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Discussion Starter #1
Hey people, infrequent poster, long-time lurker here. Just want to preface this by saying in NO WAY am I trying to give Hodinkee bad press.
Just wanted to ask a couple questions is all.
Here's the situation:

I purchased a Hodinkee 20mm black leather strap 3 days ago from their online e-boutique. Order was smooth, and I completed payment via PayPal. No problems. I receive an order confirmation (with confirmation number). All good. Now, after 3 days, my PayPal payment transaction still says "Pending (authorization)". Not sure it could be from my end, as I've made MANY payments/transactions through my PayPal without issue. I emailed Hodinkee 3 times over the past couple days, but still awaiting a response. There isn't a contact phone number I can call as far as I can tell from the website.

Now it seems Paypal has my $170 on hold, pending payment acceptance on the seller's end...and no updates on my order.

Am I missing something here...please advise. Much appreciated.
 

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Did you pay by e-check without a proper backup source? If you do have a backup source verify the credit card isn't expired. If paying by e-check with no backup source it can take over a week for payment to process.
 

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Ok if your credit card is not expired I would guess that Paypal has processed your payment but seller has not claimed his funds. I've had that happen before with small shops. They may be on holiday, etc. I would give it a week. You should have backup through Paypal and the credit card used to fund the payment.

Here is some Paypal contact info:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/Help/general/TopQuestion9-outside
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah thanks for the comments. Credit card not expired and paypal is linked directly with my bank account too. I guess the mild annoyance is with the lack of email communication despite me trying to get in touch with hodinkee; even after providing my order number...will update on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So a quick update: contacted PayPal and they confirmed that it is nothing from my end, the transaction is pending acceptance from Hodinkee.

Still no replies via email from Hodinkee. Hopefully this gets resolved in the coming week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah which would have been fine if the order wasn't made ONE WEEK ago.
 

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Six months ago when I was ready to buy my Rolex 5513, I sent three emails and left three voicemails for one of the best-known vintage Rolex dealers online saying, "I want to buy this particular watch on your site. I'm ready to buy it today." I never heard from him. I finally figured out from online context he was at a big watch show.

When you're dealing with individuals or small operations, it's sometimes unrealistic to expect Amazon-levels of response.
 

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Six months ago when I was ready to buy my Rolex 5513, I sent three emails and left three voicemails for one of the best-known vintage Rolex dealers online saying, "I want to buy this particular watch on your site. I'm ready to buy it today." I never heard from him. I finally figured out from online context he was at a big watch show.

When you're dealing with individuals or small operations, it's sometimes unrealistic to expect Amazon-levels of response.
I can understand where this sentiment is coming from, but I have been in the OP's situation before (not with Hodinkee, I ordered two straps from him awhile back and it went smoothly fwiw). I think it's actually quite possiblyMORE important for small operations to be at Amazon levels, or as close to Amazon levels of responsiveness.....because they need to capture as much business as they can and develop positive feedback, word of mouth promotions, etc. With today's e-commerce technology available to these sellers, an automated email response is very little to ask for. If a person will be out of town, or completely off-line for awhile, and they don't have a backup employee, I'd say it's 1000% necessary to have emails bounced out to customers upon the submission of orders, or some kind of communication plan in place. Even a static notification on the website as a pre-emptive heads-up would be better than nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok thanks for the comments. Final update: Hodinkee emailed me and apologized for a technical issue resulting in delay of orders from last week. My payment has been accepted and strap will arrive in 2-3 days.
 
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I can understand where this sentiment is coming from, but I have been in the OP's situation before (not with Hodinkee, I ordered two straps from him awhile back and it went smoothly fwiw). I think it's actually quite possiblyMORE important for small operations to be at Amazon levels, or as close to Amazon levels of responsiveness.....because they need to capture as much business as they can and develop positive feedback, word of mouth promotions, etc. With today's e-commerce technology available to these sellers, an automated email response is very little to ask for. If a person will be out of town, or completely off-line for awhile, and they don't have a backup employee, I'd say it's 1000% necessary to have emails bounced out to customers upon the submission of orders, or some kind of communication plan in place. Even a static notification on the website as a pre-emptive heads-up would be better than nothing.
I agree completely and also agree that it's a goal smaller merchants should strive for. Individual attention is often the primary value they provide, or should be. The Rolex dealer I alluded to missed out on a $6000 sale because he didn't call me back, and I haven't been back to his site since. Unfortunately it just doesn't always happen. While it's perfectly right to hope for it, it isn't always realistic to expect it.

