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Thread: Return of The NIN Store - Livenation

  1. #1591
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    It's nice that you all seem to have received your mask. Mine was never shipped. I contacted them, no response. A week later I contacted them again, and yesterday I was able to cancel my outstanding order and get a refund. I do not comprehend why Nine Inch Nails continuously sells items on their website that they don't have in stock. Why some people get them, while others, such as myself, who bought it the second it went on sale, don't. I am very disappointed at the NIN store AGAIN. And AGAIN, I promise to NEVER purchase another item from the NIN store unless it's exclusive music. They do not know how to run a business, period. I thought this was going to get better after years, and years of bad experiences... Why is it so simple to order something from Amazon, get it fast, in MINT condition, and yet NIN.com, who is expensive, can't seem to get an order out on time, or in good condition, or can't get the order out at all! Isn't my money worth the same on Amazon than it is on NIN.com? Or is it that NIN has enough money that they don't care about us? It would be wonderful to be proven wrong, but sadly, after many years, it looks like they are back at their old shitty ways. WTF NIN.

  2. #1592
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    Why is it so simple to order something from Amazon, get it fast, in MINT condition, and yet NIN.com, who is expensive, can't seem to get an order out on time, or in good condition, or can't get the order out at all!
    Glad you asked! Amazon as a company has a net worth of $1.7 billion, with distribution centers and infrastructure all around the country - all around the world. They have their own warehouses, planes, own trucks, and ecommerce infrastructure. In fact, they've been able to spin off and sell the technology behind this infrastructure, which helps them to offset the cost of running such a gigantic organization, giving them the ability to undercut not only their competition, but the very vendors who sell on Amazon. For example, in the late 90s, Danelectro released a line of guitar pedals that were mostly repackaged circuits from classic guitar pedals, but with new names and highly stylized cases. The classic pedals might fetch hundreds of dollars, but the retail price of a Danelectro FabTone in 1999 was typically around $65. In the 2000s, the Chinese factories where these sorts of things are made became more open to even smaller businesses than Danelectro, and at first this resulted in a flood of boring looking low-budget pedals selling for low prices, but eventually they got better at branding, or working with as subcontractors for existing companies, so you saw things like Nux Fx, and even Monoprice started a 'pro audio' line of goods. Last year, Amazon started selling Amazon Basics Guitar Pedals, fully removing any middleman out of the operation. (These seem to have disappeared from the market in the last couple of months though).

    Amazon does this by abusing its workers, whether that's through offering low pay rates, terrible working conditions, or directly supporting factory working conditions that are unacceptable here. This happens across the entire organization. You're able to get something from Amazon fast, in mint condition, because if the warehouse worker who's working terrible hours makes any mistakes, there are a dozen applicants waiting to take their place. Amazon is also really lax with returns - if you say it's damaged, ship it back for a full refund. If you bought it from a retail partner who's using Amazon's warehousing and infrastructure to sell online, they'll take the entire hit. The tradeoff may be worth it, because they might be getting more exposure in Amazon's product browse pages than they're getting on their own website. Often times a perfectly serviceable items end up in landfills rather than Amazon Warehouse.

    The unfathomable scale of Amazon's operations allow them to cut corners on cost while still soaking up equally unfathomable profits. You place an order on Amazon software, the order goes to an Amazon warehouse stocked with merchandise manufactured in Amazon factories alongside merchandise that pays rent to sit on a shelf, and it gets shipped to your door via Amazon. They own the entire process, and rent space to businesses that want to use some of it, and if those businesses get big enough, they either acquire them or undercut them.

    If we look, by comparison, at shopping on nin.com: Trent's not going to have his own ecommerce division. As ubiquitous as the NIN logo can seem, even at its peak, NIN's merchandising was relegated to a separate entity, J Artist Management (later renamed Object Merch). The scale of something like a NIN store is still too large for your local print shop to handle effectively, but consolidation in the industry leaves few options on the table for designing, ordering, manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping merchandise. It turns out that it's actually really complicated, and over the decades that I've been paying attention, nearly every company that enters the space either fails, or is acquired by a larger entity (because they've failed to stay solvent themselves.) Now factor in the massive disruption of print-on-demand shops, absolutely cannibalizing the meat-and-potatoes of the merch world. The average person will go online looking for a band shirt, and see a few options: An official product, silkscreened on an industry-standard go-to for tshirts, selling at $25+shipping, or.... some dude's Shopify page that's hooked up to Teespring over APIs, which will inkjet any design onto cut-rate shirts and ship it to you for $20 because if they sell a ton at that price, they'll make more than a more involved business that does manufacturing and warehousing.

