I keep hearing about the hundreds of cargo ships stuck off the coastlines in the U.S. waiting to be unloaded and the subsequent HUGE shortage of Christmas gifts this year. But none of the stories actually tell you WHAT will be in short supply. So I went out and did the research to figure out EXACTLY what might be in short supply so you can buy EARLY (or find alternatives) to guarantee your gifts will make it under the Christmas tree this year. The point of this article is not to have you panic buy, but instead to inform you of where you might want to buy at a reasonable price when you find the item.
1. Christmas Trees & Décor
If you’re thinking of ditching the messy real Christmas tree this year, and going artificial, you may want to reconsider.
According to CNN, the supply of artificial trees is going to be down close to 20% and prices could jump as much as 25% due to the backlog from China.
The same situation exists for Christmas decorations and ornaments.
What To Do About It: Consider buying gently used from eBay or stick to the real tree for one more year.
When I say “Electronics” I’m talking specifically about anything with a microchip in it.
The semi-conductor shortage is REAL folks and stems from factory closings as well as the cargo ship backlog and labor shortage.
So this means a shortage in not only computers and laptops but also gaming systems including the Xbox and Sony PlayStation.
What To Do About It: Buy early, like NOW, before the supply chain really bogs down the couple weeks before Christmas.
3. Toys & Board Games
This one is simple supply & demand and the demand for toys is never higher than in the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
Most toys and games are made in China and millions of them are literally stuck in cargo containers right now.
What To Do About It: Avoid a Jingle All the Way moment and shop early.
4. Kitchen Appliances
Both large and small kitchen appliances are also being affected by the global supply chain shortage.
Because few appliances are manufactured in North America, many are not making it into stores causing a higher demand and subsequent higher prices.
What To Do About It: Sounding like a broken record, but I recommend buying early for Christmas. After a quick scan of small appliances on Amazon, the prices and selection still looks pretty good.
Furniture made in China and India specifically are getting jammed up big-time in the supply chain.
If you need furniture right now, check out Craigslist or garage sales if you’re finding high prices in local stores.
What To Do About It: I’m guessing not too many shoppers are buying furniture as Christmas gifts, so you might be okay buying this year in terms of pricing and selection.
6. Robot Vacuums
This one falls under the microchip shortage issue as your Roombas and Roborocks are packed full of chip technology.
Many are actually On Sale right now so it may be good time to buy if you have someone on your Christmas list Jonesing for a robot vacuum.
What To Do About It: Buy now before the prices start going up after Black Friday.
Ask the Reader: Have you noticed any products shortages, or major price increases, in your neck of the woods?
By Kyle James