View Poll Results: Is this something you would find useful?

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  • Yes, I would find this useful

    10 31.25%
  • No, I don't find this useful

    20 62.50%
  • I'm not sure

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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Order status/turnaround times for vendors - informational posts

    I am always curious about turnaround times, as I am sure many of you are who order items from vendors who sell gear on this forum. How may times have you read a posts in a vendor forum about an item that was just ordered and the customer not receiving notice about when they can expect shipment or, the questions about how long the wait time is for an item? Maybe it's the engineer in me that wants to makes decisions on actual data that I propose (for those who wish to participate) the following:

    In the specific vendor forums we post the details of our orders in a factual manner: Item(s) Description, Availability at the time of order, Date item(s) paid, Date shipping notice received.

    I have a few reason for this: I am hoping that we all can read these factual and informational posts and view for ourselves what the approximate turnaround time is for items that we want to order without having to post questions like the ones above. Additionally, by having this information, we might not have to bug our busy vendors so they can focus instead on making gear rather than responding to our emails. Of course if the customer has specific questions, I am not suggesting that they not contact the vendor directly. If contacted directly, I would still expect that the vendor continue to get back to the customer as they always have.

    Currently we have many posts about excited members who tell us that they just ordered (fill in the blank) gear. All I'm suggesting is a follow up to the same thread about when the shipping notice was received or a single post that has all the details. For example:

    In the Tree To Trail Gear subforum:

    Item description: Peapod
    Item status at the time of purchase: In Stock, but requested overstuff option
    Order Paid for: 9/27/2011
    Shipping Confirmation received: 10/23/2011

    So good /bad idea? Would this be useful to you?

    ~S~

  2. #2
    Senior Member Poppabear's Avatar
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    I for one do not think this is a good idea. For many of the vendors on here producing gear just a part-time venture. Many hold full time jobs which we all know the demands of. Being small cottage industries stocking of supplies can also be an issue for some. They have neither the money nor space to carry a large inventory of materials or completed stock. Meaning when an order is placed the necssary materials if not on hand have to be ordered. Factor in shipping time, production times and anyone of a hundred other demands on the vendors time. You can easily see why it sometimes takes a while to get the goods you ordered sometimes. You are purchasing handmade quailty gear I would rather have them pay attention to quality rather rushing a putting less than his best efforts to achieve quanity. When dealing with cottage industries patience is a must. At any rate that is my 2 cents.
    Terry

  3. #3
    dragon360's Avatar
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    If it helps lessen the amount of turnaround threads on HF or the 'where is...?' threads then I am all for it.

    That being said, I am, however, a firm believer in the understanding that when ordering from a cottage vendor, things take time, so I try never to order when I need something in a extremely short period of time (I speak of large items such as TQ's and UQ's etc.). If I do, I tend to leave the message that i need the item by this date and when they receive the order, if they can let me know if it is yay or nay and I can plan accordingly. I have not had a problem with this as of yet.

    I also understand that communication takes time. There have been times where a few days have passed before a message was received. It can be a pain, but is a large part of one or two people operations. Communication is a key point but one of the most difficult to keep up with, if you are the manufacturer as well. It is part of smaller business especially in niche markets. But it is also great to speak with the owner/manufacturers on a one on one as well.

    My 2 cents (probably worth only half of that).
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
    - Bob Marley

