The Last One – Gone!

Well we all survived the holidays. Whew! But, before we look to the next holiday season, let me warn you, my friend. Whether shopping online or via a brick and mortar website – be wary of that “Only 1 left!”

It wasn’t just once that this tripped me up. So, glad to find one left, I place the order. I make payment. I’m told which store has it in stock. I’m on my way or I show up and only then find out that the item doesn’t exist. Sure, I could come up with some creative reasons – but let’s just go with the obvious – poor inventory control. Even in this day and age.

Back in the early 90’s I worked at Radio Shack. We took inventory once or twice a year. We hated it. It was so tedious. We had to do much of it after hours. It began by printing reams of inventory reports. Then breaking them up and each of us taking a section and counting inventory. The big ticket items were easy. It was the force feed (what we called the small parts we sold back then, that were sent automatically (forced on us) based on our inventory) that took hours to count. But, it was never accurate for very long. And it’s disappointing that even now, decades later, this is still true. But, back then, it would be an empty peg. Now, it is a useless trip to a store or waiting on something that never ships – and then a refund.

So, the next time you find an item where only 1 is left, be wary. The ability to pay for it before you get it is no guarantee. Not even in this age of Amazon.

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