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Susan Tompor: How to find gifts -- and joy -- if a toy shortage hits during the holidays

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

The holiday shopping frenzy has always been driven by FOMO. But this year, the fear of missing out is colliding smack dab into the fear of running out.

The ongoing message we're hearing a month before Thanksgiving is buy now before it's too late. A QVC host in mid-October proclaimed that products will be sparse across the board for all retailers. Really? Anyone walk into a big box store or mall lately?

A Fox News headline declared that Christmas gifts are on the line. Really? Just a bunch of nothing for everyone this holiday?

Like last year? Wait, plenty of consumers ordered gifts online last year when many didn't go into the malls before vaccines were readily available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks for this year's warning folks, but I'm good.

The global supply chain logjam is, no doubt, a serious obstacle to economic growth if we don't see more relief ahead.


But shoppers can't afford to be held hostage to added layers of holiday marketing hype. And trust me, we're going to see plenty of it.

As a shopper, I've survived all sorts of holidays where hot items have been in short supply — everything from Cabbage Patch dolls in the 1980s to the Nintendo Wii in 2006.

Will some toys be in short supply? No doubt. A reason to panic? Highly doubtful.

Jason Miller told me that he took his 5-year-old daughter for a flu shot recently at Target. Part of the deal was that she'd get to pick out a toy that day. She went straight for the Barbies.


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