Nothing is predictable these days, but there’s one thing for certain: Any holiday shopping you get done this week, during Prime Day 2020, is holiday shopping you don’t need to worry about in the months to come.
On Windows Central, we provide a ton of buying advice, be it via reviews, comparisons, buyer’s guides, or help and how-tos. We’re all tech lovers, and we adore new toys. Those two things combined give us a unique perspective on the electronics marketplace. And living in the weeds the way we do has made it undeniable that today’s market is dramatically different from in years past … just like everything else in 2020.
That means there are at least three particularly good reasons to do as much holiday shopping — any shopping, really — as you possibly can this Prime Day.
1. Holidays are only a couple months away from Prime Day
Amazon typically holds its Prime Day event in July. But Prime Day 2020 is this week, and well, it’s not July. It’s not even summer. That means in the past, the holidays were nearly six months away from Prime Day, and it made sense to hold off until Black Friday (or later) to see the latest and greatest gadgets and try to find better prices on items of interest.
But this time around, the winter holidays are just two months away. Prime Day is now positioned to directly compete with Black Friday, and the deals retailers are sure to announce. Amazon has historically been aggressive with its Prime Day deals. Given the new motivation to entice buyers before Black Friday, we fully expect to see some of the year’s best pricing on many goods this week. It simply doesn’t make sense to wait for better prices until November. That’s unlikely to happen, and even if it does, you’re gambling with time.
Which leads me to my next point …
2. Stock and supply chain issues are almost guaranteed
We all remember The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of Spring 2020, right? Well, toilet tissue isn’t the only thing being affected by the strained global supply chain. We’ve already seen many electronics makers delay or cancel product launches, and that’s at least partially due to concerns around component shortages. If there is a product you need this year or a gift a loved one can’t live without, waiting around to save a few dollars may not be the best choice. We’re seeing PC components, such as graphics cards, sell for exorbitant prices due to massive demand, and comparatively tiny supply (making it a great time to find Prime Day deals on PC parts). Gaming consoles, such as the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, sold out in record time. Again, lots of demand and not nearly enough supply. For months, we haven’t been able to find our favorite webcams in stock anywhere. I could go on and on.
But the point is simple: Waiting for Black Friday and hoping for the best is not the smart play in 2020.
3. And then there are shipping delays …
Even if you can find a great price on your objects of desire, getting them in time for the holidays, or whenever you need them, is a whole other challenge. Ship times are quite unpredictable, and the more people searching for a product, the more uncertainty. I ordered a bookshelf in August that was supposed to be delivered in mid-September, for example. That didn’t happen, and yesterday I got another message in my inbox saying it’s expected in stock the first week of November. At this point, I’m not holding my breath that’ll happen. Luckily, this was a “gift” for myself and not something I need at any particular moment. (Don’t tell my wife, please.)
This is one more solid reason to order gifts as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll be negatively affected by shipping delays, and we all know an IOU is a great way to put a damper on the holiday season.
There’s really no downside to shopping early this year. If you find a better deal on Black Friday, you can, in most cases, return the previously purchased item. When Black Friday rolls around, I’ll still keep an eye out for great deals, but honestly, I hope Prime Day means I can get all my shopping done before then.
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