We're going to be honest with you. As the only shop with substantial inventory actually in stock, we've got people traveling from multiple states away to pick up orders placed online and showing up en masse. We are fielding online orders to be shipped from folks across the lower 48 states at a pace we've never seen. It's a good problem to have, but one thing has become clear; we don't have the staff to handle this volume of business. We've been trying to find some help, but it's been tough. Our usual summer help from our college crew doesn't start until mid- May.
Last Saturday we had 2 different sets of customers walk off without receiving help. Most folks have been exceedingly gracious and understanding, extending patience and waiting as we work through the crowds. But not everyone has, and one of those folks blasted us on social media for not helping them fast enough. Regardless of that unfortunate situation, it has become clear that we cannot maintain our normal standard of customer service at this pace with a short staff, and not everyone will be understanding. So we have to control what we can control.
Starting this week, March 23rd and going until late April, we will be changing our operational procedures back to our previous COVID set up. This is being done for multiple reasons. One, to continue to provide good service. Two, we are running out of inventory again. We are selling faster than we can ship out , or people can pick up, and that puts us in danger of overselling kayaks to folks who stop in for in store shopping. We don't want to sell a kayak out from under someone we've already sold it to. Three, we are behind on Virginia deliveries, and our freight shipments.
Tuesday-Thursday: Curbside pickup by appointment. For orders placed online or over the phone, we will be offering curbside pickup at our Farmville store from 10:00-4:30 each business day. Our staff are more than happy to talk you through your purchase on the phone if you have questions or need any guidance. Online you can choose 'In Store Pick Up' in the Checkout Cart. In the notes section write in your preferred Appt day and time. We will call if there is a conflict.
Friday-Saturday: Limited in-store shopping by appointment. While we will still offer curbside pickup on these days, we will also be welcoming customers into the store by appointment and with properly worn face masks. We will only schedule 2 shopping Appts per hour and we will assign you a floor staff during your shopping visit. That means very focused attention.
Shipping and delivery: We offer boat delivery within the state of Virginia on our own trucks and that is available to choose in the Checkout Cart online. In most cases, we deliver within a week of your order, but please allow up to two weeks during this time due to high volume. For out of state orders, we are still shipping on our regular schedule. Fees vary by type of order and destination. Out of state orders typically ship within one week from your order date, but again, please remember that this high volume of business may lengthen turnaround times. All orders of regular-sized gear items will ship with either USPS or UPS ground, and are currently experiencing no delays.
Current state of our inventory: Inventory levels have dipped again. We are selling out of kayaks and canoes by the hour. If you see something as available on our website it is a good idea to buy it instead of waiting to visit us on Friday or a Saturday as it most likely will sell out. Supply issues will remain with us for the rest of 2021. Many manufacturers are not allowing any orders outside of what was pre-season ordered last fall. That means it will be many, many months before some retailers get more inventory. We have big orders in the hopper and should continue to see re-stock orders come in. It also means we cannot do special orders. Regarding notification of inventory updates, please see below.
We have started a new email newsletter, and that will be our primary method of notifying folks of new shipment arrivals going forward. As soon as new inventory is received, it is made available for purchase on our website, and if our website shows an item as in stock, it is here and ready for shipment. We are working as hard as possible to make sure inventory is accurate and we aren’t overselling, but in the rare instance that that does happen, we notify customers immediately and provide a full refund. You can order with the confidence that we are not pre-selling boats that won’t show up for months.
With all of that said, we hope to continue supplying all your paddlesports needs through the rest of this whole ordeal, and with the help of you, our community, we’re sure we’ll find a way through. Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay healthy, and we can’t wait to return to normal operations with all you folks on the other side of this wild time.
We love y'all !