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Supply chain issues could lead to product shortages and fewer Black Friday discounts — here's what to buy now

Holiday shopping tips for supply chain issues
Holiday shopping tips for supply chain issues... 05:01

As the supply chain crisis threatens to disrupt the holiday shopping season, Americans are being urged to buy gifts early and consider less popular items. 

November is traditionally one of the best months to find deals, but many hot products are in short supply or more expensive than usual. And while sales might be starting sooner this year, consumers might not see steep discounts for Black Friday, according to Consumer Reports, the nonprofit organization that reviews popular products and tracks prices throughout the year.

Consumer Reports shopping editor Mary Beth Quirk joined "CBS Mornings" on Wednesday to offer tips on what Americans should buy right away to get gifts in time for the holidays.  Anyone looking to buy high-tech electronics like laptops, smartphones and video game consoles should do so as soon as possible, she said.

"Buy them now if you see them," Quirk said, noting that microchips used in certain devices are also in short supply.

"There's probably not going to be sales on them later anyway," she said.

The problem could be even worse for new, in-demand products, including high-tech toys.

"I'm sure parents get annoyed with all those flashing lights and sounds, but if they have their heart set on something, you want to pre-order it right now if it's not available," Quirk said. "And if it is, you might want to think about buying them right now because it's not going to go on sale if everybody wants it."

But even as consumers see fewer "door-busting" Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this year, they will still be able to find discounted prices for certain items, she said. 

"What might happen, with the hot, in-demand things, if you don't get a deal, it might restock on that Black Friday," Quirk said. "So you're looking for that video game console, it's still good to shop then because it might become available."

For people who are trying to save money and really want to wait for the holiday deals, there's a number of products they might be able to get at a lower price, including cookware like multi-cookers and other kitchen gadgets, apparel, local products and even TVs, she said.

Those looking to replace a large appliance like stoves will likely have a harder time and might want to wait six months if they can or consider similar products or brands, she said. Another way to avoid potential shipping delays is by visiting stores in person, where the prices will generally be the same, Quirk said.  

"For the most part, there are going to be the same kinds of sales online and in stores," she said. 

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