I wanted to share another update re how we’re doing in the shop in response to the pandemic – and in particular, how and why some orders are taking a lot longer to reach customers.
It’s important to start by saying that this all comes down the health and safety of people working throughout delivery systems (e.g. reduced staff numbers so folks don’t have to work close to each other). LRT fully supports the measures businesses and postal services are taking to protect their staff, and this isn’t a ‘complaining’ blog post, nor a ‘lamenting’ one!
Anyway. What’s happening.
The UK has been in social lockdown for three and a half weeks. Other countries are at different stages in different approaches. Some places are talking about easing social restrictions, some already have, some are saying no way, some didn’t restrict in the first place. International border rules are shifting and changing constantly.
Because of this, courier and postal services are disrupted – and it’s different in every country.
We’ve seen delivery services temporarily suspended in some countries (many operating again now). In many others, delays are happening throughout the delivery system. Our local rural Post Office – a community lifeline – is operating with just one member of staff, so when we take our parcels in it can be 48 hours til they’re all processed into the mail system. Reduced staff numbers at sorting offices and depots throughout the system also slow things up. Again, as items cross country borders, we’re seeing hold-ups, with many countries experiencing a backlog of parcels at the export/import points.
As our postal service (Royal Mail) suspends its service guarantees and as its delivery partners across the world do the same, we’re unable to offer any guarantee to our customers of when parcels will arrive.
We’re watching our International deliveries and seeing that most are just a few days slower than usual – though a small but growing number are held up substantially. We’ve upped UK non-tracked parcels to First Class to help take the edge off those delays. Aside from this, there’s little else we can do to get parcels to people more quickly.
On the receiving end, too, we’re finding deliveries of stock are taking much longer to arrive.
Long delays in UK Customs are now completely the norm, with shipments I’m tracking sitting still for days, even weeks – right now I’m waiting on several deliveries of decks I’d hope to have been shipping last week. I’m seeing further deliveries held up at border exits and entrances, and parcels sitting in Customs awaiting assessment. Shipments are trickling through, but many items are going to be out of stock for longer than I’d like (back-orders are still open on items where we are confident they are on their way to us, but we can’t guarantee when we’ll receive them).
And further up the chain, some creators are reporting difficulties and delays getting their decks printed and/or shipped as factories, printing companies and others put staff distancing measures in place. And of course, there are businesses within this complex chain that have stopped or may stop trading – temporarily or long term. This really is affecting all of us in lots of different ways.
Tl;dr: Everything is slower now
And we’re simply having to accept that.
Little Red Tarot has always been a champion of Slow Commerce… well, commerce just got a LOT slower! For those who choose to go ahead and place orders, we’re grateful for your patience and understanding. Hele and I are finding that customers are being wonderfully supportive and patient, and that folks really understand that, at this time, nothing is normal.
Whether you decide to order right now, or prefer to simply add things to your Wishlist for a future time, it’s an honour to still be working, still sending these gorgeous tools out into the world, and still serving you.
Thanks so much for your support <3