Not too crazy about Inventables Business Practices

I’m posting this in the upgrades section as there really isn’t a place for this kind of topic and my gripe has to do with an upgrade purchase. I apologize if this should have gone elsewhere. I decided to take the offer of purchasing the X-Carve 1000mm upgrade package when it was on sale with free shipping. The cost at the time was $359.00 I knew there was going to be a 6-8 wait for the items but what I didn’t know was that my Credit Card would be charged immediately. Two weeks after I placed the order I called Inventables to check the status and was told it would be 6-8 weeks. So was it going to be 6-8 weeks from the time I placed my order or 8-10 weeks? I cancelled my order and asked for and received a refund. Wouldn’t a better business practice be to take a customers order but not charge their credit card until they actually have the items to sell and are ready to ship them? What if there was an additional delay from the Chinese manufacturer? Is a customer supposed to pay for something and have no real idea of when those items will be shipped? Many online businesses don’t charge a customer until they have the items and are preparing to ship them. I think it would be a much better business practice for Inventables to do the same.

Inventables has always been good to me. And any online store works in the exact same way. They show the amount of stock and will let you order when they are out and will tell you when more will arive. They where nice enough to tell you an a proximate date they would be in. It is up to you to wait or oder somewhere else. I don’t see the issue in taking your money. If they didn’t who knows how many people would back out and ruin the order.

Imagine a $1500 charge being denied 6-10 weeks after an order is placed, parts purchased, labor spent packaging,etc. It throws a wrench into efficient logistics. It also greatly increases their liability in accumulating inventory which is not paid for. For a small business, cash flow is critical and ordering parts for machines 6-10 weeks out with nothing coming in could easily put you in a pinch. The bigger online retailers do enough volume or have enough cash flow to be able to do that. No offense to Inventables, but they aren’t Newegg or Amazon, yet.

From a potential buyer perspective though, if you’re using a card tied to a checking account or a card with limited limit left, you’ve got to ensure everything stays in ideal condition every day for 6-8 weeks or else you risk overlimit or overdraft fees or having the card declined. For a large purchase like most Xcarves, personally, I’m more than okay paying upfront to minimize potential problems. I paid for my Xcontroller at the beginning of June but didn’t get it till Sept/Oct. I was frustrated but, I understood. Everybody’s circumstances are different and for some people, this model is exactly what they need.

Amazon does the charge when shipped but, let me tell you from a sellers perspective, I’ve gotten many chargeback claims from buyers when they forget they placed an order 5-10 days ago.

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I think when it says “Orders placed today are estimated to ship within 6 to 8 weeks” it means that “Orders placed today are estimated to ship within 6 to 8 weeks” and not necessarily “Orders placed today are guaranteed to ship within 6 to 8 weeks, at which time we will charge your card.”

Seems like they were pretty transparent and accurate to me. And I’d call that a pretty good business practice.

Perhaps it’s something to consider as a consumer is that it’s a good idea to read the details of the offer, and if you don’t agree with those details, bring it up before you order or just don’t order. If the seller agrees to the proposed terms, then great.

But if you don’t bring it up and get new or different terms before you order, you’re agreeing to their stated terms, and if you later whine about those terms, then you look like, well, a whiner.

Pretty simple really.

When you start selling some items that you make to the general public, and they try to change the terms of the deal later, you might hear yourself mutter under your breath, ‘no - the customer is not always right…’ Wait for it. It’ll happen.

Hi @RobH I’m sorry that you were disappointed in our approach here. We are a small business and don’t have the deep pockets of Amazon or Apple. The response to the X-Controller was more than we expected. Ultimately it’s my fault. We should have ordered more but we didn’t.

We will ALWAYS offer 100% refund to anyone that wants their money back.

Our goal is to have the X-Controllers and upgrade kits in stock shipping same day. We aren’t there yet. Things got worse because during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday period we sold an incredible amount of both X-Carve and X-Controllers. Our CS team changed the expected ship dates because we didn’t want people assuming that they would get them by Christmas and then be disappointed. If we get lucky and there are more we will ship as many as we can. We are also planning to upgrade people’s shipping if it’s close to Christmas and they are far away from us where the upgraded shipping will get it in under the nose.

Again I’m really sorry this happened to you. We don’t have a way on our online system to take the order and charge the card when it ships. Historically we shipped everything same day. Our inventory system is good at measuring demand based on historical data but it is not good at forecasting spikes in orders like we just had.

I asked in a meeting last week “why didn’t we order more” and the response was “we did order more we sold those too.”

So again I’m sorry. It’s 100% my fault. Hold on to your cash until we get them in stock shipping same day. When we do we’ll change the website.


Most of the businesses that I deal with in this situation have a statement in their ordering process that states that the credit card will be billed at the time of the order.

I thought that Inventables had this statement, but I can’t find it today so I must be mistaken.

