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How to shop smart this Christmas

15/11/2021

Our guide to getting organised for the festive season.

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Normally this time of year, you might be making your Christmas list, checking it twice, then potentially forgetting about it until December and leaving your shopping to the last minute. But the pandemic has changed things – for all of us.

Empty shelves, high prices and extended delays could make for a stressful silly season – especially if you leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute.

If you’re planning on buying gifts, here are some of the ways you can shop smart this festive season.

What’s happening?

COVID-19 has created supply chain issues in both sea and air freight – and as an island nation, Australia’s been hit hard by delays and stock shortages.

Plus, previous restrictions on flights coming into Australia have created huge problems for trading hubs trying to get goods into the country.

We may also still be experiencing the knock-on effects of August port closures due to Covid outbreaks in countries that supply a lot of our consumer electronics, toys and textiles.

Currently, retailers have a huge shortage of products and a backlog of orders. In many cases, shoppers are also finding there are lengthy delays in getting online orders through.

It’s predicted to be a difficult year ahead for retail as supply chain issues get back on track – especially as some countries have seen consumer spending soar, which is driving up shipping rates. This could also mean prices on goods such as computers and electronics, shoes, food and toys start to go up.

What this means for your Christmas shopping

Although restrictions are easing and borders are opening, freight and transport companies are scrambling to play catch-up.

You may have trouble finding the gifts you want to buy in stores or online – and you might struggle to get things in time for Christmas.

Postal services are also under enormous pressure. Check with your local post office about timings and get any parcels in the mail by early December so that they (hopefully) arrive on time.   

You’re also competing against a heap of other shoppers – for the gifts you want and also for the delivery services to get them into your hands (if you’re ordering online, that is).

Our 7 top tips on shopping for Christmas

  1. Be flexible and have other gift options up your sleeve if you can’t get what you want
  2. Shop as early as possible – you’ll be more likely to get what you’re after
  3. Don’t leave things until the last minute (empty shelves are highly possible this year)
  4. Use ‘click and collect’ so you’re not putting additional pressure on delivery services
  5. Be across any return policies so if you need to return something, you know you can do it in the company’s timeframe
  6. Order festive foods ahead of time, buy local and store until Christmas (if possible)
  7. Save the hassle and make gifts or hit up second-hand stores for pre-loved options.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication.

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