Service of Backorders

November 21st, 2022

Categories: Backorder, E-Commerce, E-tailing, Retail, Shortages, Small Appliances

This old Hamilton Beach iron served me well

I’ve not needed a fridge or kitchen cabinet or car, so I’ve not been impacted by typical pandemic backorders—until now. Guess what? The Wall Street Journal published a story last Thursday “Fading Supply Chain Problems Signal Holiday Season of Stocked Shelves, Lower Prices.” I hate being the exception to the rule.

My trusty steam iron bit the dust in a most responsible way on Saturday night. It started to beep at me and then I saw smoke–not steam. It was entitled to retire. It has served me splendidly for years.

Was I surprised when I tried to order one for same day pickup in a Manhattan store. I couldn’t find one at two likely suspects and many irons were out of stock even for shipping. The wait time for delivery for the available ones ranged from six to nine days. I found one at a third vendor that was to arrive three days later—on Tuesday. But I received a notice from the vendor on Monday night that the delivery date moved a week. An aside: This iron had better be as good and long-lasting as the Hamilton Beach I bought at a long defunct discount store. For one thing, I paid 3x more for it.

Here’s one reason for the delay in my receiving the iron: It took some journey to get to Manhattan! It left Chandler, Ariz. and stopped in Phoenix, then Tucamcri, N.M., next Phillipsburg, Mo., on to Quaker City, Ohio, and Keasbey, N.J. and was sited at a warehouse in Long Island City, N.Y.

In another surprising example, I knew that the flannel shirt—from an iconic brand for such things– I bought days ago was backordered a few weeks until November 18. Then the delivery date was moved to December 6. And it’s holiday time!

I shared frivolous examples as they surprised me. What about the shortage of meds for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [A.D.H.D] patients who depend on Adderall that New York Times reporter Dani Blum wrote about? Without their daily dose they “face withdrawal and despair.” She reported that the issue should be resolved within the next month or two according to the FDA. “Rates of Adderall use in the United States have been rising for 20 years. The use of prescription stimulants to treat A.D.H.D. doubled from 2006 to 2016.”

Have you experienced delays or disappointment lately for items you needed or wanted? Were you surprised?

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

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7 Responses to “Service of Backorders”

  1. BC Said:

    Mostly, I am disappointed that most items come from China. They are buying
    up our farmland too.

  2. lucrezia Said:

    Unexpected delays and ensuing disappointments are part of doing business in today’s world. Perhaps this has always been the case, but I haven’t lived the required hundreds of years to give a factual report. In short, I refuse to be taken apart by such nuisances. When it comes to minor aggravations of this kind, let’s think how fortunate we are, sitting there with a roof overhead and food on the table – so let’s not sweat the small stuff. It simply doesn’t pay!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Evergreen advice.

    Not sweating; just observing.

  4. ASK Said:

    I can’t say I’ve been bedeviled by shipping delays, but then I haven’t been ordering so much online.
    At my age, I think I probably have enough stuff. But I would be upset if the delivery of an iron were delayed and I couldn’t find one in a store.

    But I bought a pair of loud sox in a chi-chi Italian boutique for a friend who was taking in my mail while I was abroad. She told me, with a laugh, that the label said the sox were made made in Copenhagen, shipped to London (?), and manufactured in China…Huh?

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Speak of an item with an international provenance and travel history!

    I have never ordered as much online as this year because everything seemed to collapse. That’s why, I suppose, I ran across these instances of delay. I fear short lives not only for my pricey iron that was recommended in a magazine’s “best of”—its cord doesn’t disappear in its body like the grandma version I had to toss which is annoying —but also my new printer and vacuum. I’ve been lucky before with appliances that stuck around a long time but these don’t seem particularly sturdy. Fingers crossed.

  6. ASK Said:

    Can’t resist one final anecdote: A few years ago, I had to replace my gas range. The salesman was earnestly trying to sell me a 3-year warranty contract. I kept refusing, saying my previous range had lasted over 25 years. Stunned, he blurted out, “Well, this one won’t!”

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    While funny, it isn’t really. My IT guru, who is scrupulously frugal, insisted I pay for similar contracts on my printer, new iPhone and laptop [I didn’t mention the phone or laptop previously as they weren’t shipped or backordered but what a year it was reflected all too vividly on what’s left in my bank account.]

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