(WHTM) — You’ve probably seen plenty of empty shelves at the grocery store thanks to those supply chain issues. If you think it’s hard to find paper towels, just wait until you start shopping for those popular electronics this holiday season.
“The earlier you can get something and guarantee that it’s in your hand, I would say do it,” PCMAG senior features writer Chandra Steele said. “Americans were working from home they were looking for entertainment, they purchased laptops, more computer equipment to work from home, webcams things like that and they bought game consoles to keep themselves entertainment, the Nintendo switch was a huge purchase people made.”
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Steele says the demand hasn’t dropped and now with the computer chip shortage, popular gadgets will be really hard to find.
“Game consoles are going to be the top thing affected, so look for gifts that are not as popular in terms of electronics or are more commonly found. Look for things like AirPods or other wireless headphones, smaller items, things that are more available on the shelves,” she said.
Remember how hard it was to get your hands on a PS5 last Christmas? It won’t be any easier this time around.
“People, a lot of time, wait for Black Friday sales. Those sales are not necessarily the best prices you’re going to get and certainly if you’re waiting that long you are not going to get the product arriving by the holidays, so I would say shop now,” she said.
Economists say this should ease up next year but be warned, there’s no quick fix for this.
“That is not to say there is going to be this alleviating of the issues that are occurring, they just think the demand will go down at that time. It will actually take years to correct the problems with the shortages,” Steele said.
“With this demand and the shortage of these electronics, what will that do to prices? Prices are going to go up, the supply chain is seriously affected by this as well. You’re not just seeing the prices of things go up because the chips are harder to manufacture, shipping costs have really gone through the roof. Unless these shipping costs come down that’s certainly going to be passed along to the consumer,” Steele said.
Steele says this is the perfect storm of problems and she’s never seen anything like it.
“The supply chain has really been a reflection of the virus itself..it just takes one thing to go wrong to affect things worldwide,” Steele said.
Stores like Walmart and Target have been looking at alternate ways to get products shipped to them. But another thing to keep in mind if you’re shopping online, postal delays may also show things down, so shop early.