onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

Summary: Retailers jumped into the TouchPad selling frenzy this past weekend, but it turns out a couple sold more than they had in stock so orders are being canceled and people are quite vocal about it on Twitter.

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I'm sure you all know about the HP TouchPad fire sale from last weekend where the 16GB model was dropped to $99 and the 32GB to $149 and many of you probably took advantage of this fantastic offer. However, there were many others who ordered through onSale (an Amazon reseller) or Barnes & Noble who are now getting contacted that your order was canceled. It seems that these retailers ran out of inventory and the sales were apparently too rapid for their system to keep updated on stock conditions, which seems strange in today's world.

onSale has a Facebook page up addressing the issue with the following statement:

When the price decrease was announced this weekend, our websites and the websites of many major retailers were overwhelmed with customers placing orders for the HP Touchpad. In fact,the sudden influx of orders was well in excess of the amount of product available. We are now in the process of filling valid orders using all available inventory on a first-come, first-served basis. We will be cancelling all orders that we cannot promptly fill and sending cancellation notices. Thank you for your understanding and your patience as we deal with this unprecedented event.- OnSale

PCMag.com also posted about the reports from Barnes & Noble purchasers. I understand there were lines at Best Buy stores across the country to buy the TouchPad this weekend so online retailers were the place to go for many people. HP may still have some in their inventory that is getting put into stock so you may be able to find one in the next few days if your order was canceled by one of these retailers.

The funny thing is I purchase a 16GB model from Craigslist for $325 when they were selling for $499 so thought I was getting a great deal. HP then dropped the price $100 and then dropped the bombshell that they were stopping TouchPad production and I was left holding a $325 TouchPad that wasn't quite the deal just two weeks earlier. I am keeping it though and letting my daughters enjoy a tablet experience.

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Topics: Hardware, Banking, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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42 comments
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  • They cancelled my order

    I wouldn't say I am angry. I thought it would be a nice extra browser for $99 but I didn't have my heart set on it. It is interesting that a retailer like B&N hasn't mastered the concept of having a stock quantity attached to an item in their database and not overselling it, though. Most of the other retailers that I deal with (Amazon, NewEgg) have this problem solved quite well. Indeed, it's been a mostly solved problem for as long as online systems have been around. Why B&N is having trouble with it makes me wonder about their IT staff over there.
    goingbust
    • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

      @goingbust

      I've never seen this problem reported with any other product at BN.com.

      Have you considered the possibility that HP actually promised them additional inventory then re-nigged?

      That's the most logical explanation for why it impacted multiple retailers.
      Popnfresh100@...
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @Popnfresh100@... One of my coworkers used to work for B&N. She said their inventory system is horrible and was almost never accurate during her tenure there. So, no, I don't HP "re-nigged" on anything. I think their infrastructure couldn't properly handle the flood of orders and they had to resort to some half-baked method of matching orders to inventory. I bet they had teams of people processing orders individually until their stock completed. At least that would explain why someone ordering a tablet an hour after the sale started got a cancellation and someone who ordered one two days later is receiving one.
        readydave1
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @Popnfresh100@...
        I doubt any retailer would sell things directly with a customer based on promises from the supplier. If its in their inventory, they sell it. I think its more of a insight into B&N's systems. You would expect your system to say inventory=### and when your ### reaches zero your system won't take anymore orders. Perhaps their software is just bad.
        rengek
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @Popnfresh100@... "re-nigged"? Do you mean "reneged"?
        JoeShlabotnick
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @Popnfresh100@... "Reneged".
        vulcan666
  • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

    The problem with onSale was the lack of communication. You couldn't even get through on the phone! The message on their Facebook page was BS.
    surlychick
  • Insight cancelling as well

    I ordered from Insight.com at 9pm on the 22nd. Just received my cancellation email.

    Funny as their system was showing over 4000 in stock at the time.

    Seems like these new fangled PC stock systems ain't all they are cracked up to be.
    jasperpants
  • There are more in the channel than you think

    Last night I walked into my neighborhood Best Buy and one of the sales reps said they received a bunch of HP Touchpads. There was a line forming at the front counter. Lo and behold, my son and I both got our hands on one each. The 16GB had sold out, but for a measly $50 more I got the 32GB. I have an iPad but I figured that for that price, you can't beat it.

