Shopping for an Appliance? The Long Wait is Likely Over!
By: Kyle Mirka
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have waited for an appliance in recent years, you’re not alone. Lead times on many appliances have been much longer due to supply chain issues related to labor and material shortages and other factors. Customers and dealers are frustrated with these challenges. But the good news is that things are finally improving. We’re back to a point where a two-week lead time is realistic on the vast majority of goods being sent to Alaska.
The unpredictability of the past couple of years created some hesitancy among consumers. With fewer orders being placed and inventory coming back, this back stock is good for your wallet. With manufacturers finding themselves with inventory levels that are higher than they’d like, they’re hosting promotions. Fourth of July holiday sales showed steeled discounts this year, which was a stark contrast to 2020 and 2021 when inventory was scarce and prices were high.
However, we’re not totally in the clear. If you need a new appliance there are factors to consider. High-end brands like Sub-Zero and Thermador struggle the most with long wait times. Seven to 13 months isn’t an uncommon length of time to be quoted on a refrigerator, dishwasher, or wall oven of your dreams. This is forcing tough choices on customers.
When considering appliances in the luxury category, compromise is rarely an option, so creativity becomes the name of the game. When building or remodeling, plan on ordering luxury appliances as early as possible. Manufacturers should have much more accurate estimated arrival dates. So, knowing when to order is easier to ensure that items don’t come too soon or too late.
If you’re just replacing an existing appliance that has failed, consider a repair. If repair isn’t a feasible option, consider things like moving a garage refrigerator into the kitchen as a short-term solution. It’s also a great time to explore alternatives. Bosch has long been the best choice for a dishwasher by the leading consumer magazines, but as they struggle to provide dealers with an estimate of arrival time (experience as proven a year), consider brands like Beko, Asko or Kitchen Aid.
Whether big or small, dealers are immensely grateful for your patience. As we approach three years of navigating the strange world we live in, there are many days we go home tired and worn out from the frustrations of not having good news or information to share with our customers about the products that they have on order. We’re so glad things have improved and will get even better. But in case the item you want is still significantly back-ordered, consider alternatives or just know you’re not alone in your frustration and all we can do is relax and go with the flow.