We know you don’t need a reminder of what’s going on in the world these days, but we wanted to address a very important and relevant issue that is affecting many retailers and consumers as a result of the covid-19 outbreak. Many manufacturers around the world faced multi-month long shutdowns, reduced staff numbers and faced new regulations when they were allowed to reopen once again. It is with no doubt that when this occurred the world saw significant decreases in production on all levels.
This ripple affect hit the appliance industry hard. When manufacturers are behind due to shut down and limited staff, supply diminishes fast and ordering appliances takes much longer. We know that it’s hard to live without refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines so we work hard to ensure we can get appliances to our customers as quickly as possible during this unprecedented supply shortage.
We have tips below on how to help you navigate buying appliances during these strange times, so you can better prepare yourself. We’re used to a world of instantaneous purchasing, but now, things are starting to look very different.
Research Different Brands
Researching various brands before purchasing is important as many manufacturers have information on their websites these days about their supply. Understand what the brand you’re looking for is dealing with at this time; what their lead times are for ordering, or any delays and try to be realistic in your expectations of when you may receive your appliances based on this information.
It’s also important to know that there is a disconnect currently with supply and marketing from manufacturers. There are still manufacturer promotions and deals being advertised however, it’s important to know that this doesn’t always mean there is supply of what’s being promoted. Manufacturers still want to drive interest and make great offers when consumers purchase, even if that means their product won’t come in until much later.
Be Feature Loyal
With supply being as low as it is, instead of focusing on only one brand, instead focus on what features draw you to that brand in the first place. Is it the steam clean option? Or the pre-programmed recipes? Or that the fridge has customizable shelving? The reason it’s important to focus on features when shopping right now is because your dream brand may not be available but there are other brands which may have similar features that are available if you don’t have time to wait. It allow for flexibility when shopping, which is what is necessary right now
Ask About Stock Levels
Contact your local appliance store and ask about inventory levels, backorders and wait times when you start looking. Understand the timelines they give you are not a means to frustrate you but an honest response to manufacturer delays. It’s important to have honest and realistic expectations of wait times for appliances right now.
Make List of Alternatives
If you’re doing your research to replace your broken dishwasher make a list of alternatives. Have a first, second and third choice option so if one is not available you can easily flip to another.
Measure and Measure Again
Now more than ever before it’s so important to know the exact measurements of what you’re replacing or purchasing. Think about it – you order at 36” fridge, wait 8 weeks and have it delivered only to find out your space only accommodates 33” – you have to wait another 8 weeks to get the right one. We can’t stress this enough – measure, check and measure again before buying.
Plan Ahead - Where Possible
If you’re not scrambling to replace a broken washing machine but know you may need to our you’re renovating your home and will need appliances six months from now – start shopping. Do your research, know what you need and want and place your order as early as possible. This will help lower your stress levels and likely ensure that your appliances will arrive exactly when you need them and not three months after your new kitchen is completed.
Cheaper Products = Lower Inventory
Though the industry luckily has not experienced significant price increases, be aware that lower priced appliances are selling much faster than higher end. Try and determine your budget and work with some flexibility where possible either on what you’re able to spend or on your timeline for needing the appliance.
Understand Shopping Online
Last but not least, understand that for many small retailers, buying online doesn’t mean instantaneous results. Our supply for example comes from the same place so ordering online won’t make your appliance come faster than if you went in-store.
We know it’s a difficult time for everyone and understand that appliances are a necessary part of everyone’s lives – especially since so many of us are confined to our homes much more than usual. We always recommend planning ahead as much as possible for new appliances and be realistic when purchasing from any retailer at this point, as so many of us, like you, are adjusting to the new way of the world.
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Published by Sarah - Goemans Appliance Expert on Thursday, July 23rd