Early Christmas Shopping Starts Now for 2021
We might still be in the heat of Summer, but according to several retailers and news outlets, you'll want to start your Christmas shopping NOW.
While shopping early for the Holidays isn't a new idea, many retailers are recommending beginning shopping in SEPTEMBER for Christmas 2021.
So why is September the new December?
Why Shop SO Early?
Experts say the pandemic brought about a supply and demand imbalance – creating troubles we won't recover from by Christmas.
Supply chain issues, factory shutdowns, shipping delays, and port congestion are all projected to cause big delays this year for online shoppers. According to experts, these shortages and problems that plagued us in 2020 will get even worse in the second half of 2021. And that means shopping procrastinators might not get their gifts on time…
Chief Executive of MGM Entertainment (they make popular toys from LOL Surprise, Little Tikes and Rainbow High Dolls) says that “there's simply not enough time to get products on shelves this year.”
And even when items make it onto warehouse shelves – online shoppers may not get it delivered to their homes in time. UPS and FedEx are scrambling to hire thousands of truck drivers and package handlers in time for the busy shopping season. The USPS is planning to hire 40,000 seasonal workers and change 33,000 non-career employees to career status to ramp up their capabilities.
Target is enlisting their own employees drop off packages to customers' homes, while Walmart is looking to hire 20,000 delivery employees for the upcoming season.
The days of taking 2-Day Delivery for granted may be ending (at least for now).
Add to all that the fact that stores are having trouble hiring employees right now…. well delivery times are all up in the air.
Expect Higher Prices on Toys, Gaming
In addition to delays and shortages – analysts are expecting less selection and higher prices this Holiday season. That includes popular gifts like sneakers, gaming consoles, tv's and toys.
Toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel say the record-high plastic prices and cost of supply-chain disruptions will be passed on to customers. That means higher toy prices across the board.
Retailers like Best Buy and Abercrombie & Fitch will be cutting back on promotions – and some retailers will be adding a “Covid shipping surcharge” to help defray the skyrocketing costs of shipping certain bulky items.
The global chip shortage means it'll be hard to find any deals on items from XBox consoles to smartphones (And you can probably forget about getting a deal on a Playstation 5 – they're still pretty much impossible to find at retail price.)
Retailers like Walmart and Amazon have been struggling to get space on shipping containers and replenish their own stock in warehouses. But it's not just the big retailers that are hurting…
Boutique manager Anna Moore said “….we’ll probably be short of boots and coats when the winter sets in. Shipping costs have tripled since last year, but merchandise comes in up to 45 days late.”
How to Get Christmas Shopping Done Early This Year
So if you're determined to get your gifts delivered on time, and on sale – here are some tips for Christmas shopping early this year.
1 . Sign up for our FREE Christmas Made Easy Checklist to get your budget and gifts planned out ahead of time
2 . Jump on sales early – when you see something on sale that's on your list, go ahead and grab it for the gift closet! A few examples today:
- Adidas Extra 30% OFF Sale + FREE Shipping
- Kohl's Plush Throws only $9
- Under $20 Pyrex Set
- Coach Wristlets
- 50% OFF Old Navy Leggings
4 . Pick up any *HOT* Toys Early (See the 2021 Top Target Christmas Toy List here)
5 . Shop brick & mortar stores in person when possible
Do you normally shop Christmas early? What tips do you have to get all your shopping done beforehand? I'd love to hear your tips!