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Holiday Gifts Buying Guide: How To Shop in 2021

This year's holiday shopping season promises to be just as tumultuous as the last. Learn how to find presents for everyone with tips from our team.
How To Shop in 2021

That extra-special time of year is approaching once again...

Parents are prepping for Black Friday, children can't wait for winter break, and everyone is writing up lists of people that are going to be expecting presents by year's end. But things are a little different this year—again. And not exactly in the same way as 2020. This time around, finding those must-have holiday gifts might be harder than you'd expect, all because of supply chain issues affecting global products. It's led to price increases and low stock of technology across the board, from new cars and cell phones to refrigerators and video game consoles. Learn more about what's causing these holiday supply chain hiccups—and how to avoid them altogether—below.
What's Causing the Chip Shortage this Holiday Season?

What's Causing the Chip Shortage this Holiday Season?

It's kind of a long story. Semiconductor chips are in nearly every modern electronic device and appliance and act as a type of "brain", controlling multiple different functions. A drop in chip production caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 was followed by an immediate boom in demand. Both of these factors have led to a supply gap that has only widened in the last year in everything that requires a microchip. A combination of orders piling up, closed-down shipping ports, transportation bottlenecks, and labor shortages have all led to our current situation: one that won't make the holidays cheery.

When Will The Chip Shortage End?

You, your neighbor, and other gamers might still be searching for that PlayStation 5 (the one that came out nearly a year ago). Unfortunately, there's no immediate end in sight, with some experts predicting pressure finally alleviating by late 2022 or even 2023.
Holiday Gifting Tips from Abt

Holiday Gifting Tips from Abt

When shelves grow bare, it can feel like you're left with fewer choices and no options. That's why our team of supply specialists created a list of to-dos to tackle as soon as you build that holiday gift list. Whether you're planning to arrange toys under the tree or hoping to wrap a massive ribbon around a new smart kitchen range, you'll need to find it first.

1. Shop Now & Take Advantage of Our Price Matching

2021 has been filled with shipping delays caused by supply chain problems at every level, and they won't be going away anytime soon. Shop as early as you can this year, and that includes using the days in early November. If you've got your eye on a product that you know you want and it's in stock, you should buy it.

Deal hunters are tempted to wait for steep discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it's true that you can save hundreds of dollars on large electronics like TVs. Keep the best of both worlds by taking advantage of Abt's 30-day price match guarantee. That means if you buy today, you are covered for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Buy today with peace of mind that if you see a product for less that weekend (even in our own store) we will match that price. Exclusions apply, and this guarantee doesn't cover doorbusters or limited merchandise. Matched products must be purchased from an authorized dealer. If you're set on a specific make, model, and product, it's better to buy it now while it's in stock. Otherwise, it might not be back in our store (or any store) for a while.

2. Do Online Research

When it comes to holiday gift finding, it's a good idea to do as much research ahead of time as possible. That means turning to every online resource you need, from finding the product page itself to reading learning articles and discovering more about which features are must-haves. Items like digital cameras, for example, are constantly evolving and changing. Whether you're new to photography or consider yourself an expert, reading up on new options is a must. Our Digital Camera Buying Guide will help you narrow the search to find the right model for your special someone.

3. Check What's In Stock

When it comes to finding that perfect gift, it's important to verify that it's actually available for purchase. Make sure what you're buying is in stock with the newest filter on our results pages. Check the “Availability” tab to learn what appliances and electronics are in stock, and what's away from our warehouse until further notice.

Holiday Gifting - Instock

4. Product Not In Stock? We'll Let You Know When It's Back

Thanks to some online research, you've found the perfect mirrorless camera model—you can even bundle it with an extra memory card or vlogging kit for a discount. The only problem? It's out of stock, and with no apparent arrival date for when it'll be back on the shelves. But you're still set on this holiday gift, and there's a good chance it could be back in time for your present exchange.

The one way to find out? Sign up for our email alerts on the product's web page. Just click "Email me when this product comes in stock". You'll be the first to know when that item arrives. Not sure if you want to wait and see? Play it safe with a comparable item. We're well-stocked with tons of top brands, and showcase similar in-stock items at the top of every absent product's web page. Choose a competitor model instead. You may even find that it performs better than your original choice.

5. Consider Other, Better Options

Signing up for email alerts will keep users as updated as possible regarding when their perfect gift choice will come back in stock. But if that camera is still waiting for a semiconductor or stuck in a foreign port with no sign of departure, it might be time to start considering other options. If you've ruled out similar models from other brands that are in stock, consider investing in a higher-priced version that can be both a holiday and birthday present. Another option? Presenting your loved one with accessories for the present that's perfect for them, and promising that they'll be the first to have it once it's back on shelves. The hottest new PlayStation 5 games and an extra-colorful controller are a great way to invest in your loved one's happiness.

Looking for inspiration for everyone on your winter list? Check out our series of incoming November blog posts on top presents for all your loved ones, from home chefs to movie lovers. Alternatively, take a look at our seasonal Gift Catalog’s popular picks. Even if your top choice is out of stock elsewhere, you'll find everything you need at Abt.

What Our Customers Say About Us

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    July 8, 2022