Will the microchip shortage ruin your holiday shopping?

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From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

It’s always a good idea to do your holiday shopping early, but this year it’s more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of electronic chips and supply chain issues. This means that electronics, toys and other products will be (or already are) in short supply.

Supply shortages, in turn, lead to less vacation bargains and higher than normal prices. This means that sticking to your budget and marking all the gifts on your list will be more difficult than usual. To be successful with your holiday shopping this year despite the challenges, BBB recommends the following tips.

Tips for your holiday shopping 2021

  • Know what products stores might be missing. Millions of everyday products use microchips to function. Computers, gaming systems, smart devices, cameras, and toys with light, sound, motion, or any kind of technology all use microchips, which means that many manufacturers are already struggling to understand. meet the demand for their products. Think about your vacation list and identify the must-haves that are affected by the shortage.
  • Start shopping earlier than usual. Don’t wait until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping this year. Some products may already be sold out by November, according to some retailers.
  • When you find a good deal, don’t wait to buy. Bargains will be harder to find this year, so if you find a product in stock at a good price, take advantage of it now.
  • Budget your holiday shopping without expecting sales. Supply chain issues mean that many retailers have had to pay more than usual for inventory and cannot offer the same bargain prices as last year. In fact, the price of many products using microchips has already gone up, so plan your budget accordingly. It may mean buying fewer gifts or organizing a secret Santa Claus-style gift exchange.
  • Have a backup plan. Since many household items use microchip technology, some retailers already have products out of stock until 2022. Try to stay flexible this year. If you absolutely can’t get a gift you had in mind, you might need a plan B. For example, if the toy you wanted for your kids isn’t available or too expensive, keep it safe. mind that the current shortages only affect certain types of gifts. Soft toys, outdoor toys and action figures without electronic features are expected to remain in stock and reasonably priced this year.
  • Watch out for scams. Whenever a product is in high demand like the hottest toy of the holiday season, scammers try to take advantage of consumers. Remember, offers that sound too good to be true probably are. Additionally, keep an eye out for sketchy sellers who may be selling. counterfeit products. Finally, always look for vendors you don’t know to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company before making a purchase or giving them your personal information, such as your credit card number.

For more information

Read it BBB tip: smart online shopping and visit BBB.org/Holiday-Tips for more ways to make your holiday shopping safe this year.

Always shop from the following companies BBB accreditation standards and BBB Standards for Confidence.

If you come across a scam while shopping for the holiday season, report it to BBB scam tracker. Your report can help others stay alert to danger.

BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The non-profit organization was established in 1954 to promote responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through business self-regulation. BBB’s primary services include Company Profiles, Dispute Resolution, Truth Publicity, Scam Warnings, Consumer and Business Education, and Charity Review.


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