It’s time we filled you in on the ways we’re resolving some recent outages in our online stores.
If you’ve shopped for our cardstock recently, then you’ve likely noticed something confusing: on both our Amazon and Walmart.com stores, our in-stock inventory has been rapidly declining, with “currently unavailable” popping up all over the place. Please rest assured that this is a temporary situation that is already on track to be resolved quickly and soon. But based on the many emails we’ve received this week expressing alarm and disappointment, we thought it would be a good idea to answer some Frequently Asked Questions. Please find the answers below.
Q. Is Clear Path Paper going out of business?
A. Absolutely not! We’ve already taken steps to remedy the situation and will be able to reliably meet your needs again in just a few weeks at most. We know the current situation is frustrating, and we apologize. But things will be back to normal soon.
Q. Why are most of your products currently unavailable?
A. OK, deep breath. This answer will be a little long—thank you for bearing with us!
Over a year ago, the news cycle was full of stories about how the global supply chain was in shambles. Most of the essential industries were able to get the help they needed to get the global economy moving again, so the supply chain fell out of the news cycle, which made it easy to assume that everything was back to normal. In reality, though, the supply chain is still suffering, and small niche markets like our own continue to bear the brunt of it.
Our mills have struggled for almost three years now to consistently acquire the dyes and raw materials needed to manufacture our cardstock to our demanding specifications, but labor shortages, skyrocketing inflation, and ongoing pandemic-related issues have continued to prevent them from getting what they need. We communicate with our mills constantly and can assure you that they are not slacking on their jobs. For now, though, they’re unable to perform the tasks we need from them. Their hands are tied, and so are ours.
Those items are still on order, and whenever our mills are able to produce them again, it will be a matter of weeks before we get them back on Amazon and Walmart.com for your enjoyment. In the meantime, we’ve taken other steps to address the shortage:
We’ve started to place additional orders with new mills who have different resources, sometimes defined by how close they are to us geographically.
After a year of researching, testing, and negotiating, we’ve also ordered entirely new additional lines of cardstock from mills in Sweden and mainland Europe that are able to get what they need locally. (Look for an exciting announcement next week!)
Finally, we’ve begun talks with even more mills to add even more lines.
the cardstock we’ve continuously kept in stock will still be available;
the cardstock that’s currently out of stock will become available when it’s able to be made again; and
in the meantime, we’ll be filling our stores with new lines of cardstock that adhere to the high standards of consistency, versatility, and trustworthiness that have always defined our cardstock.
If we decide that an item is unlikely to return to our catalog and choose to discontinue it, you will see it listed here.
Q. May I order cardstock directly from you since it’s not available on Amazon or Walmart.com? May I order wholesale?
We’ve had a lot of requests about this recently, and boy are we flattered! However: our apologies, but despite the growth we enjoyed in 2022, we are still a microbusiness with a handful of employees. We only sell cardstock, and we only do it on Amazon and Walmart.com. In fact, those companies’ massive resources and trusted record in retail are the reasons we’re able to exist as a company. Trust us, we would love to set you up with a wholesale account, but right now our hands are tied. We don’t have a warehouse full of out-of-stock cardstock sitting around waiting to be shipped to those marketplaces. Instead, once our out-of-stock inventory is manufactured, it’s immediately shipped out to be made available to you.
Additionally, we still don’t have the resources in warehousing or delivery logistics to support a wholesale program. Perhaps one day we’ll offer bulk ordering, but that day is far into the future—nowhere near where we are now. If an item is listed as unavailable online, then it probably doesn’t currently exist.
Q. An item I want is listed as unavailable in my country, but is available for purchase in another country. May I order it from you? Or I’ll order it on one of your marketplaces, and you can direct them to send it to me in my country?
Our apologies—we’re also pretty limited in this regard. If we were an international shipping business, then we would be happy to get our cardstock wherever it needs to go; but for now, if you really need an item that’s only available in another country, you’ll have to order it to be shipped via Amazon or Walmart.com using their international shipping rates. This can be expensive and take a long time; it’s not our recommended method of purchase. It’s your call.
We really tried to make sure another massive outage didn’t occur on our online stores, but we simply can’t control the factors that are causing this one. Instead, we’ve come up with creative ways to react to it, which you’ll start to see as they become available next week. We genuinely appreciate your business and hope we’re on the path to keeping your crafting space stocked with the materials you need at all times. Thank you for bearing with us—soon, these few weeks will be a distant memory.
Clear Path Paper
PS – You can always visit our more general FAQ section here.