School supplies may be in short supply due to pandemic-related issues
The new school year is a little less than a month away. Some parents who are buying new school supplies for their children may have a hard time filling their backpacks because of a supply shortage.
Paige Cleary, 13, and her 11-year-old sister Noelle, of Parlin, already have the basics for their first day of school. But mom Danielle Cleary says that she is waiting for the full list from the school before buying any more items.
“They are both going to middle school, and all their teachers have independent lists of things they want,” she says.
Industry analysts say that parents shouldn’t wait too long, especially if their children or teachers are picky about products.
“If you have to get a notepad, can you find one? Yes, probably. Can you find the exact one your teacher wants to go in your binder for that special class in a certain color that’s 2 inches thick? Eh, that might be a bit tough,” says Carl Gould of & Stage Advisors.
Gould owns a company that advises small business owners on how to grow their companies. He says that the shortage on everything from backpacks and notepads to Chromebooks and clothing is thanks to what he calls a “perfect storm” of pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages.
“Whatever your kids need – it has been manufactured. It is somewhere. The problem is we can’t get it here on time,” Gould says.
He says that parents and students should start looking for supplies now if they haven’t already. He also advises looking online and in person. He says that if you find an item you need now, grab it and don’t wait for comparison shopping. He also says to consider secondhand or lightly used items.
“That’s when you want to hop on local neighborhood social media groups, you’re Nextdoor, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo groups. Here is where social media helps you. And tell people what you are looking for,” Gould says.
Gould also suggests looking into marketing and promotional companies for specific items. Many bought products last year and have plenty to sell.
He says that the supply chain issues could take another year to level out.