How to buy excess inventory from retailers

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For more than two years there has been no shortage of wells, shortages. Of toilet paper and hand sanitizer at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, for baby formula and buffers now supply chain issues and labor shortages have made some essentials hard to find.

But as retailers experience shortages of certain items, the combination of rising inflation and the lifting of some pandemic-related restrictions (and, therefore, people who actually leave their homes) left them with an excess of certain products, including clothing and big-ticket items like furniture and appliances.

In these situations, some stores looking to recoup costs and clear shelves before new merchandise arrives are seeing serious sales this summer. A recent DealNews report includes some tips for making the most of discounts resulting from excess retailer inventory. Here’s what you need to know.

Pay attention to retailer news

The problem of retailers with excess inventory made headlines about a month ago, when Target has warned its investors of an upcoming short-term decline in earnings following markdowns to eliminate additional inventory. And the big-box store is not the only one: Walmart, Macy’sthe Gap and Kohl are also reporting higher than usual inventory levels and have sales to remove it from their shelves.

Don’t Expect Dedicated “Inventory Reduction” Sales

Sometimes retailers announce “stock reduction” sales — designed to move old merchandise before new stuff arrives — towards the end of the year. But don’t expect most stores to advertise these types of sales right now: instead pay attention to what seem to be the usual seasonal sales, as they will include discounted and overstocked items.

Look for sales on seasonal items

Typically, a store’s seasonal merchandise goes on sale at the end of the season, and people are more interested in buying items they can use right away (or soon, at least) than items that they will have to store for almost a year. But given the current overstock situation, some retailers are offering seasonal products at off-season prices.

Discover off-price retailers

Some stores have a business model based on buying goods that other retailers have been unable to sell and selling them to consumers at a discount. Given the current situation, we can expect to see more inventory and, potentially, even lower prices than usualat stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington, Ross, and Gabe’s, and on websites like

Don’t spend the money you don’t have

If something you want is on sale now, but you don’t have the funds to make the purchase right now, it’s not worth going into debt. According DealNewsthese are not brand new discounts, and sales with similar discounts will likely occur in the future as well.