I know it probably seems a bit odd, but there are currently a LOT of kites that are out of stock. And it's not just in our inventory, the manufacturers don't have them! This has created a rather interesting situation for those of us who sell kites, as well as those looking to purchase them.
So what's going on? Well, it's pretty simple really. All of the major kite brands in the US import their kites from China. When Covid began to wreak havoc, the shipping industry was shut down and was not allowed to bring items into the US. That was the first part of the problem. The second part was that since everyone was working from home and trying to avoid other people, going out with the family to fly a kite seemed like a great idea and kites started flying off the shelves (we were a little too late into the game to be a part of this, sadly). Suddenly, kites were "out of stock" everywhere and the retailers could not get any more.
Let's fast forward to today. Covid seems to be somewhat under control, people are getting vaccinated, and life appears to be getting back to normal. Shipping is back up and running as well. So why are there still no kites? After many months of no shipments coming in to the US, you can imagine the backlog. The ports are slammed right now. The kites that are coming in are getting bought up very quickly and end up out of stock again a day or two after arriving. It's frustrating to say the least.
There is hope! I've talked to several of the major kite brands in the US and they are hopeful that things are more "back to normal" by the middle to end of summer. There are shipments coming in now and we occasionally get an email showing one or two kites have arrived, but the vast majority are still "out of stock".
For us a Coastal Kite Company, we do stock many of the kites here in our warehouse. However, you can imagine that it's really not very cost effective to have thousands of kites sitting around and not knowing if someone will buy them. So, we try to stock the more popular kites that have a proven track record of sales. The other kites, we generally will drop-ship. In other words, when you order the kite from us and we don't have it in stock, the manufacturer will send it directly to you (of course with a fee to us to do that). It's not ideal as we make substantially less on those sales, but it is more cost effective than having a warehouse full of kite's that no one is buying.
Unfortunately, these manufacturers don't let us know when products are out of stock, so we have to manually check thousands of kites and other items we carry on their websites to see what's available. We can't do that daily, or even weekly. This means an item that you order may occasionally be out of stock. (and we will get in touch right away if that is the case)
It's a bit of a strange time for the kite retailers. Especially with a "newer" company (we opened October 2020). It's difficult to make sales when half of your items are not available. With that in mind, we really appreciate our customers and their patience in this unusual time. We hope that things will start getting back to "normal" very soon and that we can get you the kites and other items you want.
I should probably take a moment to talk about shipping. That has been affected as well and shipments are occasionally taking a bit longer, especially with USPS. We do our best to select the best carrier for your items. Many times will pay a bit extra out of our pocket to send your item UPS so it arrives faster. In today's world of next-day or same-day shipments from Amazon, it's impossible to compete. But we do our best to get your items to you as soon as possible. We really do appreciate your support of our small business!
If you see a kite online that you want and it's out of stock, send us an email with the item name and number along with your contact information. As soon that that becomes available, we will let you know. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Till next time.... Happy Flying!