• Patrick Scott Patterson

Holiday Shopping During Supply Chain Issues

They've been talking about it since 2020 and now we're here. The holiday shopping season is upon us during a major event in the very supply chain that feeds retail stores during it's busiest time of year.

Long story short, it's very possible that hot holiday toy your kid wants is going to be out of stock far sooner than typical. That new household appliance that would look good under the tree might not be able to be found. And those silly Christmas commercials where the entire family gets new, expensive cards with big bows on top are going to be even more unrealistic than usual.

If the supply chain challenge holds, consumers will start to notice it within weeks of this blog. It's always wisest to shop for certain Christmas items like toys before Halloween because the big box stores are always as full in that department as they will be at any point in the season, but nobody wants to ever follow that advice. This year, it's vital.

So you waited. Now what? You turn to the Internet, right? But you also have to realize that the websites for Walmart and Target and even the mighty Amazon are subject to the same supply chain challenges as the brick and mortar stores. You'll have to seek other options.

There's always sites like eBay (the link there takes you to my eBay store, by the way) which has transformed over the years from an auction site to a place where you can just click and buy items or even make offers. There are tens of thousands of professional sellers on there, many of them offering hard to find collectibles and even new-in-package product. The smart ones have been building up inventory all year and therefore aren't challenged by supply chain issues.

Then there are portals like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp and 5Miles (again, click the links to go to my stores on there). Each of these sites have evolved over the years to allow sellers the option to ship in addition to the local pick up options. People are always looking to clear out space in their homes going into the holiday season and odds are good you can find some items on there that are long gone from stores.

So what of those of you who simply don't trust sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace? While I don't think there's a legit reason to do so, you can always find sites that let you shop for deals at multiple traditional stores at once. Think of it like a virtual shopping mall. Capital One Shopping is one great example of this, with coupons to stores in every category.

Then, of course, there's simply not waiting. Reading this blog before Halloween? Stop. Go get in the car, drive to your stores and shop now. This is always the best time of year to shop for toys and video games. I worked retail stores for a lot of years and would always see quantities of items this time of year that everyone was asking for in vain just weeks later.

This goes triple for 2021.

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