Updated on 5-25-20 - 2pm EST
The good news...we are 100% caught up on shipments of in-stock products. If you buy something in-stock, it's shipping within 48 hours or so. That's always been our standard, and we are proud to deliver that lighting-fast service for free to our customers.
As for those of you waiting on pre-orders (and there's over 10,000 of you)...new product is just not shipping right now, but it's STARTING to ship. So good news will come soon! Sure Thing Toys normally receives a few pallets of new product every single weekday. Since March 15th, we've received a total of 7 pallets of product. That's a 95% drop-off in deliveries of new product (and re-stock product). Many manufacturers and distributors were completely closed, and the ones who remained open were working in a reduced capacity.
We keep getting reports from customers saying "so-and-so has this item, where's my order". During this pandemic, product is just not shipping with "equality". Manufacturers (like Funko, for example) are working with greatly reduced staff (if they are working at all), and the disparity over when retailers receive shipments is widening. For example, we typically get Funko product 3 times per week. During the pandemic, we have received one shipment in the last two months. They've chosen to compile shipments to save labor, and we support that decision. That's resulted in us getting product much later than we'd like in many instances. It's a temporary situation, and not ideal, but we will get all the product we have reserved, and our customers will get their items. That's the simple facts. Though inconvenient, safety first.
Additionally, major distributors have been closed, and are just re-opening now. As a retailer, we often must rely on distributors to get us product from major manufacturers (like Hasbro and Mattel, for example). There's many distributors out there, but we typically give our business to the largest, most reputable ones. When they make the decision to close due to the virus, that cuts off supply chain for key brands. Again, it sucks. We hate it. But that's the unfortunate reality we are living in right now. Things are starting to return to normal. It just takes time.
As for customer service inquiries and email issues...
WE ARE NOT IGNORING YOU! An unexpected side effect of the pandemic has been a monumental surge in customer service inquiries. Our slow response time right now makes us sick to our collective stomachs. We've hired additional staff to help address this issue (they start tomorrow FYI). Our current response time is ridiculously long, and not getting any better, so adding staff was a huge priority and necessity.
We are available via telephone from 11a-4p EST every weekday. If it's a critical issue, you can reach a live person during those hours daily. If you've sent an email, we WILL get back to you. We are hoping once new staff is trained, we can get caught up (or close to caught up) this week. We are going to prioritize NEW emails this week, so our response time is where it should be moving forward, and work through the backlog as fast as we can.
Lastly, we appreciate your support, and your business. We've worked REALLY hard to build a reputation as a leading retailer for collectible toys. We are proud of the stellar reviews you'll find everywhere you look online. It's VERY hard to find negative information about us, and that's simply because we care and we work hard. We hear horror stories about experiences customers have had with other retailers, and we can't believe the way certain businesses treat their clients. Through the comic and anime conventions we work across the country, to the weekends we work making sure orders are going out on-time, we have put a lot of sweat and love into building this. As long as you can be patient, we will not let you down.
Previous update: 5-4-20 9pm EST
Sure Thing Toys remains open for business. We are operating with a reduced workforce in our warehouse, and taking every precaution possible, but orders continue to ship daily. Due to a huge influx of orders, and the steps we have taken to ensure the safety of our staff, we are currently experiencing order processing delays up to 5 business days. We are working tirelessly to bring that number down, and get orders out faster. Speed is something we take great pride in, and we hope to return to form ASAP.
Our office staff is working remotely, which may result in delayed responses to your customer service inquiries. Please bear with us...we will get back to you as fast as possible!
Our company, and more importantly our employees, are located in a particularly hard-hit region of the country, an area already experiencing widespread business closures. Ever since we cancelled our trip to Emerald City Comic-Con (the first business impact we felt from the coronavirus), lots of people have been asking how they can help. The best thing you can do is to continue to shop with us!
Again, thanks so much for your continued patronage. We appreciate our customers, and look forward to continuing to service you, both now and in the future.
- Ryan @ Sure Thing Toys