Now is the Time to Holiday Shop

Although it’s only October and you may be more inclined to think about pumpkins and Halloween costumes, you should be thinking about Holiday shopping. This is the all-important shipping season for products headed to the shelves of Canadian merchants.

Normally, the global supply chain of international goods works well. The products consumers want are available and no one really thinks twice about what is available. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting or needing an item and you can’t get it and there is no timeline on when it might be available. You might remember last holiday season when Canadians began spending with enthusiasm and there were plenty of shipping nightmare stories.  The supply chain still isn’t working. That’s thanks to many factors: the pandemic, booming consumer demand, weather, shipping issues and lack of workers who drive the trucks or stock the shelves.  Some items are slower to get into the transportation network because the pandemic has disrupted operations at some of the Asian factories and seaports. When the items do get to the docks, there’s aren’t enough cargo ships or containers. Shipping prices have soared and this cost is being passed on to the consumer by way of rising prices.

All these factors should make us reconsider waiting to start our shopping until late November or December. If you wait, you risk limited retailer inventory and overspending on items you don’t want.

Get your holiday shopping done right now.  The early bird does catch the worm (or in this case, catch that sought after electronic, toy or sporting good)              

Be prepared to be flexible and accept your second or even third choice.

If you do wait, be prepared to give a voucher or picture of the item as a Christmas gift as it may not arrive in time to make it under the tree.

Shopping early also allows you to better budget your spending over a longer period of time which should make it more manageable. Waiting last minute often causes impulse spending on items you don’t want or can’t afford just to have something for a loved one to open. Planning your Holiday spending over 2-3 months allows you to feel more in control of your finances and get the exact item you wanted.