General Question

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Is anyone else trying to order a home appliance having difficulty placing an order ?

Asked by Tropical_Willie (28355points) October 18th, 2020

My thirteen year old refrigerator is on its last legs. I started looking for a replacement September 18th. Yesterday October 17th I found, on-line at my preferred retailer, a new refrigerator. It is on order !

Nobody but nobody had any in stock. I went to the local “Big Box” hardware store, waiting for my turn, overheard the salesperson talking to a lady that looking for a replacement (there were eighteen or twenty display frigs), he only had a couple (one in stock at her price point) and two of a high dollar Chinese made ones.

Delivery is estimated November 25th.

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16 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I wanted to buy a HOTAS on Amazon, but everything was out of stock, so I had to resort to Ebay for the first time in a decade, at elevated prices. Cost me over 600€ with the rudder pedals.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Three reasons:

1) Imports from China/Korea (especially China) are subject to tariffs (thanks Donald) and so retailers don’t keep as many in stock.

2) US-made stuff get parts from overseas and there was some slowdown over the summer (COVID) in supply chains, and then in US manufacturing (Covid)

3) High demand. People are improving their houses (as opposed to vacationing) and putting money into upgrades/

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ragingloli HOTAS – what is that? Sounds like a busy prostitute.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, dear, @Tropical_Willie, now is a bad time. I got in under the wire in June when my 25 year old fridge died. I had terrific luck with Best Buy at that time, and I ordered a super simple no-frills Unit.
Good luck!

Jaxk's avatar

My printer went on the fritz a month ago and I thought I’d merely go down to Best Buy and get a new one. Not one printer in the whole store. I called around To every store I could find and no one had any in stock. I eventually ordered one from HP (they said they had them in stock) and bingo 3 weeks later it showed up. I have no idea what’s going on but it seems no one is keeping any stock on the shelves.

jca2's avatar

My guess would be labor shortage in China due to the virus and also, people staying home and re-doing things in their homes.

I’m always advocating checking, because a lot of people don’t know that many things on there, you don’t have to be a member to purchase (in case you’re not a member).

Friends tried to order things like firepits in the summer and they were all out of stock, due to people staying home and wanting to make their homes into a place that was desirable to hang out.

Pandora's avatar

My guess is that things are taking longer because more people are doing online orders because of Covid.
As for shortages at stores, I imagine they are stocking their shelves more with higher demand things and leaving the lower demand purchases to be made online.
My B-I-L ordered a washer online and it took about 7 weeks to deliver.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

I had to buy a new laptop when my old one died last week (after lasting a little over a decade, so no complaints). It won’t arrive for another week due to disruptions in the supply chain, as @elbanditoroso mentioned. (A friend who works for the company confirmed for me that this was the issue.) So it will take a total of two weeks when it usually takes two days.

That’s fine with me. I’m the one who chose to wait until the very end of my old computer’s life to buy a new one. But it is easy to forget how precarious supply chains can become when we start normalizing things like extensive customization and two day delivery. When the process depends on watch-like precision, one tiny hiccup can ripple all the way down the line.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Jaxk the printer issue is something else I think. Demand outstripped supply.

My neighbor has worked for a copy and printer company that supports public and private businesses. He got laid off, end of September, because the people are working from home and they don’t need copiers and printers maintained in offices.
Computer on-line stores were swamped the end of March (my wife’s company waited for delivery dates) as the people moved to work-from-home, orders for printers spiked, people are now working from home and not sharing an office printer..

ragingloli's avatar

On the other hand, I ordered a small refrigerator, which arrived within 3 days.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

My guess would be labor shortage in China due to the virus

China doesn’t have the virus problem we have in the US. They clamp down hard where it springs up.

jca2's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay: On the news, in the summer, they were saying whole towns were shut down in China due to the virus. Therefore, people were not working.

JLeslie's avatar


People stocking up on food buying second fridges and freezers.

Using appliances more because they are home more and appliances wear out with use.

Renovating houses.

New home sales are doing very well.

Factories were slowed down because of covid. Making the working conditions safer, people having to take leave to quarantine.

I read that some appliance vendors have narrowed their assortment so they can produce more under the conditions.

ragingloli's avatar

With supply chains as specialised as they are, it does not take much to shut down production.
Imagine you are a motherboard manufacturer. If, for example, your source of a specific capacitor has shut down, or is operating at a reduced capacity, you are going to have problems making your product in the quantity that you want, if at all.

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