When A Deal Goes Bad


Despite requests to diss retailers, my experiences have not been bad enough to recount except in the case of an eBay seller or two. What happened today finally pushed me to rethink my policy. Going negative is not my preference but sometimes it’s honest.

Rather than post about problems with sellers, I’ve come up with a simple solution. Just highlight the link to a seller listed in the sidebar and you’ll find a brief warning or a vote of confidence for those with whom I’ve had multiple good results. Be prepared though. You’ll find a 10 to 1 ratio of good to bad comments and I’m not finished yet. More comments will be added in future.

So what happened today? Classify it under the categories of website inadequacy and lackadaisical customer service. Overall the most consistent failing in my experience with online pen retailers is the misrepresentation of inventory availability. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this issue but it was the first that cannot be rectified. I placed an order for a discontinued item last Friday. No lack of inventory and the order went through as noted in the confirmation email. Other retailers had the item in stock but I chose to give a little business to one I thought would be good to promote in a post following the successful transaction. Monday morning I received an email that the store had sold out of the item and would issue a refund. I placed my order in good faith but will not receive the merchandise ordered. The shop was not closed over the weekend but no one informed me that my order was cancelled. It’s a small order, maybe not important enough to handle promptly. The credit has not shown up so I cannot place an order elsewhere. On a discontinued and now sold-out item, this was a death blow.

Don’t mistake me. Small businesses deserve patronage. The more of them that survive, the better, but they only earn my support when they deliver in a fair and timely manner. A deal is a deal.



  1. I don’t see the highlighting…


    • Try placing your cursor over a retailer like Pendemonium. You should see a comment. If not, let me know. Most retailers will have no remarks since I have had no direct experience with them. Even this inkophile has limits. 😉


      • I got it to work. I just have to keep my mouse hovered for a few seconds – the boxes don’t show up immediately.


        • And I thought the lag was just my old computer. Nutz!


  2. I like your mouse-over solution commenting on your experience with the different pen shops. Customer service separates the merely ok establishments from the great ones.


    • Thanks, Mona. It seems a workable solution since my comments will be revealed to newbies and veterans alike. 🙂


  3. I’m sorry to hear about your deal gone bad. I haven’t had this experience yet, but I’m disappointed that it is something to watch out for. The delay in crediting your money back is inexcusable. That should be automatic, no questions asked, but that’s just my opinion. I’m curious. What discontinued item was it that you were trying to purchase?


    • Caran d’Ache Storm. Most inks could get discontinued and it would be fine with me. The color of Storm is more unique and to my liking especially for correspondence. De Atramentis Aubergine is the closest if more saturated but will have to do in future.


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