? for those who order from Soundstage Direct

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Budysr, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    You have to call them during business hours otherwise it's a crap shoot as to whether or not you'll get a return call (or E mail). Years ago Seth himself would make return calls himself and discuss things on the phone for 5, 10 minutes. As i see it, since they became involved in audio equipment (in addition to records) things started getting a bit hectic. but one thing I learned...NEVER order anything on "back order". The last time I did this was for the MFSL pressing of The Best Of The Raspberries...I was waiting for about a month and a half and kept getting told my order was being "processed"...which is another way of saying "we're waiting to receive it from an outside source". I still think they do the best packaging which is utmost for ordering LP's...but they have gotten a bit "behind" in other areas.
     
  2. keithdylan

    keithdylan Forum Resident

    That's part of my concern, I have been calling during business hours. Still get answering service. Maybe today was inventory day.
     
  3. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    They don't keep all of their records in stock. They have to wait for a distributer to ship to them. Music Direct is doing the same BS on many of the records they sell as well.
     
  4. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Seth's a great guy but it's clear they are still having shipping issues. I just don't understand that in this day and age. I've always questioned whether they actually stock vinyl because it always takes about two weeks for me to receive vinyl titles. They operatore more like a drop shipper, but after speaking with Seth I don't think that's actually ture. So, why it takes so long to get anything out the door is a big mystery. My business has been growing too fast lately, and I'm running into some issues which will be resolved by cutting back on orders we take. I wonder if this is the best time for them to be trying to expand? Growth has the potential to damage a business and can be as bad as not having enough sales. My Prime had a factory defective part that has been an issue for almost a year (though until now I was being given other things to check out to resolve the bad gound problem) and after getting very frustrated I called VPI last week. They were the one's that informed me of this issue, and have sent a replacement. The pivot has a coating that was blocking the ground signal to the arm, so the arm was never grounded! Which I knew, but no one could tell me why until now. I really feel SS should have known about this and contacted me. But I am convinced that, as always, they will make things right if you run into an issue. He genuinely cares about his business, I think it's simply a matter of them outgrowing their infrastructure. But, they'll solve it eventually.
     
  5. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    If you aren't getting any customer service I can tell you for experience that is a new issue. Wonder what's up?
     
  6. keithdylan

    keithdylan Forum Resident

    The answering service said they have been closed the last 2 days for inventory. That time of year.
     
  7. Honeyears

    Honeyears New Member

    Location:
    Mordor
    Yea, I learned the hard way on the preorder for Ghost in the Machine. They changed the status of the record to 2-4 days, but that was a while ago and I am still waiting (order placed nearly a month ago) . Not to self; never order a preorder from soundstage direct, or anywhere for that matter.
     
  8. bmh5879

    bmh5879 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    They sent out an email blast yesterday apologizing for the huge mess people have been experiencing lately and have promised that things will be good again. They attached a generous coupon code to encourage you to give them another try. I have to say, I am reluctant still. I am sure a lot of people received the email.

    In addition, it looks like they have since removed the "PENNSYLVANIA • NEW JERSEY • ILLINOIS • NEVADA" text from their website. I am not not sure if they were working with new distributors in those locations to speed up the delivery time since that has been a big complaint about ordering from their website - the fact that they don't actually stock a lot of the stuff they have listed for sale. I really have no idea. Has anyone ordered from them in the past week or two, and was packaging back to their usual standard?
     
    Jrr likes this.
  9. grsmnkey

    grsmnkey Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire

    Wow!
    I never got that email! I'm still getting their daily emails though.
     
  10. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Very interesting. I didn't get the email either. I do know the owner was more than aware of the shipping issues and was working on it about a year ago. But I was told it was resolved many weeks ago; apparently that wasn't the case, or whatever they did didn't work. I think there is more than what meets the eye. Getting stuff out the door isn't hard. I have always said I don't think they stock a lot of titles (not sure I would either if there was an alternative). I think stocking and selling vinyl at the margins everyone works on is a losing battle. There is little margin in new vinyl, and the on line boys are in a war with discounting. Throw in other facts of being in the biz: returns that can't always go back to the labels, scams and then one big one, getting stuck with a big release that stiffed, and there is no margin left in the business. Why on earth anyone does this I haven't a clue. The retail stores have some of the same issues, but they do have a used component with huge margins, so that helps, but they aren't in it to get rich either (I used to own a record store...it was fun and that's about it).

