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6 things to buy now ahead of this year’s Black Friday shortages

Christmas could be at risk. Last year, the pandemic had a stranglehold over the global supply chain. Now, we’re dealing with the lingering effects: There aren’t enough cargo containers. Companies are dealing with labor shortages.

Oh, and don’t forget about the global chip shortage, which means prices on electronics could go up. Countless devices need tiny components to work; this is true for everything from smartphones to cars. Tap or click here to see how the chip shortage is already railroading 2022 models.

All in all, it looks like prices will go up since Santa won’t have as many gifts in his sleigh, so to speak. That means you should shop before supplies run out. Here are six products you should buy sooner rather than later.

This money-saving tip is brought to you by our sponsor Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

1. Phones

The global chip shortage hit the smartphone industry hard. Last year, only around 1.33 billion smartphones were sold around the globe. That was a 10% annual decline from the year before.

Industry analysts hoped we would recover this year. While it looks like more cell phones will sell than last year, it’s still uncertain. Many companies overestimated this year’s cellphone sales.

For example, research firm Counterpoint Research first thought global smartphone shipments would reach around 1.45 billion. Now, researchers say it will more likely be about 1.41 billion units in total. While this isn’t a huge drop, it means the industry hasn’t recovered nearly as well as many people hoped.

Here’s how this affects you. iPhone users may not be as impacted by this as Android lovers. That’s because Apple has been the least affected by the shortage.

If you’re shopping for a lower-cost Android phone, you may have trouble finding an affordable model. That’s because the global shortage is hurting the supply, according to an August report from Wave7 Research.

Speaking of lower-cost phones, we found seven great models that work well and cost less than $500. Tap or click here to find your next smartphone.

2. Laptops

Of course, these devices are running low, too. Their complicated processes need specialized microchips, which means manufacturers are scrambling to create as many laptops as people need.

One of the world’s largest laptop makers has grim news. Acer says the shortage has a severe impact on production — and this may persist as far as the second quarter of 2022.

Acer’s co-chief operating officer, Tiffany Huang, had s surprising statistic for The Guardian. “On any day I can only fill 50% of the worldwide demand,” she said.

Consider purchasing a refurbished device if you want to buy a laptop but don’t want to spend an arm or a leg. Purchasing a secondhand computer on Amazon, eBay or Apple saves you money. Tap or click here to buy great tech for low prices.

3. Everyday appliances

Cars, phones and computers are far from the only gadgets impacted by the supply chain chaos. All sorts of gadgets use semiconductors, like refrigerators, microwaves, freezers and dishwashers. If you love to infuse smart tech into your everyday life, watch out.

From smart diapers to smart shower heads, many high-tech devices you use for everyday life could increase in price. If you’re surprised to hear about smart diapers, read our list of the strangest smart home devices you can buy.

Bottom line: All sorts of everyday appliances are at risk of higher prices. Small business owners who rely on specialized tech for their daily tasks should be especially concerned.

For example, the Washington Post says even pet care businesses are having a hard time right now. It comes down to a company called CCSI, which sells electronic dog-washing booths. CCSI’s circuit board supplier doesn’t have the chips it needs to manufacture new booths.

That means manufacturers may have to pivot their designs to incorporate a completely different type of chip instead, CNBC reports. Redesigns are always expensive, and they would be reflected in higher prices. And that’s just one example; the shortage trickles down into countless industries.

4. New Nintendo Switch

Back in July, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model). This gaming system will be more vibrant than previous Switch models, thanks to its 7-inch OLED screen. It launched on Oct. 8 with a price of $349.99.

Many gamers were excited for its enhanced audio features, along with its wide adjustable stand for tabletop mode. It also comes with 64GB of internal storage and a new dock with a wired LAN port.

The new Switch has a ton of high-tech features that have people excited. But such advanced design comes with a hearty inner world of hardware — including the coveted chips that are in such short supply right now. We expect these game consoles to fly off the shelves, so it’s best to buy one now. Wait too long and you could lose your chance.

This console comes in two different color schemes: red and blue or pure white. You can buy them on Amazon here.

5. Toys

In fact, all sorts of toys may be more expensive this year. Even if you aren’t looking for gaming systems, toys that feature light, sound or motion likely have complex circuitry. This type of tech often demands microchips.

You know what that means: Shop earlier than usual to buy gifts for the kids in your family. Don’t wait until Black Friday. That’s especially true when you find a good deal.

On that note, it’s also a good idea to budget your holiday spending this year. Typically, you could take advantage of sales. But supply chain problems may mean retailers won’t slash prices this year.

If you’re stumped and looking for good gifts to buy, we have your back. Tap or click here for 20 clever tech gadgets you’re going to want right now.

6. Outdoor furniture

Nowadays, there’s a ton of tech in our backyards. From digital smokers to robotic lawnmowers, outdoor gadgets are more advanced than ever before. You might want to beef up your backyard this year.

If you don’t know where to begin, here’s some good news. We put together a handy guide with some of our favorite garden gadgets. Tap or click here for six high-tech grilling and poolside devices.

Winter is right around the corner. That means you might want to invest in a patio heater to keep warm while you enjoy the snowy landscape outside. As with all the other products on this list, you should buy one now before prices soar even higher.

Bonus: Want to earn more? You need a degree to match

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We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

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