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Archive 2013 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?
  
 
Jay Parco
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p.1 #1 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Does anybody know how long Paul Buff products take to ship thier stuff out? I ordered a vagabond pack on Sunday night and called them Monday to see if they got the order which they did but haven't shipped it out yet. The lady said because I had it shipped ground it takes longer to ship out which doesn't make any sense to me. If I ordered it 2day would they have shipped it out faster? Well I'll call them tomorrow again and if they still haven't shipped it out I'm gonna cancel my order.


Jan 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


You're really gonna cancel an order of something you want over a shipping delay of one or two days? Are you sure that you want a Vagabond Pack? Almost sounds like you are looking for an excuse to cancel. When I REALLY want something ... sure, I want it YESTERDAY ... but push come to shove, I'll gladly wait for something I REALLY want.

That being said, my experience with Buff's customer service has been good, many others will say the same. I'm guessing that she meant the cutoff time / pickup time for ground shipments was later in the day, so they fill the air shipments first due to an earlier cutoff time and yours simply hadn't left their facility yet. What time did you call?

If it is in stock ... you'll likely have it shipped in a timely fashion. But, even if it hasn't shipped when you call, do you really want to throw the baby out with the bath water and cancel your order? Sounds a bit hasty to me ... cancelling and ordering elsewhere isn't going to get you your lighting any sooner. IMO, you either want the Vagabond Pack or you don't.

I wouldn't sweat it, Buff CS will get it shipped to you ... and since they are in Tennessee, I can pretty much assure you you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar when you call back. They'll gladly cancel your order if that's want you want. But, the threat of cancelling won't get them to provide better CS. They really do strive for good CS ... without the need for such threats to cancel.

I get that shipping is a sensitive issue for some (but you did order ground), particularly outside the mainland, but I think you're anxiety for your new purchase is overriding things a bit here. Take a breath and relax ... one day won't make a hill of beans difference in the years of use to follow.




Jan 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM
Jay Parco
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p.1 #3 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Well I ordered it Sunday night online and thought they would be able to ship it out Monday. I know it's going to take a lot longer for ground shipping but to actually put it in the mail I what I'm wondering about not the actual shipping time. If you order something the night before they usually ship it out the next day like bh photo and adorama to name a few. When the lady said "you ordered it ground so does that mean I have to wait longer for them to ship it out compared to 2day shipping? Does that make sense to you? Anyways this is my first order from them so I don't know if they are prompt when you actually buy something for them to ship out. Does it 1 day to ship out or 3 days to ship out the order I don't know that's why I'm asking. I would've have paid the extra $15 if its take 2 or 3 extra days to ship out if that was the case since I'm gonna be waiting 7-10 days for it to make it to me.


Jan 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Yes, I understood that you meant the "leave their facility" ... not the "in transit" shipping time. I'm guessing when she told you it hasn't shipped yet, she simply meant that it hasn't been picked up by the carrier yet or they will be filling the order later in the day (prioritizing air shipments first).

I don't think this was meant to suggest that they slog around for a couple days before they get around to it. I'm guessing this was simply a misunderstanding in communication as to the issue of "shipped" vs. "prepared for shipping" and/or the difference in hours/time of day vs. days of delay relative to pickup/cutoff times.

Given the choice of perspective of "prompt" vs. "slog" ... I'd lean toward "prompt" ... even if that doesn't constitute immediate. IIRC, they are not staffed Sunday night (keeping overhead costs lower), so they'd begin filling weekend orders (air first, ground next) the next morning and your order would be in queue. I'm assuming you called either before it came up in queue, or before the shipping carrier took possession. What time of day was it when you called?



Edited on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:05 PM · View previous versions



Jan 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Jay Parco
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p.1 #5 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Ok thanks rustybug I probably called them late afternoon their time 3-4 or so. I just thought it was weird because it wasn't shipped yet because she said I had it shipped out ground. I like to put in my orders with companies on Sunday night so they can ship it out on Monday but I guess this wasn't the case with Paul c. Buff.


Jan 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


I know that my local Staples has a cut off time of 3PM ... yet, I also know the last pickup in town is 5:15 at the bank drop off. I've worked with some carriers where the cutoff was 6PM or later for ground. I don't recall what their cutoff times are.