    Just for shits, let's throw a pandemic into the mix, which not only causes staffing issues at home, but completely scrambles the supply chain. More people are buying online than ever, but raw supplies are harder to come by. Print-on-demand customers can buy in massive quantities because they don't care what gets printed on them, and they get priority (and better pricing) on the raw materials. Now, the former giants of the merch world are paying more for their goods, getting less of them, but are working with the same kinds of budgets they had before to run this kind of organization. You can't stop making the things you sell, so the only cuts you can make are in personnel. Support staff get axed, resources across the board, from buyers working the supply chain to warehouse workers picking, packing, and shipping goods, all either get fired or have massive increases in workloads that are often accompanied by cuts in pay. See, part of the reason LiveNation can acquire people and resources in the merch world is because they had a massive cash cow: venues and ticketing. In addition to buying no doubt countless houses and yachts for the executive creeps that run these conglomerates, the profits from running all-the-concerts helped absorb the costs of operating a well-oiled merchandising business.

    So, that's out of the picture now too.

    Oh, and then the postal service decides to fuck itself in an attempt to disenfranchise mail-in voters, so even if you are getting things out to the truck with a decent turnaround time, no one actually knows how long anything takes to ship anymore.

    But you can't cut prices because you're already suffering. So you hope that people understand, and you put new products up on Shopify using mock-up images, cross your fingers that they arrive in the warehouse on time, cross your fingers that the postal service doesn't drop the ball on shipping, and push forward.

    tldr: Livenation isn't as diverse as Amazon, capitalism is fucked up.

    Disclaimer: I have no insight into how Livenation actually works. The above is speculation coupled with fourteen years of experience in the ecommerce industry, independent of Amazon or LN.

  3. #1593
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    I don't think they deserve a pass. Live Nation is a multi-million dollar company, but they're outsourcing their merchandise fulfillment to companies that have inadequate customer service staffing and order fulfillment that is making mistake after mistake. And apparently little direct coordination between customer service and order fulfillment.

    I've ordered from all kinds of companies during the pandemic, big and small, and none of them has consistently had as many order fulfillment errors and lack of timely (or any?) customer service response. To receive the correct items you paid for or to get a response from customer service, you shouldn't have to find the fan-run message board and divine the secret handshake necessary to message the special customer service user account that has never posted a single message on the board in order to get back-channel issue resolution. It's inexcusable.

  4. #1594
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    I've railed against the RIAA, Clear Channel, and Ticketmaster for about as long as I've been online, and you can bet that when LiveNation Entertainment formed as a merger between Ticketmaster and Clear Channel, so too did my separate distastes for both organization merge into an even greater case of indigestion. I don't mean to let Livenation off the hook with my explanation - some businesses choose to reinvest in themselves, others squeeze every last cent out while operating like there's no tomorrow. What we're seeing is a combination of a series of short-sighted business decisions having a head-on collision with a historically bad moment for the industry.

    Comparing anything to Amazon is pretty silly though, IMO.

