Popular holiday gift items could be harder to find this year than ever before

NEW YORK — From supply chain issues to inflation, half of Americans believe it’s “harder than ever” to find the perfect gifts for people in their lives this holiday season. A new poll of 2,000 U.S. adults finds 65 percent compare looking for the right gifts to hunting for treasure — 57 percent even keep a backup gift in mind in case they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Seven in 10 (71%) think it’s exciting to hunt for the right gifts, with 52 percent claiming the hunt is just as fun as purchasing. Fifty-five percent find it “extremely satisfying” to find what they’ve been looking for.

Commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club and conducted by OnePoll, the study shows the average person is willing to wait three weeks for their hard-to-find items before giving up. The items doomed to be the hardest to find this holiday season include gaming consoles (31%), video games (29%), smartphones (23%), clothing (20%), and food items (20%).

Meanwhile, respondents also identified items that seem to have gone up in price, but haven’t physically changed: food items (58%), clothing (46%), smartphones (43%), beauty products (37%), and shoes (36%).

Shoppers love the thrill of the hunt

Four in five (80%) have been successful in getting hard-to-find items. When the moment finally comes and they’re able to find these rarities, successful respondents feel a strong sense of happiness (55%), satisfaction (54%), relief (52%), or pure bliss (20%).

For 56 percent, hard-to-find items aren’t just thrilling to look for — they’re also more meaningful.

“There’s an undeniable amount of excitement that is associated with holiday shopping,” says Rachael Vegas, Chief Merchandising Officer, at BJ’s Wholesale Club, in a statement. “It goes beyond just getting a great deal. People seem to really enjoy the process of selecting a special gift for everyone on their list.”

Results also show that 54 percent strategize ways to hunt down hard-to-find items this holiday season. Forty-four percent say planning ahead for pre-released items is “worth” the wait.If they can’t find what they’re looking for, 51 percent are likely to improvise and find a different, easier-to-find gift.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population American was commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club between October 26 and October 31, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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