    SSD sells new hardware, so that is going to make a huge difference to their bottom line imo. But, if it were me vinyl would be taking a huge back seat. My assumption is vinyl is just a way to drive traffic to the web site, and I sure as heck wouldn't be stocking a lot of it, or taking chances on anything but sure bets for new releases. I think (and I wrote this a few years ago when we were all complaning about this) they are having the majority of it drop shipped from somewhere else, and that somewhere else is doing it for others too, or they have their own business, and SSD isn't the priority. I ordered three titles from Music Direct a couple weeks ago and they got here in three days. Ditto everywhere else for the most part. So, obviously somethings up when it takes 10-14 days from SSD. But, for reasons I have outlined, whatever SDD is doing in regards to vinyl it is probably something they need to do to make it work. But, without sales none of it works. We'll see if people give them another shot. My bet is they saw a drastic drop off in sales, especially over the holidays when people need their shipments on time. He is a workaholic type so I have no doubt he's doing everything he can to resolve it. It isn't because they don't care. If it were my business, I would get out of selling software and shower people with customer service selling hardware...focus on whatever it is you do best. And figure out another way to drive the traffic to your web site to sell the hardware. I almost didn't get my table from them BECAUSE they took so long to ship vinyl, so it can work against you too. They were having a special on the Prime so I bit. He kept in touch with me and I wouldn't hesitate to buy hardware from SSD again. I did order the upcoming MFSL Simon & Garfunkel from them, but for insurance I also ordered a copy from Music Direct. Now, that's going to be interesting to see the difference in receival times. I'll let you all know.
     
    Dave likes this.
  11. Honeyears

    Honeyears New Member

    Location:
    Mordor
    Yea, it's an LP25 code for 25 percent off. Good til Jan. 28th. Definitely will be my last order with this company. I asked if I could split up the order and get the instock item (who knows if it really is) sent to me and they charged me the 5 bucks for that. Still haven't sent it though. It's been a month.
     
  12. bmh5879

    bmh5879 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Well I finally caved and used a recent 25% code with SSD so I can gauge where they're at with making things better. I ordered 4 LPs on Sunday night - 2 of the Bowie reissues and 2 others that were in stock and listed as "usually ships in 3-5 days". On Monday they contacted me letting me know that the manufacturer has changed one of the items to "Awaiting Repress". This actually happened last time I ordered from them with another item - so they aren't keeping good tabs on that. I was given an option of refund or store credit and took the credit, which I hope not to regret.

    I will patiently wait to see if those other 3 ship within the usual 3-5 estimation and arrive in nice packaging with the records out of the sleeves. They've been giving out the 25% coupon like crazy, so I have to believe they've seen a hit in sales. I'd really hope for their sake that they made sure they had all the kinks worked out first. If people give them another chance like I'm doing and they blow it again that's probably the last straw. A lot of those people giving a second chance will never return to them.
     
    Jrr likes this.
  13. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    What I don't get, and I do give them props for disclosing it, is everyone else almost aways ships same day to next day IF the record is in stock. 3-5 days tells me a lot is not in stock, or they are horribly understaffed and have been that way for a long time. In stock but will ship in 3-5 days? I think they are still working things out. I hope you're stuff does ship as advertised. I did order the Simon & Garfunkel upcoming release from SSD, but I also ordered a copy elsewhere just to cover myself. We'll see how it works out.
     
    bmh5879 likes this.
  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I'm pretty much done with SS once I receive my latest order; they've gone downhill on a couple of levels, shipping/receiving being just one of them. Whenever I make an inquiry through E mail, they never bother responding.
     
  15. GreggNyce

    GreggNyce Active Member

    Location:
    New York City
    I have a similar ongoing situation. Giving them one more chance, I placed an order back in late Jan. using the 25% code. Three records ordered, two in stock and one pre-order due in the third week of Feb. A week after placing the order I get an email saying one of the "in stock" records has changed to "awaiting repress." I opted for a refund because they've been bad in the past in this was the last straw. So now we are left with another "in stock" record and the "pre-order." Fast forward five weeks, a few emails, and two phone calls later and still have nothing delivered. Bummer.
     
    bmh5879 likes this.
  16. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    At this time, SSD is a pretty small operation and they are getting overwhelmed with vinyl orders. I heard they have to come in during the weekends just to get caught up on shipping. Still, they do consistently have the lowest prices overall. That 25% discount is hard not to take advantage of. For me, they come through with the records even if it does take some time.
     
    DK Pete likes this.
  17. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Okay, you've calmed me down a bit; the truth is, they do have a great selection and the prices are pretty good (and their packaging is top notch). But they really spoiled me when I first started ordering from there and it would take a week and a half TOTAL (at very worst) to receive an album after ordering. I don't know if it's the vinyl orders in and of themselves that are slowing them down...a change seemed to have occurred once they began dealing in audio equipment.
     
    bmh5879 likes this.
  18. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Don't forget, Music Direct is doing much of the same. Look at their website and see how many titles say leaves our warehouse in ......
    Maybe, the demand for new vinyl is high enough that the distributers are having trouble keeping up.
     
