Inventory management is an important part of running a successful business. For distributors, this includes paying close attention to inventory levels and the changes that happen with those levels. Recently, Michael was notified that his products would no longer be processed after January 7th and he sent three emails outlining the situation and what it meant for distributors.
Michael Heizer Claims His eBay Stores Are Not Being Affected by Price Listing Error
Michael notified all of his distributors of a possible lockout situation for the holiday season. Some distributors had already ordered their products, but most did not. In one email to each distributor, Michael notified them of the inventory situation and asked them to contact him by Christmas to see if their orders would be ready before the end of the holiday season. The email included:
- the inventory balance for each product,
- a description of the inventory situation,
- an outline of the steps that distributors should take in order to get their distributors’ items to the customer before the end of the holiday season.
The email included pictures of several of the distributors’ products. The pictures showed how dirty the distributors’ products were following shipping. In one particular email, Michael was notified that one of the distributors’ packages had been opened by a delivery service. Michael also provided an outline of the steps that distributors should take in order to avoid the possibility of having their stock out of stock and on the sales floor following January 1st.
In the email that was sent on January 8th, Michael was informed of the changes that took place regarding the ordering process for his company’s products. One change included a note that the prices that the distributors would receive for their products were being changed from the original prices that were posted on the site on January 7th. In addition, the order page description was also changed to state that the products are now available for pick-up. On the check that was sent out with the price change, there was also a note that was not included in the email that was sent on January 8th but is now part of the order confirmation page. That email also noted that the company is no longer accepting orders for the Christmas season.
Customers Unable to Update Orders Due To Website Changes
The website for Michael was updated, but now customers are unable to update their orders. When Michael’s site went under renovation, the links that showed how to manually add items to order were taken down along with all of the other links on his page. The email that Michael sent out stated that the change would take effect immediately and also told customers they would need to re-enter their information if they wanted to update their order. Customers have been frustrated by this because it is difficult for them to find what they want without being able to see a list of products or search through categories or subcategories. Michael has told customers to go back and read the emails Michael sent out in September about his site going under renovation.
On the homepage of Michael Heizer’s official website, there is a link that links to a “chart of prices.” This chart shows the feed prices that are being provided for items sold by Michael Heizer. When the link to this chart is clicked, it takes you to the “chart of contents” where all of the items are listed, including the feed prices. There is also a question posted asking if customers are finding the items listed in the price list inconsistent with their taste or style.
In the last two months, distributors who purchased products from Michael Heizer’s company have reported being sent new prices by email. The prices changed without any notification or opportunity to change the prices on their own. This has caused confusion on the part of distributors as to whether they are receiving actual discounts on the products or just a new price. For distributors who had spent a significant amount of money on these products, this sudden change in price without notification or opportunity to change the prices on their own has caused severe financial strain and has caused many distributors to go into liquidation.
Heizer’s Next Steps
Since Mr. Heizer has not informed us of any changes to the prices on his eBay stores, we do not believe that he will be changing them in the near future. However, this does not mean that these prices are immune from a change in the future. For now, it appears as though Mr. Heizer has no plans to make changes for this listing and others like it on eBay’s platform; however, if there is any change in pricing structure or availability of products through Mr. Hieser’s listings or elsewhere within eBay’s system (for example a decision by Michael to withdraw items from sale), we plan to update our readers with relevant information about these changes promptly and without delay.
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