Originally Posted by Just Jeff
The cottage vendors aren't like REI and such, so they don't always have the gear in stock...much of your gear is handmade specifically for you! Sometimes that means the wait is a bit longer than what you'd expect from REI...but the quality is quite a bit higher as well.
Also, since many of the vendors are still new, they're still working thru business models and processes, and that can delay products.
But I wouldn't say "long waits are the norm" for the vendors here. You only hear about it when it's a problem...which means you don't hear about the hundreds of customers who get their products right on time. At least one of the vendors keeps a full stock of all the offerings and almost always ships that day or the next...but you don't get a post every single time that happens.
But your main point is pretty close...if you're buying cottage gear, you'll generally get a different kind of service than you get at a big-box store. Slower timeline, but higher quality goods and more personalized service.
Since my WB superfly order fell thru (BO'd till early Feb) The MacCat Delux was my second choice for a winter tarp. I have placed an order with OES and waiting on the email to pay. I hope it all works out or I might be tarpless for the Colorado Winter Hang in mid January.