  4. #4
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Poppabear makes some good points. The only other things that I think I could add from this side of the fence is that turnaround can vary from day to day and can be affected by a hundred things. For example, yesterday I had to take care of some errands, both personal and business. That meant that Yesterday I did not finish a lot of orders, but I did get a lot of prep done. That Prep turns into complete close to 20 orders today. With some items taking more time than others and some items being more involved to make at times those items are started one day and completed another. There are just so many variables that one day an order may be completed the same day it's ordered and the same item may take a week to be completed if ordered the next day. Things like just how many orders come in one day versus the next is impossible to account for. We have days with only a few orders then we have days with dozens of orders (I like those ).
    Arrowhead Equipment -- For all your hanging, backpacking and Ultralight Fishing gear needs.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    I voted "No,..." because a bit of homework (which you should be doing anyway to decide what you want) here will point you toward vendors that have outstanding customer service (like Paul at AHE) and those that don't. Also if we have issues with how the orders are notified/sent/delivered the best means to work that out is contactint the vendor directly. Now if we were dealing with major corporate entities this might be good but since we are dealing with mom & pop outfits, they are normally readily available via this site (note Paul's response).
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppabear View Post
    I for one do not think this is a good idea. For many of the vendors on here producing gear just a part-time venture. Many hold full time jobs which we all know the demands of. Being small cottage industries stocking of supplies can also be an issue for some. They have neither the money nor space to carry a large inventory of materials or completed stock. Meaning when an order is placed the necssary materials if not on hand have to be ordered. Factor in shipping time, production times and anyone of a hundred other demands on the vendors time. You can easily see why it sometimes takes a while to get the goods you ordered sometimes. You are purchasing handmade quailty gear I would rather have them pay attention to quality rather rushing a putting less than his best efforts to achieve quanity. When dealing with cottage industries patience is a must. At any rate that is my 2 cents.
    I hear what you are saying. First off, let me be clear, I am not advocating a lack of patience on the part of customers. Personally, I am very patient when it comes to order and receiving gear. I just want accurate information based on statistics when ordering. Many times I have a trip planned in about a month to 6 weeks out. I want to know if I place and order for an item if it will make in in time for my trip. If I see an item on a web site and it says in stock my expectation may be such that I think it will be here in time. If I see posts in the makers forum based on actual order ship time, it may lead me to think that an item may not make it in time and I can adjust my expectations accordingly. Some makers are good about setting and meeting these expectation others not so good. I want an objective way to evaluate for myself.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post
    Poppabear makes some good points. The only other things that I think I could add from this side of the fence is that turnaround can vary from day to day and can be affected by a hundred things. For example, yesterday I had to take care of some errands, both personal and business. That meant that Yesterday I did not finish a lot of orders, but I did get a lot of prep done. That Prep turns into complete close to 20 orders today. With some items taking more time than others and some items being more involved to make at times those items are started one day and completed another. There are just so many variables that one day an order may be completed the same day it's ordered and the same item may take a week to be completed if ordered the next day. Things like just how many orders come in one day versus the next is impossible to account for. We have days with only a few orders then we have days with dozens of orders (I like those ).

    Thanks for your input for the other side of the fence. I can attest to your excellent turnaround times since I just received my order form your company!

    I do see what you are talking about. As a maker and small business owner it must be very hard to predict demand for your products. My goal in discussing this to to have some metric with which to gage what is happening in your business during the period of the potential order. I'm not taking about a delay or two that result in lost days. But those delays which turn into weeks and impact customer expectations. As a vendor I am going to guess that you are in business to make money producing and selling a product you can be proud of. As a customer we want excellent gear at a price that's fair, delivered within reasonable amount of time.

    On the forums we all review and discuss the wonderful aspects of the quality gear that our cottage makers put out. We all know the prices and can determine what is a fair price. What we don't always know is how long it's going to take to get into our hands. Sure we can research and see what people are saying but often times if there is a problem in wait times we may or may not hear about it. If we do hear about it often times the post is colored and heated by a dissatisfied customer. I for one don't want to be swayed by one or two customers who had a bad experience. Actual purchase date and actual ship date cannot be disputed. If posted without judgement, it's just data with which we as consumers can draw our own conclusions

  8. #8
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    I agree with PoppaBear but I understand dragon360's comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by dragon360 View Post
    If it helps lessen the amount of turnaround threads on HF or the 'where is...?' threads then I am all for it.
    Overall, I am not sure this type of thing is needed. However, a thread with something like Sidewinder suggests - just a factual accounting of your turnaround time, without editorial comments - might work. But it needs to be a decision making tool, not a "Look what I ordered" thread, not a "When will it get here" thread, not a complaint thread, not an "It's not here yet, what do I do now?" thread. I would hate for a cottage vendor to feel he his being watched for any little negative thing or delayed order. These guys provide irreplaceable services and get only so much praise but let one customer not understand that cottage guys and gals are small shops with limited resources and suddenly all h#%* breaks loose. They don't need the added aggravation. If a thread like Sidewinder suggests would help the vendors (to answer fewer e-mails and phone calls or to address complaints and reputation issues), I would be for it. If it turns into a complaint or gripe board, we don't need it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    I agree with PoppaBear but I understand dragon360's comment:


    Overall, I am not sure this type of thing is needed. However, a thread with something like Sidewinder suggests - just a factual accounting of your turnaround time, without editorial comments - might work. But it needs to be a decision making tool, not a "Look what I ordered" thread, not a "When will it get here" thread, not a complaint thread, not an "It's not here yet, what do I do now?" thread. I would hate for a cottage vendor to feel he his being watched for any little negative thing or delayed order. These guys provide irreplaceable services and get only so much praise but let one customer not understand that cottage guys and gals are small shops with limited resources and suddenly all h#%* breaks loose. They don't need the added aggravation. If a thread like Sidewinder suggests would help the vendors (to answer fewer e-mails and phone calls or to address complaints and reputation issues), I would be for it. If it turns into a complaint or gripe board, we don't need it.
    I concur wholeheartedly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    If it turns into a complaint or gripe board, we don't need it.
    Which BTW is exactly what would happen at least a portion of the time. How many threads have we seen where a Mod warns not to (fill in the blank) and the very next post or several is someone blowing the warning off?
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

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