Retailers announce early holiday deals; how to avoid shopping delays, product shortages

Deep deals can be found early this holiday shopping season at Target and Amazon.

Holiday shopping season has kicked off earlier than ever.

Amazon announced earlier this month it is offering "Black Friday-worthy deals" and early access to deep discounts across every category.

Target launched its own "Deal Days" promotion from Oct. 10-12 that boasts savings on thousands of items online, through their app and in nearly 2,000 stores. The major retailer also launched a holiday price match guarantee, according to its website.

Jennifer Smith, a logistics and supply chain reporter for the Wall Street Journal said retailers are in a unique position this holiday shopping season.

"They're balancing, on the one hand, the need to make sure they have items in stock when people do start shopping with wanting to make sure that they have plenty of time to get them because it could take a little bit longer, particularly for e-commerce, for things to arrive at your home," she told "Good Morning America."

October typically marks the busiest shopping month of the year as retailers stock up for Black Friday, but with just three months ahead of Christmas, the supply chain in the U.S. has faced massive pandemic-related shipping issues, shortages and delays.

Microsoft reported issues getting parts needed to build its new Xbox consoles.

"There are multiple kind of pinch points in that process. And I think regretfully it's going to be with us for months and months, definitely through the end of this calendar year," XBOX's head of gaming Phil Spencer said in a statement.

Nike has felt the recent supply crunch and as first reported by NBC, is working to shift footwear production out of Vietnam where factories remain closed due to COVID restrictions to places like China and Indonesia in an attempt to prevent further delays.

Fast-fashion clothing companies like H&M and BooHoo said their profits are likely to suffer because of rising supply chain costs and bottlenecks in major ports coast to coast.

Other retailers have attempted to alleviate product shortages by flying in goods by air freight, while Target, Walmart and Home Depot have chartered their own ships to avoid backlogged ports and to make sure they're stocked for holidays.

The CEO of MGA Entertainment Inc., one of the world's largest toymakers, said supply issues are the worst he's seen in over 40 years.

"You have the jams you have all the backlog, logistic problems and inflation, they're all gathered up," Isaac Larian told "GMA." "So it's going to be a tough couple of years, in my opinion."

Like many other experts have urged, Larian added, "my kind of advice is -- please shop early."

Spike in secondhand shopping expected

With items in short supply, gift-givers are turning to online sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace to find coveted items such as the PlayStation 5 and other gaming consoles.

Kristin McGrath, editor of RetailMeNot.com, explained to "GMA" that it comes down to the technology's hardware inside the popular product that's going to make it "nearly impossible to find this holiday season."

"The new Xbox, the new PlayStation -- they've been hard to find all year because of the chip shortage," she said.

That can also lead to concerns of counterfeits and knockoff products, which has given rise to resale markets where goods are verified as being both in-stock and legitimate.

Other trendy items have been difficult to find, too, and McGrath said the "pressure is real for everyone involved in the retail process this year."

"Hard to come by luxury fashion goods are something that consumers really want but might not be able to get," she explained. "But they also want to know, they are verified -- so these sites have started branching off into other items because they have infrastructure in place."

Product sites such as Stadium Goods, GOAT and StockX employee actual people to verify the items in their inventory and have expanded to a wide range of products.

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