In Stock or Out of Stock?

I had an interesting experience trying to buy a discontinued  item over the weekend (on a side note, I did finally find a place that had one in stock! yeah!). What amazed me is how many of these sites would say “in stock” and then have it become “out of stock” in the cart… or after you try to pay and you get an email a day later. However, my “favorite” site really decided to go with mixed messages:

Is it out of stock or in stock???

Is it out of stock or in stock???

What’s wrong with just putting “Out of stock” or “Discontinued” on the page?

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