Why We Don’t Take Back Orders
Posted on 15 January 2019
We keep selling out of lump hammers within hours of releasing them – no matter how many we make (and we make hundreds and hundreds each month).
As a result, we get this question a lot: Why don’t you take my order and fulfill it when you have more hammers?
The answer is: Sorry, we don’t accept back orders. This blog entry seeks to explain why.
Simply put: We’ve watched too many small toolmaking and furniture-making business get destroyed by a big backlog of business that eventually crushed them, personally and professionally.
If the above statement sounds weird, read on.
When you take an order or a deposit for a yet-to-be manufactured item you establish a relationship with that person. Most customers are wonderful. They’re easy to deal with, patient and they understand that making tools or furniture is difficult. But a small percentage of people use this relationship to hound the maker.
I’ve watched it time and again. Certain customers ask – over and over – when their item will ship. And if you have enough customers ask this question, then you spend hours each day just responding to the query: Hey, where’s my thing?
If the maker took a deposit (or, God help them, the full purchase price), then they are in for more trouble. The few difficult customers will hound the maker. Sometimes they’ll threaten them. And when they don’t feel they are getting enough attention they start to defame the maker on Internet forums or chat rooms.
If this sounds like we are down on our customers, we’re not. The vast majority of you are wonderful people – honest, patient and supportive of what we do. But the tiny minority prevents us from entering into a situation where we could be overwhelmed by back orders.
We’re a tiny company. And we’re not trying to grow quickly, take on a penny of debt or hire a bunch of people to address what could be a passing need. We’re working as hard as we can to supply more hammers (and dividers). We hate the fact that we are out of stock, and we work every day to fix that problem.
We think our tools are worth waiting for. But we promise that we don’t want you to wait too long.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us and has been patient during the last 30 months.
— Christopher Schwarz