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Tools and supplies ordering, online or by phone?


#1

At some point several year’s ago I faxed an order into a tool company
and sat back to wait for it to come. It didn’t. I called, inquired
and someone rumbled around the order department until they found my
fax buried under a pile. I made a note to self…always CALL in your
order.

Now its the present and everything is online and I find myself
stymied sometimes because I want to order something and the order
department is closed. Suddenly I realized I can order online! "duh"
but I’m hard-wired to phone in orders. I have jeweler friends who do
this too.

So, Orchid world, do you have preference for ordering online or by
phone, from places like Rio, Otto Frei, Hoover & Strong etc? Or do
you online tools and phone in metal orders?

Carla
http://carlamfox.com


#2

Online. We are way too busy to be on the phone all day. And many
suppliers allow you to save your shopping cart, which allows me to
work on orders outside of store hours.


#3

Hi Carla,

My experience with online ordering from Rio is great. I miss the
section where you used to be able to leave special comments and/or
instructions though. That really helped. I also order from other
sites online too, but it only takes one experience to teach me to
call in like you do. Go with works for you. I do like Otto’s live
chat feature that pops up after you’ve been searching a while.

Good luck, have fun, make beautiful things,
Karen


#4

Interesting question, Carla,

I find myself making most orders online, but do phone in when I have
a question about something or the online catalogue does not respond
to my search language. Sometimes the online description is not
adequate and I need that personal resource. Stuller is the best with
phone help. Besides, it’s a pleasure to just hear that Lousiana
accent. Rio does a great job too, even without the accent. :wink:

Judy in Kansas, where last night was the first tornado warning, but
nothing touched down. Lots of wind and rain though.


#5

I love online. My personal situation is such that often I cannot
call my time my own until after 9pm - so online is such a fantastic
invention for me!

Barbara


#6

Both… largely depending on time and how many items I’m ordering.
If I have a long list I usually wait till they are open and call it
in. If I have a question I wait till they are open and call it in. If
I’m only ordering a few items, no questions, then I might online
order. Doesn’t happen often, frankly…

And on this note, I’ve placed two phone orders with Stachura in two
weeks, both for things that required much discussion as I was trying
to “match” something for a custom order - they were great spending
the time with me on the phone and online at the same time, as I sent
them to a school website (trying to match a school color for a
ring), and figuring out what they had in stock that would be suitable
for what I needed. THIS is why I phone order - and use Stachura!!!
Can’t beat the service!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


#7

Hi Carla, I have had success with both and really no critical failure
either. I would point out that a few places really require phone
orders (sometimes through a rep) to get what you need - Indian
Jewelers Supply does specific cuts for me - there is no where to do
this online.so I call and honestly I think their personal service is
great. United Precious Metals Refining is another one that you need
to order by phone (they actually make the sheet for you). I am the
opposite of you and go to online first; to order. If you know the
company and you know exactly what you want and (6X10" 18 G Sterling
sheet.etc), they have it on the site I think online is easy and
reliable, you typically get an email confirmation of what you order,
and a second one when the item is shipped with tracking.

Last note, go local if you can.
Good luck.
Kay Cummins
www.OutAndAboutGirls.com


#8

Online is the only way I want to order.

If I phone an order in I have to read the item number, the person
helping me repeats the number, then describes the item, confirms the
quantity… It get so tedious if my list is very long. This is not
to fault anyone, they don’t know what I want, and once in a while I
copy the number in the catalog incorrectly or read it from my list
incorrectly, so the repetition does save mistakes.

But when I order online and I get a part number wrong I see that
immediately when a picture of the wrong item comes up on my screen.
I can stop in the middle of my ordering, deal with something else,
then resume at my convenience. Online ordering takes almost no time
at all.

I’m sure online ordering is more efficient for the supplier as well,
which helps them to be profitable and stay in business, and to keep
costs down for me. Of course I can place my order after midnight if
I feel like doing that. I do most of my ordering after hours.

The only disadvantage to online ordering is with back orders. If you
phone in an order and an item is out of stock often they can tell
you when it might come in. With an online back order you have no idea
at all.

If I have questions, often I’ll use email. I send it when it is
convenient for me. They reply when it is convenient for them. I read
the reply at my convenience. How can you beat that? Of course
pressing questions or questions that might need discussion should be
made by phone. Doing as much as you can online makes the best use of
everyone’s time.

Admittedly, I did like hearing the accent of the women at Swest -
and hearing them say ‘Swest’, too.

Neil A.


#9
So, Orchid world, do you have preference for ordering online or by
phone 

I’ve never had good luck ordering jewelry related things online.
OTOH I have no problem buying computer hardware online.


#10

Hi Carla,

Sorry to hear of your hard-wiring problem!

Most companies that are set up to accept on-line orders have an
automated process to notify you that your order has been received
and is being processed. Method of delivery and expected delivery
dates are common practice and a receipt is made available on line,
usually immediately. I move that receipt to a folder for my
accountant, and these folders are backed up regularly to an external
hard drive devoted to that purpose only. My accountant loves it and I
love it! Incidentally, most of those receipts will never get printed
onto paper, no need for it, so there’s a bit of a “green” aspect
there. Truth be known, I’m a LOUSY filer and now enjoy minimal stacks
of paper around me.

Because those receipts are important tax documents, the duplicate
data on the external hard drive is also stored at an on-line backup
site (not Carbonite, they can’t back up external drives!)

When I sell one of my products on line, the customer’s email address
is used to auto-forward shipping (in my case, Fedex
Ground is preferred) and the progress of the shipment both to the
customer and myself. They know where their stuff is and so do I all
the time and I automatically receive proof of delivery (or unable to
deliver notices).

Now, if you CALL your order in it must be at a time acceptable to
the seller, and THEY are going to input your request into the same
software that you could have done at your leisure and at the hour of
your choosing. Why bother?

Additionally, many companies offer “apps” that can be downloaded to
your smart phone that enable you to place an order from your phone if
you are away from your shop.

Of course, if you have questions about the product it may be
necessary to phone in your order, but mostly I like the on-line
method because I can do my ordering after or before their hours of
operation and it doesn’t interfere with my “regular” work day.
Hard-wiring can be undone… I love my Android phone and I’ll be 66
this year!

Anyway, hope there’s something in my meandering of use…

Wayne Emery
www.thelittlecameras.com