  5. #1595
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    I understand that NIN and Amazon are apples and oranges. And all this info is very interesting. My only mail-order experience was back in the early-mid 90s when I was running a official mail-order catalog for Madonna "Boy Toy by Mail" (pre-online sales). I had 2 people I trained to pack merchandise and fill out those horrendous international USPS shipping forms. We had a fulltime job shipping loads of Madonna merchandise 5 days a week. But I have to say, that I prided myself with keeping ample stock, not advertising for merchandise we didn't actually have in stock (so no pre-orders of any kind), and very importantly, I made sure that all merchandise was packaged in extremely protective boxes and shipping materials able to sustain a drop from a second story. No exaggeration. On the rare times when there was a problem or mistake with an order, we made sure we prepared a replacement immediately. Believe it or not, we did not have a huge budget, and yes, we sold merchandise for retail price, not discounted, plus shipping (on average, we charged less for shipping than what we paid). It was probably cheaper for those in the cities to buy this merchandise in-store, but everyone really seemed to like shopping through us. We under-promised, and over-delivered (my boss' mantra). We were so careful to make sure the orders were correct the first time around, so we didn't have to waist any money on replacements caused by our mistakes. Ironically, I believe Madonna's merchandise is now sold through Live Nation.
    The way I feel about Amazon, is that it's a choice someone makes to work there, a choice someone makes to sell their merchandise there. As long as they are not practicing anything illegal, I'm fine with them. As a customer, it's hard to find many others companies with such a speedy, and good customer service as Amazon. I trust that I will get what I paid for fast, and I will get a replacement 2-3 days later without having to beg someone online to get what I paid for.
    Besides all that, there are no excuses for getting wrong orders out. It doesn't matter if you are Amazon, it doesn't matter if you are a Mom and Pops shop. There is no excuse to package merchandise poorly, considering how much we pay. And if year after year, after year, you pre-sale something, only to not have it available on time, you would think they would learn from this and maybe not pre-sale something until you know for sure you are going to have it. Quality control worked for us back in the day, and we didn't have a lot of money. There are ways of running a business well and not making the same mistakes over, and over. No excuses.

  6. #1596
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    My main point is, if you own a business, you should be careful to fulfill orders correctly, to ship them in adequate protective packaging. To have the promised merchandise at the promised time, or at least close! If this happened most of the time, we wouldn't be having this discussion. That is their only job. This shouldn't be happening. In the real world, you would be out of business, but lucky for whoever runs NIN.com merchandise, they've got a built-in audience. I'm a long-time fan. Since the early 90s. I wish nothing but the best for Trent and NIN. I'm just lamenting the state of reality and the fact that this is preventable. Do you know how much money NIN.com has wasted shipping replacement, after replacement, of incorrect or damaged goods? To make mistakes is human, but to make the same mistakes over, and over, and over, year after year, and not learn from them is just lazy and self-destructive.

  7. #1597
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    Live Nation is Jabba the Hutt.

  8. #1598
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    Lets be honest though, ordering from nin.com has been a pretty consistent headache that traveled with the store from firebrand, to sandbag and now through livenation. I don't order anything from nin.com anymore because I haven't had a single good experience in almost a decade regardless of the platform it was sold through.

  9. #1599
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomobile View Post
    I understand that NIN and Amazon are apples and oranges. And all this info is very interesting. My only mail-order experience was back in the early-mid 90s when I was running a official mail-order catalog for Madonna "Boy Toy by Mail" (pre-online sales). I had 2 people I trained to pack merchandise and fill out those horrendous international USPS shipping forms. We had a fulltime job shipping loads of Madonna merchandise 5 days a week. But I have to say, that I prided myself with keeping ample stock, not advertising for merchandise we didn't actually have in stock (so no pre-orders of any kind), and very importantly, I made sure that all merchandise was packaged in extremely protective boxes and shipping materials able to sustain a drop from a second story. No exaggeration. On the rare times when there was a problem or mistake with an order, we made sure we prepared a replacement immediately. Believe it or not, we did not have a huge budget, and yes, we sold merchandise for retail price, not discounted, plus shipping (on average, we charged less for shipping than what we paid). It was probably cheaper for those in the cities to buy this merchandise in-store, but everyone really seemed to like shopping through us. We under-promised, and over-delivered (my boss' mantra). We were so careful to make sure the orders were correct the first time around, so we didn't have to waist any money on replacements caused by our mistakes. Ironically, I believe Madonna's merchandise is now sold through Live Nation.
    The way I feel about Amazon, is that it's a choice someone makes to work there, a choice someone makes to sell their merchandise there. As long as they are not practicing anything illegal, I'm fine with them. As a customer, it's hard to find many others companies with such a speedy, and good customer service as Amazon. I trust that I will get what I paid for fast, and I will get a replacement 2-3 days later without having to beg someone online to get what I paid for.
    Besides all that, there are no excuses for getting wrong orders out. It doesn't matter if you are Amazon, it doesn't matter if you are a Mom and Pops shop. There is no excuse to package merchandise poorly, considering how much we pay. And if year after year, after year, you pre-sale something, only to not have it available on time, you would think they would learn from this and maybe not pre-sale something until you know for sure you are going to have it. Quality control worked for us back in the day, and we didn't have a lot of money. There are ways of running a business well and not making the same mistakes over, and over. No excuses.
    Except that amazon DOES use illegal business practices, its just that they get away with it and Joe Blow who works there doesn't have a choice but to work there because you know people need to pay rent and eat.

