*NOTICE: Due to limited staffing and COVID-19, we're experiencing longer than normal lead times.
Please expect a reply within 3-5 business days.
Starfire Direct COVID-19 Company Statement
To Our Valued Customers & Partners,
As all of us try to comprehend the gravity and impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus, we feel it is important to remain transparent and share with you what we are doing to help keep our community safe and healthy.
At Starfire Direct, we are taking this pandemic very seriously. We are following all recommendations from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and have implemented many protocols that should contribute to an effective solution of this matter. That is why we have made the decision for all non-essential personnel to work from home. Thankfully, Starfire Direct is predominantly an online company and many of the tools we use to provide customer and partner support can be done from most anywhere, creating very little loss of efficiency.
We do regret that our showroom will be closed during this time, which means walk in customers will need to reschedule their visit. We hope our customers recognize that this inconvenience is done out of compassion for you, family, friends, and community. However, our sales department is still available by phone, chat, or email Monday through Friday from 6am to 5:30pm, Saturday from 7am to 3:30pm, and Sunday from 8am to 3pm PST. Our sales department would be happy to answer any questions remotely and can even arrange for your order to be picked up or delivered. For everyone else outside of the southern California area, you should see little to no change at all.
All other operational staff will still be available remotely or onsite Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm PST, taking care of business in a timely fashion, just as we’ve always done.
Even before this unfortunate pandemic, Starfire Direct has always made cleanliness a top priority. In addition to our regularly scheduled professional facility cleanings, we’ve provided hand sanitizer stations throughout our building, as well as provided disinfecting products to all team members to regularly clean their personal spaces.
As a small family run business that receives ZERO government assistance for Paid Sick Leave, Paid Time Off, or Healthcare, Starfire Direct has always personally invested in these necessary benefits for our team, encouraging them to stay home, get rest and heal at any sign of sickness. Without the stress of lost income, our team can focus on personal health, which gets them back to work quickly with the peace of mind that they are valued. We believe this is simply the right thing to do.
We hope you will join us in our efforts! Remember to stay positive and know that little things add up to a lot of change. Help us in this fight to stop the spread of this terrible virus.
Thank you for taking the time to read this notice. Your patronage and support mean a great deal to our Starfire Direct family. We will continue to work hard for you every day, and provide necessary updates, so check back often! As always, your questions and comments are encouraged and appreciated.
Starfire Direct, Inc.
COVID-19 Order Status Impact - Updated 10/18/20
Thank you for your recent order with Starfire Direct! We wanted to reach out and update you on the current status of our operations, along with how it might affect your order. Although most of the items on our website show a specified shipping lead time, these time lines are estimates and may shift based on availability. Lead times have been much longer than normal ever since April, primarily due to COVID-19. This email is to help explain how COVID-19 has affected supply chain this year, and what Starfire Direct is doing to ensure you get your order as quickly as possible.
Why are things taking longer than normal?
- With many families home this year, we’re seeing them spend this time fixing up their homes for summer. This has caused a huge surge of orders for fire pits, DIY items, BBQ’s, umbrellas, etc. We anticipate this trend lasting on into winter and beyond, since many vacations have been canceled and families are opting for “Staycation” instead.
- When planning inventory purchases for 2020 (back in 2019), most manufacturers and retailers projected moderate increases based on past trends. Nobody could have predicted that purchases would surge to QUADROUPLE what our industry has seen in the past. Thus, inventory ran out quickly and we're working around the clock to get this inventory back in stock as fast as possible. Often times, incoming shipments are 100% sold before it even lands! Simply put, demand is high and supply is low.
- Starfire Direct Administrative and Sales staff have been working from home since late March. Being an online business, we were already geared to help our customers with sales, customer service, order processing, inventory control, accounting, etc. "in the cloud" despite working from home. Our team is is quite effective working from home, however, there are certain things that simply cannot be done the same as working in the office. Please be patient with our staff if you hear a dog bark or we can't always get to your request as fast as we might like.
- Starfire Direct Warehouse staff is still working at our headquarters, tirelessly processing and shipping orders ASAP. We've brought in extra staff to help get orders out as fast as possible. Most all customers "pre-COVID" would have experienced 1-2 ship times on most orders. But those kinds of lead times are quite difficult for us to manage with the large amount of orders coming in. We simply cannot keep up despite our best efforts, and lead times are for in stock items have pushed to 5-10 days depending on complexity and current order volume. Please know we understand this is not ideal, and we're working to try to get this time line down. Our goal is still 1-2 days to ship, and we'll get back there eventually!