Conversely ... IF ... the cutoff had been say 2PM and the backlog of weekend orders in front of yours meant they didn't make the 2PM cutoff, yes that would push yours back to the "next day" relative to the next pickup from the carrier. IF, this is the case ... I'd still consider them as being prompt to attending to their orders ... you just got in the back of the (weekend) line by ordering on Sunday night. I'm guessing that Monday morning weekend orders are their largest backlog/delay.

I'm guessing here quite a bit in all this, but I'm pretty sure that they don't keep 24/7 operations the same as others ... thus the Monday morning backlog from weekend orders ... yet, "promptly" addressed to get them out in queue.

I don't remember the details ... but I think I had a similar "shock" from a Sunday night order myself a few years back. Thus, I "feel your angst" ... but I wouldn't be too worried about it or put off too much by it, they'll get it to you.



Jan 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Waki
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p.1 #7 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


The last time I ordered from PCB it took them a few days to process the order and then they shipped. About the same amount of time as every where else, really. What makes you think that anyone would be working on processing orders Sunday night? They are in Nashville, still the Bible Belt, and Sunday is probably an off day.....just sayin.....


Jan 29, 2013 at 01:11 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #8 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


For the OP:

In case you don't know Buff is a small company which assembles products on site at it's facility in TN and sells direct to customers. It is that business model which keeps the prices low. In other words it is not Amazon.com and I suspect that the only thing working on Sunday when you placed the on-line order was the computer in the back room. All the humans were at home watching the Pro Bowl telecast from your fine state.

The priority of fulfilling orders on Monday morning was likely dicated by the UPS pick-up schedule. UPS air and ground in large markets are usually separate trucks / routes with air making deliveries/pickups in the morning and the ground truck the afternoon picking up what the business packaged for shipment that working day (ground and any air not picked up in the morning by the air truck). So there wasn't a UPS guy standing around waiting on the loading dock Monday morning for your package to be handed to him. "Ground" delivery to HI likely means it will take a 2-3 day trip by truck to a hub on the west coast and be put in plane there.

I ran an operation with worldwide mail/air freight/ocean freight shipping logistics and prioritized fulfillment the same way; prioritizing by shipping mode and the shipper's pick-up schedules. I also own four AB800 and customer service has been better than with any company I've ever dealt with. When I mistakenly tossed out the diffuser sock for the dish I ordered they sent me a new one for free and years after purchasing my stands replaced a locking collar I overtightened and broke for free. I were very helpful when I'd call with a question. A human with a friendly voice and southern accent picked up immediately and answered it, or transferred me to someone who could, sometimes the department manager: a rare customer service experience these days.

So chill out and just be thankful "ground" to HI doesn't involve a boat.




Jan 29, 2013 at 01:26 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #9 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Just like Waki said, I have placed many orders with PCB and it will take a few days for the order to get processed and then it ships. I understand being excited for your new item to arrive, but come on, relax. If you needed the item for a certain shoot, then you should have know better an ordered it sooner.

I imagine having things shipped to your state is probably one of the few disadvantages of living on the islands.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:18 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #10 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Some things you just can't download and receive immediately.

Their pretty darn good at their job. This includes shipping products out through the procedures they have in place.

I believe their site mentions something about verifying credit cards. Don't you want them to do that first anyway, or are you okay with them using your info no matter who is using?

Sounds like you should have ordered sooner if you wanted it sooner.

Instant gratification has cursed us.



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:41 PM
 

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tedwca
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p.1 #11 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


If you read the shipping instructions they tell you straight up it takes 3 days to process ground orders, faster shipping gets higher priority. http://www.paulcbuff.com/shipping.php

Shipping Method: When To Expect Your Order:
UPS Ground Shipping 1 to 9 business days
3 days processing, 3 to 6 days shipping
view the UPS transit map for specific delivery estimates



Jan 29, 2013 at 07:04 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #12 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


If you want is shipped faster then buy it off Ebay or B/S/T boards. Seriously - I just bought a B800 off Ebay and it was here in two days.

brad



Jan 29, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Jay Parco
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p.1 #13 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Ok thanks people. I understand nobody's there on sunday but on Monday it is possible to ship out an order you placed in the computer for them to read in the morning to ship the product out. It's not that complicated I've done it for various companies before. If they are a small company why do they have business's in other countries then? We get reamed up the ahole here on the islands for shipping cost I guess I should have spent the extra $15 for 2day ship so I would have got better priority to mail out then. 2day $65 for a lithium battery pack shipment instead of $40 sure it's only money right what's the extra $15 when you are paying so much for shipping anyway. To bad they just don't ship USPS priority, it would have been less than $15 and I would have gotten it faster. But I guess they need their kick backs too.


