Looking for a list of items that are Made in China that might be out of stock soon? Here’s a comprehensive guide of what’s “Made in China” to stock up on now before they are no longer available after the Coronavirus outbreak.
Today’s post is going to be very different from my normal happy home decor posts, but I feel strongly that I need to share this with you, so here goes…
If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has, for all intents and purposes, shut down many areas of China since the beginning of 2020.
At this point, I’m not super concerned about the virus becoming a global pandemic. Relatively small numbers of people have been diagnosed in countries outside of Asia, and when they do most are recovering just fine without issue. Hopefully, it stays that way.
What DOES concern me– quite a lot, actually– is the fact that we Americans are so dependent on the Chinese for so many of our goods and supplies. If they cannot produce or ship things overseas, our favorite store’s shelves are going to go bare pretty quickly here in the USA.
With all these Chinese workers quarantined and not allowed to go back to their jobs just yet, it is bound to affect the rest of us who depend on so many everyday items that are “Made in China”.
Regardless of your opinion about a coming pandemic, the fact remains that the global supply chain has already been disrupted by the Coronavirus, and we should expect severe shipping delays on products from overseas for the next few months.
I have been a bit obsessed with this topic for the past few weeks, scouring the internet for information and trying to weed through fact from fiction. I am not a serious Prepper but lately the news has me considering what my family might need in the event of a global pandemic.
As a parent with children who depend on us completely for survival, it is weighing heavy on my mind to be prepared for my family no matter what may come.
So, I have decided, out of an abundance of caution, to start stocking up on things that my family might need over the next few months just in case the shelves start to go bare at the store.
I have been searching for a comprehensive list of household items to stock up on if Chinese manufacturing doesn’t get back on its feet soon. I have not found a definitive list, so I thought I’d gather one here and share it with you.
To be clear, these are NOT items that you would need to quarantine yourself in your home if the virus hits your town (or if the SHTF, in Prepper-speak). That is a whole other list, and there are plenty of Survivalist websites where you can find more info about that.
My list contains items that would be a major inconvenience to normal, everyday life if they were not readily available at my local supermarket/Walmart/Target/Aldi or on Amazon Prime.
If you have been wondering what things are made in China that could potentially be out of stock soon because of Coronavirus, here is my list of everyday items to buy before it’s too late.
OTC and Prescription Drugs: It’s been controversial for many years now– a quick Google search reveals how many of our over-the-counter and prescription medicines are made in China. We cannot stock up on prescriptions without a note from the doctor, but we can buy extra Ibuprofen and acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) without any repercussions. Also OTC stuff like Cold / flu / allergy meds, etc.
And don’t forget the infant and kid’s versions if you have little ones. You know what meds your family uses most, so your medicine cabinet might look different than mine. Stock yours up.
Pain Meds: I’m going to go ahead and schedule that root canal that I’ve been putting off. At least I can mark that off my neverending to-do list and know it will be as pain-free as possible.
Face Masks: These are already in short supply globally, so be careful when ordering masks online because price-gouging is in full effect. All citizens of Wuhan, China are required by law to wear masks in public right now. If this continues across China and around the world, the face mask shortage won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Germ Prevention: This has been a rough flu season in the US (the regular ol’ flu, not Wuhan flu) so it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on extra hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a stash of latex gloves at home as well. Even if they are not made in China, they are in high demand which can temporarily affect supplies.
You can find these products cheaper at Walmart, Aldi or Big Lots if you don’t want to order online. Worst case you can donate any extras to a local school classroom if you find that you don’t need them. Teachers are always in need of these items.
Toiletries and Makeup
Makeup: Check out this list of makeup made in China– is your favorite brand on it? If so, you might wanna grab an extra tube of foundation right now, or switch to one that is made in the USA. Loreal is made in the USA so thankfully my favorite mascara should be ok.
Sunscreen: That Coppertone Water Babies Spray-on Sunscreen you carry in your beach bag? Yep- it’s made in China. My family has super sensitive skin so we prefer Blue Lizard sunscreen. It’s a mineral sunscreen so it doesn’t contain oxybenzone and BONUS- it’s manufactured in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Toothpaste and Toothbrushes: Just because the box says “Made in the USA” doesn’t mean some ingredients/ packaging aren’t made elsewhere. If you need it, get it. It won’t go bad.
Toilet Paper: Ok, What about toilet paper? North America produces lots of our own paper products, but would you want to be stuck without TP for your family for a week? No? Me either. Just to be safe, every time I go to Aldi, I stick another huge pack in my cart for good measure. I figure we will use it eventually.
Better safe than sorry, amiright?
Apparel and Accessories
Clothing: You’d be hard-pressed to walk into a clothing store and find a complete outfit that was not tied to China in some way. Most of our fabrics are made there, and possibly shipped to another country for assembly. Either way, China is ground zero for lots of our apparel, shoes and accessories. I don’t often buy new clothes for myself, but what about my kids?
Kids Clothes and Shoes: Kids grow fast, so rather than buying new clothing, hit up your local kid’s consignment sales! The Spring Sales are coming soon and they are SLAP FULL of gently used items that are a fraction of the cost.
Outerwear: If your kids’ coats are too small this winter, you might wanna go ahead and get one size larger for next winter. Gloves and boots, too, if you live in a place with harsh winters.
