The past two years have brought enormous disruptions to global supply chains. Now, skyrocketing shipping costs have begun to affect gaming chair brands. If you’re in the market for a gaming chair, consider buying one soon, before price increases begin.
Over the past 12 months, the rate to ship a container from Shanghai to LA has increased by 229%. Since almost all gaming chairs are made in China, this has huge industry ramifications.
AKRacing has become the first gaming chair to sound the alarm. On its website, the company warns that rising shipping costs are becoming untenable:
“Unfortunately, businesses have no other choice but to raise prices… or cut corners… We have tried to hold the line, but unfortunately, this means that we will have to raise prices on our entire product line very soon.”
To soften the blow of price increases, AKRacing is now offering a sitewide 15% discount. The sale runs from now until August 1st. After that, expect new, higher AKRacing gaming chair prices.
Why Gaming Chair Prices Will Rise in 2021
Thus far, AKRacing has been the only brand to warn of price increases. Even so, it’s one of the oldest and most well-established gaming chair companies. Thus, when their prices go up, expect other brands to follow suit.
The reason for inevitable price increases is shipping costs. Over the past year, rates have increased by 333% across eight major shipping routes.
Surging rates benefit shipping companies, but force importers to absorb higher costs. Some (like AKRacing) have no choice but to raise retail prices.
Are Gaming Chairs Shortages Coming?
Possibly. When lockdowns first happened last year, gaming chair sales skyrocketed. However, because of supply chain problems, some brands couldn’t keep up. Others (like Secretlab and Killabee) broke sales records.
Even so, during peak sales periods, a single chair order could take up to two months to process.
If shipping rates continue to climb, we predict the following:
- Higher gaming chair prices.
- Longer waiting times to receive deliveries.
- Some brands may run out of stock for long periods.
In early 2020, there was a major GPU shortage. First, Chinese manufacturing was temporarily limited by the COVID outbreak. Then, shipping delays set in. On top of that, the rising price of Bitcoin created a higher demand for GPUs. As a result, demand skyrocketed while supplies dwindled.
In 2021, is a gaming chair shortage possible? If lockdowns persist, yes. During lockdowns, the demand for gaming chairs skyrockets.
If Chinese manufacturing is affected by COVID again, stocks may run low. Even so, prices are likely to rise.
Bottom line: if you don’t already have one, consider buying a gaming chair now. AKRacing chairs are on sale now, with a price hike scheduled for August 1. Other brands are likely to follow.
If shortages kick in, your only option will be to pay more and wait longer to get your chair delivered.