Customer support

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It took me a while to realize that when it comes to new rather than used CDs and LPs, most of the commercial record sellers on eBay don't really have all the items in stock that they are offering. I learned this through a repeated process of waiting, waiting and waiting. At some point I decided that rather than waste my patience, I might as well contact eBay sellers before I am actually ordering an item. My experiences with this kind of correspondence have highly diverse. Only recently, I contacted four eBay sellers about a CD all four of them were offering. I wrote:

To whom it may concern,
I would be interested in buying the CD [XXXX], catalogue number [XXXX], which you are offering "new and sealed" on eBay. However, as this item is listed by the record label as out of print and unavailable, could you please confirm that you do indeed have this item in stock and are thus able to ship it?
Kind regards,
H.P.

The answers I received were as follows:

Seller #1:

You are correct; this item is out of print, and I am afraid to say that we do not have it in stock. It should not have been listed at all, and I have removed the listing now. Thank you for drawing our attention to this, and our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

Seller #2:

We do not have the item in stock, but are confident that we will be able to fulfil the order. We thank you for your inquiry, and are looking forward to your purchase.

Seller #3:

Our orders are fulfilled through a fully automated process, and I am unfortunately not able to answer any questions about an item's status. We hope that this e-mail has been helpful and await your order.

Seller #4:

Delivery times on our orders vary between 3-8 days on domestic orders and up to 40 days on international orders, depending on the geographic location. Please allow at least 28 days before contacting us about pending orders.

It sucks that the only seller from whom I would be willing to buy this item happens to be the one who has admitted that he can't send it.

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That's what comes with being honest.

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