Consumer Alert: Experts say now is the time to start your Christmas shopping

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — There are only 96 shopping days until Christmas. In today’s consumer alert, economic experts say now is the time to start making your list and checking it twice today.

I’ll be honest with you, I can’t even think about Christmas shopping in shorts and flip-flops. But the advice from economists indicates that shopping early is more important this year than ever before.

Here are three primary reasons. First, supply chain issues continue to plague the American economy. We continue to feel pandemic pain at the ports. Importers and exporters who are beginning to ship goods ahead of the holidays are being met with container shortages and long delays at ports of entry. And it’s no better when those goods reach our shores. Covid has exacerbated our shortage of trucks and drivers. So getting that hot new Barbie dream house and Nerf Halo MA40 Blaster across the country will be just as tough. If you wait until December, you could be out of luck.

The second reason to check off that list early is the fact you’ll likely face shipping delays. And yes, the shipping delays are caused by supply chain issues. Making matters worse, many more consumers report they plan to do most of their Christmas shopping online. So retailers are trying to address the problem by relying more heavily on air-shipping, but airports are experiencing delays as well.

The third reason to start shopping now is the fact that prices are continuing to rise. Unfortunately, it’s all inexorably linked. The supply chain issues are leading to delays, and those delays are leading to shortages, and those shortages are driving up prices. Economists predict we could be paying 20 to 30 percent more for the same goods this year over last year, and that’s especially true with electronics. There are no guarantees that buying now will necessarily save us money, but it pays to spread out the pain over months rather than waiting until December.

For bargain hunters, it seems counterintuitive to buy before the big holiday sales, but buying early doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay full price. In fact, Consumer Reports experts remind us that Target’s sales will likely span the entire month of November, and Walmart will likely have staggered sales throughout the month as well.

Here’s Deanna’s Do list for saving money during periods of pandemic pricing:

  • Price check with your phone while in the store
  • By last year’s electronics. Often it’s a great product now being sold at a much better price.
  • Set a budget and don’t go over it.
  • Set deal alerts using
  • Use the browser extension Cently.
  • Try cash back apps like Coupon Cabin.