This weeks tip is about the realities of shopping these days; what’s available, prices and raising shipping costs.
Our changing retail experience and dramatic halts in manufacturing means the holiday season could look very different this year. Manufacturing as a whole was completely shut down for weeks world wide in the first and second quarter of the year as we saw both luxury brands like Rolex and Louis Vuitton and more common brands like Levi’s halt production completely.  Many companies and retailers are struggling to get their orders made and delivered.
As a result, we are seeing empty shelves, less variety, lower stock levels and sparse retails experiences.; if the stores are even opened. This is sure to be the same or worse for the Holidays.
In addition to low and no stock issues, we should all be planning on more expensive shipping with longer delivery times. Two day and overnight delivery on high demand items may simply not exist. We have to plan better.
So there are two things we should be doing to prepare for the Holidays.
1. Start shopping early this year to insure optimum inventory, timely delivery and lower prices. High demand and scarcity is what causes price increases.
2. Shop for used and 2nd hand goods.  The resale market is booming. Quite often when you can’t find something from a retailer, you can find a “gently loved” version on a resale site. Don’t be afraid to buy and gift a resold item. As products become harder to get, a used version is sure to be cherished gold.
So start your holiday planning and shopping extra extra early this year. It’s a small step to keeping things a little normal in these unusual times.
You can do this!
Andy Paige