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Plenty of items are facing, or may soon face, shortages due to a variety of issues, such as shipping delays, transportation issues, labor shortages and more. “Many industries are affected, from cars to construction to consumer packaged goods,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. Here are some of the items that may face shortages or higher prices, and we share where to get them.
It’s not the crisis of 2020, but it’s also not in full supply. This is due to shipping issues around wood pulp, which is used to make toilet paper, Bloomberg notes. In fact, Costco recently limited toilet paper purchases to one pallet per customer, and some consumers are noting that their local store shelves have been more bare than usual. Buying tip: If you want to buy, Amazon’s has myriad options still available for Prime delivery, and for its part, Walmart has plenty of name brands on hand too.
Due to shipping complications and supply shortages, many toys are expected to sell out without the promise of being restocked before the holidays. Experts advise shopping for in-demand toys as soon as you see them because CEOs from major toy companies have been warning consumers that not only will shortages abound, but price increases are also likely on some toys. Buying tip: Buy in-demand toys sooner rather than later, but for most toys it’s likely okay to wait. Here’s a list of the 100 best-selling toys on Amazon and Walmart’s list of the top-rated toys for kids.
“We’re seeing shortages when it comes to materials for building homes and furniture because so many people have renovated as a result of spending so much time at home,” says Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet. Buying tip: Be patient. In the case of furniture, you can often get it, but you may have to wait months for it. Many items on Wayfair, Overstock are available immediately and One Kings Lane has a ready-to-ship category for furniture.
When the pandemic struck, bicycles became a popular mode of transportation, method of exercise and even a way for people to safely engage socially. Because kids and adults were suddenly in the market for a new bike while the world shut down, bicycles of all kinds became hot commodities and sold out before they were even in stock. Buying tip: Public Bikes, a direct-to-consumer company, has a range of single-speed, multi-speed, kids, men’s and women’s bikes, some of which are available for shipping the same week they’re purchased. And Dick’s Sporting Goods also has bicycles of multiple varieties available for immediate delivery.
Consumer electronics like affordable laptops
Palmer says you can expect the newest and latest models of consumer electronics including TVs, gaming consoles and smartwatches or wearable fitness devices to have low inventory. “With advanced technology and 5G services, the demand for consumer electronics, PCs, laptops and related devices is expected to remain high over the next few years. In such a situation, retailers are finding it difficult to absorb skyrocketing demand,” Suresh Sunkara, retail analyst at GlobalData writes in a report.
Consumer Reports notes that some laptops will be easier to find than others: “You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a midrange or premium laptop on store shelves, but lower-end models are harder to come by” and that’s “because manufacturers would rather place those now-scarce chips in models with higher prices.” Buying tip: “If you have flexibility in buying older models then it’s easier to find what you’re looking for,” says Palmer.
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Alisa Wolfson is a personal-finance columnist for MarketWatch.