Fulfillment / Order Processing FAQs
Your order request enters our warehouse for pick/pull of in-stock items usually within a couple of hours of submission (during business hours) and/or first thing the business day following order submission (if after hours). Our Care Team will contact you at various points in processing where necessary to advise of any questions or longer-term delays or issues that arise. But if the backorders are anticipated to arrive within a short or medium timeframe (a few days to a few weeks), we ask that you trust we are diligently working to get those items into stock for you.
Once we have acquired everything, we prep and configure your particular combination of items for safe packaging (to account for items of large size or odd shape, or fragile or machined components). These same size/shape/availability factors is also why it is impossible for our automated calculator to give you a perfect shipping cost estimate at the time of order submission. An automated shipping cost estimator is unable to take into account all of the factors that relate to combination of items, their fragility, weight and balance within a package, as well as the final package size restrictions imposed by the shipping carrier.
All cancellation requests (item cancellation, or full order cancellation) must be submitted VIA EMAIL (no phone messages!)
Send your instructions for cancellation of an item or entire order to firstname.lastname@example.org (or just hit reply to the Order Request Summary/Confirmation Email that was previously sent to you).
Generally speaking, we try to honor the shipping carrier and method that you select during your online order request submission.
But on the other hand, there are many situations that arise where the requested method either doesn’t make sense from a cost perspective, isn’t possible for the specified items or address, or where split-shipment due to backorder changes the package weight and/or dimensions substantially enough to warrant switching to a different shipping carrier or ship-method. In those cases, we utilize our judgement (based on 20 years of experience packaging, protecting, & shipping VW parts) to make shipping carrier or shipping method changes if by doing so we can pass through cost savings OR upgrade your shipping speed for comparable cost.
Backorders are becoming progressively more common in the world of aircooled/classic VW parts — the cars are getting up there in age, fewer vehicles are available to the “entry” hobbyist, and as demand gradually shrinks, so does supply! It’s frustrating for both our customers and us when items become sporadically available and/or difficult to acquire. But there are many scenarios where products also suddenly become available again. So for sporadic availability items and items that are temporarily unavailable, we do our best to provide ongoing “acquisition service” for customers who place order requests with us. When you opt to “keep a backorder open”, new stock that arrives is automatically earmarked for shipment to you upon arrival at our warehouse.
Although we stock many thousands of VW products in our warehouse, we also list in our catalog a substantial number of less commonly requested items that are not kept in inventory because we are willing to acquire them for customers upon request. But since they are rarely requested, we don’t always know until we go to source them, how long it will take (or whether price or availability has changed substantially). So less common items are more likely to be fulfilled for you on a backorder basis.
Internally, we classify backorders as follows:
- STBO – “short term backorder” – arrival of restock is probable/anticipated within 3 -10 days
- BO – “general backorder” – typical time to restock is usually around 2-3 weeks, but availability is not necessarily confirmed (so actual ETAs can vary)
- UKBO – “unknown ETA backorder” – time to acquire or restock is completely unknown; might be soon, might be a while, but we really can’t say until we’ve made some inquiries and hear back from various suppliers.
- LTBO – “long term backorder” – we are reasonably confident and expect to be successful at acquiring restock within 1-3 months, even though supply is limited or substantially delayed. For LTBO items, we will often disable the ability to add it to cart, but we will typically ALLOW the “email me when back in stock” notification service for these items. You can’t place an order for it, but you can sign up to be notified by email when more become available.
- NLA (“no longer available”) or HTF (“hard to find”) – Generally when an item becomes HTF, or we have exhausted all known options for acquiring an item over a period of 3-6 months, we consider it to be NLA and we disable the ability to add it to cart from our catalog. We may or may not still allow email notification sign-ups depending on how long the NLA situation persists.
It can be helpful to think of Aircooled.Net as being both a parts store AND a “parts acquisition service”. There aren’t a lot of options for sourcing parts for classic and vintage VWs anymore, but since our Purchasing Dept is regularly checking various suppliers and sources, you can rely on Aircooled.Net to work diligently to try to source harder-to-find products on a backorder basis for you.
In every case, the staff here at Aircooled.Net work hard to do everything possible to get your order filled and shipped out to you in as timely a manner as is possible. However, backorders on products are unfortunately quite common and that is why shipment may be delayed if one or more items is not in stock at the time you submit your online Order Request. We advise you of this possibility in multiple places throughout the site (on the footer of most pages of the site, at the top of the checkout page, on the page that displays with your Order Request # right after you hit submit, in your order request confirmation email, and of course in our posted site policies).
Unlike the parts industry for currently manufactured vehicles, the classic VW parts world has a chronic problem of sporadic availability of many parts because of decreasing overall supply/demand.
Except for if you email us from a different address (to which we will hit “reply”), all email communication with customers will be via the email address submitted with your most recent order. It is very important that you submit your orders with a CURRENT and VALID email address!
We advise in multiple places throughout the site and during checkout that submitted Order Requests have the potential to be delayed by backordered items, payment problems, and also are subject to the current processing/fulfillment queue times which fluctuate according to order volume. We apologize for the inconvenience and promise you that we are working diligently to get this order shipped for you as quickly as possible.
We realize that it is disappointing for our customers (and for us too!) when certain items go onto our backorder and/or temporarily unavailable list, but the nature of the aircooled vw aftermarket and OEM parts business is that these items sometimes do suddenly become available again even after supply has been limited. For this reason, we cannot and do not offer any guarantee of in-stock status or ship-by date at the time that you order.
Read more about our policies here: http://vwparts.aircooled.net/help_answer.asp?ID=11