Items that are selling out during the pandemic

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Karen Kasler

Shelves are becoming empty as both essential and non-essential items are selling out.

Taylor Schmitz, Staff Writer

As people continue to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, many feel the need to gather items that they consider essential for their homes such as paper towels and toilet paper. However, recent sales suggest that these products aren’t the only things flying off shelves in stores and online. More people are stocking up on everything from entertainment to fitness-related items and, as a result, these products are selling out fast.

Some of the most popular entertainment categories that have seen an increase in sales include games, puzzles and outdoor toys. Board games and puzzles especially have a wide demographic, making them a perfect choice to keep you occupied while stuck in the house. Unfortunately, this also means that they are becoming harder to find. Jigsaw puzzle sales, for example, are up 370 percent according to USAToday.com. Similarly, swing sets and trampolines have also seen an increase in sales, including local retailer, Rainbow Play Systems in Sioux Falls.

“From last year, which was a very good year for us, we’re probably close to [making] three times that already,” said Michael Heiter, Rainbow Play Systems General Manager in an interview with Dakota News Now. “We’ve almost sold this year what we sold all of last year already. So, the demand has been huge.”

Another activity people have turned to in their newfound free time is baking. Because of this, bakeware like muffin tins, loaf pans and baking sheets are flying off the shelves. Ingredients are also becoming hard to find. Among the most limited include sugar, flour and yeast. Thankfully, places like Queen City Bakery in Sioux Falls have used their stock to start offering bags of yeast for customers in order to fulfill their quarantine baking desires.

“For people to be saying they’re going to try and make bread at home, I think that’s awesome,” said Mitch Jackson, Queen City Bakery Co-Owner in another interview with Dakota News Now. “We ordered those [ingredients] as a way to get them out to the community who needed it.”

With all of the supply shortages, people are getting creative with replacements for the products. Toilet paper, for example, has been one of the most sold out items and now customers are turning to the more luxurious option, like a bidet, as a substitute. According to SlickDeals.net, online searches for these tasteful toilets have been up 304 percent over the last month. Gym equipment is another item that has been scarce on the shelves of both stores and online websites since gyms across America have been shut down. Dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells and yoga mats have been the hardest to find as people start their own at-home workouts.
Whether you chose to find replacements for your sought-after items or just wait for them to come back in stock, satisfying your new hobbies is not only sustaining job markets, but prompting them to flourish during this difficult time.