Backyard pools are hard to find during the coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has left so many things in short supply this year, and each month brings a new shortage — from Lysol wipes to chicken breasts and even bicycles.

The latest? Backyard pools.

Meghan and Nick Newton are dreaming of a new backyard pool for their staycation this summer with their young children.

“We’d like a big one, a nice big one,” they said.

But finding a pool is as tough as finding an affordable bicycle during the pandemic. Any kind of pool, even a small one, is difficult to track down at Walmart or Target.

Aaron Johnson just wanted a $100 inflatable pool and had no luck at retail stores. But when he went online, he said prices on eBay were insane.

“They are charging $1,300 to $1,600 on eBay,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. A pool is not a necessity, but it’s still price gouging.”

Soaring demand coupled with factory shutdowns

For pool stores, it’s a double-edged sword. They are seeing some of their best sales in years, but at the same time, they have to tell customers that the pool they want may not be in for several weeks or months.

Pool shop general manager Johnie Price said many of their popular above-ground pools are now on backorder.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “A lot of the factories around the country — they have been shut down for two or three months. And with demand up, and no product coming, it caused some major delays.”

Another option: check manufacturer websites. Johnson ordered an inflatable pool directly from Intex. But even those are selling out.

“Everyone is staying home, so everyone wants a pool,” Johnson said.

Just like with the current bicycle shortage, you may have to go beyond your budget for a pool at this point.

Or check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for local used pools. Just make sure they are really local, and you can see the pool in person, so you don’t get scammed, and you don’t waste your money.

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