24 things that have been selling out online during the coronavirus pandemic
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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the nation, many people are still quarantined at home—and to cope, they’re stocking up on everything from household essentials to things to stay entertained while social distancing. This has led to a shortage of products across the country, as supply struggles to keep up with demand.
To help consumers through this time, the team at Reviewed has been hard at work providing recommendations for the products people are searching for right now, along with the places you can still buy them (you can read about our strategy here). While doing our due diligence, we’ve seen a variety of products go out of stock, and we have compiled a list of the biggest ones below.
Here’s everything Reviewed has been covering that’s quickly selling out, from toilet paper to puzzles to webcams. We’ll continue to monitor the status of the products below but we could also use your help as we’re all navigating these uncharted waters together. If there’s something you’ve noticed in low supply in your own area or during your online shopping sprees, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Toilet paperThe toilet paper shelves may be empty but you can still find it online.
Toilet paper is at the top of everyone’s must-have list right now. And it makes sense—no one wants to run out of the one thing you use multiple times every single day. While the shelves at your local grocery store or Target might be completely bare, fear not—for weeks, Reviewed has been tracking the dwindling supply of toilet paper to keep this list of places to buy toilet paper online updated.
Here’s where you can still buy toilet paper online
2. Hand sanitizerHand sanitizer isn’t sold out everywhere yet.
It’s no secret that there’s been a run on hand sanitizer—but while it may be hard to find, it isn’t impossible. Our Reviewed editors found you can still buy hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes at certain retailers online to be shipped to your house or picked up curbside at the store. FYI: The CDC says that hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol are the most effective at killing germs.
Here’s where you can still buy hand sanitizer online
3. Cleaning wipes and sprayCleaning wipes and sprays are still available if you know where to look.
Just as important as keeping your hands clean is keeping your home clean. That’s why disinfecting wipes and spray—which are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approved list of disinfectants—are just as tough to find as hand sanitizer. If you’re able to find some at the retailers provided by Reviewed, make sure you’re using your cleaning wipes correctly. The CDC says to use enough wipes that your surface remains saturated for 3 to 5 minutes.
Here’s where you can still buy cleaning wipes and spray online
4. Paper towelsOne roll can go a long way.
Toilet paper isn’t the only paper product that’s hard to come by these days—paper towels are also selling out at many stores. That’s likely because the CDC recommends using paper towels to clean and disinfect your home to protect against coronavirus. In the rare event that you can pick and choose which brand of paper towels you buy, our Reviewed testers recommend the Bounty Select-A-Size 2-Ply. When tested, we found them to be the strongest and thickest.
Here’s where you can still buy paper towels online
5. Hand soap
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the spread of germs—and more specifically, coronavirus—is to wash your hands regularly. And for that, you’ll need hand soap, which is sold out at a lot of stores. Fortunately, our team has discovered you can still find it at retailers like Target and Staples online. But if you run out, Reviewed’s senior lab testing technician says you can actually use a mild dish soap to cleanse your hands, too. Game-changer.
Here’s where you can still buy hand soap online
6. DiapersRunning out of diapers is not an option.
New parents and caretakers alike are stocking up on diapers—which means they’re becoming harder and harder to find in stores. That’s where Reviewed’s product-tracking prowess comes in handy. We’ve found all the places you can still buy diapers online in a variety of counts and sizes (just keep in mind that many of these retailers are limiting you to two to three packs per order!).
Here’s where you can still buy diapers online
7. ThermometersA thermometer is a must-have for checking your temperature at home.
With one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 being a fever, thermometers have become a popular purchase. Because of this, we’ve kept a close eye on the increasingly limited supply of digital thermometers—and while there are a few places online where you can still buy thermometers, be aware that many of those won’t ship until the end of the month.
Here’s where you can still buy thermometers online
8. TissuesTissues are selling out across the country.
When you’re sick, the first thing you reach for is likely a box of tissues. After all, the CDC recommends that you always use a tissue to cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze. And while you might not necessarily be able to find Reviewed’s favorite tissues (Puffs Ultra Soft, in case you were wondering), you can still find other tissues at a few online retailers.
Here’s where you can still buy tissues online
9. Water filtersThese water filters are going fast.
Bottled water is a rare find at the grocery store at the moment, which is why so many people are turning to water filters and pitchers instead. If you’re on the hunt for said pitchers before they sell out, our Reviewed testers recommend either the Brita or Pur brand, which we found to be the best water filter pitchers that you can buy right now.
Here’s where you can still buy water pitchers online
10. BidetsThe Tushy—one of the more well-known bidets—fits almost any toilet.
One alternative to toilet paper that’s becoming more and more popular? A bidet. According to Slickdeals, searches for bidets have been up 304 percent over the last month. And here at Reviewed, we’re big fans of the Tushy, a bidet that attaches directly to your toilet and that our tester says cleans your bum better than any amount of toilet paper.
Whether you’re staying home by yourself, with family, or with roommates, we’re all looking for ways to stay entertained. And that means that a lot of common products for beating boredom—like the ones below—are in limited supply at online retailers.
11. Board games
If you’re lucky enough to be quarantined with family or roommates, playing board games is a fun way to pass the time. Whether you’re up for a rousing round of Code Names or down for a Monopoly marathon, games are flying off the shelves. While my family loves both of the above, one of our new favorites is Exploding Kittens—it’s as hilarious as the name suggests! And if you have young kids, the Reviewed Parenting team has rounded up some of the best—and most entertaining—board games for the whole family.
