Should you buy early this holiday season? Toy and trucking experts weigh in

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From one holiday to the next, the supply chain shortage is carrying itself into December.

Christmas tree shortages and empty toy shelves are worrying some but not others.

“I know I hear a lot about the availability of products, but I didn’t see any of that,” Publix shopper Nancy Dawson said.

STORY: Jacksonville residents get an early start on Christmas Tree shopping amid shortage

Inside Publix on Beach Boulevard, you’ll still find plenty of turkeys for your post-Thanksgiving plans.

Dawson said she was surprised to see so.

“I am a little bit surprised, given the talk about the slowdown of supplies and things like that, but I’m happy to see it’s there,” she said.

The same goes for Target, with dozens of turkeys hitting the sale section. It’s a holiday staple that was limited just weeks ago to prevent the store from running out.

Looking ahead to Christmas shopping, Dawson isn’t too worried.

“I guess I’m less concerned after having seen whatever I needed was available,” she said.

However, this Black Friday, there weren’t any leftover Nintendos or Lego sets.

“That toy your kid may have their heart set on, really the time to buy it is now because I think over the next few weeks, as more shoppers enter the market, you’re going to begin to see more and more gaps,” The Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb said.

Experts said there will be toys, but there may be a lack of selection.

They also said it will be hit or miss, with some shelves emptying out while others remain full.

“It’s the factories in Asia that have been closed down due to COVID. It’s the ports that have been closed down in Asia,” Pasierb said.

Pasierb called it an end-to-end crisis.

STORY: A happy Thanksgiving: Winning Fantasy 5 ticket worth nearly $145K sold in Jacksonville

On the trucking end, Florida Trucking Association President and CEO Alix Miller said if you buy local, you shouldn’t have problems.

“Obviously, if they are overseas or from China, which is often the case, they are getting shipped to these California ports. So there’s going to be more of a shortage and a backup waiting for those items,” Miller said.

Experts said the trick is to buy early, but ultimately it’s up to the shopper to take the chance to wait and buy or wait and possibly regret.