Reviewed by digital marketing experts

Definition of Overstock

Overstock, in digital marketing context, refers to an excess inventory of products that a retailer or online store has not been able to sell within the desired time frame. This surplus can result from various factors like slow sales, cancelled orders, or seasonal trends. Overstocked items often need to be liquidated at discounted prices to clear storage and minimize costs, leading to flash sales or clearance events as marketing strategies.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Overstock is an online home goods retailer, offering a wide range of products such as furniture, decor, bedding, and kitchen appliances at competitive prices.
  2. The company focuses on e-commerce innovation and providing excellent customer service, which includes easy returns and fast, reliable delivery options.
  3. Overstock also offers a unique loyalty program called Club O, where members benefit from exclusive deals, free shipping, and rewards for their purchases.

Importance of Overstock

The digital marketing term “overstock” is important because it refers to an excess of inventory that a business has on hand, which can affect sales, marketing strategies, and overall profitability.

When a company has overstocked merchandise, it may need to employ various marketing tactics, such as discount promotions or targeted advertising, to move the inventory and free up resources.

Overstock situations can impact a company’s bottom line, as the money invested in the products may be tied up for an extended period, and products may lose value over time or become obsolete.

By effectively monitoring and managing overstock, businesses can maximize revenue, avoid unnecessary storage costs, and maintain a balanced inventory that aligns with consumer demand.


Overstock, as it relates to digital marketing, is a term that refers to an excess inventory of products that a business might have at any given moment. This surplus of items can be an opportunity for digital marketers to create strategic campaigns aimed at attracting customers and generating sales.

The purpose of leveraging overstock in digital marketing is twofold; first, it enables retailers to clear storage space for new inventory, and second, it allows businesses to capitalize on potentially idle assets by boosting revenue through the targeted promotion of their surplus inventory. Utilizing overstock in marketing initiatives can be realized through various platforms such as email marketing, social media advertising, display advertising, and more.

Digital marketers can effectively utilize overstock in the form of limited-time promotions, flash sales, or exclusive offers, driving customer interest and fostering a sense of urgency. By offering significant discounts or incentives on the overstocked items, businesses can not only push the sales of the excess inventory but also entice customers to explore their full product range, leading to an increase in overall revenue.

Additionally, using data from previous customer interactions, marketers can personalize their overstock promotions, targeting those customers most likely to be interested in the discounted products. In this way, leveraging overstocks in the realm of digital marketing is an opportunity to foster customer loyalty, recognizing the value of surplus inventory and turning it into a strategic asset.

Examples of Overstock

Overstock in digital marketing refers to a situation where a company has more products available than necessary or desirable, which can affect sales, inventory management, and overall marketing efforts. Here are three real world examples:

Online Retailer is an American e-commerce company that sells surplus, returned, and excess merchandise from various brands and retailers at discounted prices. The company’s name comes from its original business model of selling overstocked items. By capitalizing on this excess inventory, they are able to offer consumers attractive prices while giving manufacturers an outlet for their surplus products.

Major retailer’s holiday clearance sales: Often, after the holiday season or other busy shopping periods, retailers are left with an excess of seasonal items such as winter clothing, holiday decorations, or gifts. In order to clear this inventory and make room for new products, retailers may promote these items through online marketing campaigns, offering significant discounts and clear-out sales. This helps to reduce their overstock and maintain a healthy inventory level.

Electronic manufacturer’s excess inventory: In the highly competitive electronics industry, companies may launch new models and updated versions of their popular devices frequently. As a result, older models may become overstocked due to a decrease in demand. To avoid substantial losses, manufacturers and retailers may engage in various digital marketing strategies, such as offering limited-time discounts, buy-one-get-one-free offers, or bundling older models with popular accessories. This not only helps to sell off the overstocked products, but also potentially introduces new customers to their brand.

Overstock FAQ

What is Overstock?

Overstock is an online retailer that offers a wide range of products such as furniture, home decor, bedding, clothing, and electronics at discounted prices. The company sources excess inventory and closeout merchandise from manufacturers, distributors, and other retailers, allowing them to offer significant savings to shoppers.

How does Overstock offer discounted prices?

Overstock is able to offer discounted prices by purchasing excess inventory and closeout merchandise from various sources. This enables them to sell products at lower prices than traditional retailers. Additionally, as an online-only retailer, Overstock has lower overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar stores, which allows them to pass on these savings to customers.

What types of products can I find on Overstock?

Overstock offers a wide range of products, including furniture, home decor, bedding, clothing, electronics, and more. You can find products from a variety of categories, such as home improvement, outdoor items, jewelry, and watches. Some popular product categories include area rugs, mattresses, bedding sets, and living room furniture.

Is it safe to shop on Overstock?

Yes, it is safe to shop on Overstock. The company prioritizes security and privacy, using secure encryption technology to protect your personal information during the checkout process. Overstock also offers a variety of payment options, including major credit cards, PayPal, and more, allowing for a safe and convenient shopping experience.

What is the return policy on Overstock?

Overstock offers a 30-day return policy on most items, allowing you to return products that do not meet your expectations. Items must be in their original, unused condition and include all the original packaging materials. Some items, such as personalized or clearance items, may not be eligible for returns. It’s essential to review the specific return policy for an item before making a purchase.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Optimization
  • Discount Strategies
  • Clearance Sales
  • Excess Stock Reduction

Sources for More Information

  • Investopedia –
  • Entrepreneur –
  • Shopify –
  • Business Dictionary –