Last-minute holiday shopping could cost you this year

Local News

The busiest shopping day of the year is just four weeks away.

And if you’re a last-minute shopper, it could cost you.

According to the National Retail Foundation, 40% of Americans have already started their holiday shopping.

Some items have already seen a higher price tag due to Chinese imported tariffs, but popular gift items like phones and laptops are still set to be taxed on December 15, 2019.

“You are going to see an increase this year on anything with clothing for men, women, and children, footwear, shoes, athletic shoes, slippers, an increase in school supplies or office equipment,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii.

She said some tariffs are already in effect for items like washers and dryers, and some items will have a higher surcharge.

“It’s up to 25% so you’re going to see a pretty big increase for some items,” Yamaki said.

Popular items like dash cams and other electronics are already being taxed here in Hawaii.

“The prices have started to go up from the manufacturers because they’re getting hit with the tariffs, so it trickles down to us and then to the consumer,” said Kent Izuka, owner at Security and Sound Systems in Honolulu.

“We’ve seen certain things go up 30% which is quite a bit,” Izuka said.

Luckily, many stores have already ordered shipments ahead of time.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are expected to import record amounts of merchandise before the tariffs take effect.

“A lot of stores are offering a lot of good prices but they might not have an endless supply of what you’re looking for,” explained Yamaki.  “It might be a limited amount of TV’s if you’re going to buy a TV, they might have 25 TV’s this year opposed to maybe 100 before.”

And it’s not just manufactured goods that will be impacted by the tariffs this holiday season.

Yamaki said food costs will also increase.

“If you go to a bakery, you need equipment to make the baked goods and the equipment they’re buying that’s going up too so they’re going to pass the cost on too,” Yamaki said.

In the end, it will be up to the retailer to decide how much more to charge the customer.

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