Holiday Shopping Nightmare

The supply chain crisis is throwing off product availability


Photo courtesy USA Today

Supply chain issues have made ports all over America backed up with thousands of shipments.

Will Eaton, Opinion/Editorial Editor

As the holiday season begins, people are buying presents for their loved ones no matter what they celebrate. However, as Americans enter the second pandemic holiday season, this could end up becoming a challenge for the average person. Delays and stock shortages in many businesses are cutting down parts of the supply chain and causing the products to become limited and extremely hard to find. 

During a normal year, November is usually the time that people begin to find their gifts online and in stores. But this year has made buyers resort to buying presents for loved ones many months in advance. Biology teacher Jeremy Pruett tries to get his shopping done sooner rather than later. Sometimes though, he does have to settle for shopping during the later months. 

“I usually try to shop some in the summer, but mostly I buy presents in the fall, like in November or December,” Pruett said. 

Some of the many products missing from the chain include a shortage of computer chips, which cuts back on electronics and car production, dumbbells and clothing. All these items have begun to be overpriced on the secondary market, making them impossible to find. And with the big rush of holiday shopping coming soon, it appears to be best fit to go ahead and buy these products now, rather than wait and see prices double. 

Traditionally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the days to pick up great deals on toys and other presents to give out during the holiday season. But professionals in this area of stock availability agree that people should not wait for special days to get their price decreases (which may in a lot of cases may not happen). This area remains uncertain as to whether the product may return because of shortages of workers, equipment and space. High demand for the products around this time also has major impacts on the availability of the desired material. 

Another effect of the supply chain issues is the import of products from foreign countries like China. An example of this occurred in early November, when over 100 ships were stopped off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean. Vinia Dover (11) has taken note of this and believes that it could cause other products to become a rarity as well.  

“There is currently a huge shortage of Christmas gifts due to the hundreds of cargo ships stuck off the coastlines in the United States,” Dover said. “I believe that holiday gifts such as electronics, toys, board games and kitchen appliances are products that may face shortages or even higher prices.” 

One professional in the world of supply chains and marketing is Kate Ellsworth, an executive editor of commerce content, and she believes that people need to buy their presents early, and not wait for any sales that may or may not happen. Ellsworth stated her opinion on the matter in an interview on Sept. 13, 2021, with NBC. 

“Do not wait for any sale. (Items) will not go on sale,” Ellsworth said. “Buy them immediately.” 

Holiday shopping is here, so many people are going ahead and buying their presents now, before the supply chain drama catches up to them.