    Im not saying the NIN store is great. Honestly I had nothing but bad experiences with them in the past. But again comparing them to amazon doesn't work at all.

  10. #1600
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    Might as well put in a gripe about the UK store: In early December, my partner very kindly ordered Cargo In The Blood, along with some other bits of merch, which they planned to give me for Christmas - that's a few hundred £s of gear. It's now over a month later and there's been no delivery, and no response to multiple emails. The store is handled by Back Street Merch, who seem to be at least as terrible as Livenation. Yeesh.

  11. #1601
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    That's why I started my sentence with "I understand that NIN and Amazon are apples and oranges." This conversation has nothing to do with Amazon. Whatever illegal practices they are doing, go sue them, I don't care. This is about self-sabotaging business practices by Nin.com. I will always support NIN, regardless. I will buy concert tickets, I will buy their music on CD and vinyl (I won't tell you where from. It's controversial!). And if NIN.com one day sells an exclusive music release, I'll be first in line to buy it regardless. Unfortunately, it looks like we won't even get exclusive digital downloads anymore. I thought the MANK release on Bandcamp was well done. I hope Trent reconsiders releasing his music on CD again.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGobi View Post
    Except that amazon DOES use illegal business practices, its just that they get away with it and Joe Blow who works there doesn't have a choice but to work there because you know people need to pay rent and eat.

    Im not saying the NIN store is great. Honestly I had nothing but bad experiences with them in the past. But again comparing them to amazon doesn't work at all.

  12. #1602
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    There is also a fallacy of accusing someone of conducting illegal business just because you don't like them, or you perceive them as being unethical. In the U.S., if someone is doing something illegal, there is a way to stop it by law. If in fact they are doing something illegal, they will suffer the consequences. But honestly, I'm pretty tired of conspiracy theories, and wishful thinking. Okay, back to NIN.com. It is what it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilGobi View Post
    Except that amazon DOES use illegal business practices, its just that they get away with it and Joe Blow who works there doesn't have a choice but to work there because you know people need to pay rent and eat.

    Im not saying the NIN store is great. Honestly I had nothing but bad experiences with them in the past. But again comparing them to amazon doesn't work at all.

  13. #1603
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    I must be in the minority here but the face mask is my first semi-frustrating experience with buying from nin.com. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones since I’ve received every shirt and vinyl with zero issues.

  14. #1604
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomobile View Post
    There is also a fallacy of accusing someone of conducting illegal business just because you don't like them, or you perceive them as being unethical. In the U.S., if someone is doing something illegal, there is a way to stop it by law. If in fact they are doing something illegal, they will suffer the consequences. But honestly, I'm pretty tired of conspiracy theories, and wishful thinking. Okay, back to NIN.com. It is what it is.
    Your actual question was “why isnt NINs store as good as amazon?” and a few of us answered your question (That the NIN store ISNT amazon, and doesn't have the same business practices). I responded you your post saying that as long as people arent doing anything illegal you dont care, to let you know that they have been accused of illegal business practices. Honestly I dont care where you order from, Im guilty of using amazon. As I said all of my NIN store experiences have sucked, so Im not sticking up for them, but you're still trying to compare a tiny operation with the biggest company in the world.

  15. #1605
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    alright, keep it moving folks. I think we've answered the question of Livenation vs Amazon and go back to our regularly scheduled program of "Where are the things I ordered?"

  16. #1606
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    I think it's kind of lame that all of the good mask labels are in the expansion pack that sold out in a couple of hours. The base ones seem to be inside references, mostly. What does FIXED mean to people outside of the NIN fanbase? And I definitely wouldn't want to wear RESISTANT or COMPLIANT, because on a mask, they both seem like sarcastic digs against wearing masks.
    Last edited by zecho; 01-15-2021 at 12:14 PM.

