I actually used the words “gobsmacked” and “flabbergasted” in the call to my sales rep about this.

§ October 30th, 2011 § Filed under retailing § 10 Comments

So, as I’d noted, in last week’s new comics shipment we were shorted one of our bags of Legion of Super-Heroes flight rings, a promo item tying into the Legion Secret Origin mini-series that just launched. Each bag contains 50 rings, and we’ve been using them as giveaways to anyone who buys that particular comic, or buys any Legion comic, or says that day’s magical phrase that pays (“Here, take as much money as you’d like out of my wallet!” or variations thereof).

We’d called in that shortage to our distributor, along with another missing title or two, and we were told we’d get them in an emergency replacement shipment before the weekend. You know…stuff happens, it’s a bit annoying to be missing the items at the time, but so long as the distributor does its best to make it right, everything’s cool.

Now let me set this up. Each bag of 50 Legion rings is invoiced as an individual item, so if you’re getting, say, two bags of rings, you’re invoiced for two items (the bags) and not for one hundred items (each individual ring).

So when the shortage replacement invoice went through at the distributor, it read that we needed one bag of Legion rings (50 count). But what we got, in our replacement shipment, beneath the invoice and the packing material, was this:

Yup. One whole ring. By itself. With nothing else in the box (save the aforementioned invoice and packing material).

Now, I can see how it happened. Someone’s working quickly in the warehouse, scans the invoice, sees the “1” in the quantity section, sees “Legion flight ring,” somehow misses the “bag of 50” part, and behold, this package. And I’ve had my fair share of brain farts and have done equally inexplicable things, so it’s not like I’m angry or anything. Mostly, I’m amused, and we got a good laugh out of it at the shop, and now here I am telling you folks about it. And actual replacements are on the way (hopefully!). And we’re not exactly short on rings at the moment anyway, so no harm done.

But still, I keep picturing the person who actually packed this up for us being confused, if not outright irritated, at why s/he was being asked to waste effort and resources to pack up just one dumb ring in a box by itself. (Not to mention the self-forehead slap of epic proportions that surely ensued once realization dawned.)

Possibly adding to the circumstances that created this situation…there are several supply items that we order through our distributor that are invoiced in the exact opposite fashion, like current comic bags. Though these bags come 100 per sealed package we don’t order “1” if we want one package of bags. We order 100, as in one hundred individual comic bags, and then we are sent that one package of 100 bags. Of course, we usually order them a few thousand at a time, so if we wanted 30 bags of 100 comic bags, we’d put 3,000 in the order line. Now I’m hoping it never comes to pass that I order 3,000 current bags, expecting 30 packages and getting instead 3,000, for a total of 300,000 individual bags. That’s a storage problem I likely wouldn’t enjoy.

10 Responses to “I actually used the words “gobsmacked” and “flabbergasted” in the call to my sales rep about this.”

  • Andres says:

    Your picture should be the saddest panel in the saddest Legion comic ever.

  • Nat Gertler says:

    You had all those flight rings, and couldn’t be bothered to just fly to the warehouse yourself?

  • IvoryTower says:

    That’s like the opposite problem we have with WotC: my boyfriend is a registered GM for the Encounters event. Recently, for Game Day, they sent us enough material for *30* people. My boyfriend predicted, at most, 8 players.

    Numbers are haaaaaard.

  • Mike Zeidler says:

    I’m sad, I went to 5 different shops in the Chicago suburbs and not *one* of them got any flight rings this week. They were all told they would be getting theirs in the upcoming weeks, so when we got home, I called my LCS, which happens to do a fair amount of online business to boot, and *they* hadn’t gotten any rings either, so I finally caved and bought one on eBay. :(

    Paid less than the cost of the comic though, so it paid off in the end. (actually I’m really sad because I had one of those pricey prop replica ones back in the late ’90s, but it got lost in one of our house moves)

  • JRC says:

    funny first, then POed, then later funny again.

  • Jaq says:

    I work in construction, and I’ve had this happen to me-order 1 box of bolts, get one bolt-and it never fails to amaze and amuse me. The best part is when the supplier is local and you can actually go visit them and say “what the heck happened here?” Always good for a laugh.

  • Brendan T (@TheUnholyDragon) says:

    I can top this.

    My store once got an extra box.

    Nothing in it. Just a box. Full of packing and whatnot but without a single item in it.

    And of course, we paid shipping, so it’s not free or anything. Not completely.

    So yeah, an empty box.

    You go Diamond.

  • Casie says:

    Hee hee. What a lonely little ride that ring must of had.

  • Dan Latta says:

    Gobsmacked? Flabberghasted?

    Well… I’ll be hornswaggled!

  • De says:

    The Legion action figure set Mattel sold on their website contains a beautiful prop replica ring. Unfortunately, it’s sold out now: