The Secret Shopper: Picking Out Porch and Patio Items

This month the Secret Shopper sought furnishings and decor for the porch and patio. Since many of the larger furniture items are drop-shipped from the manufacturer, availability — and speedy delivery — were in shorter supply than usual. Instead of sipping lemonade on the deck, the Secret Shopper may need a hot toddy by the time some of these items arrive.

Catalog Number of rings/time on hold Items requested/in stock Delivery time
Charleston Gardens 2 rings 2/1 in-stock item would be drop-shipped in 4-6 weeks*
Eddie Bauer 30 seconds 2/1 in-stock item, 6 weeks; backordered item, 1 month till it was in stock, then 8 days
Frontgate 1 ring/1 minute 2/1 delivery time would have to be scheduled
Gardeners Eden 1 ring 2/2 7-10 business days
Gifts.com 1 ring/30 seconds 2/1 3-4 weeks
Harmony 1 ring/3 minutes 3/2 7-10 days
Home Decorators Collection 2 rings 2/1 in-stock item, 7-10 business days; backordered item, 3 weeks
Improvements 3 rings/20 seconds 2/1 10-14 days
L.L. Bean Home 0 3/3 5-7 days
Plow & Hearth 15 seconds 2/2 7-10 business days
Pottery Barn 4 seconds 2/2 6 business days
Smith & Hawken 2 minutes 2/2 7-10 days
Tidewater Workshop 1 ring/2-1/2 minutes 2/2 2-1/2 to 3 weeks
Wood Classics 1 ring 2/2 3-5 business days unassembled; 3-5 weeks assembled
* Rep had to check availability on item not in stock and said she would call back but never did.

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