4 things you should know before doing your holiday shopping

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This December, the holiday season will likely be different from the one we experienced in 2020. Not just because it will be easier to get back to our beloved – hated at times – families now that most people are vaccinated, because the Covid-19 pandemic has had other impacts on the world. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but this year, it might be harder for you to find the Christmas gift your partner/child/parent/cousin/nephew hopes for.

How can you avoid making the holidays a nightmare and ensure that everyone is happy when the time comes to open presents? Let’s have a look at what you should pay attention to before doing your holiday shopping.

Beware of supply chain issues

You've probably already heard about the shortage of bikes or Playstation 5. Since its release in December 2020, the video game console has been almost impossible to acquire, unless you enter the resale market. There, its price often reaches between two to three times its original value. The semiconductor shortage that is affecting the entire technology industry is the main reason why Sony's console is so hard to come by.

This year, many experts anticipate that the shortage affecting the technology sector will spread to children's toys. This is due to three main factors.

Firstly, there is growing pressure on the components and raw materials - wood, plastic - needed to manufacture the various toys. With the economic recovery, every company, from all continents, wants to get supplies as quickly as possible. But production capacity, which has been affected by Covid-19, does not always keep pace. Consequently, prices are soaring: the cost of some plastics has more than doubled between 2020 and 2021.

On top of that, freight costs have also skyrocketed over the past 18 months. In the newspaper Le Monde, Julien Vahanian, the director of the company Wilson Jeux explains: "We used to pay 3,000 dollars for a 40-foot container to carry goods back from China, but now we pay around 19,000 dollars".

To avoid production difficulties and increased transportation costs, more and more European manufacturers have decided to source their orders from factories in Europe, where labor costs are higher than in China. This is another factor that explains why the toys you will find on the shelves this year will probably be more expensive than in previous years.

Shop as early as you can

To increase your chances of finding the gift of your dreams at a reasonable price, you’d better get out of bed early. This will also allow you to take advantage of good deals before Christmas. And there will be plenty of occasions.

This year, Black Friday will take place on November 26th. But take note, the date of Black Friday is now more and more the day on which the most attractive deals are available. For a few years, e-commerce sites have gotten used to starting their discount campaign several days before the official date, either the Friday before or the Monday before Black Friday. This is when they launch their "Black Friday Week" or "Black Week".

You can also get your shopping done early by taking advantage of Cyber Monday, which falls on November 29 this year. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to score a deal that helps you avoid this year’s price increases.

Explore the cashback you can get with Vivid

Another tip to reduce your shopping bill this year is to check your Vivid app for cashback. It's easy. Just go to the "Rewards" tab in your app and scroll down. You'll have access to a list of all the brands you can get cashback from by paying with Vivid.

If you're a Prime customer, you'll be able to get even more cashback on a wider range of brands.

But be sure to read the conditions carefully. Some offers require you to make your purchases by clicking on the link provided in the application and not by going directly to the brand's website via your computer.

Use Vivid's Shared Pockets for your joint gifts

Who hasn't experienced the nightmare of joint gifts? Although they may seem like a good idea at first, the organization can turn into a real hell. Who is going to take care of Aunt Helen's gift, or Little Nick's gift? Who pays for what and who has to pay back how much to whom? How come we're in July and I still haven't been reimbursed for the Christmas gifts?

These are all questions that can cause the most patient among us to tear their hair out and create resentment when this time of year should mean sharing and happiness.

Luckily, there's a simple solution to avoid this: Shared Pockets in the Vivid app. Agree on how much money each of you can spend on gifts together this year and create a Shared Pocket that everyone can use with their Vivid account. Your family doesn't have one yet? No problem! Just send them your referral link and everyone can open their own account for free in minutes. You'll even get a welcome bonus and extended access to Super Deals. This will increase your overall budget and allow you to get even better deals for the holiday season.