Get an edge on tracking down scarce or out-of-stock supplies with a few simple online tools. A local, national, or international crisis can strike at any time. When it does, you know how fast food, water, toilet paper, and other items disappear off the store shelves. It becomes hard or impossible to find the products you need. Here are three ways to help you find groceries, health, and emergency supplies in tough times.
Web applications are available that track the inventory of online retailers. Use them to get alerts when out-of-stock products become available at Amazon or other stores. This is a free service. All you have to do is:
When a product is back in stock, you'll get an alert by text, email, or browser. Here are two inventory tracking web services:
Many retailers offer to send email notifications when an out-of-stock item becomes available. The sooner you have the information, the better. Use this service. Minutes or seconds count when it comes to getting an in-demand item or missing out. Here’s what to do next. Set up an alert that notifies you as soon as the retailer’s notification comes to your inbox.
If you have an iPhone, use the Mail app’s VIP feature. Here's how:
Tip: Don't use a retailer's general email address for your alert. Make sure to find the email address they use for their back-in-stock notifications.
People find new, creative ways to help one another during a crisis. The company that runs the app called OurStreets did that. They had a crowdsourcing app to make safer streets for drivers and pedestrians. In response to the 2020 Coronavirus crisis, they updated their service. Now the app lets people see and share where necessary supplies are available in their area.
It takes a few taps to find information about local stores using this app. It's simple to share what you know too. The app uses your location to show retailers nearby. Select a business to see what others are saying about their supplies. To return the favor, select a store you shopped at to share what was or wasn't available when you were there. You can include pictures. Send your report to family, friends, and the OurStreets community.