Digital Piano Shortage | WARNING REPORT Covid-19 | August 2021

Digital Piano Shortage 2021

August 1, 2021 Update - 
Digital Piano Shortage | Report & Warning | Order and Shipping Problems because of Covid-19 in 2021  

Running into dead ends trying to find popular Digital Pianos this year in 2021? Do you keep seeing "out of stock" notices on the models you are looking at? You are not alone! It is happening right now due to the fallout from Covid-19, computer chip shortages, and massive international logistics-shipping delays that could last well into 2022 for some popular models and other consumer goods! Please read this important new report to find out what is going on. 



Covid Pandemic and worldwide product delays
Digital Pianos have always been popular with piano students, families, professional musicians, studios, piano teachers, and others for many years as a great way to enjoy piano playing as the newer models have really gotten much better in realism and quality. Some of them are truly amazing.
Now due to Covid-19 and the extreme restrictions our country has had on traveling and life in general, people have become more isolated than ever before and have been looking for something good do do in their homes other than playing on their iPads, computers, or watching more endless TV or videos. With that in mind, digital pianos have become been more popular over the last 6 months than ever before. In fact the digital piano manufactures cannot keep up with worldwide demand and in the US some newer digital piano models are backordered up to 2-3-4 months or more in some cases until factories can catch up with the demand and shipping time can be reduced, and we are not sure that will happen anytime soon. This is also due to restrictions on factory workers at the overseas factories due to Covid and how those workers are allowed to work. There are restrictions on how many workers can be in the factory at one time along with restrictions in movement within those factories. These new restrictions cause big slowdowns in production output which puts a strain on the manufacturers having available inventory to ship and sell. In other words...demand is very high, supply is very low, and shipping times are much longer, not just here in the US but in various countries around the world.

Online shopping
If that all wasn't enough to cause major problems in getting new digital pianos, due to the rapid increase of on-line shopping
  during the worldwide pandemic, logistics companies like FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and freight companies in general are at maximum capacity right now in shipping all over the country. So what does all of this mean for the months ahead in 2021? It definitely does not look good if you are wanting a good new digital piano in a timely manner. These days if you do not learn the art of "patience" in placing an order and waiting for what you want, then you may not get it at all because other people will jump ahead of you on the "waiting list" for these products if you don't get onto and stay on a waiting list. Usually to get on that "list" you'll need to come up with a deposit (at the very least) on the item you want. This is not just true for digital pianos but also for other consumer products such as furniture, appliances, bicycles, parts, machinery, etc...all the things that people want and need for the inside as well as the outside of their homes.

Digital Pianos backordered
With product backordered from companies like Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Korg, and Casio to name a few,
and logistics/shipping companies like the ones I mentioned earlier at maximum capacity in shipping product, the buying demand of shoppers is overloading "the system" and my prediction is that you may not get your digital piano purchase at all unless you order it NOW depending on the item you want. There are backorders on all the popular digital piano products such CLP, CVP, and CSP models from Yamaha, ES, CN, CA, and  NV models from Kawai, HP, LX, and GP models from Roland, PX, AP, and GP models from Casio, LP, C & G models from Korg, and SG models from Samick. They are all in the same "boat" as far as delays go. Think I am kidding or being overly dramatic? I am not. 
The "writing is on the wall" so to speak. The pandemic is creating havoc around the world in so many ways and even though some of us thought it would be going away by now...it obviously is not, at least in terms of supply chain and shipping issues. Also, even though there are new vaccines starting to be available for covid-19, there still are no guarantees how long they will work and how long it will take for a significant amount of people to get them...that will all take time. It is all so new that there are bound to be issues and that will continue to put the brakes on normal product availability anytime soon.

Big demand for digital pianos
People in the music industry that are "in the know" are talking about it all the time and are worried. As I mentioned earlier, on-line sales have risen dramatically for all kinds of consumer products because we are all indoors more and are looking for more and better things to do, for us and our children.
With a huge surge of on-line shopping and demand for new digital pianos in all price ranges and in all configurations, you will likely not be able to get what you want or get it when you want it. Also, if you are waiting for a lower price or some sort of sale...forget about it as that will also like not happen for along time because of big inventory shortages. The real question is "will you be able to get one at all at any price?" That's what the suppliers and manufacturers are worried about and then that trickles down to the consumer.

