Illustration by Nina Walker
Illustration by Nina Walker

Not So Happy Holidays

By Martin Garcia

This past year has been a treasure hunt. With the holidays approaching soon, this treasure hunt is about to get even harder.

When I say “treasure,” I don’t mean gold, or silver; but instead consumer goods. This includes electronics, toys, and really anything that involves entertainment.

COVID-19 not only wasted a whole year of my life, but it has also distributed my ability to have fun. Walking into a store and seeing the electronics section completely bare is something that I thought I would only see on Black Friday. Now I see it daily.

I have been on the hunt for a very lucrative treasure this year, the very elusive unicorn of the PlayStation 5. This gaming console has been impossible to track down because it seems to be only released through online retailers.

I refuse to spend my money on a reseller’s PS5 so I choose to continue to hunt for one online.

I have spent hours in queues waiting to be let in to add the console to my cart, but as soon as I am allowed in, the console sells out. It has been an agonising year that I cannot imagine it getting any better with the holiday season here, and I know I am not the only one who is losing hope on getting the console.

“I search the internet daily looking to buy one from a store since I don’t want to buy it from a reseller,” said David Chavez a marketing major at Long Beach State, “But I have struck out every time because of the limited quantities that the retailers receive.”

Chavez said that he has been trying to get his hands on a PlayStation 5 gaming console since it was released in November 2020.

The shortage doesn’t just include gaming systems, it includes almost everything that a consumer could be looking for during the holidays.

“I have been to three different Target’s and I have yet to find a bicycle for my kid,” said Janet Reece, a mother Christmas shopping at a local Target, “I have never had the problem of finding a gift this early in the season, but this year it has been so rough.”

What makes things worse for us as consumers looking to spend our hard earned money is that the supply chain issues are supposed to last into 2022.

All it takes is for a trip to a local beach to see how bad the situation is. There is a line of cargo ships waiting to dock at The Port of Long Beach that spans for miles. These ships are likely full of goods that are supposed to fill the shelves at retail stores.

“Those ships are carrying the PS5’s we have been waiting for since they were released,” said Chavez.

This is an issue that we as consumers will have to deal with going forward, especially if we are looking to buy gifts for the holidays. I can’t imagine that buying gifts this year will be easy, but getting a head start before the shelves are completely empty is a good idea.