For the last couple years, home appliances have had major shipping delays. A combination of a bunched supply chain and a chip shortage meant shoppers were waiting up to 18 weeks for a fridge or a dishwasher.
Supply chain issues persist, says Scott Grawe, chair of the department of supply chain management at Iowa State University, but they are not as severe as they were. “There are signs of optimism as we are seeing some supply chains fill their inventories back to expected levels,” he says.
Smaller appliances are more available right now
In terms of wait times, “smaller appliance items are pretty good right now,” he says.
Kitchen appliances you can expect a shorter wait time on, according to Williams, include:
- Hood vents
- Garbage disposal
The cost of fuel and continuing truck driver shortage make domestic transportation a challenge for many retailers. A person in California and a person in Philadelphia might have wildly different wait times for the same dishwasher, Williams says.
Bigger appliances that take up more room and can’t be moved in large quantities will have longer wait times because they are harder to restock.
Some items he says are “hit or miss” when it comes to delivery times include:
If you want the best wait time possible, don’t be picky, Williams says.
“Flexibility is your friend,” he says. “If you’re willing to jump to a slightly different model number there is probably something out there for you now. If you are completely brand specific of model specific, time is going to be your enemy.”
And just because things are improving doesn’t mean the issue is solved, Grawe adds: “Many supply chain leaders expect challenges to persist beyond 2023 and even beyond 2024.”
Regardless of what you are buying, the sooner you order, he says, the better.
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