Ways to find hidden inventory on Anthropologie's site

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

As we all know (and HATE), Anthropologie has recently started redirecting sold out product pages back to their homepage. I have no clue why they're doing this and quite frankly it's beyond annoying. Lots of times these items get inventory restocks due to returns, etc., yet the page continues to redirect.

But this post isn't about my annoyance. We've got some crafty community members and they've found one way around the redirects. I've got another. Let's share our tips & tricks shall we? Update 1:45 PM - Kim and I must be on the same wavelength (great minds think alike and all that). She's posted her own tips today as well.

The first trick comes through an Anonymous comment yesterday as well as a couple of reader emails (thank you!). Flipping through the old catalogs online it was discovered that products that still have stock will show available sizes in the catalog popups (as shown for the Lolland Sweater Dress on page 3 of the October 2009 catalogue above).

Here are links to a few recent catalogues (which themselves become hidden on the site after three months, oy):
December 2009
November 2009

October 2009
September 2009
Additional catalog links are in the right sidebar of Natalie's Anthropologie Addict blog.

The second trick to seeing hidden inventory is to add items to your wishlist while they're available. These days I add an item even if I'm just remotely interested in it. That way once it's "sold out" on the site I can still track the item's inventory in my wishlist. This isn't failsafe unfortunately. The wishlist has been broken since the redirects were put into place, so some items on my list still show up as having stock even though they're long gone.

A last failsafe is to keep items in your cart or saved for later. This is particularly effective with sale items. Items saved for later won't stop you from placing an order quickly but they will clearly show when an item is out of stock vs. in-stock. This is super helpful for sale items that sell out only to have inventory come back due to returns. Unfortunately the more items you have saved for later the longer the rich cart takes to load so it's a tradeoff. I wouldn't recommend doing this for more than a couple of items.

Hopefully this helps you out if you're relentlessly stalking an item (we've all been there, right?). Of course a better solution would be for Anthropologie to drop these J.Crewesque website shenanigans but that seems unlikely. Do you have any other tricks to share with the community?