This post is IN STOCK

Ha ha ha ha! You just fell for it. Sucker!

I’ve now worked for three different ecommerce companies in the last ten years. And I can tell you this: None of them gave even the remotest flying shit about accurate information on their web sites about products being “in stock” or not.

All three of them simply listed products as “in stock” — no matter what.

No actual effort was expended to make sure a product’s availability status was accurate. None.

In some cases, the words “in stock” were simply hard-coded right into the web page.

So how does the shopping “experience” work in cases like these?

  1. Shopper visits site.
  2. Shopper selects a product page to view.
  3. Shopper is told the product is “in stock.”
  4. Shopper gets excited about the product and thinks, “I want to consume this shiny thing.”
  5. Shopper adds item to the cart and completes their order.
  6. Shopper pays for the item.
  7. The company says, “Ha ha ha ha ha! Now we have your fucking money.”
  8. At some later time shopper is informed of the “unexpected delay” with their purchase.

That’s it. Now you know the secret “magic” that takes place behind the curtain. Fun, huh?

At all three companies I went to the owner of the company and expressed this overly-simplistic thought: “Shouldn’t we consider being honest with our customers?”

Wow. Talk about getting an earful in response!

All three of them expressed it the same way. “If we say a product is out of stock then people won’t give us their money!” (Try to imagine the magnitude of whining here. Plain text simply doesn’t do it justice.)

No shit, Sherlock.

In other words, the paradigm is this: Being honest about the availability of products will hurt sales.

Sales is a god. For some, despite overt protestations that they abide by different religious beliefs, it is the only god to which they will bow down in prayer.

The object of the game is simple. Separate the customer from his wallet in the shortest period of time and with the smallest possible amount of effort. Period. End of story. Game over. Any means, fair or otherwise, will be employed in pursuit of that objective.

Get the money. Then do whatever it takes to maintain the sale. Try to switch the customer to another product. Talk them into waiting. Whatever. But, no matter what, avoid them canceling their order. WE HAVE THEIR MONEY!

Now, be honest. If you knew this was the kind of person you would be dealing with, would you even place that order in the first place?

Lucky for you I’m here to help. I’m going to teach you how to identify these assholes so you won’t become their latest mind fuck. Pay attention now, because I’m only going to say this once.

Here is how you can identify this particular breed of asshole ecommerce retailer:

Their web site lists products as “in stock.”

See? It’s just that easy. Avoid these motherfuckers like the plague!

And now for the bad news about this post. (You expected this, right?)

Dear Blog Reader,

Thank you for your recent click of “This post is IN STOCK” at Shouts from the Abyss.

We have received your click, and wanted to let you know there has been an unexpected delay in the content of the following items:

Item: 5685
Description: Blog post, “This post is IN STOCK”
Quantity: 1 @ $FREE
Shipping Method: Internets

We want to assure you that your blog post will be fulfilled once the item(s) becomes available.

Thank you once again for your blog click and selecting Shouts from the Abyss! We are continually expanding our selection to serve you better, so be sure to visit us often for new blog posts and the latest demotivations. If you have any further questions concerning shipping, order status, payment or other website policies, visit the Help area of our website at .


Customer Service

Sorry, you lose! Ha ha ha ha!

12 responses

  1. I hope this isn’t your new company you’re talking about. My experience as an online consumer is that whenever I want to order something is that it’s never in stock…but maybe that’s because I’m ordering clearance items 😉


    1. Alas, it is. I’m not sure if I’m in the frying pan or the fire right now. There are some good signs and some bad. I don’t know how this will turn out but I’m trying to be hopeful and focus on the good stuff.


  2. I have many complaints about my company. Perhaps because it’s a “real” company, we do not lie about what’s in stock and we do suffer for it.

    Just yesterday, I heard a rep making the promise to get 700 pcs to the customer in our 3 day schedule and “that balance will follow” for 7 day. Guess you keep them sometimes and other times no.

    I recall many years ago, Coca-Cola or somebody BIG called and asked if we could ship 7,000,000 items (srsly) by the end of the year. Sadly, we could not. We spent about 3 days figuring out exactly how we could get it to them in smaller chunks but they needed it by the end of the year. They even talked about converting one of our other properties just for that order (one factory/ warehouse would exist for that year just to do ONE order).

    Didn’t work out. More’s the pity cos I think we’d have made about $7 for each piece. At that point, we were a medium-sized company. Now, we’re a small business. I wonder if the owner recalls these things. I do. It stood out and perhaps making that conversion would’ve built our business in the long run by getting and keeping a major customer.


    1. I’m so curious now! Is it something your company manufactures? And not in the realm of “printing” I assume?

      So your company doesn’t deliberately lie about what’s in stock. That’s cool. I think some companies actually make that effort because there is a positive win-win that comes from doing so. But are they ethical challenged in other ways?

      I was thinking back on my career and I came to a startling realization. In my entire career I’ve never been at a company that didn’t do some things that were underhanded. That was a pretty stark eyeopener for me. I think it is a safe bet my job experiences have tainted me on companies.


  3. Oy. I’m sorry this is happening at your new company too! But yeah, sales companies are shites.


    1. Yeah, it is disturbing and disappointing. The motto seems to be, “ANYTHING it takes to make money.” Disturbing indeed.


  4. damn it. I was reading along, sure I was enjoying it, but it was just the anticipation! Who knows when I’m going to get to read this now?


    1. Suffer! We’ll never tell how many blog post orders go unfulfilled. (In more ways than one!)

      You just reminded me, though. There’s a big segment of commerce that falls into the category of “ordered but never fulfilled.” Perhaps an order falls through the cracks and the customer forgets about it? Or perhaps the customer dies? Is someone from the estate going to follow-up with the ecommerce company for that $19.95 piece of shit plus shipping? I doubt it!

      Every year the companies I’ve worked out close out the books on these dead orders. And I can safely assure you of one detail that is motherfucking guaranteed: They make absolutely no effort to find out what happened or attempt to refund. Let the buyer beware!


  5. This comment is pending.


    1. The ultimate form of revenge for this post. Nicely done!


  6. […] Said by my boss after cross-selling a customer on a product our web site has listed as “in stock.” Recently customers have become increasingly combative when us innocents answer the phone, […]


  7. […] that very Friday I celebrated with a post entitled, “This post is IN STOCK.” This humble missive griped about the rampant dishonesty and unethical business practices I […]


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: