It’s always a good idea to get your holiday shopping done early, but this year it’s more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a microchip shortage due to lower production of the microchip, an unexpected increase in demand, and the resultant supply chain issues currently being experienced. This means vehicles, TVs, computers, video game systems, toys, and numerous other products will be (or already are) in short supply.
As a result sticking to your budget and scoring all the gifts on your list that require a microchip may be a challenge. You may also be facing fewer bargains and higher pricing for many products containing microchips.
Her are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to help make your holiday shopping a success despite the supply and demand challenges consumers may be facing this year
• Know what products stores might run out of. Millions of everyday products use microchips to function. Computers, gaming systems, smart appliances, cameras, and toys that feature light, sound, motion, or any kind of tech all use microchips. Think through your holiday list and identify must-haves that are impacted by the shortage.
• Start shopping earlier than usual. Aome products may already be sold out. Good deals will be harder to find this year, if you find a product in stock at a good price, take advantage right away.
Budget your holiday shopping without expecting sales. Retailers may not be able to offer the same bargain prices they did last year, many products that use microchips have already gone up in price. Plan your budget accordingly.
• Have a backup plan. Because so many household items use microchip technology, some retailers already have products back-ordered into 2022. If you absolutely can’t get that gift you had in mind, be prepared with a Plan B. However, when it comes to toys, only those with microchips should be impacted. Plush toys, outdoor toys, and action figures without electronic features should stay in stock and be reasonably priced.
• Watch out for scams. Scammers try to take advantage of consumers whenever a product is in high demand, such as the hottest toy of the holiday season. Deals that sound too good to be true probably are – remember to keep an eye out for sketchy sellers that may be selling counterfeit products. Research vendors you are unfamiliar with and make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate business before you make a purchase or give them personal information such as your credit card number.
Source: Better Business Bureau
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