What “Out of Stock” Really Means


Even if you don’t run a small business you may be aware of global supply chain issues for the past two years relating to the pandemic. In addition, millions of people have changed jobs during the pandemic that compounds problems for small businesses like ours to reliably get you the products you want.

Let’s look at a simple example we’re dealing with right now. White fabric. Seems like a really simple thing to get right? We’ve been waiting for our favorite Superior Solids White 09 for months now. It’s been waiting at a port to be picked up. The ship that was supposed to pick it up hasn’t done so because it’s full of other items manufacturers are anxious to get. Originally we were supposed to get it in February but now it’s been delayed until mid-March because the ships were too full. Without that one fabric, we can’t make certain kits. A lot of retailers, even big ones, are out of this particular fabric. We know if we substitute a different white it will confuse customers and create problems down the road. We’re looking for ways to find that particular fabric but when a customer asks, “Will you be restocking that kit?” or “When will you have more white fabric?” we truly don’t know the answer because “It depends whether the ship stops to pick up the crate, whether the fabric gets tied up in customs because of labor problems, whether there will be delays in shipping from the warehouse to us…” doesn’t help quilters plan their projects. The honest answer is that we don’t know because we’ve been in business long enough to know that you never know when your shipment will arrive until it’s on your doorstep.

So here’s our promise to you: the inventory on our website is a reflection of fabrics, publications and tools we actually have. It is updated after every order and every time a new shipment arrives. As soon as we receive items or are able to make new kits, we update inventory. If it’s out of stock, we don’t have it and probably can’t accurately tell you when we’re going to get it. The pandemic has required all of us to adapt to limitations that we never imagined and sadly that includes access to our favorite fabrics. The good news is that we are devoted to keeping our inventory as accurate as possible in live time so you’re not not left waiting and wondering when your order will ship. We also have a firm policy of not doing pre-sales. We won’t take anyone’s order for a product we don’t have. Plan ahead as much as possible and please understand that all businesses are trying their best to adapt to a very challenging operating environment.

If you’ve placed an order and haven’t received a confirmation, there’s a 99.99% chance that it’s in your spam folder so please look there as all confirmations are sent automatically when the order is received. Thanks for your patience.

One thought on “What “Out of Stock” Really Means

  1. Completely understandable. There are shortages everywhere. I do hope your customers are understanding. Of course when things do get sent, you may wind up having more than you expected since people haven’t ordered them while it was out of stock.

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