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Why is is tech retailers/hardware partners don't allow you to "take a number" and just fulfill orders as they get parts in

After witnessing the recent clusterfuck that is the 3080 launch I had to ask to myself, why is isn't it they just take orders from people and have them wait in line, filling orders as the hardware comes in. Yeah it's sorta like pre-ordering but if you've got that much a shortage of hardware surely it makes sense. Rather than have everyone pissed they can't get a card and having sites crashing when they all rush to get one can't be better than this.

 

FYI. This is just my 2 cents, I have no stake in getting a 30 series card, that's money I don't have.

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because you just cant have 10.000 "take numbers" and only have 100 cards to sell.

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3 minutes ago, WillOfTheLand said:

After witnessing the recent clusterfuck that is the 3080 launch I had to ask to myself, why is isn't it they just take orders from people and have them wait in line, filling orders as the hardware comes in. Yeah it's sorta like pre-ordering but if you've got that much a shortage of hardware surely it makes sense. Rather than have everyone pissed they can't get a card and having sites crashing when they all rush to get one can't be better than this.

Because of the uncertainty in how many videocards they will get.

Many stores aren't vendors, meaning they don't purchase from Nvidia/MSI/ASUS/etc. directly, but from a middle-man. This makes it increasingly difficult to know how many videocards you - as a store - will receive.

 

This makes it so you have hundreds or thousands of outstanding orders waiting to be fullfilled.

This may not sound like a huge issue except for a couple points:

 

1. Let's say people have to pay to get a 'spot' in line, it probably goes against all consumer rights laws in the world to not allow them to cancel this pre-order. Even if that is not against laws, it's very consumer unfriendly.

Anyways, the issue with this comes down to taxes. Not sure about the situation everywhere, but where I live (and I think this is at least the case in the entire EU), sales tax is applied by the store on a product and then given to the government by said store (oversimplification, but you get the point).

So a store has to pay the sales tax over an order, while the customer can choose to cancel said order at any time. That's an administrative mess.

Having orders without them being paid brings you to the same issue as just listing cards as you get them; bots and such will just fill up all queue spots.

 

2. Keeping track over hundreds or thousands of outstanding orders is - without complicated systems - incredibly complicated and requires a lot of manhours.

It's 'easier' to just list cards online as you receive them. At least in the short term.

 

This is a situation stores partially don't want to be in.

The part where any card they list will get sold? Amazing.

The part where getting cards is impossible and all customers hound you about delivery times, their position in queue, etc.? Nightmare.

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

Sorry if my post seemed rude, that is never my intention.

"Why do we suffer a lifetime for a moment of happiness?" - Anonymous

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11 minutes ago, WillOfTheLand said:

After witnessing the recent clusterfuck that is the 3080 launch I had to ask to myself, why is isn't it they just take orders from people and have them wait in line, filling orders as the hardware comes in. Yeah it's sorta like pre-ordering but if you've got that much a shortage of hardware surely it makes sense. Rather than have everyone pissed they can't get a card and having sites crashing when they all rush to get one can't be better than this.

 

FYI. This is just my 2 cents, I have no stake in getting a 30 series card, that's money I don't have.

Frankly retailers don't seem to have a clue about any of this. Microsoft's website crashed during the Series X preorders, and that's like really? They have Azure. They make the tooling that millions of developers use to build their own high performance web applications. How hard is it to add redundancy? With stuff like Kubernetes, you can automate everything so that it autoscales with load. Yet still, it was somehow a surprise that Xbox pre-orders might be a little popular. In short, if even something like Microsoft can't get this right, no one else has a chance.

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usually there are preorders, yes, but stock seems to be even lower than usual (which is always pretty low anyways) and they dont wanna do preorders for the reasons listed by minibois. there are so few cards that they basically cant do preorders

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6 hours ago, minibois said:

Because of the uncertainty in how many videocards they will get.

Many stores aren't vendors, meaning they don't purchase from Nvidia/MSI/ASUS/etc. directly, but from a middle-man. This makes it increasingly difficult to know how many videocards you - as a store - will receive.

 

This makes it so you have hundreds or thousands of outstanding orders waiting to be fullfilled.

This may not sound like a huge issue except for a couple points:

 

1. Let's say people have to pay to get a 'spot' in line, it probably goes against all consumer rights laws in the world to not allow them to cancel this pre-order. Even if that is not against laws, it's very consumer unfriendly.