Long shipping delays
Be prepared, think about what you want now, what you can afford, and order it now!
With FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and others being pulled in every direction, the factories not being able to keep up with demand because they are on a much lower output due to Covid-19 restrictions and not enough warehouse space for these companies to stock what they need, good luck on getting your favorite item! Yes, the manufacturers want your business and the shipping companies want your business, but they can only do so much. Another thing holding up shipping and causing long delays is the product coming infreight cargo ships from overseas is now getting backed up at the main ports and docks receiving the shipments. Shipping and receiving ports & docks up and down California where most products from Asia (Japan, China, etc) are coming in from are also causing big problems. This is because they are extremely backed up in the water and at the docks because of Covid restrictions on the dock workers and the factories trying to catch up with demand and too many ships are trying to get unloaded at the docks all at one time. In fact, these days they are actually asking freight ships that are coming towards the docks to turn around and sit it our for 2 weeks or more because they have too many ships waiting in line already. It's like being on a plane and the runway is full and their is a long backup on the runway so your plane needs to fly around in circles for hours or even turn around and go back to the originating airport or another airport somewhere else. Think I am kidding? I am not...you can go check on Google and see what it is like at the docks in California. It's really a big mess and it's going on right now and probably will continue to be that way for a long time. This obviously will not make you any happier but we are all dealing with it on a personal level and it is affecting other consumer products (and pricing) in a big way.

digital piano computer chip
And now to add insult to injury, as the old saying goes, we were recently told by both Kawai and Yamaha, and we are sure this affects all the other digital piano suppliers as well, there is now a worldwide "chip shortage."
We are not talking about potato chips here...but we ARE talking about computer chips. There has recently been a big devastating fire at a huge computer chip factory in Japan which not only supplies current technology computer memory chips to the auto industry, but also to other industries such as the digital piano industry which depend on these memory chips to produce their products. This situation has just added "fuel to the fire" so to speak, so not only do we have big product delays for things we have already been experiencing since the beginning of 2021 and in the later part in\\of 2020, but this recent fire at the end of this March just knocked out one of the premier computer memory chip factories in the entire world. Apparently, due to a huge ongoing consumer demand for digital piano and keyboard products along with continued Covid working restrictions in overseas factories, the new computer chip shortage is putting added pressure on the economy and computer chip related product across the board are in short supply.  The big increase in digital piano and keyboard orders from people all around the world has added to the backup and congestion of those chips digital piano computer chip and this is affecting all of the major brands of digital pianos. 
The remainder of the computer chip factories are having general supply issues of their own because of demand in producing enough to go around (the world). So...on top of all the other issues there is a shortage of digital piano computer chips that go into each and every digital piano made in all price ranges and configurations by all digital piano companies. This is creating even longer delays and backorders on all the favorite digital pianos out there and we predict it will easily go into 2022 before we see things leveling off and getting somewhat back to normal. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for later this year and want a digital piano of some type, you'd better place your order real soon because you may not get it for months and by the time it comes in it may be near Christmas anyway. So when it rains...it pours! The good news is that now we at least have Covid vaccines so that many people will no longer be able to get the virus, or if they do, it will cause far less issues according to the experts. A person's health is much more important then getting your favorite digital product in our opinion because if you are not around to enjoy it then what does it matter? So for us it is all about you and your family's health. But, getting a digital piano which we know can mentally and spiritually make you feel better when you play it is also very important and we want to see you get your digital piano order in ASAP  so that you have a chance to get it sooner than later. But now we all just have to be more patient and learn to wait longer for the products we want until the world gets back to "normal." Here's a link to a news article talking about the fire I just mentioned. Fire at Computer Memory Chip Factory.

Guitar Center keyboard room
I recently visited this month a local Guitar Center store which is the largest chain of musical instrument stores in the US. They sell all almost all categories of musical instruments including guitars, keyboards, drums, sound equipment, some digital pianos, etc. Their prices are just average and from my experience having gone into many of their stores over the years, many of their employees (so-called "salespeople" don't know what they are talking about, especially when it comes to digital pianos and keyboards. But that's another story. Regardless, they usually have a lot of stock to see in their stores and their walls are normally full of guitars and their rooms
Guitar Center keyboard room
are normally filled with keyboards, digital pianos, PA gear, etc. However, they are also affected in a big negative way due to these product shortages and it is easy to see when you walk into their store...it seems to be empty in a lot of areas where it would normally be full. Not only are their big empty spaces, but I also noticed how messy and disorganized their store looks...almost embarrassing to be in...like no one really cares. Empty, messy, disorganized, and without "feeling"...that's the way it looked to me. With regard to digital pianos and keyboards, what they did have was mostly very "low-end" product like their house brand called "Williams" which I have
Guitar Center acoustic guitar room
blogged about in the past and they're definitely low quality product based on my experience with them, especially compared to the major brands. But regardless of those issues, the Guitar Center stores are looking pretty bleak these days because of all the product shortages that have been caused by the fallout from the pandemic. So this problem has hit "everyone" including the retail stores, the factories, the suppliers, the shippers...everyone! So don't expect to get your order anytime soon. The operative word of the day is "patience" because that's what you'll need if you want a popular name brand musical instrument including digital pianos, keyboards, acoustic pianos, etc. The sooner you decide what you want and the sooner you place an order, the sooner you'll get one although that still could be 3-4 months away in a number of cases. Think this will clear up soon? Think again! I don't foresee a positive change in wait time and product supply until sometime next year and I know that many people "in the know" agree with me. Plus prices will likely go up as well sooner than later.

