Last Minute Shopping
I woke up this morning to a barrage of emails about some of our recent single cask whisky releases. Here's a quick Q&A that might help you with your last-minute shopping at K&L:
David, when I looked at the K&L webpage last night there were thirty bottles in stock. This morning when I woke up they were gone. What gives? Did those bottles really sell out overnight?
Yes. This is December. People everywhere are shopping for gifts. The lower the inventory gets on a product, the more it motivates people to buy now rather than wait because they're witnessing the bottles disappear right before their very eyes. Hence, when the inventory of an item dips below thirty or so remaining bottles, there tends to be a rush of last-minute orders. Which leads into our next question...
David, when I got my order in yesterday there were six bottles left, but I got an out of stock email this morning from K&L saying there were no more bottles. How could that have happened?
If you place an order for one of the final bottles of a single cask whisky and those last six bottles are in our main warehouse, you're probably safe. However, if those last six bottles are in one of our retail stores, then they're likely on the shelf. That means that from the time you place your order, to the time it's received, to the time it's picked off the shelf by one of our staff members, those bottles are available for any customer in the store to purchase. Given that there will be thousands of people passing through K&L on any given day this holiday season, the likelihood that those bottles will get snagged by an in-store shopper is high. It can be a six to eight hour delay between you placing a web order and us actually facilitating it this time of year. If our website says the last six bottles of whisky are in Redwood City and it's a hot-selling item, there's a good chance they're going to picked-off before your order gets processed.
David, I put a few bottles in my online shopping cart last night, but today when I tried to check out today it said the product was sold out. Why did that happen?
Placing an item into your online shopping cart does not pull the items from stock, it only prepares to do so once you provide payment details. You need to actually check out and complete the order before the items will be removed from inventory. See the previous two questions for additional details about the speed of product movement in December and the potential for mayhem even after you've placed your order.
In summary, if you see something you want and it sounds good to you, buy it. I know it's fun to watch the inventory drop from 500 to 400 to 300 to 100 to 50 to 20 before you decide to pull the trigger, but you're playing with fire there. Anything can happen in December. One phone call from a local law firm can wipe out an entire item (as happened last week). It goes something like this:
"Hey, do you have a whiskey you like that we can use as presents for our staff this year?"
"Sure, how many bottles do you need?"
BOOM. There goes the Four Roses OESK. It happens that fast.