BBB: Don’t Let Microchip Shortages Ruin Your Holiday Shopping | Business

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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 microchips and supply chain problems. This means that electronics, toys and other goods will be (or already are) scarce, resulting in less holiday bargains and higher than normal prices.

“The microchip shortage will make it more difficult to stay on a budget,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “It will also be more difficult to find certain items on your list, so it will be essential to buy early and be creative.”

To be successful with your holiday shopping this year despite the challenges, BBB recommends the following:

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 could 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 could mean buying fewer gifts or having 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 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, such as the most popular holiday toy, scammers try to take advantage of consumers. Remember, offers that sound too good to be true probably are. Plus, keep an eye out for sketchy sellers who might 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.

Read the BBB Tip: Smart Online Shopping and visit BBB.org/Holiday-Tips to learn more ways to make your holiday shopping safe this year, including shopping from standards-compliant companies. BBB accreditation and BBB trust standards.

If you come across a scam while shopping for vacation, help others avoid falling prey by reporting it to BBB Scam Tracker. For more tips on how to be a smart consumer or share your experience with a business, visit bbb.org.

– BBB is a non-profit, business-backed organization that sets and maintains high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB consumer services are free. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB company profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on matters affecting market confidence. Visit bbb.org for more information. There are over 100 local and independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.


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