The night before: 5 ways to navigate the pending holiday gift crunch

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NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) – In case your children have their hearts set on a selected toy this vacation season, a phrase of warning: It may not be simple as wandering right into a retailer and plucking it off a shelf.

As an alternative, you might end up smack in the course of provide chain hell.

In some ways, 2021 is an ideal logistical storm, says Juli Lennett, U.S. toy business advisor at The NPD Group.

“This has to do with shutdowns in China on account of COVID, the price of transport rising extremely, the port of L.A. backing up, and the dearth of vehicles and drivers,” Lennett explains.

On high of every thing, there’s additionally sky-high shopper demand. Final 12 months’s toy gross sales by way of August have been up 18%. This 12 months’s gross sales are up one other 18%, and that momentum is anticipated to proceed barreling by way of the tip of the 12 months, Lennett says.

“There was an unimaginable improve in shopper demand,” says Ed Desmond, government vice chairman for the commerce group The Toy Affiliation. “Folks have been of their houses for a 12 months and half, and that has affected all types of shopper merchandise – together with toys.”

Provide-chain challenges around the globe don’t imply that you’re out of choices. However the scenario does require that you just be extra strategic and considerate about vacation planning than in years previous.

Listed here are 5 ideas from the consultants:


It might sound foolish to start out shopping for now for an occasion months away, however that precisely what you have to be doing.

“So many individuals have a tendency to attend till the vacation season, however there’s really good provide proper now on the cabinets,” Desmond says. “When you’re in shops for different causes like back-to-school purchasing, and also you see one thing you want, choose it up now.”


Yearly, there are a handful of toys that catch fireplace in youngsters’s imaginations. If what you might be on the lookout for falls into that class, be proactive.

As an example, 9 of the highest 10 fastest-selling new toys are both buying and selling playing cards (soccer and baseball), or constructing units, based on The NPD Group. In different phrases, in case your child desires a Lego set for Boba Fett’s ship from the Star Wars character universe — #6 on NPD’s record – begin purchasing.

Different scorching toy lists that would tip you off about impending product squeezes: , , , and .


An in-demand product means it will likely be difficult this 12 months to seek out enticing reductions – however not essentially inconceivable. Shopper finance professional Andrea Woroch suggests websites which monitor value drops, like , whose “Droplist” notifies you when focused objects get discounted.

Even be looking out for retailer coupons, reminiscent of by way of the browser extension Cently, which can mechanically seek for relevant coupons and apply these codes at checkout.

You would possibly discover further reductions for first-time purchases at a retailer, or for subscribing to their e-mail record. You possibly can additionally get financial savings after the actual fact; some retailers will refund the distinction if there’s a subsequent value drop shortly after your buy.


Most customers have a “go-to” web site for a lot of purchases, like Amazon, and don’t search a lot past that. In 2021, you might need to deepen your pool of outlets: simply because one thing is unavailable at one, doesn’t imply it’s out-of-stock at one other.

Google Procuring, Woroch suggests, is a great tool for surveying a wide selection of outlets for a similar merchandise.

One other tip from Woroch: If an merchandise is extraordinarily standard and occurs to be accessible regionally, choose the “curbside pickup” choice. A web-based order might at all times get canceled by retailers in the event that they run out, so take benefit and go choose it up your self.


If you’re fixated on one desired merchandise, you could have basically boxed your self right into a nook. Whereas in case you have a number of prospects, you could have elevated your possibilities of getting no less than one thing on the record.

It could be a superb time handle expectations, and encourage children to ask Santa for a couple of totally different presents that they’d be equally proud of.

“If they need one thing very particular, you might need to divert them in a distinct path,” says Lennett. “Or you might get not that exact product, however one thing shut.”

Modifying by Lauren Younger and Aurora Ellis
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