Fabrics, Furnishings and Home Decor
Fabrics and Furniture: In that same textile vein- China produces a LOT of our office/ household / patio furniture and textile items such as bedding. I would venture to say that the majority of the popular furniture and decor stores in America are supplied by cargo ships full of inventory coming from China. Guess what? Those ships are floating empty off the coast of China right now with literally nothing to do.
While this is not something that most of us are buying new every day, it’s still something to consider if you are in the market for new furniture such as dining tables or sofas, kitchen cabinetry or bedding anytime soon.
Thankfully there are still plenty of American made furniture cabinet makers to choose from, but expect to pay much higher prices.
Home Decor: If you’ve ever walked the aisles of HomeGoods or Hobby Lobby then you know that the majority of their products are made in China. Any mass-produced home decor is most likely coming from overseas.
Again, these are not life-or-death items but it might be a big disappointment if you’re planning to move, redecorate or buy gifts for a newlywed or new baby any time soon.
As someone who loves home decor, this is just something to consider. Here’s my advice- shop vintage or thrift stores for unique items instead of stuff that everyone else has on their walls. It gives your home way more character, anyway.
Phones, Computers and Electronics
iPhones/Macs: Apple already announced that it will not be able to meet demands for its products anytime soon because of the Coronavirus. If you need a new phone, computer or chargers, now is the time to buy.
Computers and accessories: I’m thinking computers, thumb drives or external storage hard-drives.
Cameras/ SD Cards: If you are a photographer, SD cards are life. Photography equipment, too.
Electronics: Same for any electronic item like TVs or video game systems you might have been considering as a gift this year. Who knows what the prices will be after a few months of Chinese production lines being shut down.
Cars and Trucks and Things that Go
Car Parts- I will admit I know nothing about cars but I do know that even if they are “Made in the USA” there are likely parts being manufactured and shipped from elsewhere around the world.
I don’t think China has a huge impact or monopoly on the car industry but it might be something to consider if you’re in the market for a new vehicle this year. Do your research and see if it’s something that might affect you.
Vehicle Maintenance: Go get all your cars oil changed now or buy the supplies to do it yourself if you are not an Express Oil Change girl like me. Oil is not the problem, but oil filters? Who knows.
Toys, Party and Craft Supplies
Kids Toys: I know it seems far off, but if there is a certain MUST-HAVE item on your kid’s Christmas wish list this year and there is any chance it is produced in China, buy it now and stash it away until the big day.
It cannot hurt to have it ready to go in advance rather than regretting it later if it’s no longer in stock. Hopefully, everything will be fully operational and back to normal by Q4, but what if it’s not? It’s gonna be an interesting holiday season for sure.
Party Supplies: Same goes for birthday party/ weddings /baby shower supplies. If your kid has a big birthday party or if you have a bridal/ baby/ wedding shower coming up this year, it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and buy your most-needed party supplies now, especially if you have your heart set on a certain theme.
Craft Supplies: Again, the Hobby Lobby rule applies– think mass-produced paint brushes, rubber bands, beads, jewelry making kits– all those trinkety little things made of plastic are likely to be made in China. You can live without them, sure, but if it’s something you’ve been wanting to buy for a while…. hopefully you’re catching my drift.
My attitude is to stop buying trinkety-crap altogether so they stop filling our landfills and oceans with unnecessary plastics, but that is another topic altogether.
Hobbies/ Sports Gear: Sure, some sports equipment brands are made in the USA, but many are not. Check your kid’s sports gear to see if it’s made in China. Have they outgrown their bike helmets? If it’s wearing out or too small, put it on your to-do list to find a new one soon or buy used if you can.
Waste Not, Want Not
I would also like to say that I’m not advocating that you stockpile an insane amount of these items and cause a blossoming problem to become even bigger. Be smart and use your own judgment based on your own family’s needs. Don’t be a hoarder.
We as Americans have WAY too much stuff in our lives already. Maybe, rather than buying new things, we could learn to do without all the overwhelming consumerism for a while.
Take a lesson from our grandmothers and make our stuff last longer. Buy things used and second-hand. Save money and pay off debts instead of running out to buy the latest shiny new thing on the market.
This mentality would not only help us survive a crash in the Chinese goods market but also help reduce the insane amount of single-use plastics that we Americans go through every day. But as I said, that’s a topic for another day.
Finally, let me say that I’m not claiming to be an expert on the US economy or global supply chain, nor do I intend for this to become a political statement about our reliance on Chinese goods.
This post is simply to give you some ideas of things that might be affected by the Coronavirus in the short-term so you’re not caught unaware.
I am opening up the conversation because it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention in the mainstream media. I have this blog platform for sharing important information and figured I’d use it to help my friends and long-time readers get a glimpse into my paranoid thought process, for better or for worse.
I’m trying really hard not to sound like Chicken Little running around saying the sky is falling. But if it is, please buy your family an umbrella.
I do consider myself to be an expert at Repurposing, Reusing, and Upcycling home decor, so feel free to dig through my archives for ideas on how to decorate your home without buying a single new thing!
What are your thoughts on all of this? Are you preparing for supply shortages like me and Chicken Little or are you laughing at me for even posting this?
Either way, I’d love to hear your opinions on anything I’ve missed in the comments! What would you add to this list?