Marketplace has covered missing semiconductors, rental cars, and tomatoes. But not all supply chain issues are related to shortages these days.
Overstock has been a problem in some industries.
If you need disinfectant, Curtis Greve is there for you. “We received 20 trucks full of bleach,” he said. Greve is vice president of liquidation for Inmar Intelligence; he buys the overstocks from retailers and sells them as fast as he can in the secondary market – discount stores, like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack.
Greve is the first stop for stores that need to get rid of their inventory, and there are plenty of them arriving right now.
“We drink from a fire hose, sell to a guy who has a gallon can, who sells to someone who has a mug,” Greve said.
It’s not just bleach. If you’re ok with slightly older devices that may be cheaper, he has them, too. “That’s it, your coffeemakers, microwaves, refrigerators,” Greve said.
Plus all kinds of home gym stuff that you can now use in the real gym. Also: clothes. Greve has seen flare-ups in both a return to work dressed and work from home relaxed.
With the pandemic restriction flip flops and lucrative increases in demand, you can’t fault retailers for not knowing what to order, said Dale Rogers, professor of commerce at Arizona State University.
“It’s probably the worst time in the history of the world to be one of those supply chain planners,” Rogers said.
And shortages of one product can mean a surplus of something else. “You don’t need a keyboard if you can’t get the computer,” he said.
Fortunately, the aftermarket is built on the unexpected, according to Inmar’s Greve.
“I can’t say I celebrate when there is a recession or a problem, but financially we are doing well. That being said, I want things to get back to normal, ”he said.
Greve said he has lost his ability to predict what will happen and what will sell. On the positive side, he managed to find buyers for these 20 trucks full of bleach.