What the Tech? Should You Shop Now for Electronics Because of the Chip Shortage?

A worldwide computer chip shortage combined with major shipping delays means many Christmas shoppers won’t be able to find the items they’re looking for and have them delivered before December 25.

If you typically wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to do the bulk of your shopping, you may want to get started earlier this year. Especially if you have tech gadgets on your list.

I did some online shopping to see if I can find some of the most requested tech gadgets in stock.

Gaming consoles are always hard to find leading up to Christmas and 2021 is no different. It’s nearly impossible to find the PlayStation 5 and Xbox 10 in stock. Retailers will likely advertise the units for Black Friday sales but most stores get only a handful of units to fulfill their Black Friday Sales circular offers.

If you happen to see one of these items in a store now, better get it.

Walmart does show them in stock and is available for shipping right away from a third-party seller. That seller has marked the units up $500 from its regular price. That 3rd party seller also has terrible reviews from Walmart shoppers who say the unit arrived either very dusty or in a damaged box. The Xbox X is listed for just under $1000 on Walmart.com while the PlayStation 5 is listed for sale at $1,200. That’s about $500 more than the regular price.

I also found those consoles for sale on eBay but again, they’re priced at around $1,000 and up The Nintendo Switch handheld gaming system has been a popular gift in the past and it’s out of stock as well at most retailers. You may be lucky enough to find one between now and Christmas but at the moment, all of the online stores I checked are sold out.

Apple has been hit hard by shipping delays and chip shortage. The iPhone 13 sold out quickly but is gradually becoming available. I had no problem finding one at my cellular provider and it arrived the next day. Apple’s website says orders placed now will be delivered in about 2-3 weeks.

The latest model of iPad has been out of stock in many places but you can probably find one if you search through the different stores. The same is true for the latest and most recent models of the Apple Watch, AirPods, and AirPods Pro.

Amazon often sells out of its Echo devices on Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day. Models are in stock right now. Amazon knocks several bucks off the price on the big shopping days but I found the latest Echo Show 5 at its lowest price ever.

TVs are one of the most popular items during Christmas every year and retailers have been affected by both shipping delays and the chip shortage. I do see many of this year’s models in stock and unless you have a particular make and model in mind, you should be able to find a smart TV in stock closer to Christmas.

Basically, if it plugs in or runs on battery it can be in limited supplies for last-minute shoppers. If there is a specific gadget on your shopping list I suggest not holding out for a sale price of $10-$20 off and picking it up if you find it.

This may also be the best time in recent memory to shop in-store. As most people do their Christmas shopping online, some retailers may have an item in stock that you wouldn’t find somewhere online.


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