time I drove 1.5 hrs one way to go to a LV store. Many many times. Sometimes I've driven two hours to go shopping. (And come up empty!)
Is it reasonable for your friend or someone he knows to get to the store. If not, it is reasonable for your friend to wait.
Don, you had to ask these questions?
John
D. J. Dorn wrote:

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I can understand that side of the point - however, the stores advise to contact customer service for the option of having one sent certainly implies that such an option exists. It wasn't that they couldn't do it, the CS rep stated that because the store only had three, that option was closed. If it's an unreasonable request regardless of quantity in stock, I don't think they shouldn't put it forward as an option. Anyway, I'll pass the opinions on. BTW, I too am a LV customer and have always been happy with the product - fortunately, never had to use the service option.
Don

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