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Subject: I think I've figured out what Amazon's doing... rss

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David Wiens
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Those of us who pre-ordered CE from Amazon have been voicing our displeasure at the fact that everyone else seems to have the game, but we are getting notifications of delays in shipping and CE being "out of stock".

so here's my conspiracy nut theory...

I went on Amazon's site and did a search for "Cosmic Encounter". At the top of the results list were two pictures of the new release of CE from FFG. The top one had an arrival date of late Feb. 09 and the option to preorder. Presumably, this is the listing for the game we all pre-ordered. It was categorized under "Misc. Supplies".

The second game entry was _not_ listed under "Misc. Supplies" and was labeled as "IN-STOCK"(!?!?!). I assume that this means that CE _is_ available to buy from Amazon, but you have to buy the right listing.

Now this is where it gets conspiratorial.

All of our pre-orders were placed before FFG announced that CE would have a higher price point than was first announced, so most of us are getting this game at a significantly reduced price from what you can buy it for now from Amazon (my pre-order with free shipping was ~ $32.50, the listing now is $48). I emailed Amazon asking them to send me the in-stock item in place of my pre-order. The (very apologetic) response said that I could cancel my pre-order and buy the in-stock item.

Aha!! If I cancel my pre-order & buy the in-stock item I'll have to pay the higher price! This could be Amazons way of making back the money they lost selling the pre-order at the reduced price. They make the new listing available for the higher price and make the pre-order unavailable until Feb 09. Some people who pre-ordered will want to get the game sooner and will sacrifice more money in the interest of getting the more expensive listing faster = Amazon makes more money.
Ta-Daaa!



BTW - this is tongue in cheek, but only kind of.
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Shawn Simas
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This was my theory as well.
 
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That sucks - sorry to hear about this crummy situation.

However, this is precisely why I don't pre-order games based on saving money from online sites. You're rarely going to get the game before the average FLGS buyer will get it.

Gamers should probably ask themselves, "Do I want this right away? More than I want to save $10?" If the answer is "Yes", don't waste your time on a pre-order (and all the potential hassles they tend to consistently entail). Just go to your store and buy a copy or wait until it's showing "IN-STOCK" at your favorite online retailer and buy it then.

Is it really worth saving $10-20? In my mind, nope.
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Jim Patterson
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On the other hand, I did get my BSG preorder (at about $27, based on the original $40 MSRP) in fairly good time. I ended up canceling the CE order due to having other priorities, so I can't check how it was classified, but I'm pretty sure it was called a "hardcover book." So when you go to the Misc. Supplies entry, does it say that you already ordered this item (CE) on such-and-such a date? My ToI: Normandy preorder (also based on a lower MSRP) is still listed as a book, as was BSG when I bought it.

Now I'm not saying Amazon wouldn't hose you. I'm just fishing for a few more details.
 
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Raviv Nagel
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The price for CE at Amazon (the "misc supply" one) just jumped from 37.77$ to 59.95$
weird.
 
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I don't buy the theory, because the copy of CE listed "in stock" is not sold by Amazon.com, it's sold by one of their business partners.
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Scott Everts
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I ordered Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) (revised) from them also at $37.77. And its still listed as Preorder. Same thing is happening there maybe?

EDIT- I just checked and now Amazon has a new listing for Talisman that has it listed at the retail price. Sounds like you are right, they re-listed these items as new entries and probably will NEVER fulfill the old listing. I emailed them about it so will see what they say. So looks like I'll be cancelling too and re-ordering from Boards & Bits.
 
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David Wiens
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ced1106 wrote:
Look closer.

The lower price is from "The Game Preserve". The pre-order is not.

I think I'll go to Bits and Boards and complain that Dominion is out of stock at Thoughthammer. laugh


I saw that there were other sellers available that were going through Amazon, but when I checked initially there was at least one in stock that was actually being fulfilled by Amazon.
 
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Robert Reed
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Amazon probably jacked the price up to $59.95 because today is the last day to order for a Christmas delivery using standard shipping.

raviv wrote:
The price for CE at Amazon (the "misc supply" one) just jumped from 37.77$ to 59.95$
weird.
 
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David Knepper
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clockwirk wrote:
ced1106 wrote:
Look closer.

The lower price is from "The Game Preserve". The pre-order is not.

I think I'll go to Bits and Boards and complain that Dominion is out of stock at Thoughthammer. laugh


I saw that there were other sellers available that were going through Amazon, but when I checked initially there was at least one in stock that was actually being fulfilled by Amazon.


From the Amazon website:

"Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's own warehouses, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these items. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Super Saver Shipping and AmazonPrime."

I've pre-ordered Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Red November, Descent: The Tomb of Ice,
Talisman (Revised 4th Edition), Tide of Iron: Normandy, Cosmic Encounter, & StarCraft: The Board Game – Brood War Expansion from Amazon.com.