And to the OP, glad it all worked out. Ben at Hodinkee does a lot for the watch community, much more so than Amazon, and he in my opinion deserves our support.
 

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Ok thanks for the comments. Final update: Hodinkee emailed me and apologized for a technical issue resulting in delay of orders from last week. My payment has been accepted and strap will arrive in 2-3 days.
I recall many other threads complaining about essentially the same thing. Small sellers who can't respond 27-7 to inquiries. If buyers would realize that many small watch businesses are staffed by one person part time and may be located in another part of the world that would reduce a lot of needless anxiety. My suggestion is to just wait a week after placing the order before firing off any emails, contacting Paypal, posting worried threads on WUS, etc. It will allow the seller to focus on packaging and shipping rather than answering emails.
 

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I recall many other threads complaining about essentially the same thing. Small sellers who can't respind 27-7 to inquiries. If buyers would realize that many small watch businesses are staffed by one person part time and may be located in another part of the world. My suggestion is to just wait a week after placing the order before firing off any emails, contacting Paypal, posting worried threads on WUS, etc. It will allow the seller to focus on packaging and shipping rather than answering emails.
The genie is out of the bottle and e-commerce simply doesn't work that way. Consumers have been trained to expect near instant order confirmations, shipping statuses, tracking numbers, etc. I agree that small business should be given some slack by people who are aware of the nature of said business. If I order from a retailer I know to be staffed/owned by an individual or family, then sure, I'll adjust my expectations accordingly. That said, unless your website has a disclaimer that says "hi, I'm a one man show, etc..." on the homepage, why should the consumer without that background information expect any less responsiveness than they would get from a major online retailer?
 

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That part time businesses would be able to respond and update order status like Amazon and others who have the staff and systems to support extensive e-commerce operations is a fine thing to wish for. But the real world for very small businesses rarely allows such extravagance. I recall numerous anguished posts on SCWF and PMWF from folks who had ordered from Seiya, Chino Watch or Higuchi only to have no followup for a week or more. Sometimes a local holiday caused the delay other times it was a crush of business and emails. In every case the ordered watch was delivered. I choose to save myself a lot of needless worry by realizing I am dealing with honest small businesses who will in fact deliver. I may spend the time imagining a product that is many times unique because it is not readily available elsewhere.
 

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why should the consumer without that background information expect any less responsiveness than they would get from a major online retailer?
Again, I agree in principle, but we're not talking about a generic situation, we're talking about a guy who many people in the watch community know or could surmise to be a small operation. He's one of us, and trying to make a living by writing about watches and selling a few items. In my opinion, he deserves more consideration than we would give to someone else.

To give a personal example, I've ordered two bracelets recently from one of the better-known small sellers who posts in watch forums and on eBay. In both cases, he sent the wrong size. I emailed him and didn't hear back for a week. When he did respond, he said he would send me a new bracelet the next day. He didn't ask for payment for shipping, and he didn't even ask me to send the wrong bracelet back, although I will. If I judge him by the speed of his communication, it was a customer-service failure. If I judge him by the outcome, it was a complete success.
 

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This business isn't run by "one person". I have submitted inquiries on their "Ask Anything" to only hear nothing for two months now. I have asked for specifics in regards to tapering sizes as I want to purchase a 20mm strap for a birth year Rolex 1601 Fat Boy and wanted to know what the buckle taper was. ZERO response. In my world, customer service is EVERYTHING. I can dine at the most gorgeous restaurant with the most beautiful bones. Unfortunately it's CUSTOMER SERVICE that brings me back to any establishment. Some people will justify blindly. Unfortunately, no holidays are two months long.
 
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