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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, many unusually in-demand items flew off the shelves.  

Toilet paper and anything that could possibly be used to clean surfaces flew off the shelves as panic buying set in. Then as people began to tire of their Netflix rotation, jigsaw puzzles picked up in popularity and began selling out. 

Now 100 days in, many items are still hard to come by — but they aren’t all items you might expect to be in high demand. 

Bikes 

When COVID-19 first hit Michigan, winter was still in full swing. Yet as weather warmed up and quarantine fatigue began to set in for many, bike sales in metro Detroit sky rocketed, leaving many unable to buy a new bike. 

Now that summer in Michigan has set in, the demand has only increased, but the supply has not. Many retailers have a limited supply of bikes both in store and online, even months into the pandemic. 

If you can’t seem to find a bike, check sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for older bikes that can be taken in to a local shop and fixed up. 

More: Police cite Crunch Fitness for reopening despite last-minute federal court ruling, another gym closes to comply

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s latest gaming system has been popular since it was released more than three years ago, extended time at home and people getting bored with their Netflix rotation has made them even more in demand. 

The console comes in several different models — the original and the Nintendo Switch Lite. Before giving up completely, check to see if other models are available. 

Cleaning supplies 

Despite being 100 days into the pandemic, the need for any and all cleaning supplies has not lessened. Items such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning wipes are still hard to come by. 

Even for those who are lucky enough to find a store fully stocked with all the sanitizing necessities, most shoppers will be limited in the quantity of the item they can take home. 

Check stores you may not think of to buy cleaning supplies before completely giving up. Stores like home improvement stores or pharmacies that are less frequented may have a untouched supply. If that still doesn’t bring any luck, ask someone at your local store when another shipment may come in and plan accordingly. 

More: Mayor to Detroit bars: Follow social distancing, mask wearing rules or be shut down

Rubbing alcohol 

As hand sanitizer flew off the shelves, many people got creative and decided to take the DIY route. Social media shared homemade hand sanitizer “recipes” using aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol. 

But it wasn’t long before rubbing alcohols even became scarce. Check your local stores and pharmacies for rubbing alcohol, or order online if in person selection is low. 

Mask making materials 

If you’ve recently taken a trip to Joann’s to pick up some mask making materials, you are not alone. While more and more big box stores are selling face masks, many people have still taken to making their own. 

So many people have learned how to make their own face masks the materials needed have been in high demand. At places like Joann’s Fabrics, items such as elastic string, white thread and cotton fabrics have been very picked over. 

Make sure to check ahead that the necessary mask making essentials are stocked at your local store. If making a mask at home isn’t possible, many clothing retailers sell pre-made face coverings for purchase. 

Meredith Spelbring is a news intern with the Detroit Free Press. Reach her at mspelbring@freepress.com or on Twitter @mere0415.

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