Consumers hit with shipping delays and higher costs

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Supply chain problems are still leading to long delays in getting appliances, furniture, and all types of household goods. To make things even worse, the cost is also going up.

Experts says shipping delays are only part of the problem. Manufacturers have not been producing as much due to the pandemic.

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“Anything from clothing to electronics to home goods to building materials,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president. “Just about anything. You name it. It’s taking a lot longer to come to Hawaii.”

“The demand for appliances just skyrocketed, said Craig Washofsky, Pacific Home and Appliance president. “I know it’s the same case for anything else related to furniture, carpeting and so forth.”

Washofsky says appliances which normally take three to four weeks to ship to Hawaii now take 10 to 12 weeks. He adds that the cost of raw materials, manufacturing, and shipping have also gone up. So that will get passed down to consumers.

“Really this is the first time we’ve seen these kind of increases since the 2008 and 2009 when demand was kind of through the roof,” saud Washofsky.
“People are raising prices like crazy.”

He says if your appliance needs to be replaced soon, better get one that’s already here. Manufacturers have focused on items that sell fast, so even if it’s not the exact color or model you want, it’s best not to wait. That advice applies to many other goods.

“Buy it when you see it,” advised Yamaki. “Don’t wait and think oh it’s going to go on sale, or I can buy it later on. It might not have the color or the size for that model that you want.”

It’s not clear how long the delays will last. But it seems unlikely that the situation will improve in time for the holidays. So Christmas shopping might have to be a little different this year.

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“You can still find things,” said Yamaki. “It’s just a lot of people, if they just wait for it to go on sale, or the ultimate day before Christmas. They think it’s going to get slashed or discounted. That might not happen this year.”

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