Looking to buy a new car or couch? Get ready to wait and pay more

VOORHEES, New Jersey (WPVI) -- If you're looking to buy a car or a piece of furniture, get ready to wait and pay more as pandemic-related issues are impacting consumers.

Alecia Eubanks of Voorhees, New Jersey, has given her family's house a whole makeover but she's still waiting on a replacement for a key piece of furniture she ordered on December 20.

Eubanks said the original delivery date was supposed to be mid-March but that didn't happen.

"They said that it was now looking at June, sometime in June," she said.

Many consumers are reporting similar delays and not just for furniture but vehicles, too.

Demand is up while supply is down for both categories due to COVID-19. Factories are open but they are playing catchup and still struggling with fewer workers and shortages of certain materials.

"It's semiconductor chips," said Maria Pacifico of Pacifico Ford and Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia. "There's a much higher demand for these chips. Along with that, there was a fire in Japan in one of the plants that supplies chips."

And as new car inventory slips, the used car supply is also plummeting.

"Without new cars, people don't trade their cars. And that's a big source of where pre-owned inventory comes from," explained Pacifico.

And that is impacting prices. The average new car price is up 8.4%, the used car price is up 7% and that will increase as wholesale used prices have skyrocketed 26%.

"The good news is interest rates are so low, that you can borrow money, you know, at great rates. So that helps your payment," Pacifico said.

As for Eubanks, she said in addition to her new couch she wants better communication.

"We understand the position that all stores are in right now. We just want for them to do a little bit better with customer service," she said. "$5,000 is a lot of money to pay upfront, and to have no idea when your furniture is coming."

Eubanks said she also wishes she hadn't paid the entire purchase price for her couch upfront. She said next time she'll look for a retailer that takes just a deposit until the merchandise ships or is delivered.
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