It’s always a good idea to get your holiday shopping done early, but this year it’s more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a microchip shortage and supply chain issues. This means electronics, toys and other products will be (or already are) in short supply, which leads to fewer holiday bargains and higher than normal prices.

“Because of the microchip shortage, it will be more difficult to stick to a budget,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “It will also be more difficult to find certain items on your list, so shopping early and getting creative will be essential.”

To make a success of your holiday shopping this year despite the challenges, BBB recommends the following:

Know what products stores might run out of. Millions of everyday products use microchips to function. Computers, gaming systems, smart appliances, cameras, and toys that feature light, sound, motion, or any kind of tech all use microchips, meaning many manufacturers are already struggling to keep up with the demand for their products. Think through your holiday list and identify must-haves which are impacted by the shortage.

Start shopping earlier than usual. Don’t wait until Black Friday to start holiday shopping this year. Certain products may already be sold out by November, according to some…

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