Oops, We Made Too Much: Here's What's Not in Short Supply

hand sanitizer factory

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hand sanitizer factory
Buda Mendes/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images South America

No Shortages Here

Tired of the word "shortage"? Join the club. Supply-chain issues have kept tons of products from making it to store shelves, cutting into companies' profits and frustrating consumers. But even during these unprecedented times, a few select things are most definitely not in short supply — here are some of the most notable.

Staff writer Lacey Muszynski contributed to this report.

Related: Record Inflation Continues to Bust Consumers' Budgets

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Not long ago, Pelotons were in high demand thanks to the pandemic. But times have changed, with fewer people working out at home, and still others unwilling to pay the premium price. The company misjudged how many bikes and treadmills to produce, and it now has thousands gathering dust in warehouses and on cargo ships. While Peloton has denied halting production of its equipment, it says it is "right-sizing our production" to account for less demand. It also laid off 2,800 workers last year then another 500 this October, though there is some good news: Peloton will be putting bikes in all 5,400 Hilton-branded hotels in the U.S.

Related: 22 Times Companies Promised More Than They Could Deliver

shelves of refrigerated milk in store


Milk prices are up in some parts of the country — but it's not because of a shortage. The U.S. has way more milk than it can collectively guzzle, reports Politico, because larger operations that can produce way more of it have been replacing smaller, family-run dairy farms. The problem: Demand, at least in the U.S., is down as Americans increasingly turn to milk alternatives.

Related: Here's How Much More Groceries Cost at Kroger in 2021

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If you've pulled back on cooking at home, you're not the only one — and that's left Tupperware in a bind. The iconic food-storage company has had to idle factories because it has a supply backlog, reports Retail Dive. It ramped up production when the pandemic meant people were cooking at home (and saving endless leftovers). Unfortunately, the demand tapered off while Tupperware kept cranking out the goods, leaving it with way too much inventory. 

Related: Everyday Words That Are Actually Brand Names

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Demand remains high for a shiny new RV, and according to the RV Industry Association, manufacturers are up to the challenge: A record 58,000 vehicles were produced in October 2021 — up 22.5% from October 2020. Despite the record number, some would-be buyers may still have to wait to get their hands on one, because most of them are spoken for. And that might not be a bad thing: Complaints about workmanship on these quickly produced RVs are loud and getting louder, according to RVTravel.com.

Related: Why You Really Don't Want to Buy an RV

Group of Alcohol Gel Bottles with Dispenser for Sale
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Hand Sanitizer

Early on in the pandemic, manufacturers couldn’t make hand sanitizer fast enough. Distilleries even started making it for the first time ever to meet insatiable demand. But now that people are vaccinated and skipping the constant disinfecting, stores can’t seem to get rid of their supply. Hand sanitizer sales were down 80% in May of last year compared to spring 2020, leading to some outrageous sales and even sanitizer giveaways — something that would have been unthinkable when the pandemic began. While sales globally are expected to go up 3.3% globally by 2025, the U.S. isn't jumping on the trend.

Related: Things We Never Want to See Again After the Pandemic Is Over

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Women luxury handbags in a store in Milan

Leather Goods

If you've found a leather jacket or purse for an unbelievably low price this holiday season, there's a reason: The raw materials used to make them — cowhides — are sitting unused. According to the Los Angeles Times, they're piling up all over the country as Americans turn away from leather and embrace synthetic fabrics, including most athleisure clothing, as well as vegan alternatives.  The problem is particularly acute for lower-end leather goods made from imperfect hides.

Related: Things You Should Never Clean With Disinfecting Wipes

Luxury Watches
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Luxury Watches

It turns out that fewer buyers are intent on spending big for a flashy watch when they're stuck working from home. Swiss watchmakers are still producing too many high-end time pieces, according to industry executives, and inventory is accumulating for all but the most exclusive brands, like Rolex. Consumers are also increasingly snapping up smartwatches instead of traditional models. 

Related: Luxury Gifts Worth the Splurge

Sunset Field of Mature Herbal Cannabis Plants Ready for Harvest at a CBD Oil Hemp Marijuana Farm in Colorado
Jeremy Poland/istockphoto


Rushing to cash in on a newly legal crop, many of the nation's farmers planted hemp — a lot of hemp. But the rising demand for CBD everything was outpaced by new hemp crops, and regulations from federal and state policymakers have further complicated matters, growers say. The result: Pounds and pounds of bagged hemp languishing in barns, and much smaller crops as the industry matures.

Related: Why So Many Seniors Are Turning to CBD

Buy Secondhand
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Secondhand Items

Between supply-chain problems and shortages, more people are looking for goods on the secondhand market, and they’re finding a lot to choose from. Social media marketplaces like Facebook or upcycle fashion sites like ThredUp make it easier than ever for people to earn a quick buck from their unused clutter, and let’s not forget donating to stores like Goodwill. Eighty-two percent of adults buy or sell pre-owned products and 25% will be buying second-hand goods as holiday gifts, making this a very secondhand-heavy holiday. 

Related: 17 Places to Donate Clothes and Clutter for Money