All over the world, retailers are seeing signs that indicate that the supply chain is in chaos. Many companies expect to not be able to handle demand during 2021’s holiday season. Meanwhile, some areas of the market have not been able to meet demand even before the holiday rush. However, that does not mean that you will not be able to treat your loved ones with gifts this year.
No matter which occasion you are looking forward to, giving a gift to your friends and loved ones means a lot. There is nothing better than seeing the surprised smile as they open the perfect gift. While you could get around shortages by purchasing gift cards, they are not the same thing. You want to carefully pick the right gift that means that you understand your loved ones.
So, how can you get that perfect gift with the supply chain in chaos? Not even buying online will help you when Hasbro and Mattel cannot get their products to either warehouse or store shelves. So, this year is the time to think outside of the box and look into used and vintage toys.
What is causing the supply chain chaos?
While many would love to point the finger at local politics, the supply chain is hitting cities worldwide. There is no simple answer that would help restore the supply chain before the holiday season.
First, one of the largest countries that producers most of the materials that toys and other products depend on is suffering from power outages. China’s power outages have forced factories to close amongst many other issues. This element alone has multiple causes, including a slow-down on coal burning in preparation for the 2022 Olympics. So, one step in the supply chain is experiencing extreme chaos with the power shortages alone.
Many countries are still restoring their workforce after the recent shutdowns. Production of products like semiconductors have suffered severe delays in the last two years. Any person who has tried to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X can testify on how these shortages have affected supply. However, more than just electronics manufacturers are still recovering their workforce. Even as these factories return to full production, it will still take a long time for them to catch up with the demand.
So, even the largest companies are having issues getting in the materials to manufacturer our favorite toys. These factors do not even consider the slowdowns that are occurring during shipping.
Slow-down at ports and shipping centers
Even after factories push out supply to manufacturers and other destinations, the supply needs to go through the shipping channels. This alone has caused issues, for many ports simply have a shortage of shipping containers or even space to store shipments. Once again, this element has no simple cause or solution.
Near the beginning phases of global shutdowns, China shipped to many countries across the globe, especially those that rarely returned shipments to China. Thus, shipping containers piled up in ports in regions like West Africa. As the demand for these rare containers rose, shipping costs dramatically rose in turn. Thus, even when containers were available, they did not quickly make it onto the ships.
As shipments began to arrive in US ports, like Los Angeles, in droves, the large volume quickly overwhelmed these ports. Thus, ships had no other choice but to anchor offshore as they awaited the chance to unload their shipments. Sometimes, these ships wait weeks for the docks to clear enough so that they could unload.
Finally, the truck drivers who take these shipments to their destinations across the States were also in short supply. Between lack of drivers from shutdowns and labor disputes, moving shipments from ports has become a bottleneck to the supply chain.
Even after stores and warehouses get the products in stock, there is still one last chokepoint for many customers, the shipping services. Every year, companies like the USPS and UPS prepare for shipments to overwhelm them for the Christmas season. Thus, there are always slowdowns with shipments during this time. Not even UPS’s large trucks could carry all the shipments that they receive during these months. With a high demand this year, these services will slow down once more.
So, how can I get gifts for 2021’s holiday season?
With so much chaos in the supply chain, it is reasonable to feel frustrated when you consider buying gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. Most of the hot toys will disappear in a flash from all major retailers this year. Even online, the chances of getting your hands on the short stock will be minimal, especially with some people using less than clean tactics.
So, how can you hope to find the perfect gift in 2021? As we mentioned before, while gift cards are a possibility, they neither solve the shortage issues nor do they provide the same feeling as giving a toy or other gift. You want to find that perfect product that tells your loved ones that you know their loves and hobbies. However, gift cards say neither of these things.
Rather than looking at the hottest new items, perhaps it is time to take another look at what gifts would be best. For many people, especially older collectors, there are gaps in their collections. Whether they missed out on getting their hands on a product while it was brand new or never knew it existed at all, they could use one more toy to add to their collection.
Otherwise, you can introduce both new and younger people to a product that you loved in your childhood. In several ways, the toys of yesteryear still have a special charm that newer toys cannot encapsulate. Otherwise, there were smaller toy lines that floundered in sales but still were great toys.
Buy older and used toys for 2021’s holiday season
With the supply chain in chaos, you need to think out of the box this holiday season. There are many old and used toys that are still in terrific condition. Every day, Wheeljack’s Lab buys collections of old and used toys. Many of the toys that we buy are even factory sealed and in pristine condition. So, these toys are just as good as the ones that are coming out today.
Whether you have an older collector or younger family member that you want to buy gifts for, you can find many great toys from the past. You can even introduce youths to the greatest toy lines that you had loved as a child. Thus, you can bond with your family over these older toys.
While the newest toys will be in short supply on store shelves, you will have a world of opportunities available when you buy used toys. You may even find a rare gem that you never even thought of before while looking through our selection of old and used toys. So, bypass the supply chain chaos and check out our store today to find the perfect gift for 2021.
Do you need extra cash for gifts in 2021?
If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your toy collection.
About the Author
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!