Toy shortage causing higher prices this holiday season

Local News

MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Holiday shopping may be more challenging this year due to toy shortages. With Christmas being one of the biggest spending holidays, Erica Saenz, Owner of T&E Treasures in Mission said it’s taking a toll on their prices.

“Prices are going to go up on our shipments and there is nothing we can do about it, we still have to purchase them to make a living,” she said.

While raising prices isn’t something Saenz wants to do, unfortunately for families, it’s a new reality that has been caused by the pandemic.

“A couple of customers they do tell us it’s a little bit too high and if it’s a collector we do price it accordingly of course but we do still try our best to stick with plushies that are $5 or $6,” said Saenz.

The ongoing pandemic continues to cause many production challenges.

Teo Sepulveda, an economist at South Texas College explained why we continue to be faced with these problems.

“When we have a specific high demand season where the demand is not spread out all throughout the year it has to be sped up for a specific time therefore will make it more difficult,” he said.

Sepulveda added this goes beyond just toys and other Christmas products but said production is hurting many other industries. As for parents preparing this holiday season, Sepulveda said patience is key. 

“For the consumers, it’s either higher prices or a lot more limited options than before so they have to be ready for that,” he said. “There is no rush. Actually, the best thing we can do for our families is to reduce our spending and then save that money to spend double after when we see the prices come down.”

Toy store owners, like Saenz, added the pandemic has drastically changed their business and she looks back at how it used to be.

“When we started 5 years ago we did receive thousands of toys weekly and now we’re down to hundreds, two to three hundred maybe because of the price,” she said.

In anticipation of the high demand, many retailers are using online sales to fulfill their customers’ needs.

Saenz is encouraging families to shop early before things are sold out.

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