  17. #1607
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    Quote Originally Posted by zecho View Post
    I think it's kind of lame that all of the good mask labels are in the expansion pack that sold out in a couple of hours. The base ones seem to be inside references, mostly. What does FIXED mean to people outside of the NIN fanbase? And I definitely wouldn't want to wear RESISTANT or COMPLIANT, because on a mask, they both seem like sarcastic digs against wearing masks.
    I have a pile of labels and no mask (yet) to which to affix them. If that doesn't get remedied, there may be a number of them being offered up for sale. In fact, I'm kind of surprised I haven't seen any of the NIN store product the few times I've searched on eBay.

  18. #1608
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotoriousTIMP View Post
    I must be in the minority here but the face mask is my first semi-frustrating experience with buying from nin.com. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones since I’ve received every shirt and vinyl with zero issues.
    Me too, but I'm still waiting for my masks...I received the expansion pack and that's it.

  19. #1609
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    One thing to keep in mind is that the complaints are always going to be posted and the good experiences won’t be, which leaves one with the impression that the store is always fucking up. The truth is that out of thousands of orders dozens of people are having a hard time. And that sucks bad, but I don’t think it actually means the NIN store is always screwing up orders. Over the past five years, I haven’t had one order not show up, not one has been messed up in any way. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be pissed if yours was, by all means, I’d be mad too. But I’m saying the truth is probably that the store is doing fine and we are getting a really skewed perspective here, which is just the nature of things. NIN is no Amazon with their delivery times, but no one is. They are a globe-dominating hell beast.

    overall, if anyone at the store ever reads this, I’d just say thanks. Thanks for getting us cool shit, even in the middle of a pandemic, and doing it right most of the time.

  20. #1610
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    To @Max 's point, I have not personally had a truly bad experience with the current (LiveNation) NIN store, if memory servers correct. Though I didn't order any of the R&R HoF shirts, the mask, or it's expansion pack. I did, however, order both Quake and The Social Network vinyls and received both (the actual items I ordered, not two copies of one or the other) in a timely manner, and without issue.
    Last edited by sonic_discord; 01-16-2021 at 01:30 PM.

  21. #1611
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    I've actually not had a bad experience with any iteration of the NIN store. I'm one of the lucky ones, I guess.

  22. #1612
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    I'M just fucking pissed that i didn't get to order the effing gd maskie.

    I didn't have a tablet that week, or some shit.

    So, if anyone got an extra that they wanna sell, hit me up.

  23. #1613
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    Ok, my turn:

    I've usually had positive experiences ordering from the NIN store. I seem to remember Deviations and Not the Actual Events LPs taking a while, but they were in good shape when they came, so no complaints.

    However, I'm pretty disappointed to say that I ordered The Social Network LP back in September or October, and it arrived shortly after looking well-packaged and mint. And because of this specific-albums-and-specific-seasons neurosis that I suffer from, I shelved it still wrapped in plastic until I could listen to it on a snowy day.

    Turns out there's a big welt / ridge on Side A (made my stylus actually jump!) that makes In Motion unlistenable. And on Side B, there's a hole in the same spot. I reached out to the help desk and put in a ticket on New Years Eve after I finally opened it and only got the automated response back a week later that they were swamped with queries, etc. In the message, I told them the sleeve was mint, but after looking again today, I notice a minor scrape / puncture in the same spot on the sleeve. Maybe it happened in transit? Weird that it's minor / barely visible on the sleeve but pretty major on the actual wax. It's like someone took a ski pole to the disc in that one spot.

    Anyway, I know the return policy is 30 days after receiving, but has anyone had luck returning / replacing something after that window? It's just frustrating because it's such an excellent score and amazing pressing overall, and one of the few I don't own on vinyl (just got Birdbox delivered today!). It also cost like 80 bucks or something by the time it got here to Toronto. One of the most expensive LPs I own, but I knew it would be worth it in sound / presentation, especially after all the rave reviews here. Unfortunately, I can't really imagine listening to it as is. Big lesson learned here on inspecting vinyl on arrival, even when it looks perfect on the outside.

