From e-bikes to tarpaulins, businesses are feeling the pinch from delays in goods coming into the country.
The wait for some items such as e-bikes is taking months, leaving both suppliers and consumers in limbo.
E-bikes are a rare commodity due to limited stock being sent to New Zealand.
As a result, orders are taken by New Zealand suppliers and a waiting game begins.
For one Central Otago consumer, who wished to remain anonymous, her wait has already been three months.
She bought one of the bikes in October and was told it would be delivered on January 21, but just before Christmas that date was extended to April 30.
‘‘The thing that’s most annoying for me about that is I paid in full and these things are not cheap.’’
She respected the situation was difficult for everyone concerned, particularly countries affected by another round of lockdown restrictions.
E-bike suppliers were ‘‘hog-tied’’ to a degree by international suppliers, she said.
A supplier of e-bikes agreed.
Henderson Cycle and Mower owner Allan Henderson was among those with a list of orders waiting to arrive.
He has about 15 e-bikes on back order, something he has not experienced in 35 years. There were two problems that had caused the delay — components were not readily available and items were not shipped to New Zealand as frequently as they once were, he said.
Children’s bikes had also been popular.
Gone are the days when people could take a few days to think about whether they wanted to make a purchase, he said. ‘‘It’s just not like it used to be.
If you see something, grab it straight away — you can’t go home and mull over it because it will be gone tomorrow.’’
That message was being echoed by various retailers, including Mitre 10 Alexandra co-owner Kerry McAuley. ‘‘If you see it, buy it.’’
Among the products running low in-store were tarpaulins.
‘‘With all the rain we had, all the stock we had went out the door at Christmas — it’s looking very sparse.’’
It was a case of waiting for ships to arrive in New Zealand ports so stores could replenish stock, she said. ‘‘It’s an ongoing thing.’’
The Alexandra branch had spent a lot of time in recent months sourcing stock from suppliers it would not usually use, just to get more products on the shelves, she said.
Hardware items were a bit hit and miss at times, which had left some consumers ‘‘making do’’ with what was available.
‘‘It might not be their first choice but we always try to have something for them.’’
Large appliances, such as ovens and fridges, were also not as readily available as they once were.
That was why she encouraged people to make quick decisions if they wanted to buy something.
‘‘Someone will just walk in and say I’ll have that and someone might have gone home to think about it. They come back and it’s gone.’’
If customers were particularly fond of something but it was not in stock, staff could look it up to see when another shipment was due and place a backorder, Mrs McAuley said.
Versatile Cromwell owner Marie Holden said while it could still source products needed, there was now a longer wait for some products, including kitchen components.
‘‘What you used to be able to order six weeks in advance, you now have to order six months in advance.’’
She said people had been understanding.
‘‘We all have to take a big deep breath and plan as far ahead as possible. Everybody is in the same position.
‘‘It is what it is.’’