July 12, 2023/Comments Off on Supply Chain Issues During the Pandemic
Supply Chain Difficulties
I am sure you all have heard about the widespread supply chain issues currently affecting the nation. The Sewing Machine Shop is no exception. This email will serve as a public service announcement to explain exactly what is going on from our position.
The three biggest issues we currently face are back orders, inconsistent shipping, and inflation. All three are interrelated.
Current back order situations are usually born from either (1) material shortage or (2) Covid outbreaks in factories. For example, due to a shortage in certain materials, right now it is difficult for manufacturers to meet the demand for electronic machines. There have also been Covid outbreaks in the factories where machines are manufactured. Whenever there is an outbreak, the factory has to shut down for several weeks, causing major delays in the supply chain.
Obviously these back order situations cause shipping delays. However, the problem is further exacerbated by bugs in the shipping industry itself. Currently the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are extremely congested, with freighters backed in a holding pattern off the coast. What does that mean for us? There is a strong possibility that some the machines we have ordered have been built, but they are stuck on a freighter off the coast of Southern California, waiting their turn to dock.
The combination of material shortage, back order situations, shipping delays, and a variety of other factors has resulted in an inflated price of product. To speak generally, all of the products we carry have increased in price over the past 18 months. We don’t like having to raise our prices, and we don’t like it when we are out of inventory. We have been testing different ways to combat these problems. How can we keep our prices low despite inflation? How can we keep inventory in stock despite back orders and shipping delays?
Fortunately, we still have product in stock NOW and at a LOW PRICE because we do the following:
(1) Buying in BULK
Throughout COVID, we have been purchasing machines in large quantities. Why?
When we buy machines in bulk, not only do we get the machines at a good price, we often receive free freight as well. When we only buy a few machines at a time, we pay a larger price per machine, and we get charged for freight. Because our cost is lower when we buy in bulk, we can keep the consumer’s price lower than we could if we only bought a few machines at a time.
There is a sense in which buying machines in bulk is a riskier way of doing business. We have to pay for the machines before we sell them all, so there is a period where we are operating at a loss. That said, it is worth the risk when the product is something we believe to be the best in the world.
Pictured above: a shipment of 32 Bernina 740 sewing machines. The B740 is one of our favorite machines in the world, so we were disappointed to hear that Bernina had discontinued the model. In turn, we bought 32 of them so that we could offer you the B740 for a little while longer, and at competitive price. The MSRP is $5,999. Our price is $4,399. Out of the 32 seen pictured above, we still have 14 9 left in stock.
MSRP on the Triumph is $6,999. Because we ordered in bulk, we were able to reduce our price by $500, which is nearly half of MRSP. We still have 15 9 left in stock.
Pictured above: a shipment Janome Skyline S7 sewing and quilting machines. Out of the 10 pictured above, we have 6 left in stock. MSRP of the S7 is $3,000. We have them priced more than $1,000 below MSRP.
(2) Open-Box & Pre-Owned Opportunities
Another strategy we utilize involves carrying open-box machines. Open box machines are machines that have never had an owner, but have been taken out of the box for demonstration. They come with the same manufacturer’s warranty as a new machine, as well as first year parts and labor warranty from our store. When we are able to get a batch of open-box machines at a good price, we seize the opportunity because we can turn around and offer them to you at a low price.
For example, we currently have two one Juki Kirei NX-7open-box machines (pictured above). These Juki’s have an MSRP of $4,599. We have them priced at $2,199.
We also have two open box Bernina 790+ (pictured above) sewing and embroidery combination machines priced at $7,999. MSRP of this machine is $12,999, saving you $5,000.
By carrying open-box and pre-owned machines, we are able to maintain a healthy in-store inventory, giving customers the opportunity to buy at a low price that would otherwise not be available.
To help ease the uptick in pricing, we participate in interest-free financing with Synchrony Bank.
Upon approval of credit application you can finance your machine INTEREST FREE for 12 months. Occasionally we participate in promotions where you can finance your machine for up to 72 months interest-free.
To apply for financing with Synchrony Bank, click HERE
Keep an eye out for future emails that detail extended interest-free financing promotions.
The way our business operates is as follows:
We carry machines from a handful of manufacturers. The manufacturing companies design and build the machines. We buy the machines from the manufacturers. We sell the machines to people in the market for new machines, then continue to support customers through our service department and our knowledgeable staff.
We hope this email has shed some light on how we do business, the challenges we currently face, and the ways we have overcome said challenges. Please call us at (925)937-7575 if you have any questions. We are happy to announce that we currently have machines in stock for the busy holiday season, and we would love to talk to you and provide more information.