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Don't wait, start holiday shopping now | Eyewitness Wants to Know

Expect holiday shopping snafus this year. Why you need to start buying early plus how to navigate low inventory and slow shipping.

SAN ANTONIO — Start planning your holiday shopping list now. The fall holidays have not even started, but you may not be able to afford to wait. Supply chain issues and slow shipping are predicted to make holiday gifts hard to get.

It is likely what you want may not be available or not make it under the tree if you leave your holiday shopping until the last minute. There is no time like the present to start shopping for presents.

“Especially if they have, for instance, a child who’s asking for a very specific toy that’s on all the hot toy lists,” said Trae Bodge, a smart saving expert. “You might want to buy those items now because they might be difficult to get in the next month and half, two months.”

You will still want to get a deal on gifts. Here is how:

“So using a savings platform like SlickDeals.net, for instance, I like them, particularly for this because they have a deal alert feature you set a deal alert for,” said Bodge. “They’ll let you know when it goes on sale and then you can make your move.”

Also use couponing site Honey and Amazon price tracker Camel, Camel, Camel.

Next, avoid slow shipping. Stagger signing up for free trials for free shipping. Amazon Prime offers a free 30-day trial that comes with free two-day shipping. Check out these other retailers for shipping trials.

“There’s also ShopRunner,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart shopping expert. “ShopRunner works with dozens of retailers to off fast two-day delivery and they also offer a free 30-day trial. WalMart+ and Target Shipt fast delivery programs. Both of those offer free 15-day trials.”

Make sure to cancel free trials so you are not automatically enrolled and charged.

Plus, ship gifts directly to the recipient so make sure they arrives on time, even if you send them early.

“Instead of ordering things online to deliver to yourself and then packaging them up and shipping them back out to your loved one, maybe with a note or an additional little treat, you are now adding an additional shipping costs. So just ship it directly.”

 You might want to skip the shopping and shipping altogether. Go digital instead.

“There are so many great digital gifts that you can get until the very last minute. Subscription boxes, I’m a proponent of them simply because you can get one for wine or clothes or toys or, you know, take your pick,” said Bodge. “Digital gift cards are great option.”

Or order your item and pick it up curbside so you do not need to ship.

Consider Buy Now, Pay Later services if you have not saved up enough money to start your holiday shopping yet. It will break up the price into several smaller payments.

“All the big retailers use them now,” Bodge said. “Amazon, Walmart, Target, Macy’s. Some of them do charge interest like a credit card, but others do not. So, it can be a good way to spread those payments out but have the merchandise here in time. Kind of like layaway but getting the merchandise right away and not having to worry about it getting stuck in a shipping delay.”

Be sure to read the terms of the Buy Now, Pay Later service before signing up.

If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants To Know, email us at EWTK@Kens5.com or call us at 210-377-8647.