Went to the WOODWORKS 2003 show in Nashville Saturday .. .. .. spoke
with a lady from WOODCRAFT who offered me a catalog and a coupon good
during their Grand Opening .. .. .. I half jokingly declined, saying I
was still mad at WOODCRAFT for the clamp fiasco. She said if many more
folks hold out because of that, their Grand Opening might well be a
bankruptcy sale. Seems there were a lot of folks showing up for the
sale and leaving empty handed. She said each store was allotted 40
clamps in each of 3 sizes or 120 total. There are 70+ stores in the
country. That comes to 8400 clamps out in the field. If WOODCRAFT
bought 15,000 clamps total, that left 6,600 clamps in stock for the
midnight madness online sale. Assuming at least SOME were set aside
for employees and "special;" friends, there were probably less than
6,000 available for sale online. At 12/customer, that left enough for
500 orders, or approximately 10 per state. I still think they under
ordered by a tremendous margin.
I just don't get the anger at Woodcraft over this. I didn't get any clamps
out of the deal and I'm not angry at them at all though I sure would have
liked to have grabbed a few. Where do people get the idea that Woodcraft
has some obligation to have enough of a sale item in stock to supply every
woodworker in America? If your local Mercedes dealer decides to mark down
their cars to a level the average Joe is willing to pay and they sell out
before you get there are you going to get mad at them and beat them up the
way Woodcraft has been over this? 15,000 clamps @ 12 per person means 1250
people could have gotten a great deal on the clamps. We all know that many
people weren't able to get in on the deal because some were buying multiple
times but there are still a bunch of happy wood butchers out there now.
Woodcraft didn't turn this into a "fiasco", woodworkers did. BTW, this is
not directed at you in particular Bob.
I think you missed the point of those who are angry. They had CONFIRMED orders,
which were then turned back, refused, etc.
"Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be
common." Satchel Paige
My understanding, as well as my own experience with the Woodcraft online
sale, was that the order was never "confirmed" but said "order pending
confirmation" or something like that. I woke up the next day with an email
that said part of my order was sold out due to the clamps already being out
of stock by the time I put those clamps in my "cart". I'm not mad at
Woodcraft at all...it was clear enough to me (based on the message as well
as the obvious slowness of the whole system) that it was possible my items
wouldn't be available to me.
Perhaps they confirmed "receipt" of the order, but not necessarily that it
would be shipped or that your CC has been approved. Instead of speculating,
if concerned, contact Woodcraft for an explanation. They would know more
that we do on the subject.
Maybe the web page programmers botched it and issue a confirmation
by mistake. After all, how much software is actually reliable?
Getting one's shorts in a knot over this issue seems to me a
waste of energy. I've missed lots of opportunities - I get
Actually, I'm fairly certain that what they did was to set up their
system to remove things from inventory when the purchase was completed,
and not when the customer placed it in their cart. It's all water under
the bridge in any case. I have a local Rockler's that is more than
happy to take my money.
If they did that and the customer never completes the transaction, then
the item stays out of inventory even though not sold. They'd have to
design a timeout mechanism to put it back. Too long and they miss
inventory - too short and the customer finds his order suddenly
disappeared when he went to the bathroom. The web is stateless
and that makes foolproof transaction processing difficult at best.
I don't buy that. I cannot think of a single modern relational database that
does not have transactional processing built in ... this should not be a
problem/excuse, even in a stateless environment like the web.
It's done all the time. If what you say was the case, there would be no
Internet banking over the web.
The relational database is hooked to the web server, not the
user. How does the relational database know what the user is
doing if the transaction takes several _independent_ steps?
Completion/rollback of a transaction has to be triggered from
something - what is that?
The mechanism varies. It could be as simple as a cookie, or a timeout, or as
complicated as a client side script and buffers. "Commit trans" is never
sent to the database without a specific, verifiable trigger mechanism ...
as I stated earlier, Internet banking would not be possible unless there was
a mechanism to do this in a stateless environment.
Hell, commerce on the Internet would be impossible if there was no
mechanisms for maintaining state on a web transaction.
I did call Woodcraft. The morning after the sale as they sent an
email saying one of the line items was cancelled (I was fortunate to
have gotten two line items delivered unlike others who had their whole
order cancelled). I don't see it being a CC issue as they shipped a
partial order. A cc issue would have cancelled the whole order.
Their explanation went something like this: We're sorry but our
systems couldn't keep up with demand. Consequently, orders were
placed and confirmed but the inventory had already been sold. My
gripe with Woodcraft at this point has to do with them not being
properly prepared to handle such a sale and their unwillingness to do
the right thing after the fact. They'd do much better to simply eat
the cost of filling those "confirmed" orders and retain their customer
I work for Intel and learned a lot from how they handled their
Floating Point issue on the Pentium several years ago. That screw up
cost the company $500M and lost a large number of customers.
They have probably never experienced at rush on orders like this. Being
prepared, in hindsight, may have been to install $500,000 is servers for the
one time sale.
They probably should do something for the people with confirmed orders. It
would go a long way to improving good will. As for the ones that just got
there too late, tough, You knew it was limited supplies so you have no
That may be true in some cases but certainly not all. The OP for this
thread didn't mention anything about his order being confirmed by mistake.
He only complained that Woodcraft didn't stock up on enough clamps so that
everyone wanting some could get them.
They should have planned the sale date better. If they checked my buying
history, most large purchases are the weekend after payday. All they had to
do was check their sales database, do an analysis, and schedule the sale for
this weekend coming up.
Due to their short sightedness, I'm going to be clamp impaired for months to
come. I take no responsibility for this as they could have done better.
EXACTLY. In fact, if I were you I wouldn't stop whining about them until
they send me a dozen clamps postage free. You might try using rubber bands
until they get around to this. I can't belive they are so insensitive.
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