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7 Tips for Overcoming Supply Shortages This Holiday Season

It may only be October, but it’s worth it to start making a list and checking it twice.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
October 15, 2021
wrapped presents for the upcoming holiday season
Image: iStock

It may only be October, but, with the holidays coming up and continued COVID-19 supply shortages, rising prices and slow shipping, many experts are recommending parents get a jump start on their holiday shopping this year.

According to Laurie Schacht, chief toy officer for The Toy Insider, product availability this holiday season will likely be the biggest wildcard. “You might be out of luck if you wait too long to buy a hot toy from a kid’s wish list. Shopping for holiday gifts in October may seem like something only the overachievers do, but this year it will be essential to finding those coveted toys in time for the holidays,” she says. “Gift-givers should also plan to add a few dollars to their shopping budgets this year, with manufacturers raising prices across the board to make up for some of the supply chain issues they are experiencing this year.”

While this may sound scary, don’t panic just yet. There’s still time to get your holiday shopping done early, quickly and painlessly. Here, The Toy Insider is sharing their expert tips to finding the best gifts for kids this year.

Make Wish Lists Early

October may seem too early to start making holiday wish lists, but it’s worth it to have your kids start thinking about what they want now rather than later. Share those lists with friends and family so they can get a head start on their shopping too.

Shop Early

Once toys sell out, they may not make it back in stock in time for the holidays. Grab the toys on your list as you see them!

Shop In Store

To avoid shipping delays, try to shop in-store this year. Some stores may have more stock than others, but it’s likely they’ll restock shelves until they run out, The Toy Insider says. Keep checking back in with your favorite retailers and remember that “in-stock alerts” aren’t always completely accurate.

Shop Small

While it’s tempting to knock out all the holiday shopping in one go with a trip to big box retailers, it’s worthwhile to shop small. It’s more likely that speciality retailers who placed orders with toy manufacturers earlier in the year will be better stocked, The Toy Insider explains. Small businesses may even offer convenient wrapping services.

Expand Your Budget

According to The Toy Insider, toy prices are rising in 2021 due to shipping issues, increased costs of materials and other factors. Take all these variables into consideration for your holiday shopping budget this year.

Track Your Shipment

If you’re shopping online, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your tracking information. Don’t assume your packages will arrive on time—even if you pay for expedited shipping services.

Avoid Third-Party Resellers

Resellers on websites such as Amazon, Walmart and eBay often raise the prices of toys that may be hard to find. To ensure you’re purchasing from certified retailers, check the “sold by” and “ships from” sections.

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