I think at this point in our collective pandemic consciousness, we all know that there’s been quite an increase in online sex work. This increase is just one reason why we’re continuing to see a webcam shortage.
These days, most laptops come with a webcam built in, yes. But with the rise of remote work, telemedicine, distance learning and just the desperate need to connect with the people we love to the best of our ability, we’re still seeing a massive webcam shortage.
It was reported that, in the first three weeks of March, webcam sales experienced a 179 percent spike. Although the spike has died down some, it remains difficult to quickly get a webcam. And for those who are relying on their webcam for their livelihood, it can be a scary thought that, if yours should break, you can’t find a replacement. Here’s where to look if you need a replacement fast.
Check Amazon, but compare prices elsewhere
Amazon is kind of the almighty beast. It has everything, and it sells from everywhere. But oftentimes, especially in times when Amazon knows it doesn’t have to compete with others as much, the prices will go up. This means that you may be seeing higher webcam prices than usual on the site.
If you’re in a bind and need a webcam fast, unfortunately that might mean getting a lower quality camera for a cheaper price on Amazon, if it means that you’ll get a faster delivery. And you can always then keep an eye out for places with higher quality cameras, like Logitechs, to see when they get new shipments for delivery and spend more when that day comes. Because, at the moment, websites for brands like Logitech are severely lacking in inventory.
Keep an eye on eBay
Back in March and April, eBay’s webcam prices were skyhigh. Thankfully, they’ve started to come down some — but it’s still pretty common to see prices that are two to three times greater than what you’d see on the brands’ websites if the webcams were in stock there. If you’re willing to buy used, you’ll see the prices go down considerably.
Don’t forget about Facebook Marketplace and other resellers
Don’t forget that eBay isn’t the only auction and reselling game in town. I know that Facebook is also part of its own Evil Empire that hates sex workers, but desperate times also sometimes lead to desperate measures.
Facebook Marketplace is another good bet to find gold, particularly for lightly used webcams. It also helps that you’re able to specify your location to find sellers near you, meaning that you’ll be able to get your purchase faster and, if the shipping isn’t free, it’s at least cheaper since it’s local.
Wish.com is another potential option, especially if you’re not looking to make a big investment right now and just want something you can get relatively quickly and cheaply.
Check Office Depot
Maybe it’s because we associate Office Depot with, like, “office” offices, which can’t really be used right now, but, for some reason, Office Depot has a pretty high number of webcams in stock. That being said, using this store is mainly a good idea if you know you have a physical store nearby and are willing and able to get to it. Shipping from Office Depot isn’t always available or is severely delayed.
However, you can order something online for same-day pick-up in store. If you have a mask, a car and are healthy enough to leave your home to go out in public, this might be your best bet to get something high quality, quickly.
JackieMichele is writer and marketer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, Food and Wine and the Huffington Post. She’s been an editor, an influencer strategist and ghostwriter, a librarian and a teacher. Follow her Instagram at @jackie_gualtieri and contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background header image by Marc Winter via Pixabay.