I did receive Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, but only after I bitched because Amazon.com was actually selling it on their website and not fulfilling my pre-order. I finally canceled both Red November and Descent: The Tomb of Ice after Amazon.com pushed the release date out into the 2009 future somewhere (I later got both of them at CoolStuffInc at nearly the same or lower prices!). Both Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) and Cosmic Encounter are currently showing a ship date of 22 Dec 2008; unlike others, I have not received an email advising me that that release date has been changed. Not yet, anyhow!

So, I won't be doing any more pre-order business with Amazon.com.shake
 
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Aging One wrote:
Both Talisman (Revised 4th Edition) and Cosmic Encounter are currently showing a ship date of 22 Dec 2008; unlike others, I have not received an email advising me that that release date has been changed. Not yet, anyhow!


Received my "Uh, we can't really hose you without your knowledge unless we keep things really confusing" release date push bullshit email for CE today.

New estimated arrival date: 02/27/2008.
 
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Bob Hansen
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I will never pre-order anything through Amazon again after ordering the 4th Edition D&D books. They were consistently out of stock after the books went live. I ended up purchasing my books elsewhere and canceling my order. They need to learn how to order enough to fulfill a pre-order or to limit pre-orders to what they know they can fulfill.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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My room mate asked the following question.

Could the problem entries, mostly pre-orders it seems, have been blanks posted by an outside party not affiliated with the companies? I assume the answer is no and that ts been checked as to who is fronting the games to Amazon?
 
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Sean Sicher
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Well...

The same day that I was asked to confirm that I did in fact still want the game I got my shipping notice. Should have it before Christmas from Amazon.

 
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Sicher wrote:

Well...

The same day that I was asked to confirm that I did in fact still want the game I got my shipping notice. Should have it before Christmas from Amazon.



Am I reading that correctly - Amazon has started to ship the CE preorders?
 
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Tim Seitz
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I dunno, my status says 12/22 shipping estimate.

I don't hold anything against Amazon for doing this. Personally, I hope they fulfill the orders, of course, but I can see they are probably kicking themselves for offering the game at 32.97 (with free shipping!) and then got stuck when FFG raised prices.

I did get BSG and Kingsburg under their previously low low prices, so all is not bad.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Amazon has been screwing over people with video game preorders for years. Nothing will surprise me now.
 
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Nate Johnson
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ScottB wrote:
Sicher wrote:

Well...

The same day that I was asked to confirm that I did in fact still want the game I got my shipping notice. Should have it before Christmas from Amazon.



Am I reading that correctly - Amazon has started to ship the CE preorders?


Not that I can tell. I sent them a note asking why my game hasn't been sent and they are trying to gently explain to me that I ordered a book. I have been trying to point out to them that there is not now nor has there ever been a book. Nor, in fact, has any book been announced.
 
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William Crispin
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Sending email to them is generally hopeless. I have never gotten a useful response. However on an up note they are showing my CE preorder as preparing to ship. I assume everyone else's will also in the next few days.
 
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Scott Giles
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Amazon.com does have an actual toll free number to call for customer service. They've hidden it from the general public, but it does exist. The last time I needed to speak to a real amazon person 1.800.201.7575 worked, googling gives a newer article listing 1-866-216-1072 but YMMV.
 
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Sean Sicher
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They have indeed starting shipping.


The following items have been shipped to you by Amazon.com:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Qty Item Price Shipped Subtotal

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Amazon.com items (Sold by Amazon.com, LLC):

1 Cosmic Encounter $32.97 1 $32.97

Shipped via UPS
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Robert Reed
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Sicher wrote:
They have indeed starting shipping.


The following items have been shipped to you by Amazon.com:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Qty Item Price Shipped Subtotal

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Amazon.com items (Sold by Amazon.com, LLC):

1 Cosmic Encounter $32.97 1 $32.97

Shipped via UPS


Are you kidding? I just checked my Amazon account and here's what it says:


Order Date: September 22, 2008
Items not yet shipped:
Shipping estimate: March 2, 2009

* 1 of: Cosmic Encounter
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC


...I guess this is evidence there is some sort of priority system in who's preorder gets shipped out first.

Ho ho ho! Merry xmas from Amazon.com!
 
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Christopher Blohm
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BanjoBob - there sure seems like it.

My intent is not to rub it in but to illustrate.

Here is mine:

Order Date: November 21, 2008
Items not yet shipped:
Shipping estimate: December 22, 2008

1 of: Cosmic Encounter
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

How do I order months after you and get an estimate like that?
 
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David Knepper
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wwscrispin wrote:
Sending email to them is generally hopeless. I have never gotten a useful response. However on an up note they are showing my CE preorder as preparing to ship. I assume everyone else's will also in the next few days.


Actually, I've gotten a written reply to every email I've sent to Amazon.com and, generally, very quickly. Not that I have been particularly pleased with the response, but Amazon.com has responded to every one.
 
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