Backorders, Stock-Outs, and the Pandemic
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Unforunately the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the supply chain. Our suppliers are shipping late or incomplete, and even when they do ship there are severe backlogs at the ports. Several have gone belly-up since the pandemic began. Classic VW parts are being harder hit than many broader industries because the supply is limited to begin with. If Amazon runs out of a toaster, they can find 50 other companies to sell them toasters. But in the case of a classic VW or Westy part there may only be one or two suppliers worldwide for that particular part. Many of our competitors have addressed this by "cherry picking" the items that are easy to get or the most profitable, and dropping the rest. We believe this does a disservice to the VW community. Think of how many different parts on your VW could take it off the road if they failed. Thousands, to be sure. If every retailer simply gave up on the tough ones, where would you go when you needed one for your VW? So especially during these difficult times, we are redoubling our commitment to keep our selection as complete as possible, and our quality as high as possible - even if it means searching further and harder for the parts, and even if it cuts into our profits for the time being. We believe that keeping your VW on the road is in both of our interests, and we're in this for the long haul just like you are. As a result, our catalog remains twice as large as our next largest competitor's, and we plan to keep it that way. That being said, there will be cases where we just can't find sourcing on an item despite our best efforts, and we may be forced to backorder or even delete it.
We do our best to keep our website current and note any backorders, but even when the supplier keeps us apprised of a delay (not always a sure thing these days) there may still be a lag between when an item sells out and when it updates on on our site. As a result, there can be cases where an item is backordered even if not noted on the site. If we expect it within a couple of days, we may wait and ship your order complete. Otherwise, we may either backorder it and ship it separately when it comes in, or delete it from your order. In the case of very inexpensive items or orders that are shipping internationally, the item may be canceled rather than backordered. But we will typically backorder the item if we have an ETA from the supplier. In that case you will not pay for the backordered item until it ships, and can cancel any time before that. With rare exceptions (for which we ask your approval), we cover the extra shipping cost of sending the backordered item separately, so your shipping cost will not go up. After 30 days, if the item has not come in and there is no longer a firm ETA, the backorder will cancel automatically. We also reserve the right to cancel a backorder or requote the price for your approval if our cost goes up substantially while it is on backorder, especially if it extends beyond 30 days. That rarely occurs, as generally we'll absorb any cost difference just as long as we're not actually losing money. But since the pandemic we've seen some cases where an item doubled or tripled in cost due to supplier issues, more than we could possibly absorb. If you'd like to double check availability when placing an order, or want to confirm the ETA on an existing backorder (as per the supplier), please feel free to email us or call Customer Service at 215-234-VWVW.
Made-to-order or built-to-order items (as noted in the product listing) are charged when the order is given to the supplier, and cannot be canceled or returned after that point. As noted on the checkout page, some factories are experiencing substantial production delays due to the pandemic and lead times may exceed the normal estimates shown on the product pages. Please email us to confirm the lead time on any particular item and we'll be happy to check with the factory.
Please check your email for Updates from the Bus Depot, which may contain important questions about your order, info on any backorders, etc. We will also email updates when all or part of your order ships. (Please note that if the item is listed as backordered but also says Dropship or D/S, it is not actually backordered but merely shipping separately from another location.) As long as you logged into your Bus Depot account when placing your order, rather than checking out as a Guest, you can also check your order status and order history by logging into your account at https://www.busdepot.com/customer/account/index/.