Worldwide shipping delays this year mean less inventory and higher prices in retail stores. But with these easy tips, you can outsmart the wonky supply-chain problems and still gift all your loved ones while saving a bundle. Save money on gifts and make your holiday even merrier! Here’s how…
Buy USA-made products.
One easy way to get around the current shipping problem and honor your patriotic heart? Buy from companies that make their products in America.
They’ll typically cost less than imported options because the businesses don’t have to pay sky-high fees for overseas shipping. And lucky for you, finding made-in-the-USA gifts is easy! For goods sold at Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers, visit USALovelist.com and WeCultivate.us/shop. For hand-crafted items, log on to Etsy.com, filter results by country, then sort by lowest price to spot the best deal fast. Or head to Facebook.com/events for local craft fairs, where you’ll find more buy-one-get-one offers and other money-saving deals from crafters leading up to the holidays.
To save money on gifts when shopping at American-owned businesses, sign up to their newsletters since you’ll typically receive a coupon giving you 15 percent to 25 percent off your first purchase, or follow them on Facebook to get alerted to sales.
Grab gift card deals.
While there are fewer products on store shelves now, retailers expect an influx of inventory in the coming months when the shipping crisis passes, so there will be plenty to shop for soon. This means getting a loved one a gift card can help them find the perfect present later. An added plus: Many stores are offering bonus gift card promotions for the holidays that can save you big! For example, during last year’s Christmas season, Target offered 10 percent off Target gift cards and DSW offered a free $10 gift card with the purchase of a $50 gift card. To find this year’s bonus gift card offers, visit GiftCards.com/giftcard-girlfriend and Offers.com.
Opt for secondhand.
While retailers are struggling to fill their stores, neighborhood resale stores and online resellers, such as eBay.com and ThredUp.com, are brimming with inventory. That’s because so many folks used their extra time spent at home during the pandemic to clean out their closets, attics, and garages and sold what they didn’t need. This means you could find gifts that are hard to get right now, such as designer clothing, cookware, and sporting goods, at thrift stores, consignment shops, and auction websites. Even better, you’ll save on average 50 percent to 80 percent versus buying them new. You can also go ahead and re-gift something you received but don’t want — a Harvard study found that most folks are fine with you giving away a gift they gave you.
Shop the refurbished aisle.
A shortage in parts has led to production of fewer electronics and gadgets, like digital cameras, laptops, smartphones, smartwatches, TVs and more. The easy fix: Head to major retailers’ refurbished sections, such as Amazon.com (search “Amazon renewed”), Apple.com/shop/refurbished, BestBuy.com (search “refurbished”), and Walmart.com (search “refurbished”). You’ll find display models and customer returns guaranteed to be restored to like-new condition — and you’ll nab them for up to 50 percent less than they’d normally cost!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.