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Caveat Emptor: Subway Stamp

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Posted 08/05/2020   11:45 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I realize that many businesses are working under different parameters during the pandemic, but in some cases their customer service hasn't made adjustments to keep up with the changes.

Case in point: Subway Stamp.

I placed an order with them on July 29 for a number of volumes of the Planty FDC cachet catalogs. I hadn't heard from them regarding a tracking number, so I called them this morning. Nothing either on the website or in my order confirmation email had mentioned any of the items being on backorder.

It turns out that more than half of the volumes I had ordered were out of stock and since they come from Europe they would not be getting them at all for the foreseeable future.

First of all, if this is the case with certain items, they should be removing them from the website, as their normal backorder parameters and supply chain timing doesn't apply.

Secondly, how long were they planning to leave my order in limbo without contacting me?

Not real happy with them at the moment.

So the takeaway is that if you are ordering anything online from any vendor and you don't get shipping notifications/tracking numbers in the timeframe you normally would expect, definitely contact them and inquire. Don't wait.
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Posted 08/05/2020   12:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
They have had this issue a long time, listing what is not in stock.

What I do now is ask if the item is in stock prior to ordering. If they can't or won't tell me, I say thank you. you lost a sale.
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Posted 08/05/2020   1:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"they should be removing them from the web site....." Ha ha.

I bought an item from a postal history dealer "back east" (I'm in Colorado) in February and received it. I checked the web site over this past weekend and my item is still showing as being for sale.

"I say thank you. You lost a sale." I haven't used Subway for a few years. I ordered some supplies, including a catalogue, also around February, from Potomac Supplies (Maryland Stamp & Coin). Was real pleased with the service, which included tracking, although I wouldn't know if they have Rev's items.
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Edited by Climber Steve - 08/05/2020 2:05 pm
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Posted 08/05/2020   2:13 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I wouldn't know if they have Rev's items.


Unfortunately Potomac carries virtually nothing in the way of books/catalogs.

I went ahead and ordered the canceled items from McCusker, where I had ordered some of the other volumes from, but unfortunately they were about $6 more per volume.
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Posted 08/05/2020   3:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
These days, you'd expect businesses to have almost immediate access to stock data. In the happy days before Covid, I could eat my lunch in the Sablon in Brussels, wander aling to the Davidoff shop and ask for thirty or forty packets of Pueblo tobacco. A couple of clicks and I'd jniw if I were in luck. In stamp terms, if I look, for example, at the excellent Thema Timbres site, I can see what's in stock and what will be subject to delay

https://www.thematimbres.com/PBSCCa...atID=2169255

But, sadly, the "no communication" option is still the default for many. I recall anguished, unanswered e-mails to Philatelie 50 in Cherbourg about an order, and having to press my daughter into action to call them and pester them. Another for the "never again" pile.

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Posted 08/05/2020   4:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Subway isn't the only one who does this. I always call to see if the items are in stock.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 08/05/2020   5:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Too many people are still in the "wait twenty-eight days for delivery mode" of the past. By contrast, when I've ordered supplies from Great Britain Stamps, they've telephoned me if something's out if stock, and offered alternatives.
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Posted 08/05/2020   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll throw in a plug for Phil Bansner here. In my experience he keeps his listings of both stamps and literature quite up to date. As soon as I order something it seems to disappear from his website.
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Posted 08/05/2020   8:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coastwatcher to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess that I got lucky. On July 23, I ordered a Bolaffi Italian stamp catalog from Subway and it finally arrived yesterday. I received an email confirming the purchase, but no email saying that it had been shipped or giving me a tracking number.
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Posted 08/05/2020   8:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Second the plug for Phil.
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Posted 08/05/2020   10:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A shame. There was a time when Subway Stamps was a walk-in store that was actually on a subway concourse. In those days they carried a lot of things; alas that was 50+ years ago.
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Posted 08/06/2020   11:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
How many of you boomers remember "Don't Sleep in the Subway," 1967, by Petula Clark? (disclosure: I was a radio disc jockey in college).

Back on topic, I'll check out Phil Bansner. Have heard of him. I like my current several dealers, but always looking for more that can provide my specialty material.
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Posted 08/06/2020   11:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That a company would market items that it does not have and cannot get is simply unconscionable. That it would nevertheless take your order without ever saying that it can't be filled is even worse. Subway should be ashamed.
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Posted 08/06/2020   4:42 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, add James McCusker to my list of idiot vendors to avoid. I got my order today... or should I say a tiny fraction of it. 2 out of 11 volumes I ordered, the remainder canceled because they're out of stock. No email. No phone call. They just shipped what they had.

Another example of an independent vendor with a website built in the 1990s that doesn't show ANY indication of out of stock items.

I had an even larger secondary order placed yesterday that I just demanded they cancel. I'm tired of trying to patch sets of resources together from various and sundry "businesses" that are too [CENSORED] incompetent to keep an accurate in-stock/backordered status on their storefronts.
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Posted 08/06/2020   4:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Okay, I'll bite. Who is Phil Banser? He's referred to 3x in this thread but I don't see any reference to who he is. Am I missing something?

As for Subway, I like them and have used them for years . . . but . . . they've been erratic lately. It was always the case that their albums, pages and other items took longer than most suppliers. But that's because they're a discounter and they had to first buy the product from the manufacturer and then have it shipped to them for resale to me. I always waited a lot longer for Scott album pages from them than I ever did from Scott/Amos Advantage, but they sold them at a fairly nice discount, so that was fine with me. In fact, they told me that it just takes them a very long time to get products from Scott/Amos, so if I wanted speed I'd do better to buy directly from Scott. At a higher price, of course.

Generally you should not expect speedy service from them or maybe from any reseller who doesn't have the items in stock. It's the money you save that makes doing this worthwhile.

I've also spoken on the phone with people at Subway many many times to check up on orders, and so forth. So if you don't get an email confirmation, just phone them. They're very nice and they'll answer your questions. I do get email confirmations for all my orders with them, so when I phone it's either to cancel an order or to inquire about something not explained on their website - or to check on stock availability.

I also think the virus has thrown them off stride badly as they were closed down for awhile. And one of their main office people, a guy I spoke with a lot, recently passed away. I'd say they're in recuperation mode, and I do hope they get back to normal operations pretty soon. The founder of the company passed away a few years ago, so whoever runs it know must have taken over from him. I always feel like they're doing their best, but not always as organized as they should be. I have one order I'm still trying to get an answer to right now, some damaged Davo pages they promised to replace but haven't yet. We'll see, I guess. Mostly I like Subway, but they do present some challenges.

Others like Potomac Supplies don't stock most items, either. IHobb is a good source for a limited number of stamp supplies, but it's not a general dealer with everything you need. And there are a few others. In the UK, Dauwalders Stamp Shop is great, but the cost of shipping isn't cheap. I mostly stick to AmosAdvantage (Scott Publishing) since they're very reliable with orders and reasonably quick shipping.
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Edited by DrewM - 08/06/2020 5:05 pm
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Posted 08/06/2020   4:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mystic Stamp sells some stamps they don't have. Three times now, that has been the case. The first time, I had to call after several weeks to find out why I hadn't gotten my order. They said they were having trouble getting the item from the consignee. I cancelled the order and got a refund.

Purchase nos 2 and 3, I called in my order, just to be sure they really DID have what they advertised. Both times the same answer: No, We have to get it from the consignee. I cancelled each order and after the 3rd time, told them I was through ordering stamps from them and what I thought of a dealer selling something they didn't have to begin with.

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