Ask Mr. Sage: Why Do Back-in-Stock Plants Disappear?
Dear Mr. Sage,
I am disappointed by the FBTS back-in-stock ordering process.
I love red sages, especially different types of Salvia darcyi. So far, I’ve had great success with two S. darcyi hybrids I bought from FBTS — Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage and Windwalker® Royal Red Sage. This season, I fell in love with the photo of one of the new S. darcyi hybrids in your catalog — Roman Red Sage — but it was out of stock.
So, I did what your website suggests, and clicked on the “please notify me when this plant is back in stock” button. A few hours after I received a back-in-stock email from you, I signed in to FBTS to order Roman Red. However, it was already out of stock again. I’m worried that if I click the “please notify” button another time, the same thing will happen. What can I do to get this plant?
Dear Loyal Customer,
I am sorry about your frustrating experience, but I do have some tips for better luck with our back-in-stock alerts. First, it’s important to know that the process is automated. Our sales system sends out emails based on limits we input in our software. For example, the system would never send an alert if only a single plant were available. Instead, it is programmed to reach out to you if at least a certain default quantity — generally three — is available. So, an alert doesn’t necessarily mean we have lots of plants available.
Also, please keep in mind that others may have been waiting for the plant. Whichever customers respond the quickest to the alert will claim one or more. But hang in there and check again a few times. Some of the plants may reappear for sale if customers leave them in their online shopping carts too long. It’s FBTS policy to clear a cart after an hour if a purchase isn’t completed.
Here are some additional tips:
- Order as soon as you notice our email alert.
- If you don’t succeed in getting a back-in-stock plant, be patient and re-click the “notify me” button.
- Contact us to ask whether we are growing more of the plant but it isn’t yet ready for market. If so, we’ll let you know an approximate availability date.
- A back-in-stock purchase always stands as a new order and must meet our $25 minimum purchase rule. This means you’ll need to buy at least two plants.
One last point: Customers who are awaiting other orders sometimes ask us if we can add a back-in-stock order (including the required second plant) to the shipment. To do so, you have to notify us by telephone or email. However, this is an awkward “detour” in the shipping process that we don’t recommend, because it can cause mistakes and slow delivery.
Please keep trying. Roman Red Sage is worth the effort and, like so many of our Salvias, not widely available.