Inflation is eating at wallets this new year, whether it's the price of groceries, gym shoes, tires or something for the home.
Gary Allen found the perfect backyard cedar shed at Lowe's last spring. He prepaid $9,400 on his credit card.
"I found it online, ordered it in March, and had a delivery date of April 23," Allen said.
But April, then July, then September came and went - Allen was still waiting for his shed. He said Lowe's kept telling him the shed was on backorder. Allen said the store had a lot of other sheds in stock, but none of them were big enough or looked like the farmhouse shed he ordered.
By the time the store notified Allen that his shed would be delivered, the price was much higher.
"I paid $9,400, and now it's $12,100," he said.
Allen said he was told the price increase was due to rising lumber costs.
"They're having trouble with the price point from their vendor," he said. "And that told me they are having to raise the price because it was unavailable."
A Lowe's spokesperson promised to look into Allen's case and see if there was anything they could do. A week later, they offered him a gift card for $750. Allen says it still doesn't make up the difference.
"I consider we had a deal," he said.
Big-ticket items seeing big price hikes
It's the same inflation hitting new and used cars, appliances and other items. A car that cost $30,000 last spring can now cost $35,000 or more due to product shortages and high demand.
GoBankingRates.com says the areas seeing the biggest price inflation are used cars and trucks, fuel and oil, electricity, shelter (homes and apartments) and meat.
Here's how consumers can protect themselves if a needed item is out of stock.
- Ask to lock in the current price and get a guarantee the price will not go up while waiting
- If not, consider a different model that is currently in stock
- Look at a smaller version. In Allen's case, Lowe's has a smaller version of the farmhouse shed for $9,000
The impact of inflation is clear when buying groceries. But when it comes to big-ticket items, that's where inflation really hits home.
As always, don't waste your money.
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