Here’s where you can still buy board games online
As people are desperate for new ways to stay entertained while social distancing, jigsaw puzzles have made quite the comeback. In fact, according to puzzle manufacturer Ravenberger, sales are up a whopping 370% (!!). Many of our Reviewed staff (myself included) have jumped on the puzzle-making bandwagon, too—I will even unashamedly admit that after finishing the sole puzzle I own last night, I took it apart just to start it all over this morning.
Here’s where you can still buy puzzles online
13. Nintendo Switches
One of the most popular things to do while #stayinghome? Playing video games. More specifically, playing video games on your Nintendo Switch, which was one of Reviewed’s top tech gifts of the last year. The cult-favorite video game console is almost impossible to find right now—but you can still snag one (or the Switch Lite) at one of these retailers.
Here’s where you can still buy Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite online
14. BakewareQuarantine could turn you into a top chef.
If you’ve been on social media at all during quarantine, you’ve likely been flooded with pictures of homemade banana bread, sourdough starters, cinnamon rolls, and extravagant cakes. I.e. it seems that everyone is baking in their newfound free time. So it makes sense that baking products like muffin tins, loaf pans, and baking sheets are selling out everywhere. If you’re ready to play Top Chef, Reviewed’s kitchen and cooking writer, Valerie Li, has shared her favorite kitchen tools you need to make baking easier while you’re at home—and where you can find them.
15. YeastYeast is the secret to that fluffy bread you’re trying to bake.
All that baking you’re doing requires more than just the right pans—many recipes require yeast. The bread-making ingredient is out of stock at most grocery stores right now but you can still find it at a few select retailers, according to Reviewed. And if you can’t? Try your hand at one of these no-yeast-required recipes.
Here’s where you can still buy yeast online
16. Fitness equipmentHome workouts are on the rise.
No gym, no problem—as long as you have a few home workout essentials, whether that’s dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, or maybe even a yoga mat. But even if you don’t have any of the above, you can still get in a good sweat sesh. Just ask our social media manager (and resident exercise guru) who rounded up some of the most creative ways to work out with everyday household products (including using wine bottles as weights!).
17. Sewing machinesSewing is one of the top stay-at-home hobbies.
Sewing machines are a hot commodity right now for two major reasons: first, because people are taking up sewing as one of their quarantine hobbies and second, because people are using them to make their own masks. If you’re buying one for the second reason, our Reviewed staff can help—we’ve found all the places where you can buy materials for homemade face masks and how to make the masks yourself.
18. Hair dye
Many people are changing their hair during quarantine.
With salons closed, people are turning to at-home hair dye to fix their hair themselves (desperate times!). And subsequently hair dye is now running low at many retailers, with Nielsen research showing that hair color sales are up almost 25 percent compared to last year. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge, though, we asked a pro stylist for tips on how to make your hair color last longer (all approved by Reviewed’s own shopping editor, who previously had pink hair).
19. LoungewearComfy clothes are everyone’s WFH uniform.
Now that there’s nowhere to go (and consequently no reason to get dressed up), loungewear has become more just our everyday attire—it’s also a top-selling product. Matching sets in particular are on everyone’s wishlist. Some of our editors’ favorite loungewear brands include Aerie, Summersalt, Brooklinen, and the cult-favorite Barefoot Dreams.
Just like many of you, all of us at Reviewed have now found ourselves transitioned from working at the office to working from home. And more WFH-ers means more demand for home office and tech essentials. Below are some of the top sought-after ones, from laptops to webcams.
Print anything you need at home with this Epson printer.
Whether you have kids who need to print out their math worksheets or you have important documents that need to be signed/scanned/copied, a printer is a must-have. Of all the ones we’ve tested, we like the Epson WorkForce Pro as the best overall (because of its great image quality and ease of use) or the Brother MFC-J680DW as the best value. Psst: Don’t forget to stock up on printer paper, too.
Shop for printers at Staples
21. MonitorsA monitor makes remote work a lot easier.
Trying to do all of your work on a tiny laptop screen is a struggle at best and impossible at worst. That’s why so many people have been buying up monitors, which are tough to find now. If you have your choice of screens, we’ve ranked the best computer monitors based on factors like image quality, flexibility, and affordability.
Shop for monitors at Best Buy
22. LaptopsYes, you need a good laptop and yes, you can still buy one online.
Maybe your old laptop isn’t going to cut it for full-time WFH life. Or your kids are now doing remote learning and need their own devices. No matter what your situation, a high-quality (and affordable) laptop is important—which is why so many people are buying them right now. To help you choose, we’ve reviewed the best laptops under $500 (hint: number one is the Acer Aspire) and the best laptops for students (your kids will love the Asus Chromebook Flip!).
Shop for laptops at Best Buy
23. Desks and office chairs
Apparently I’m not the only one guilty of splurging on a brand-new desk during quarantine—Slickdeals data revealed that searches for desks are up 87 percent while searches for office chairs are up 65 percent as people scramble to set up home offices for their new work-from-home status. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money (which we totally understand), we’ve scoured the Internet for the best office chairs and the best desks that are all under $100. You’re welcome.
Shop for office furniture at Wayfair
If you feel like half of your day is spent in Zoom meetings, you aren’t alone—most people (including all of us here at Reviewed!) are turning to video conferencing for all their WFH needs. That spike in Zoom meetings is not only forcing you to actually get dressed in the morning but it’s also causing webcams to sell out everywhere. If you need on still, we recommend frequently checking office supplies retailers like Staples or Office Depot—products come back in stock constantly so just because something is sold out today doesn’t mean it won’t be available tomorrow.
Shop for webcams at Best Buy
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: 24 products selling out online due to the coronavirus pandemic: Toilet paper, cleaning wipes, yeast, and more