Jan 29, 2013 at 08:36 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #14 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?




You believe that they walk in the door Monday morning and see your one order How about orders that were placed Friday and later after everyone went home for the weekend? Someone has to review the order for mistakes, fraud, and anything else that the process calls for.

As it goes, you can have it fast or you can have it right.


Jay Parco wrote:
If they are a small company why do they have business's in other countries then?


Just because a company is small does not mean they can't have distributors or even employees in other countries. You can have 50 employees working in different countries. Isn't' that still a small company?

They told you in writing (website) what they would do and how much time it would take. Why complain since you were informed prior to ordering? Many companies have procedures in place to get orders out the door. It can take a couple of minutes or days depending on what it is and how THEY choose to run their business.



Jan 29, 2013 at 08:56 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #15 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Jay Parco wrote:
...I understand nobody's there on sunday but on Monday it is possible to ship out an order you placed in the computer for them to read in the morning...


Well, this pretty well sums up much of what's wrong with the world these days: expectations of instant gratification, lack of patience, sense of entitlement...

I suppose I shouldn't be shocked, but I am.



Jan 29, 2013 at 10:22 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #16 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


I get that we've grown accustomed to instant shipping. I can order from Amazon, literally right now (4:54 PM local time) ... and if it is in stock, It'll be on my doorstep in the morning ... FREAKY WILD.

PCB runs a model that is a bit different (maybe kinda "old school" still) ... but part of that model is responsible for holding down certain costs, so that they don't pass on to the customer unnecessarily, as well as safeguarding your interests.

Yeah, that's a bit different from what we've come to expect in some regards for breakneck speed. But that doesn't mean it is a bad thing ... just a different thing. And anyone that knows anything about PCB ... he can be the poster child for DIFFERENT.






Jan 29, 2013 at 10:54 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #17 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


Paul Buff marches to the beat of his own internal drummer.... For those who don't know he did the engineering on early rock and roll classics like "Wipe Out" on DIY 4-track recording gear. His recording studio was home base for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention ( one of my all time favorites) and when he decided to move East to Nashville he sold the studio to Zappa.

He shifted gears and started tinkering with flash gear (rather than buy it) and it turned into a second career. He's now in his 70's, still inventing new products, assembling them in the US and selling them amazing price points. As I mentioned he more or less created a new market for home studio lighting and battery/inverter location power for mono-lights. He also created a $500 ring light / "moon unit" softbox combination at a time when others sold for 4x that and a PLM modifier that is a similar value.

What he isn't is a diplomat. He's opinionated and when he opens his mouth more often than not his foot falls out. He posted here to answer questions about his gear but got dragged into confrontations defending it and wound up getting banned by Fred. But he's also smart enough to hire people who do have great people skills and patience to answer the phones and field the questions from clueless newbies. It's that ability for hobbyist to just call and get advice that sets his company apart from any other in the business.

I was skeptical of the "Alien Bee" line before buying it until I read a review on a web page created by an electrical engineer who disassembled his and said the design was innovative bordering on genius at the price point. An AB400 is still only $225, about half the cost of a top-of-line speedlight.

Should any of this be a factor in selecting a flash unit? In an ideal world no. But then we probably wouldn't to be able to buy a set of four studio lights (that weren't total crap) for under $1,000.




Jan 29, 2013 at 11:54 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #18 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


You should read what you have been posting in this thread because you come across as a spoiled brat. You will get your item when you get your item. If it takes them a hour or a few days to process the order, who cares, deal with it. You obviously thought highly enough to purchase a battery pack from PCB. Im going to assume your going to use that battery pack on an AB or an Einstein light, so you thought highly enough of their products to buy that as well.

You live on the island, higher shipping rates and longer shipping times comes with living there. Dont like it, move to the mainland. Get over it, grow up, or both. If having to wait a few days for your item is your biggest concern in life, Id love to have that life.



Jan 30, 2013 at 06:48 AM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #19 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


I LOVE these posts. It's all real. Unfortunately I believe we have to share these little common sense notes with an adult (I assume).


Jan 30, 2013 at 02:56 PM
ryankarr
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p.1 #20 · Paul Buff alien bees shipping?


I agree with the general posts here, best if you just calm down and wait a few days.

If not, cancel your order and i wish you luck finding an alternative to the Vagabond Mini for a similar price.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:07 PM
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