Certain times of the year we see a massive influx with folk chasing dates for item arrivals. Christmas being one of them !
It’s probably worth taking a moment to post here and explain dates and how it all works. (Or doesn’t work as some might say 😊 )
The dates we offer on the store are based on an estimated arrival Q number. The Q is for the quarter of the year. Q1 Jan – Mar, Q2 April – June etc. We will always keep the dates as up to date as we can, we spend hours each day checking them. It’s a soul destroying process as we know some of the dates will change again in a matter of days.
Distributors generally do not provide us updates when a date changes and so we have to physically spot the change, it’s quite a time-consuming process. The distributors will be getting their dates from the Manufacturers directly and are just as frustrated as we and you are.
If Sideshow suggest that an item is likely going to start shipping in March, as a guide, it will take up to 3 months, sometimes longer before Europe will see the items.
If a cargo ship encounters delays, port issues etc, the delays can sometimes add days/weeks to a journey rather than minutes/hours.
There are a few distributors in Europe dealing with different manufacturers. If an item arrives at the German distributor, it may be several weeks before that item will arrive at the UK distributor. Sometimes the UK will see things before Europe, it really depends on how the manufacturer has distributed the item. Essentially it’s random luck.
Items will sometimes see distribution in stages rather than all at once so it’s possible, some of the items ordered will arrive at a distributor and then more will arrive in the future. We’re not privy to how the manufacturer has decided to distribute etc.
Distribution is completed via cargo containers. Due to the cost of these containers, manufacturers will want to fill them completely. 2 years ago we were chatting to a distributor and they mentioned that a container they were once paying about £6000 for was now almost £60000. I suspect prices have settled a little bit but still higher than they once were pre-pandemic. Waiting for a cargo container to fill will certainly add time to when things ship.
We understand completely that delays can be frustrating, but we have no control over the dates at all, we cannot stress this enough. We will never guarantee a date as we can’t. Distributors have as much clue as we do about dates, we’re all blind mice basically doing the best we can to keep buyers in the loop.
We have seen mentions that we do not update people about date changes. With dates changing so often, thousands of customers/orders and thousands of products, there’s really no feasible way to keep updating buyers which is why we always guide people to look at the date on the store as it’s the most up to date information we have been given and we keep the store dates updated constantly so you can check your item whenever you want by visiting the item page directly.
At this time of year, we do see a lot of contacts about ‘will it arrive for Christmas?’, the truth is, we do not know except to advise that if an item is Q4 then it may do but we offer no promises. As Christmas approaches, the whole distribution system grinds to a halt unfortunately.
The only time a distributor and retailer will know for sure where an item is, is once it has physically arrived with the distributor. Even the distributors do not know an exact arrival date until it physically arrives with them. If we ask them before arrival they will either say it’s Q3 or Q4 etc or ‘It’s on the water’. We will almost always contact buyers directly once an item arrives with a distributor and they let us know they have it. I say ‘almost always’ as sometimes things are shipped to us and we did not even know they had arrived, we simply see a truck turn up and pallets rolling off them ☹
There's no exact science to dates unfortunately, I wish there was. The best way to approach dates is 'when it arrives, we'll ship it to you' but of course, this is not an ideal answer. I can promise you all, we get just as frustrated as you guys with dates. We would be overjoyed if things arrived when they were supposed to but this looks like a distant dream still.
Part of the problem is the pandemic. Yes, I know it's something that happened 2 years ago but the world took time to open up again. China for example only removed their zero covid tolerence in January / February of this year. China being where most of the items are made. If China closes then delays will happen and if production delays were still ongoing earlier this year, it will take time for things to catch up as manufacturers will have a schedule they will want to try to maintain. An item that has seen delays with manufacturing will be pushed down the release schedule in favour of something that is ready to ship etc.
For the seasoned collectors, you will be used to all of this, they do say, this is a hobby where patience is required. For the newer collectors, hopefully this has been a little informative. If you have questions, we're always around to answer them. If it's a question about an item arrival, please check it's date on the item page directly ...... please haha
We will NEVER be a cause of delay. When things arrive with us we ship within 24 hours normally. Until an item arrives though, we can do nothing :(
In the mean time. I am hoping Santa brings me some Grecian 2000 to hide the grey hair that dates have given me these past 2 years !!!