6 gift ideas not impacted by the supply chain

This year, the excitement around what to get people for the holidays is clouded by a question: will the gifts arrive on time? According to NerdWallet’s annual holiday shopping report, 68% of holiday shoppers predict that supply issues could cause the big-ticket items they are looking for this year to be unavailable.

The good news for consumers is that there are still a handful of easy-to-buy categories, which means you can still buy, wrap, and give gifts without worrying about them getting stuck on a container ship in the thousands. miles away.

“It’s a year to be more creative in your gifts,” says Kerri Camp, associate professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Tyler. “Money is limited for a lot of people and the cost of goods has gone up, but you can donate things that are not so dependent on the supply chain. “

Here are six categories of gifts that are not directly impacted by delays in the international supply chain:

1. Products and services of local small businesses

“My first piece of advice for consumers is to buy local. Now is the time to visit your small local retailers because they will have everything in stock and want to sell it, ”says Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina. “You can also get additional benefits like gift wrapping and in-house personalization. “

It is also a way of supporting the community. “We’ve all done a lot of Amazon AMZN,
+ 1.21%
last year and we feel like we want to support local businesses so they don’t disappear, ”said Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of SheFinds deals site. Indeed, 35% of holiday shoppers say they will buy more holiday gifts from local and small businesses this year to support their community, according to the NerdWallet survey.

Thomas also includes experiences in this category and recommends giving freebies such as tickets to your local museum or theater, or gift certificates to local restaurants or spa. “People are more interested in experiences than things,” she says.

Related: Are More Americans Supporting Black-Owned Businesses?

2. Edible and perishable products

“Perishable food can’t stay in shipping containers, so use other methods, like flying. We don’t see supply chain disruptions on planes, so it’s much easier to have these items in stock, ”says Camp. Buyers can also purchase monthly subscriptions for items like food, flowers, and coffee online, so gift recipients continue to receive boxes year-round.

At 1-800-Flowers.com, which includes brands like Harry & David and Wolferman’s Bakery, spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said many items – including baked goods, candies and pears – originated in the States United, they are therefore not faced with international delays.

In an email, Waugh explained that the company expects high demand this season and has worked to prepare for it. Last minute shoppers can also send gift notifications electronically, and the recipient can accept or exchange it before it’s sent.

3. Handmade arts and crafts

At Etsy ETSY,
-4.11%,
In the online craft market, many vendors make items at home with supplies they already have on hand or are sourced locally. Buyers can also message sellers to confirm the items are available for fast shipment.

Brandi Ann Garcia Salinas, who runs the WhimsyTreeLane store at Etsy with her husband Rodrigo, makes wooden toys, including peg dolls and nesting dolls. “International stocks don’t affect us because we’re selling what’s already available,” she says. If some supplies are slightly delayed, as can sometimes be the case, she simply changes what she sells, such as selling a different sized doll that she can make based on the supplies she already has in stock.

Also see: Dread holiday shopping? Here’s how to avoid getting into debt while shopping for gifts

“A craft business can adapt,” she says. Garcia Salinas, who is based in Fort Myers, Fla., Says she expects demand for handmade items like hers to be high this season, so she is encouraging shoppers to place their orders of ‘here the first week of December.

4. Products made in the United States

At the Made In America Store, hundreds of toys, games, cookware, paper supplies and more are ready to ship, and all items are made in the USA. , owner and founder of the store, which has a flagship location in Elma, New York. “My advice to buyers is to consider purchasing products made in the USA this year. “

Toys from Andol’s store include yoyos, trucks, and puzzles, but no electronics, which Camp says is especially good for kids this year. “Kids have been inundated with electronics for the past 18 months, and now is a good time to get back to arts and crafts, games, books, science experiments – things that enhance their creativity. without electronics, ”she said. Since many electronic items are sourced from overseas, you can also avoid shipping delays by skipping them and focusing on more traditional toys instead.

5. Digital gifts

“This is the year of the downloadable giveaway,” says Madhok. While it may be difficult to find a particular video game cartridge to sell, for example, you can download the digital version directly to your gaming system. Or offer a digital gift card, online subscription, or digital artwork personalized. Madhok recommends pairing digital gifts with something tangible to wrap, like an iTunes gift certificate with a cute bowl and popcorn.

6. Donations on behalf of individuals

Donating to charity on someone’s behalf is especially appreciated if it matches the interests of the recipient, Thomas says. “We’ve seen a shift away from mass consumerism since 2019, and the end of the year is always a good time to give financially,” she says.

Whichever category you choose to shop, Camp offers another tip: “Be patient with your shopping list, have a backup plan, and shop early.”

More from NerdWallet

Kimberly Palmer writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @kimberlypalmer.

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