Anyways, the issue with this comes down to taxes. Not sure about the situation everywhere, but where I live (and I think this is at least the case in the entire EU), sales tax is applied by the store on a product and then given to the government by said store (oversimplification, but you get the point).

So a store has to pay the sales tax over an order, while the customer can choose to cancel said order at any time. That's an administrative mess.

Having orders without them being paid brings you to the same issue as just listing cards as you get them; bots and such will just fill up all queue spots.

 

2. Keeping track over hundreds or thousands of outstanding orders is - without complicated systems - incredibly complicated and requires a lot of manhours.

It's 'easier' to just list cards online as you receive them. At least in the short term.

 

This is a situation stores partially don't want to be in.

The part where any card they list will get sold? Amazing.

The part where getting cards is impossible and all customers hound you about delivery times, their position in queue, etc.? Nightmare.

In terms of tax's being a issue, surely they could just do a system such as "we notify you when you're order is up, you have 24 hours to submit payment or it goes to the next person" no payment is made until the card is in, preventing the refund issue as well. On the bot thing, you can simple say "maximum quantity per address" or name, or CC number, etc, stores already do that.

 

And for keeping track of orders, letting customers know their place in line, delivery times, etc, already exist and are all just automated pieces of software.  This would also help when place orders from vendors/warehouses because you'd know a actual rough number on how many you're actually going to need instead of just assuming they'd sell.

 

The reason I asked these questions is not because "oh hey this is so simple I can't believe nobody has thought of it before" but because other people have thought of it and these very types of systems are already in place around the world. They just amazingly don't seem to be in place when it comes to consumer tech which is astounding because, oh hey, "tech" industry. 

 

 

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They do...? Called backorder. You place order on something which is coming. Might not have date or any certainty, but they still could take your order. If they don't, then the reason is probably some law saying its not OK. But I know that stores here still do it. You can buy stuff even if it says there's no certainty they will ever get anything.

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4 minutes ago, LogicalDrm said:

They do...? Called backorder. You place order on something which is coming. Might not have date or any certainty, but they still could take your order. If they don't, then the reason is probably some law saying its not OK. But I know that stores here still do it. You can buy stuff even if it says there's no certainty they will ever get anything.

Thank you, this is what I'm saying. If even small places are able to do things like this, there is no reason major tech retailers can't. 

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lets say all stores do this and a customer gets a ticket from 5 stores and one of the stores gets stock notifies him and he buys it. but then theres 4 other stores he has a ticket to and he probably didnt bother to notify them that hes no longer interested. so one of the other stores get stock and tries to get him to buy it but he already has one so he ignores the email. and then after a week the store decides ok lets move it to another person in line and then the same thing happens with the next person. and then it just becomes this mess that makes it so the store has a lot of sitting inventory and has to spend a lot of resources 

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1 hour ago, WillOfTheLand said:

In terms of tax's being a issue, surely they could just do a system such as "we notify you when you're order is up, you have 24 hours to submit payment or it goes to the next person" no payment is made until the card is in, preventing the refund issue as well. On the bot thing, you can simple say "maximum quantity per address" or name, or CC number, etc, stores already do that.

We all know max quantity per address stuff just does not work.

I mean, yes there are stores that provide this; but it's not the perfect dream solutions, as we can see by the fact that many stores can't give pre-orders anymore (because their backorder system is already filled with too many people/bots).

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

Sorry if my post seemed rude, that is never my intention.

"Why do we suffer a lifetime for a moment of happiness?" - Anonymous

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10 hours ago, spartaman64 said:

... so one of the other stores get stock and tries to get him to buy it but he already has one so he ignores the email. and then after a week the store decides ok lets move it to another person in line and then the same thing happens with the next person. and then it just becomes this mess that makes it so the store has a lot of sitting inventory and has to spend a lot of resources 

This would be the case if there was and queue system. The way backorders work, the order is placed once. Payment is made when order is processed (aka item has arrived to store). So in there forgetting that they are in line for 4 other stores, means that they get billed 5 times if they don't cancel order in time.

 

The queue system (to OP, agreeing with @spartaman64) where system waits for another confirmation is not feasible. In classic "take-a-number" you are active and in place. If you don't response visibly for number being called, they don't bother waiting. So for online this method won't work as there's no way of getting confirmation of someone is still actually in queue or not. Unless system has expiration set very short and requiring you to manually applying again. Better would be call-back. Though with that too, missing the call-back automatically means one will be dropping at the end of the line. So neither of these are valid for online business.

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