Updated: Aug 20, 2020
When making just about any online purchase, customers take their trusty credit card of choice and “charge-it.” When the credit card processor receives that data, they can either “authorize” the credit card or “charge” the card. Authorizing the card confirms the card is valid and that the funds are available at that time but no money changes hands. On the other hand, when the card is charged, the process of actually moving the funds from one account to another is initiated.
Several years ago when we first started selling watch parts online we only authorized our customer’s credit cards. It quickly became apparent that we had to change that approach. Currently we actually charge credit cards at the time the order is place. Let’s explain the reason behind the change.
Citizen Watch currently has over 5,000 watch bands on its parts list. Yes, that's five thousand bands. While we at Hurley Roberts have a lot of Citizen Watch bands in our facility, we certainly do not have all of them. In many cases, orders are filled and shipped the same day (when placed before noon) or the very next day.
In some cases however, the part is not in our stock. We then order the part from the manufacturer and we wait. We typically receive the band within a week. There are cases where the manufacturer themselves do not have the item in stock and they are awaiting delivery, often from a factory in the Far East. In these cases, the order may be delayed as long as eight weeks.
A credit card authorization is only valid for a limited number of days which varies according to which credit card processor is used. If an order was delayed while we waited for delivery of the items, the authorization would often cancel. Once the item(s) arrived we were forced to contact our good customers and ask them to place a new order...not so good. Because of this issue we now charge our customer’s credit cards at the time the order is placed. Again, in the majority of cases, that order is shipped immediately. For those orders that are delayed, we immediately email our customers and inform them of the delay. In addition we mention that if at any time they tire of waiting and would like a full refund they just have to give the word. This way our customers know their order will ship as soon as we are able and they need not do anything but await delivery.
Another question we receive is about inventory tracking on our website. Due to the nature of these particular products, we do not employ a system by which the in-stock status is posted to our website. To keep an accurate inventory of thousands of bands for sale on our website would require significant manpower, requiring us to raise prices. We believe that our customers prefer lower prices and appreciate having all options open to them. If the item is not in stock, we alert the customer allowing them to decide to keep the order open or cancel and receive a full refund.
We look forward to serving you :-)
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