If you’ve been surprised by product shortages or delivery delays, you might be wondering what’s going on. While there can be many reasons for this to happen, let’s talk about some of the ways products can be delayed or experience shortages. 

Potential reasons for product delays and shortages

Here are examples of some of the reasons you may experience a product delay or shortage:

  • Parts shortages. Modern consumer goods require many complex parts and ingredients. Crop failures, natural resource availability, and resource demands from other industries can make it difficult for producers to get what they need.
  • High demand. Public trends or fads can create high demand for specific products, causing supply to fall behind.
  • Global events. Changes to treaties, trade agreements, and import tariffs can make getting certain products difficult and costly (especially imported goods). Other issues like war, the pandemic, strikes and labour shortages can also lead to delays and problems with the supply of consumer products.

How to plan around product delays and shortages

  • Consider shopping locally. Buying products in-person from local businesses ensures you get what you want right away. It also helps stimulate your local economy and help your community.
  • Try to ship from within Canada. If you have the option, shipping from within Canada is the easiest option for delivery. International imports often have extra fees, customs requirements and can experience complications as they enter the country.
  • Check on product availability. Call ahead or check the stock of a product before clicking “place order”. This can save you time and effort and businesses often offer equal alternatives for products out of stock.
  • Be patient. Most of the time supply shortages and product delays are out of a retailer’s control. Remember to be polite and work with the business to come to a solution. Depending on the product, retailers may offer waitlists or referrals to help you get what you want.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.