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What is causing furniture shipping delays?

Posted at 3:00 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 08:50:33-05

PHOENIX — Looking to revamp your home with new furniture pieces? Don't expect a quick delivery.

One Valley woman shares it has been one delay after another.

"I've just, been decorating and trying to get everything together and want to have a little gathering," said Savina.

She says she purchased a sectional at The Dump in Tempe almost five months ago. She says they had two of the four pieces in stock and the other two were "back-ordered" but would be delivered by mid-October.

"So of course, I put money down on that," said Savina.

Half her sectional arrived as planned, but the other half has yet to show up.

"Now it's been pushed back to January," said Savina, "it really sounded like they were going to have it on time, otherwise; I probably would have just said no."

Savina's story is something that many people are facing right now.

There are three major reasons delaying the furniture pieces from getting to their final destination.

Demand for new items has skyrocketed. With more people at home, people wanting to redesign and make their spaces more welcoming.

Many furniture items are manufactured overseas. In fact, Vietnam is the largest exporter of furniture to the United States, and COVID-19 has unfortunately closed many factories there.

Also, hundreds of shipping containers are stuck off the coast of California, which jump started a chain reaction of delays across the country.

The average wait time for furniture was between 4 and 12 weeks, but it's now close to 40 weeks; especially for custom items.

In Savina's case, after we got involved, The Dump agreed to offer her a refund for all her items if they don't arrive in January - including the pieces already in her home.

It's important to note, in most purchase agreements, once you take delivery of furniture - even a partial delivery - there are no refunds or returns.

Some ways to avoid excessive delivery times: 

  • Don't order custom items - if you can find something a retailer has in stock it won't take as long to get to your home. 
  • Avoid ordering items that have motors or electronic parts - there could be delays if a specialized part is out of stock. 
  • Try shopping used - There are resell stores or you can try your hand on an online marketplace. 

One more piece of advice - DON'T donate, discard, or resell until the new pieces arrive.