    The point is if I could walk into a Best Buy Tuesday evening and more stock is coming in, there will be more available in the coming week. I don't believe they are all sold out.
    gkantz
  • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

    I'm one of those affected buyers. Hopefully Amazon will ban onSale from selling on their site!

    Amazon requires a seller to enter a quantity that are "in-stock", and Amazon would have stopped selling them once the quota was reached.... so the statement above from onSale is bogus!
    smoovep
  • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

    Better add Insight.com to this list. They oversold by about 18k units.
    tijerin
  • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

    The problem was and still is the people that do mass orders (5+ TouchPads per purchase), it's disgusting. All retailers should have put a limit of one per person, instead of letting people order 10+ units at a time (Yes, some scumbags did do that).
    LP212
    • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

      @LP212
      Let's see, I took a day of vacation yesterday and went from Best Buy to Best Buy. I got
      1 - 16GB for 10 yr old niece for Christmas
      1 - 16GB for 8 yr old niece for Christmas
      1 - 16GB for 6 yr old newphew for Christmas
      1 - 16GB for 79 yr old month for Birthday
      1 - 32GB for self

      Let's see, 5 HP Touchpads and that makes me a "scumbag" exactly how???
      bgneum
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @bgneum Not a scumbag, but maybe ridiculous. A 6, 8, and 10 year old "needs" a "business" tablet? Gimme a break. If they were iPads at that price, then maybe. My kids had PSPs and stuff, but not a business device.

        I think that they should have limited everyone to the purchase of 1 of each device. Give it a week, if not sooner, and you'll probably see the 16 GB being resold for 149.00 and the 32 for 200.00 on various auction and craig's sites.
        readydave1
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @bgneum
        I believe the "scumbag" reference above is expressing anger at the overabundance of such items now on Craigslist and eBay marked up from the $99 price they paid.

        However...capitalism works that way...$99 was less than it was worth (maybe), so these enterprising folks are seeing what the market will actually bear.
        canddmf
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @readydave1
        Who gets to decide what is appropriate and not appropriate for kids? Certainly not you about someone else's kids. And come on now, business tablet. Lets be real. Most people will surf the net and be on Facebook and play angry birds with their tablets. Lets not try and pretend we're all buying tablets especially the touchpad which will become extinct to do business.

        I could have bought 10 instead of just 1. I didn't need to so that was that. I thought about buying 10 and selling them on ebay but to me the profit is not significant enough for me to go through all that so I didn't.

        What you are angry about is not the fact that bgneum bought several. You are angry that you didn't get something for very little money. A product that you probably didn't intend to get in the first place. Which means that you are every bit as greedy as someone who bought 10 units.

        Why the heck should HP limit the orders. Their goal was to get rid of everything in a fire sale. They don't care if one million people buy one or one person buys one million of them.
        rengek
      • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

        @bgneum

        A 10, 8, and 6 year old need touchpads? Ridiculous.

        /facepalm.
        BourbonLover
  • Barnes and Noble

    Not to mention that they couldn't keep track of inventory in 2011, B&N didn't even use a fair method of cancelling orders. For example, I placed my order less than 1 hour after they went on sale, and I got a cancellation notice. And inexplicably, others that placed an order for a Touchpad several hours later will receive one. Very poor customer service on the part of Barnes and Noble. This is the kind of thing that makes customers think twice about ordering from them the next time.
    Cochinito
    • Same Here

      @Cochinito
      B&N sent me a cancellation 18 hours after I ordered but didn't update the actual order to cancelled for another 12 hours.

      Now I don't feel so bad about rooting our two Nook Colors and installing Kindle...
      dazzlingd
  • RE: onSale and B&N cancel HP TouchPad orders in continuing saga of a dead tablet

    The real issue with OnSale is they were not just filling them first come, first served. They were hand selecting individuals based on other factors. I ordered mine a full 16 minutes before my friend using standard shipping. He on the other hand shipped his two-day and guess what. Mine is cancelled and his is being delivered.

    OnSale isn't telling the truth in their story. They also "restocked" multiple times on Amazon probably because they saw $$$ signs in their eyes but now they can't fill them so they are saying "woah is me".
    ThomR