This New Shortage Is Hitting Shoppers at the Worst Time Yet, Experts Warn

The COVID pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we shop. Recently, the pandemic—along with a number of other factors—has led to shortages of many products, causing them to disappear from our shelves entirely. Experts say there’s another shortage on the horizon, and it’s bound to get worse as the holiday season approaches. Read on to find out what will be in high demand but short supply.

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A “major” toy shortage will affect holiday shopping.

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Leading toy companies told CNN Business that a toy shortage will impact holiday shopping this year, likely leaving children without many items on their wishlists. “There is going to be a major shortage of toy products this year,” MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian told CNN Business. Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, told ABC News, “Whatever becomes the hot toy of the season in the next month or two may not be there in huge quantities.”

The time to act is now. Toy Retailers Association (TRA) chair Alan Simpson told the BBC that he has a message for parents: “If you see it, buy it.” Simpson added, “If you think you are going to go into toy stores in December as you normally would do … and you are going to get what you want, you will be very disappointed.”

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If you can find toys, they’ll be more expensive.

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While many toys will be challenging to find, experts say that if you do manage to get your hands on a product, it’s likely to be more expensive than usual. Jim Silver, CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More, told CNN that consumers will likely see prices spike by 5 to 10 percent. The price increase is partly due to the fact that the supply chain has become costlier.

“The installation of raw material and labor has gone up exponentially. We’ve seen a 23 percent increase in cost of product in China without the logistics,” Larain told CNN. “That is going to translate to higher prices with retail.” He added that a shipping container that would have cost $3,200 last year now costs $22,000.

The toy shortage stems from a labor shortage and shipping crisis.

Shipping containers sitting in a port.Shipping containers sitting in a port.
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The toy shortage will likely be worldwide. U.K.-based Barry Hughes, managing director of Golden Bear Toys, told BBC that current conditions have created a “perfect storm” for the shortage. The labor shortage combined with the shipping crisis have compounded to cause many items being unavailable.

“It’s a problem from the loading docks in China all the way to the retailers loading docks in the United States,” Pasierb told ABC News. “The biggest part of it being ocean shipping being extraordinarily expensive and taking much longer than it ever has.”

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Experts urge you to shop early for holiday toys.

Woman shopping for toysWoman shopping for toys
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To prevent missing out on gifting your child the toys they want this holiday season, experts encourage you to shop early. “It’s really the holiday season now, from Labor Day into early October, it’s some of the best shopping, the best selection,” Pasierb told ABC News. While you may want to wait for your child to finish writing their wishlist or holiday sales, insiders warn that this isn’t wise. “The demand is going to be there. What is not going to be there is the product to fill the demand,” Larian warned.

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