Well, They did it to me again. Went to their store in Knoxville to
purchase an item and for the third time in less than six months, I was
told "sorry, we are out of stock on that item". That should be their
theme song. Don't think they stock anything. I'm done wasting my time
and gas on them.
Depends on the item. Do you phone ahead to the grocery store to see if they
have hot dogs? Bread?
If you are talking about Danish oil, sandpaper, a 1/4" Forstner bit, I
expect they will have it in stock. Replacement blades for a 15 year old
discontinued planer, different story. Twice I wanted to get a set of Cool
Blocks and the local store was out of them. I asked about it and was told
"they go out as fast as they come in". I suggested they order more. I was
given a strange look as though they never thought of that.
Let's see on my last three trips: Cool blocks, 18" drawer glides, 2 of 4
handles I wanted.
Is your phone broken?
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
Whether one phones or not is still not an excuse for a poorly stocked store.
It would seem to me that if something sells well, the merchant would either
reorder with more frequency or purchase larger quantities. Even if one does
call before making the trip to the store, what is the point of a business
that is chronically understocked? If this happens often, I certainly can
appreciate Doug's disappointment with his Woodcraft store.
This is a catch 22 situation for everyone...the store and the
customer.....in a perfect world the store would have everything you
desire and lots of it in stock. I can tell you from experience, the
store will always be out of some things. You try to keep your
inventory dollars at a respectabvle level and not have you inventory
get out of control, but you try to stock for your customer's needs. It
is hard to do, and then your supplier shorts you or they are
backordered and the problem gets worse. If I am making a special trip,
I will call first.
I always enjoy going to visit and see the store anyway. If they do
not have it in stock, my WoodCraft store will ordered it and ship it to
me at no shipping charge.
Try treating the store and the employees as you wish to be treated. As
an employee, we hate being out of stock as well.
I too am an employee, it is as Mike says, but no one hears about the 200
satisfied customers that come thru the doors daily. We , as employees do
not like to send a customer away empty handed, but it does happen.
Ken in Indy
Ok, then, I was a satistied customer today! Of course, I just picked
up some hose clamps and a 5" to 4" adapter that just HAPPENED to show
up in the store yesterday - new product from Delta and all, and just
what I needed! What I went *in* for was a 4" splice to try to build
such an adapter, since our Woodcraft doesn't normally carry stuff for
Our Woodcraft carries heavy iron too. I got a Delta X5 planer a month
or so ago, and they had five in the back, so no shortage there.
But you can always buy clamps if nothing else ;-)
What is the point of discussing this if we're going to do so with
That Gerald didn't call to check to see if the item was in stock before
he went is his "bad." Pure and simple. More so if he traveled a great
distance. If he was already in the neighborhood and "just stopped by,"
what the hell's the big deal?
"They don't have anything" is pure, unadulterated bulls**t. It's
hyperbole that means absolutely nothing to me but that the OP doesn't
know what the hell he's talking about. If they have nothing would their
doors be open to the public and would they be paying an employee to tell
somebody "sorry, that's out of stock?"
We don't know what he was looking for. Was it a couple booked sheets of
Birdseye Maple veneer? Was it a certain, not terribly popular hinge?
Or, perhaps the opposite? A very popular item that was in their sale
flyer that week? Hell, we don't even know - from Gerald's post - if it
was the same item in each instance.
So, there you have it. We don't know just how put out Gerald has a
right to be. We don't know if the store is "chronically" understocked.
All we really know is that he never bothered to check before making the
There's really nothing wrong with not calling to check stock before
going in to make a purchase. It's just that it seems a tad whiney to
bitch about it later.
One further point, since Woodcraft is a franchise operation I don't
think it fair for anyone to view all stores in this light. I know I
won't be patronizing the Knoxville store - not even if they were selling
brand new Unisaws for $1,000 out the door. But that's only because that
particular store's not close by.