    If anyone has any suggestions on possible next steps on getting a replacement Disc 1, I'd be super grateful. Thanks in advance.

    (And if this seems an opportunistic use of the forum, it is kinda I guess. But... I've been coming here almost daily for music recommendations since pre-WT hype, and political therapy since about fall 2016. I figure, if it takes a busted record to get me to start using the internet like a normal person, I can accept the initial bad optics).

  24. #1614
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that the complaints are always going to be posted and the good experiences wonít be, which leaves one with the impression that the store is always fucking up. The truth is that out of thousands of orders dozens of people are having a hard time. And that sucks bad, but I donít think it actually means the NIN store is always screwing up orders. Over the past five years, I havenít had one order not show up, not one has been messed up in any way. That doesnít mean you shouldnít be pissed if yours was, by all means, Iíd be mad too. But Iím saying the truth is probably that the store is doing fine and we are getting a really skewed perspective here, which is just the nature of things. NIN is no Amazon with their delivery times, but no one is. They are a globe-dominating hell beast.

    overall, if anyone at the store ever reads this, Iíd just say thanks. Thanks for getting us cool shit, even in the middle of a pandemic, and doing it right most of the time.

    You make a good point here so because of you bringing this up, I gotta share my experience. Generally its been decent and of course theres been hiccups with the packaging at times. The shipping part has always kind of sucked. I can't remember a time I got any item in a timely fashion but hey, better late then never huh?

    I'm not going to be too sour about NIN.com merch especially because we are in the middle of a pandemic but that aside, ordering from there does have it's issues.

  25. #1615
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperpower View Post
    You make a good point here so because of you bringing this up, I gotta share my experience. Generally its been decent and of course theres been hiccups with the packaging at times. The shipping part has always kind of sucked. I can't remember a time I got any item in a timely fashion but hey, better late then never huh?

    I'm not going to be too sour about NIN.com merch especially because we are in the middle of a pandemic but that aside, ordering from there does have it's issues.
    Yes, I would agree that I have had maybe one or two orders over the years delivered in what I would call a "timely" manner. But I might also add, this is kind of on-brand at this point? lol

  26. #1616
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    I'm a little confused as to why some of the recent releases haven't been available with digital downloads, mainly because I always go for the hi-res files. I think the test will be if the next DE releases (Year Zero and The Slip) have them or not. I can see why some of the soundtrack work they do might not be able to get released directly by NIN (Watchman wasn't, Soul since it's Disney). Still don't understand why Quake didn't have a download, maybe rights issues? Bandcamp is great, love the simplicity of ordering for format selection, but they don't usually offer hi-res versions.

  27. #1617
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    Quote Originally Posted by trollmanen View Post
    Bandcamp is great, love the simplicity of ordering for format selection, but they don't usually offer hi-res versions.
    au, contraire! bandcamp requires all uploads to be WAV (or AIFF) at a minimum of 16-bit / 44.1kHz, and you have a choice of virtually any format when you download - WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, MP3-320, MP3V0, & OGG VORBIS (whatever the fuck that is).

  28. #1618
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    Quote Originally Posted by trollmanen View Post
    I'm a little confused as to why some of the recent releases haven't been available with digital downloads, mainly because I always go for the hi-res files. I think the test will be if the next DE releases (Year Zero and The Slip) have them or not. I can see why some of the soundtrack work they do might not be able to get released directly by NIN (Watchman wasn't, Soul since it's Disney). Still don't understand why Quake didn't have a download, maybe rights issues? Bandcamp is great, love the simplicity of ordering for format selection, but they don't usually offer hi-res versions.
    I've never puchased something from bandcamp that wasn't at least FLAC 16/44. Artists like Aleksi Perala often push out 24/192 but they specify it. Whether or not it's gonna be higher res than 16/44 is a gamble if the artist doesn't say explicitly in the description though.

  29. #1619
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    Yeah I'd say more than 75% of the stuff I've downloaded was greater than 16/44.

  30. #1620
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    uhh, so I just received a shipping notice this morning, for the Quake/TSN vinyl's that I received in the mail a couple months ago...wonder if I have another set coming my way?

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