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Besides 'shop early' what else can you do to get the gifts for the holidays?

We know about supply chain issues and microchip shortages. What we want to know is, how do we make the gifts happen?

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s the question on many people’s mind: Will there be enough products on store shelves, let alone under the tree? Anxious retailers aren’t taking any chances with supply-chain issues.

They’re already in a holiday hustle, which might be adding to your stress. Take a breath. The experts at Consumer Reports have some holiday shopping advice to get you through to 2022.

"The one resounding thing that CR has heard from the supply-chain experts that were interviewed for this story is that if you’re going to shop for the holidays, you should start now," said  Angela Lashbrook, Consumer Reports Shopping Editor.

The good news is many retailers are already rolling out deals. They want to try to make things easier on you by extending Black Friday.

Best Buy is running sales and guaranteeing Black Friday prices through late November.

Walmart will be offering early online shopping times to Walmart Plus members.

And for shoppers worried about missing out on last-minute deals and price drops, some retailers are offering price-match guarantees. For example, Target will offer partial refunds if consumers purchase an item that drops in price later in the season.

CR says no matter where you shop, be flexible.

"If you’re looking to relieve some of the stress and anxiety of shopping this holiday season, look for experiential gifts. Consider gift certificates to spas or restaurants, homemade gifts, and even donations to charities. These are all really great gift ideas, and they allow you to completely forgo the supply-chain problems," said Lashbrook. 

And as always, try to shop locally. You can support small businesses and maybe find a unique gift right in your neighborhood.

If all else fails, don’t forget about store gift cards and cash. Those are tried-and-true options that are always appreciated.


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