I'm with you. Frankly, I can't remember ever leaving the local (Matthews, NC)
Woodcraft store empty handed. I have on occasion had to wait for something to
come in, but I've initiated those transactions by phone first. They're
excellent about calling when the stuff gets there.
Most recently, it was about a selection of bandsaw blades for my 18" Rikon
(which I bought from them). Since they only recently began selling the saw,
they didn't have any spare blades when I first bought it... but they had been
ordered. They called me when they came in, but I put them off. Then I went to
get them the day they put the whole store at 15% off. I picked up a 3/8" and a
1 1/4" blade made by Timberwolf.
In the Charlotte area, they have a nicer selection than the Klingspor shop which
is closer to me. In any case, I always call before I go, and if they have it, I
ask them to put it aside for me if I'm coming out that day.
Of course they are poorly stocked, just like my local Woodcraft store
is. At those prices they cannot afford to put too much into the
overhead. Thats the result of overpricing, ie: pricing yourself out of
the market. Sure for the most part the quality is excellent, however
many of us on a budget simply cannot afford to shop there for everything
I was in the market for the Delta Unisaw some time ago and, given its
size, and my lack of a truck, wanted it delivered. There was a
woodworker's warehouse (now defunct) about 8 miles up the road. I asked
about delivery, offering to pay, and wait. The manager had no interest
in selling it to me.
The Woodcraft store manager warned me of a 10% off coupon in the flier
coming in another week, saving me $160, and only accepted $50 to drive
1-1/2 hrs round trip and spent an hour helping me unbox and set it up.
For service like that, I don't think I'd look to save the last dollar on
Somehow, the attitude in Woodcraft always seemed more pleasant than the
Woodcraft prices aren't that bad. If not Woodcraft or Rockler, where
can you really go? Local stores, if there are any, are likely to be
even pricier and big box stores don't stock high quality woodworking
tools and supplies. I'll admit Minwax finishes and Stanley hand tools
are are OK for some things, but where else do you go to get dye stains,
Waterlox, a marking gauge, a scraper burnisher, or a good water stone?
If you can find Deft brush on lacquer at a box store, it might be $1
cheaper than Woodcraft. Big deal. I'm glad we have Rockler and
I've had really good luck using that there Internet email thing, Copy and
paste the item from the website into an email, go to the store locator and
grab the standard 'city name'-retail email address and usually have an
answer back within 1/2 an hour as long as I don't send it at lunchtime..
It used to be that stores had "stock rooms". No more. It's a Fed
Ex/UPS society that we live in now.
Stock in the back = tied up cash and we just can't have that. The
stores try and keep stock as small as possible. There are still a few
stores that stock some items, but for the most part, they go on an
order it when sombody asks policy.
Same reason your customer service drops off the chart when the holidays
are over. Gotta cut that overhead. Come on, they have to free up the
money so they can pay their CEO's.
I do agree with the fella's above, call ahead if you're heading in for
something in particular. WoodCraft has always been great that way for
They free up cash by not stocking stuff and then spend all that cash
paying huge shipping bills for overnight delivery.
A lot of stores lose my business by not having stuff in stock, or not
carrying it at all. Sure, the store can order it, but so can I and
probably for less money.
Actually, they conserve cash flow in order to be able to do other things
such as pay the light bill, rent or the mortgage, salaries, benefits,
It's only a prudent way to do business. Some high volume items pay to
keep in stock, sure, but it's financially impossible to maintain
inventory of high-ticket or low-turnover items.
When lowest-initial-cost wasn't the overriding consideration w/ many
customers, it was possible to be able to do some things that simply
can't be done any longer if one wishes to stay in business. The
occasional loss of sale to the "you don't have it so I'll order online"
is a cost that can't be made up for because there are too many who order
online irrespective of onhand stock simply to save a few bucks on sales
tax and wouldn't patronize the brick-n-mortar store even if it had
everything they wanted if it were a nickel per item more.
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