What the Tech: Hard to Find Tech Gifts

CHARLOTTE N.C. – Black Friday and Cyber Monday are about two weeks away and Christmas shoppers are holding onto their wishlists, hoping to see the lowest prices of the year.

Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart are beginning to advertise (or leak) special deals that offer the lowest prices of the year on tech gifts. That doesn’t mean you should wait. The continuing worldwide chip shortage combined with delays in the supply chain and the popularity of tech gifts mean many of this year’s favorite gadgets may sell out in the first few hours of the big shopping days.

For example gaming systems. The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X are hard to find any time of year but especially during the holidays. A check at all significant retailers shows those systems are either sold out or in very short supply. Best Buy has changed its reservation policy to purchase the popular gaming system and Amazon sells them only by invitation.

Apple has halted production of the iPhone 14 Pro due to the continuing pandemic that is still affecting China. You may be able to find these smartphones right now but your best bet may be finding the  phones with the largest amount of storage. The 1TB model sells less quickly than the 256GB models. It’s good to check around at nearby cellular providers if you’re looking for a particular color.

Laptops, televisions, and digital cameras are plentiful during the holidays but the selection will be limited the closer we get to December. A check of popular digital cameras is already on backorder at the online retailers I checked.

One of this year’s most popular children’s toys, the interactive Little Live Pets Mama Surprise is available off and on at some retailers. On Amazon, it is only available through third-party sellers asking as much as $50 more than retail.

Amazon sells millions of its Echo devices every Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In recent years those devices have sold out on Cyber Monday, particularly in bundled packages with Ring doorbells and Blink security cameras. Last year those bundles ordered the first week of December were not shipped until the middle of January.

The bottom line is if a tech gadget is at the top of your shopping list this year, you can bet They’re also on the wish lists of millions of other shoppers.