Tips on getting essential items during COVID-19 shortages

Many of us are used to getting our essential items online through retailers like Amazon. 

But in some cases, we’re finding the items are either sold out or taking much longer to be delivered.

“People are starting to freak out because that supply isn’t coming in,” said Tom Jelneck, tech expert.

COVID-19 has hit the supply chain.

“It’s just a matter of getting it here and getting it stocked and keeping it stocked,” Jelneck said.

Retailers are struggling to keep up with demand, leaving many without essential items.

“We’re so used to and spoiled to hitting up Amazon on our phones and having it delivered within an hour and now we’re getting messages like, 'Whoa, whoa, that’s not gonna be here for like three or four days,'” said Jelneck.

Amazon is warning customers that delivery times may be longer than usual.

It’s prioritizing household staples like sanitizers, baby formula and medical supplies.

I logged onto Amazon to search for baby wipes. 

The earliest delivery was May 11, much longer than a month away.

Wal-Mart could deliver in about a week.

Target could deliver the same day using the delivery service Shipt.

Jelneck says browsing several retailers is the key.

“For example, I mentioned Shipt. There’s Instacart, there’s quite a few, so if you’re not gonna get satisfaction delivery time with one of the apps, go look at another one. Look at Wal-Mart, look at Target, they all have delivery options,” Jelneck said.

Another tip, start with small, local shops.

“They do have some obscure things like toilet paper, for example, so please, I’d look at them first and then look at the big boys and see what you need delivered,” Jelneck said.

But most importantly, anticipate shipping delays.

“The best course here is to plan ahead. Plan your meals or plan whatever products you’re going to need,” he said.

The way things are looking, if you need an item right away, you may just have to try a store.