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Consumers rushing to complete holiday shopping due to supply chain concerns

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:42 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Many Valley businesses have been busy over the past few weeks as consumers rush to get their holiday shopping done early, for fear that supply chain issues will have hot items out of stock as Christmas approaches.

“Stores and retailers are trying to get people to buy early so they’re doing those sales a little bit earlier to make sure folks get what they want because they are concerned that they may not have all of the merchandise they typically have,” said Julie Wheeler, Western Virginia chapter president of the Better Business Bureau.

The ongoing supply chain concerns are affecting both large chain retailers and small local businesses, presenting challenges in different ways for both.

“Smaller retailers sometimes don’t have the clout with their vendors so they may get bumped to the bottom of the list and may not be able to get the thing but they also don’t have the traffic so it may be an opportunity to find something at a smaller local store that you can’t find at a big retailer,” said Wheeler.

The Better Business Bureau says consumers can avoid the stress of holiday shopping shortages by being prepared.

“Know what you’re looking for, do your comparative shopping before you go to make your purchases, make sure you always understand what the refund and return policies are whether you’re buying online or buying in a store,” said Wheeler.

The BBB also encourages consumers to be wary as supply shortages can provide opportunities to scammers.

“With all the shortages and the concerns about shortages this is an opportunity for the scammers to set up their fake sites selling merchandise that isn’t otherwise available and they don’t sell the merchandise, they don’t have it,” said Wheeler. “They just take your personal information, maybe they take your money.”

The early holiday sales and rush of early customers can make it tough for some stores to keep up, as many are still dealing with understaffing issues.

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