- Our Suppliers and 3rd party Vendors are dealing with the same issues around the world. Even if we process your order the second it comes in, it may be an item that we rely on our supplier to ship, and if they are experiencing the same backlog and delays that we are, that means that we experience longer delays despite doing everything correctly. If they are backordered, we have to source elsewhere to complete your order.
- We have written a very informative blog post that you can read in addition to this email: Planning for Fall & Winter During an Inventory Shortage
These are just a few of the obvious reasons, but there are many more layers that we have to take into consideration. Even large suppliers like Home Depot, Costco, and Amazon are dealing with these same struggles! As you are well aware, COVID-19 has changed everything, and it seems to have happened over night! We are doing our best to adapt to these changing circumstances, while keeping everyone safe and fulfilling your orders.
What can you do to help?
- Once you placed your order, we processed it right away and have assigned either in stock inventory or incoming inventory against your order, and it will ship as soon as we have it ready. The lead times we provide are our best estimate based on the information we have at the time, but this can change! Regardless, we will ship your order as soon as we can. And when it does finally ship, you will receive an automated email with the tracking information. Thank you for your patience and understanding!!
- Our systems were not really designed for this kind of volume, but we are working to improve them every day. If something doesn't make sense on our website or your order confirmation, it's more likely a glitch or oversight. Again, your order has been processed and will ship as soon as it's ready. Calling or emailing before you receive our tracking email only extends hold times for other customers that need our technical or administrative advice. Calling will not get your order out any faster. Again, please be patient with us. You will be notified when your order ships.
- Expect that our team is trying to help many customers every day. If you leave a voice message, send an email, or submit a chat, so are many other customers and we are trying to get to everyone but sometimes we simply cannot. That doesn't mean we aren't aware of your questions and are actively trying to get to everyone as fast as possible.
- If your item is on backorder or unavailable, we will reach out to you by phone or email with new options or ideas to complete your order. If this happens, we will also have information regarding lead times if you decide to switch your items. If we don’t reach out to you, that means your order is fine and you’ll be getting your order as soon as it's ready!
- Our posted lead times online are the best information we have at the time. If a lead time says 5-10 days, please expect it to take the full 10 days. It's our goal to get it shipped faster than that, but at the same time, don’t be surprised if it takes 10-12 days to ship instead. With the amount of orders we are processing, things are simply taking longer than they have in the past. By having this expectation now, you won’t be disappointed or feel that we let you down. We appreciate your reasonableness in this regard!
What should I do while waiting for my order to arrive?
Take advantage of our blogs, tutorials, videos, and advice that we offer on our website! We offer countless tools to help you with your project. Take some time to do some homework so that you’re ready to go when your order arrives.
We really do appreciate your business and know that you’re excited to receive your order. Rest assured our entire Starfire Direct team is working around the clock to get your order out the door and in your hands. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your summer!
Starfire Direct, Inc.
Covid-19 and Order Status – Updated 06/02/21
Dear Valued Starfire Direct Customer,
First, thank you for your patience!
Second, we know it’s taking longer than normal to receive your order and we’re sorry.
The thing is, what’s going on is anything but normal. We’re doing everything we can to get your order out to you as quickly as possible.
As the Covid-19 lockdown eases, ports on the West Coast have seen an increase of over 50% compared to the same period last year. Estimates are that this trend will continue well through Summer and into next year as the import boom shows no sign of slowing down. Needless to say, this is our new normal for a while.
Lates News Headlines on Shipping Affected by Covid-19
- US import boom hits new heights, with ships queueing to enter congested ports
- Space on box ships out of Asia now going, going, gone – to the highest bidder
- Calm before the storm: box rates set for new surge as carriers prepare new GRIs
- Container ship scores ‘off the charts,’ ‘fantasy’ charter rate: $135,000/day
- Chinese container logistics firms mull work suspension as losses rise
Here are just a few things we are doing to make sure you get your order as soon as possible.
We are working with all of our manufacturers, shippers and ports, on a daily basis, to get up to the minute information on when your order will ship. This information is then updated on our website or emailed to you.
We have created a new email update system that tags and then notifies customers when their order will be delayed or backordered.
You can now view the Estimated Ship Date for your order in your Account area on our website. To login and view your orders, click here.
To get the latest information on how Covid-19 is affecting shipments, please view our regular updates right here.
Again, we appreciate your patience and your continued support for Starfire Direct!