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"The early bird catches the worm!" So goes the adage. This is especially true when it comes to holiday shopping, and this year is no exception, particularly when it comes to Barbie merchandise. I have tried, along with many other parents, to find two items and have gone through several channels, including online toy stores, to get them. I have been told by manufacturers that these toys are out of stock. Imagine my surprise, and now anger, at the number of stores that are still advertising that this product is in stock, when in reality, they have none.

This Saturday, I was at a local toy store. The merchandise I sought was not available. The next day, the item was advertised in the sale flyer. I arrived Sunday morning at 8 a.m. only to find that the store did not have the item, and never did. The manager explained tersely that the ad is printed six months in advance, and that she could do nothing about it. I find it amazing that the corporate advertiser could not have revised the ad. I then filled out the information for a "rain check" and was promptly told that no rain checks would be honored after Jan 1. Yet it is unlikely that the product will come in before then.

I know this is a hectic time of year, and I have no problem with the fact that the item is out of stock. But to deliberately draw shoppers into a store with a faulty ad is unconscionable.



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