Inventory pileups resulting from last year’s chain supply shortages can work to your advantage this holiday season.

Stockpiles of inventory and a “glut of unsold merchandise” are now plaguing retailers who struggled with product shortages during the pandemic and last holiday season.

Now the surplus of extra inventory is creating new challenges for retailers like a lack of storage space, lower profits, and “dramatic sell-offs in the stock market,” according to the Washington Post.

In fact, inventory overstock among retailers is so common that the Better Business Bureau  (BBB) recently put the word out on how the inventory surplus can work to the advantage of savvy holiday shoppers looking for great deals.

“After supply chain issues during the pandemic caused widespread shortages, some retailers now find themselves with the opposite problem: excess inventory,” says the BBB. “With 21 percent more inventory than they had a year ago (equaling a whopping $732 billion), many retailers are worried their profit margins are about to take a hit.

“The problems facing retailers are complex, and it may take them some time to work out the kinks. In the meantime, this could be good news for consumers looking to score a deal on items this holiday season.”

Here are the BBB’s tips for finding the best deals at retailers with an inventory surplus.

1. Look for chains with surplus inventory

According to CNBC, retailers like Walmart, Target, Gap, and Kohls are reporting a flood of extra merchandise stacked in warehouses and back storage rooms of retail stores. You’ll find plenty of discounts at those stores, but they’re not the only ones.

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2. Don’t overlook small retailers

Many smaller retailers also have a stockpile of excess inventory they’re looking to unload this holiday season. Your purchases from smaller retailers can also help those small businesses stay afloat in a troubled economy.

3.  Research the most common types of overstocked items

“Most stores are dealing with a surplus of a variety of items, including electronics, home furniture, appliances, toys, and apparel,” says the BBB. “This is good news for anyone needing a new computer or winter coat or anyone with a long holiday gift list. Keep your eyes peeled for deals in these and other categories.”

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4. Jump on good deals while they’re hot

While retailers are struggling to find the balance between past pandemic shortages and having too much inventory on hand now, many will offer deep discounts and clearance items.

“Just because something is in stock now doesn’t mean it will stay that way,” says the BBB. “Therefore, if you are shopping for something and find a good deal, buy it.”

5. Shop with scoring a deal in mind

Before you shop, develop a saving mentality by researching deals, discounts, and clearance items both in-store and online. Then take time to compare prices against other retailers’ offerings.

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6. Stick with stores you shop at regularly

The best way to recognize a good deal is when you already have an idea of what the price usually runs. The BBB recommends checking online or on a store’s app for special “online only” deals.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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