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It’s a sign of these strange times: Toilet paper has turned into a hot commodity. The booze delivery business is booming. A guy in Tennessee hoarded 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to sell them off. (He eventually donated them.)
Social distancing and self-isolation are becoming norms in our lives now, as are hoarding, stockpiling, panic buying and “pandemic pantries.”
You’ve probably even seen empty shelves, full carts and long lines in your neighborhood grocery stores and local pharmacies. Since everyone seems to be searching for essentials, these products are selling fast and even selling out completely.
If you haven’t found what you need at stores nearby, you might have turned to places like Amazon and Walmart, which are historically known for having almost anything you could need within two-day shipping.
But even the two companies are trying to keep up with increased demand. Walmart has seen increased sales for tops and not bottoms (all those Zoom meetings and sweatpants). Amazon has so many orders that it’s experiencing delivery delays and has stopped accepting “non-essential” items to its warehouses.
In case you’re wondering about whether it’s safe to order online, so far the World Health Organization said it’s still OK to receive packages — but you might want to open and clean any delivery packages for extra precaution. You do have to make sure to wash your hands and, obviously, try not to touch your delivery person.
While it’s best to try to shop local right now — especially with the recent shutdowns of small businesses — if you’re still trying to find essentials and haven’t had any luck IRL and want to ditch Amazon and Walmart, there are a lot of sites with necessities in stock worth knowing about.
From fresh produce and personal care items to cleaning supplies and games to pass the time, we found where to shop online for necessities when Amazon and Walmart are out of stock.
And be sure to bookmark this page, as we’ll update this list as best when can when things sell out.
1. Groceries and fresh produce
For fresh produce, you can go with a grocery delivery service like FreshDirect, Peapod and Thrive Market. Target has its own online grocery service, which has everything from bread to seafood and products from Target’s exclusive brand Good & Gather that’s a favorite among shoppers.
New Yorkers who might be missing their neighborhood farmers market can check out Our Harvest and Farm to People, which curate and deliver locally-sourced groceries, or Food Kick for same-day grocery delivery in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.
2. Personal care, from beauty to hygiene
Target does have lots of products that are out of stock right now, but it’s also worth trying Target’s Order Pickup feature, which lets you order online and pick up in store for certain items. For essentials like toilet paper, tissues and paper towels, however, Office Depot still has items in stock.
If you don’t want the options at your local drug store, consider direct-to-consumer brands for some personal care items.
Toothbrush brands Quip and Goby will send you automatically recurring deliveries of replacement brush heads. If you’re looking for special scents of body soaps, lotions and hand soaps that are still in stock, you might try The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works and Aesop for options that haven’t been overshopped. There are even direct-to-consumer brands like LOLA and Cora that sell organic versions of tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products.
You’ll be able to find everything from cleansers to concealers at Sephora, Ulta and Dermstore. Nordstrom also has a well-stocked beauty section. You can also support your favorite brands like Glossier by buying directly on their own sites, too.
You can also check out our guides to cutting your hair at home and how to make your next bath more relaxing.
3. All things home, including homewares and cleaning supplies
Since so many of us are working from home now and trying to limit leaving the house, you might be looking to spruce up your space. You might also be thinking of spring cleaning, too.
While lots of cleaning supplies from brands like Clorox and Lysol are selling out at places like Target, you could try out some more green alternatives, like Grove Collaborative and Blueland, which have eco-friendly household cleaning supplies. If you’re a fan of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, you can still find them on the company’s direct site. We also noticed that Home Depot has lots of the laundry products that are out of stock elsewhere.
If you’re in the mood for some home improvement, you can find some unique home items and decor at Etsy, Uncommon Goods, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Rifle Paper Co., Society6, West Elm and World Market.
Overstock, Pottery Barn, Target and Wayfair all have everything from furniture and furnishings to kitchen tools like baking sheets, casserole dishes and coffee makers, in case you’re suddenly getting into cooking.
4. Pet products, like dog food and cat litter
The furriest member of your family might not know what’s going on, but chances are they’re happy to have you home.
Petco and PetSmart are obvious choices, of course, especially because they have everything from food to grooming supplies. Chewy might also be a go-to site now for toys, treats and litter because you can set up autoship recurring orders from Chewy for your pet’s favorite food and essentials.
If you’re looking for pet companies other than the ones mentioned above, you could try out Cat Person for food, toys and furnishings (which just launched and is for cats only), Pet Plate (a meal plan for dogs) and The Farmer’s Dog (which delivers healthy dog food).
You can also check out our guide to the best online pet stores for delivery, from Chewy to Cat Person.
5. Games, books and tech
Stuck staring at a screen all day when working from home? Just need a break from Netflix binge-watching on the weekends? You might try your hand at an adult board game or a classic like Monopoly and Scrabble, which are all available at Target.
While lots of puzzles have been sold out already on Amazon, you can find ones for kiddos and others with thousands of pieces at The Met Store (like a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait), where your money will also go to supporting The Met museums while they’re closed through July. We’ve also still spotted puzzles in stock at Barnes & Noble and Uncommon Goods, where there’s even a New York Times front page puzzle that’s customizable.
For book lovers, you might order online to support independent and local shops as many are closing their doors. But if there’s not somewhere nearby to fill your bookshelves, you might try Powell’s Books, Barnes & Noble, and Politics and Prose (an independent bookstore based in Washington, D.C.). You might also consider listening to audiobook from Scribd. For à la mode cookbooks, you could try Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Bed Bath & Beyond, too.
And, if you’re wondering what Animal Crossing’s all about, you could splurge on a Nintendo Switch at Best Buy, which also carries games and game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can find more video games at Target and Game Stop.