Shipping containers
A new additional problem now as of mid-July 2021 is that there is a critical shortage of metal shipping containers that products are put in from the overseas factories and brought on large ships to the US.
Those containers are in such sort supply, so even if the product was finally produced and packaged from the factories and ready to ship out from their coastal ports, there is now such a short supply of those big metal shipping containers that product and parts cannot be shipped out and brought over to the US in a normal amount of time. The manufacturers have to wait in line extra time (up to 2 months or more) just to get access to shipping containers to put their product in so they can ship it from Asia and elsewhere. Also, because of supply/demand with demand being much greater than supply right now, the price of those containers has gone up more than 4 times in cost just over the last year and are still climbing. This means you will definitely absolutely see more price increases of EVERYTHING coming soon to your local stores and the internet for anything you want to order that originates from overseas. Think things have gotten more expensive here lately?...it's going to get worse so don't wait to buy what you want and need. Also on a personal note, I think now is the time for us to start making more things in the US because the previous higher US labor costs and other things that would have been an issue for us making things here are starting to get evened out by the higher costs of goods overseas. I am not optimistic in seeing that change actually happen in any great degree, so we'll see what happens. But for now, especially with digital pianos, things are not getting better in terms of availability or cost.

Covid on the rise
Also, Covid is on the rise AGAIN! You are seeing and hearing about it more lately. The "Delta Variant" is the new Covid and the world is dealing with it and the experts are not sure what to do about it. We are like little ants running around without really having an answer and knowing what to do. Covid cases are increasing worldwide again and factories are starting to shut down...again. No factories...no jobs...no work...no product...you lose and can't get what you want, and if you get what you want it will take a lot more time to get it and will cost you more money. We were already tired of all this Covid related stuff but it is definitely not over. As we get into the 4th quarter of the year and into the holiday season...forget about getting your "holiday gifts" on time or at all...the experts are saying the product shortage could get seriously bad by the 4th quarter of this year and you will not get what you want later on. If you want a special "Christmas gift" then you better get it WAY before then...like now!

Do Not Wait
Do yourself a big favor. DO NOT wait until the last minute to purchase what you want to get for you or someone. 
My strong advice is...DO NOT WAIT because you will likely be sorry and then can't say I have not warned you. These ongoing product shortages in the digital piano industry is a big problem and we see it first hand all the time. The manufacturers keep warning us to expect product and shipping challenges over the next many months like never before. They also tell us  that they have never in their history seen it like this before. For them it's a good problem to have in that so many people are wanting digital pianos for their families and/or for themselves and purchasing more digital pianos than ever before in the US. But with such low production from their factories due to covid-19 and additional problems getting these pianos shipped to the US and unloaded on the docks and then transported to their US warehouses in a timely manner, piano shoppers/buyers will likely continue to have problems getting the digital piano that they want. .

Be an early bird
We are in unprecedented times and things are not normal as everyone knows. You cannot expect that your expectations will be met when it comes to buying and getting the products you want in the next weeks and months ahead.
Will you actually be able to get a new digital piano at all and/or get it in a timely manner in 2021? That's the real question and by what I am seeing right now, the answer is definitely NO, but if you do you get what you want fairly soon then you may be one of the few. For most people the manufacturers cannot make and ship near the quantities they need and could be out of stock generally on that model or maybe in the more popular colors you would want. Don't take a chance...be an "earlier bird" and pick out your digital piano now even before you really need it and get it ordered or you will likely lose out and the wait time will be even longer, perhaps up to 4-6 months or more as of right now for some of the more popular models.  

Contact Me
Want to know more about this subject and the challenges ahead in getting a new digital piano that you want? Also, do you want to know how to still get a few of the popular new digital pianos for even LESS money than internet price and also not have to wait quite as long?
 Then you need to contact us right away so we can talk about it. I am here to help you get the digital piano that will work well for you and your musical needs and within your budget. Whether you are looking at new Yamaha, Casio, Kawai, Korg, Roland, Samick, or other brands, contact us before you buy anything anywhere so that we can give you helpful advice. You'll be glad you did!

If you want more info on new digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me right away at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

3 comments:

  1. Tim - I'm a reader from the other side of the globe (Singapore). I recently got my CLP 765GP delivered (unfortunately Yamaha doesn't offer the 795GP, probably less demand in a smaller market). Wish I could get that but have to be contented...

    I was informed by the distributor that there was a recent fire at one of the IC chip factories for Yamaha digital pianos and this has significantly and further worsened the Yamaha digital piano shortage. Apparently no further new digital piano shipments are expected in the next 1-2 months in the South-East Asian region. Just some background info from the opposite side of the world for you! Stay safe!

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  2. Yeah I've backordered a digital piano in December 2020. It's now April 2021 and I'm still waiting.
    I figured COVID played a huge role in the shortage. It sucks that I have to wait so long, and so I hope that there are no issues with the product once I receive it.

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  3. This is so true..I just put down an order for Yamaha N1X...

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