Run on Puzzles Leads to Friendly Swaps Arranged on Social Media

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Toilet paper and hand sanitizer aren’t the only items flying off the shelves.

Puzzles are now the hot ticket item that no one can get enough of. So what’s behind the old pastime’s major comeback?

“Adult jigsaw puzzles” is currently the eight overall search term on Amazon, according to Buffalo Games. The company also said “Compared to last year we are  up 10x.”

Replay Toys Boutique in North Park is struggling to stay stocked up.

“These racks are usually full of puzzles. As you can see right now they’re very empty. We usually keep this place full to the brim,” Replay employee Kimberly Nabours said.

Now she’s selling what’s left of her inventory from the comfort of her home

“I’m making appointments for people to pick up puzzles off my porch,” she said.

The scarce inventory has led people like Hannah Boehm to take matters into their own hands so they can keep puzzling.

“We could not find any on Amazon, Target, Walmart, nowhere. so I thought there were plenty of people who have a puzzle or two. Why not share them?” Boehm said.

Boehm uses the NextDoor app and other social media platforms to run puzzle swaps. She’ll leave a box outside for her neighbors and they can take a puzzle or leave a puzzle. Some even make deals with her online.

“I posted a picture of a puzzle I had just done and said I can trade this on for any of the ones that have been posted above,” puzzle swapper Isabel Schecter said.

One puzzle swapper said that while they're having fun, they're also remembering to wipe down the puzzles and maintain social distancing to keep everyone safe.

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