It certainly would avoid bad feelings if Inventables clearly stated this policy during the ordering process. Then each person could decide if it is an issue for them or not.

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That’s a good point @larryM we should add that.


I think you Inventable peope do a great job. Where would I go if not for you(Walmart, Lowes, HomeDepot)? You’ve hit the price point. My card was charged, and I waited a month. My other choice was not to order. Yes, I was a bit nervous about the money. But, one has to dip their toe in the water. Best wishes to all at Inventables(Jeffery!). Phil


Handled with aplomb.

yeah I agree with zach and the larry on this one small business have to charge the money up front to make sure that they have the price of materials and labor locked in

pretty standard practice to do this

I myself do this with my business things can start to get out of handle pretty quickly if say you have 20 400.00 orders out on credit and your suppliers are wanting paid so its best to let the customer know that they will be charged up front so the business in turn has the cash flow to full fill the orders

sorry to hear that you canceled your order my advice would be the phone is always open and if your overseas and the phone is not a option shoot them an email before you purchase if you have reservations about the process

dont ever buy anything with out being confident you know when the money will be taken from you

I think that paying your money when you order guarantees your place in line , it buys you the part/parts and you get them when the supplier can - supply them,

you asked for a refund, you got it, quite fair enough, on both sides,

You guys in the USA are quite spoilt for choice + price of parts, I just drool when I see ebay US and your electronic shops prices,

But most importantly, the Invents gave you a full refund, although I do feel you missed your spot in the Queue by doing so. :slight_smile:

No issues here. Took a while to come in when I ordered last year, but when it arrived, any frustrations that I did have were overcome by the frustrations of setting up the electronics lol. (The x-controller beats the hell out of the old setup)

I had an issue with my v-wheels and they just shipped a whole pack of new ones to fix the issue. As far as business practice goes, that’s the best experience I have ever had when it came to resolving a problem. They don’t mess around and are quick to do what they can within their power.

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Is there any update on when the orders will be filled… I didn’t have the warning of 6-8 weeks when I placed mine just before thanksgiving… the the promotion was first put up. I havnt got a confermation of shipping… but the message from support when I had to change shipping details was 3-4 weeks.

I just never try to order anything prior to holidays.
Also I do not care if it takes 10 weeks. Right now I am not doing anything production based.
So a little extra time does not hurt.

I’m almost positive when I ordered my X-Carve around the first of the year, there was a statement on the order page stating that my card would be charged immediately. No complaints here.

I haven’t even ordered my X Carve yet (soon I hope), but I was aware up front that my credit card will be charged the day I place an order and shipping would take anywhere from 4-10 weeks. I have no problem with that.


I think as long as a company offers a 100% refund at any point as Inventables does, the practice is fine but yes it should be stated (Actually thought it was, might have been left out when they overhauled their site.). If they weren’t able to charge the card up front, you most likely would of never seen the X-Carve as well as many other products ever come to market. It’s just the way a small business must operate today, small business credit is not extended as easily as it was in the past. We went through this as early adopters when the Xcarve first came out and Inventables has always gone over and above in customer service for the customers, so if I have some extra money for some toys, feel free to take it up front :slight_smile:


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First, I want to make it clear that I am not, nor did I intend to bash Inventsbles as a company. I think they are a very good company and I am happy that I bought the X-Carve 1000mm. If I had it to do all over again I would have made the same decision. But I also want everyone to understand where I am coming from. More than once since I began purchasing things online, I have been burned and lost my money because of being charged up front with the promise that I would get the items I purchased within a certain timeframe and then never receiving them and having to fight to get my money back. One company completely disappeared and so did my money and they were a reputable company at the time. Obviously I have become more cautious with online purchasing. Like I said, I am not bashing Inventables. I just don’t share the same philosophy as the vast majority of you. I still plan on purchasing the upgrade kit, but I will just wait until all items are in stock to avoid any feeling of being uncomfortable with the purchase. Happy Holidays everybody

While I can understand your frustration, I’m ok with charging when ordering WHEN the company is obviously small and probably has to watch their cash flow pretty closely. Companies can go for a while without making a profit but they still have to pay for material and employee salaries - or the employees quit and then you have a bigger problem. It looks like they did refund your money. I think you should have waited for shipment and installed the upgrade. Even though it wasn’t clear that I needed it, I didn’t want to get too far behind the current design after my substantial initial machine investment. AND, I didn’t get the sale price or free shipping.

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I agree with most of the replies regarding good business practices.

Imagine, I live in Africa and I order goods from the States regularly. I pay upfront, and sometimes have to wait 3 months for delivery, not because the company wanted my money only.
Also, you guys talk about a few hundred dollars, but multiply that by about 14.5 and see what I stand to loose if something goes wrong.

I do believe that pre payment secures your right to receive you goods.

My humble Namibian opinion.