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Here's why you should set up a 'stock alert' for items you want to buy this holiday season

If supply chain issues are giving you trouble, try setting one of these alerts.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For more than a month, consumer experts have been warning customers about supply chain issues that are making popular holiday gifts harder to find this year. 

If you're dead set on getting a particular item for someone, how can you know if the store has it? There's a neat feature from Google called a stock alert, and no, it has nothing to do with the stock market. 

Stock alerts will notify you of when a product is available and take you to checkout. The service works with most major retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Walmart

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HOW TO SET UP A STOCK ALERT

Just open your web browser and go to Google. Search for what you want to buy, then tap the shopping tab. Pick your result, scroll down and click "track price." You’ll now be notified when it’s there and what it will cost. 

That's easy but you should do some legwork first, especially this year. Mashable writer Alex Perry has a strategy when shopping for gaming equipment online. It starts with making sure you're ready at a moment's notice.

“Make sure you have your account info ready and that all that information is already uploaded in places like Walmart, Target, etc., so that you don’t need to do that at the point of purchase," Perry said.

There are lots of price tracking apps out there to put on your phone or computer. Please be careful and don’t install anything someone sends you. You go and find these things. Look for the little padlock in the browser, that tells you it’s a secure site.

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.

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