Overstock is not a stock website, though it is a website with a stock (NASDAQ: OSTK).
The site has made a name for itself as something like an online outlet mall that initially specialized in home décor but has expanded to sell everything from jewelry to electronics and sporting goods.
The brand is known for its deep discounts and low price points compared to other retailers, and it seems to have a pretty decent reputation.
But the question is: How good is Overstock really?
This Overstock review seeks to tell you just that.
The History of Overstock
Originally a company named Discounts Direct, Overstock got its semi-misleading name when it was purchased by a man named Dr. Patrick M. Byrne back in 1999.
Overstock did brisk business under—and perhaps in spite of—Byrne’s tenure, including going public in 2002 and reporting its first billion-dollar year in 2010.
By the time Byrne announced his resignation and claimed the FBI made him engage in an intimate relationship with a notorious Russian spy, Overstock had established itself as one of the premier online sources for closeout and discount home furnishings.
The company is currently headed by CEO Jonathan E. Johnson as Byrne, its former head, pursues a new career in peddling misinformation and ridiculous conspiracy theories.
Overstock’s Product Offering
Overstock started with furniture and home décor, but its catalog has ballooned in the 23 years since it was founded.
In addition to their array of interior and exterior furniture and décor, Overstock now sells bedding (including mattresses), appliances as small as blenders and as large as gas ranges, grills, trampolines, swing sets, tents, exercise equipment, and products from dozens of other categories.
Some of Overstock’s inventory is manufactured specifically for the site, but most of it comes from the roughly 3,000 third-party vendors that partner with Overstock to sell goods on their site.
Most of Overstock’s revenue comes from the sale of third-party goods on their site.
Overstock’s Product Quality
Most of Overstock’s inventory comes from reputable manufacturers and suppliers.
There are plenty of name-brand goods available on the site, and there are very few reviews or reports available claiming that any of the products were fake or lower quality than what you’d find at another retailer.
The low price points and steep discounts on Overstock may give some buyers pause.
Normally when you see a product available for significantly less than on another site you’d assume that there was some kind of scam involved.
Overstock is acutely aware of the importance of maintaining a good reputation in such a competitive space, however, so they enforce strict quality control to make sure no consumer receives counterfeit or defective products.
Overstock’s business model relies on the competitive edge it gets from its low price points and discounts.
They’re so proud of their low prices that they even put real-time price checkers on their product pages to show how much you’d save if you bought from them instead of their competitors.
A number of factors contribute to Overstock’s ability to offer products at such low prices:
- They purchase and sell liquidated inventory from other retailers
- Advanced logistics capabilities tailored for furniture and home furnishings
- The Club O Loyalty Program that increases customer retention
- Long-term mutually beneficial relationships with vendors and manufacturers
The firm lists these factors as part of how it stays competitive as part of its latest 10-K report to the SEC.
They aren’t exactly forthcoming on any of the specifics, but it makes sense that they’d keep them under wraps.
Overstock Customer Experience
Overstock and its mobile app are very easy to navigate.
Finding the products you’re looking for is quick and easy, and they have the same smooth purchasing process as prominent rivals like Amazon.com.
Reviews for Overstock are pretty much what you’d expect: A ton of good reviews that are drowned out by the hordes of pissed off customers who had a bad experience.
The good reviews are very complimentary about how easy it was to buy and have products shipped to them, how the products arrived on time and in good condition, and occasionally that Overstock was quick to replace an item that was broken or damaged in transit.
Some of the negative reviews are your typical sour grapes, but there’s a fairly disturbing trend that arises when you read through enough of them.
A lot of buyers report struggling with Overstock customer service personnel for returns, account credits, and (apparent) pricing and financing mistakes.
One reviewer reports receiving a rug from Overstock that was infested with moths which went on to destroy almost all of their clothes.
Another reports a big purchase being canceled without warning or notification.
Someone calling themselves Deepwoods said they paid for two chairs, received one, and was never made whole.
So it seems like you’ll have a great experience if you buy from Overstock…
…as long as nothing goes wrong.
If something does go wrong, well, it seems like you’re in for a fight.
Taking Stock of Overstock’s Stock
Overstock’s stock OSTK is currently trading at $29.14, with its 52-week range being between $24.69 and $111.28.
The company posted overall sales earnings of $2.76 billion in 2021, a 10.53% increase from the previous year.
Its earnings have been on a slow but fairly steady upward trend over the last five years—other than 2019’s painful 19.88% decrease from 2018.
The firm’s 2021 gross income of $606.04 million represented a 10% increase from 2020, and its net income of $155.38 million was an increase of 75.18% over the previous year.
Overstock employed 1,350 full-time employees as of December 21, 2021, and reported difficulties in finding the kind of talent it felt it needs moving forward, particularly when it comes to finding software engineers and technical staff.
The firm reported hiring 177 new non-customer service or warehouse staff in 2021 in addition to 55 new customer service and warehouse personnel.
The environment in which Overstock operates is very competitive and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. E-commerce is a crowded field, and there are relatively low barriers to entry for new firms trying to get into the market.
For example, we wrote a review on another popular e-commerce website, StockX, which deals in shoes, electronics, collectibles, and more.
The site Wayfair is of particular concern for Overstock due to similarities between their product offerings and business models, and will likely remain a source of consternation in the future.
That said, the threats Overstock faces appear to be threatening its growth, not its survival.
The company’s financial situation remains stable enough to assure continued business and modest profits for at least the next few years.
Overstock is an e-commerce site that focuses on home furnishings, décor, and a number of other product types, most of which are supplied at a reduced price by its almost 3,000 partners.
The firm leverages these relationships, its logistics network, and other factors to make their price points as cheap as possible for all their products.
Overstock works hard to give every customer a great experience, though it seems like they need to invest more in their customer service if they actually want to achieve that goal.
Have you had any experience with Overstock before reading this review? Let us know in the comments below!