  19. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    ...which is a good thing if that's the case. And funny your avatar/"face" popped up here...I've been going through the heaviest of Tull phases these days. Just a-sayin'.....:righton:
     
    Tullman likes this.
  20. sennj

    sennj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Muskegon, Michigan
    Soundstage Direct used to be my go-to online retailer, but I've decided I'm finished with them after my latest orders are (finally/ever?) fulfilled. Ordered some audio gear from them in January and after a month of waiting decided to cancel. Ordered four readily available (elsewhere) LPs with a 20% off coupon and I'm still waiting, after three+ weeks, for the order to even ship. Ordered a box set (3-5 day shipping was claimed on the SSD site) two weeks ago--still waiting. Slow order fulfillment started for me late last summer and has continued with no improvement.

    The people working their customer service are always friendly, but their actual service to customers has become horrible.

    First World problems, I suppose...
     
  21. bmh5879

    bmh5879 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Well just to update: My order still says processing more than 9 days later (counting weekend). I noticed one of the Bowie albums says Awaiting Repress on their site, although they haven't reached out to inform me of this.

    They really have this one shot to make things better and are not off to a good start. They really need to evaluate how they list inventory since they actually don't have most of it in stock.

    I like Elusive Disc and Acoustic Sounds the best, but their high limit for free shipping keeps me away. I guess I should start ordering online less frequently so I can place more $90-100 orders to qualify for free shipping. And you really want the free shipping from AS, otherwise it's very expensive.

    I usually have good results with ImportCDs although a recent $135 order came 100% damaged because of poor packaging. Same with Amazon - never know what you're going to get. It's a gamble every time.
     
  22. RobCos02330

    RobCos02330 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Pre-ordered Marillion’s Brave. I passed on Amazon to give ‘em a shot. I’ve not had too many issues in the past with shipping, but it’s been awhile since I’ve ordered from them based on what I’ve seen in this thread. Here’s hoping it ships sooner rather than later. My hope was that since it’s a pre-order there would be time to have it on hand for shipping....
     
  23. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    Here's what I don't really get. Why do any of us order anywhere other than Amazon? I get every order in 2 days, the no hassle return for any reason policy is unbeatable. They couldn't be nicer on the phone if you need to call. I get it that some people hate that they are so big, but geez, for me they have earned it. I have returned some titles 2-3 times and no problem. I feel bad returning anything to my local store, so I only buy maybe 25% of new titles from them because so many new titles are badly pressed. Of the three big on line sellers, one makes you pay the return shipping, SSD just takes way too long, and Elusive Disc is awesome but at the end of the day, vinyl is now a commodity and it's just too easy to get it all from Amazon. And I have heard about the poor packing from Amazon. I buy a lot for my two businesses every week, plus a few vinyl albums a month, and other than the occasional small item in a stupid huge box issue, which I could care less about as it guarantees at least a chuckle but nothing negative, I haven't once not had a vinyl album shipped in the exact same nice cardboard vinyl box the dedicated vinyl sellers use. I just have found buying anywhere else is more of a crapshoot and it almost always takes longer from anyone else.
     
  24. bmh5879

    bmh5879 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I wish I could order from Amazon all of the time. I have been pretty much exclusively ordering CD's from there for a while now. I load up my cart and check daily for deals and bite when it's favorable. Love their prices and I normally receive them in the mail in 1-2 days with Prime.

    I just don't have confidence in ordering LPs. I hate having to return items and it seems like I could almost do that with a third of my Amazon LP purchases - they're just way too inconsistent. Some of them I just suck it up and live with it because I can't be bothered. At least I know when I order from the other online retailers, they always seem to arrive safely.

    Amazon once shipped me a box set not in a packaging box and the shipping label slapped directly on the box set. I mean who does that? Plus I've seen a ton of stories of warped vinyl from Amazon. I just can't be bothered. I hope they can improve because I will definitely get them more, or most, of my business.
     
    Jrr likes this.
  25. Jrr

    Jrr Forum Resident

    I'm the same way all around. Stuff I should return to a store, I just don't seem to bother and even with vinyl sometimes. But it's just so darn easy to put it right back in the box, seal it up and click return on their web site and now I find I don't keep marginal vinyl. I know they must ship things badly at times, as I read about that here from time to time, but again they will take it back. I guess there is no perfect way to do this....ordering from SSD means you don't know when or if it will arrive, and I have found it can take some time with Music Direct as well. So, you just weigh the plus and minus. But since you are like me and prone to not returning stuff, for you and I that is probably the top issue to contend with, which for me points me to Amazon. I am worried they will stop selling vinyl. I was at a client's home and their son buys vinyl all the time. He told me he returns an awful lot of it for defects. So, you wonder how long it will be before Amazon says enough is enough as those return shipping fees must add up for them. Anyway, just my two cents and no, I am a business owner and don't work for Amazon...lol!
     
    bmh5879 likes this.

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