Black Friday 2021 sales are on! Or, at least, the pre-Black Friday 2021 sales are on. Amazon kicked the 2021 holiday season off on with its Epic Deals sale, offering Black Friday-like pricing on a wide range of Alexa-powered gadgets, kitchenware, apparel, holiday decor and more, now through Christmas.
Amazon's early sale -- and the pre-Black Friday sales happening at major retailers across the country -- is good timing. There's an important reason to start your holiday shopping now, if you haven't already: California ports, which handle 40% of the nation's imports, are facing a record backlog of cargo ships, and the trucking industry is backlogged as well. That means you may not find the products you want as quickly as usual this holiday season -- if you can find them at all. Retailers from Best Buy to Nordstrom are expecting some stress related to port issues.
The cost to import goods is up too, so there's no guarantee that prices will get better as we approach the holiday shipping deadlines. If you see something that would make a great gift at a great price, a number of shipping and toy industry experts recommend you shop now -- or you might not get the item in time for Hanukkah or Christmas 2021.