I’ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating – the chip shortage will not wrap up anytime soon, with all major players like Nvidia, Intel and Toshiba predicting shortages lasting well into 2022 if not into 2023. Seeing as semiconductors are in everything from autos to Zambonis and everything between, production has slowed if not halted in most major industries on manufacturing and delivering goods. Couple this with the major supply chain issues we are also facing world-wide and it’s a safe bet that your holiday shopping (or end-of-year budget spend-down) may be pinched by a Grinch that won’t be stopped by seasonal vibes.
What this means for you
All the more reason to get out there on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to do some shopping now, right? Don’t think it Scrooge-ish of me if I offer some words of caution when you brave the crowds (or virtual queues) in search of technology deals. I’m certain there will be good deals to be found on both fated days. Retailers are up against shortages, inflation and the pandemic – they will likely not pull any punches to wash the red out of their ledgers this year, but it’s not like the chip shortage or the pandemic is something new. The most sought-after holiday gifts are typically technology items, and things like the latest generation of video consoles have been notoriously hard to find since their launch, especially since the internet and online shopping has made scalping an extremely profitable side hustle. Retailers are barely able to keep stock on hand for the high-demand items, and even the less-popular stuff is selling because there is literally nothing else to buy. This goes for work technology items as well. Our wholesale sources are getting down into single-digit availability on the core workplace desktops, laptops and printers, and they are even selling out of the models we normally avoid recommending because of sub-par performance or quality issues.
This brings me to my warning: Beware of buying something – whether for entertainment or work – just because it’s available and “on sale”, especially If you haven’t done the research on it. We are in the most scarce technology market I’ve seen in my professional lifetime, but I don’t think we are at the point of choosing “any port in a storm” just yet. Do you really need a slightly bigger flat screen or slightly faster smartphone, or could you scrape a few more months out of a working device that is in your hands right now. If you need additional equipment because you are expanding or hiring, buying something on discount that you might not have normally purchased may not be optimal use of your resources. Definitely get into the spirit of the holidays, but don’t let FOMO of Black Friday impair your judgement! We’ve found that retailers know that people are in the buying mood, and the deals aren’t necessarily any better than what you might find throughout the year, and given that we know the good stuff is already in short supply, the deals might be more glitter than gold.
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay