Last Updated on March 13, 2019
At Aldi Reviewer, we often get messages and comments like the following:
- “My Aldi no longer sells the Easy Home Robotic Vacuum. Where can I get it?”
- “I cannot find Aldi’s holiday tea flavors in any store. I would like to place an order for two cases please.”
- “My family loves the gourmet crackers Aldi sold recently. I went to buy more and they were gone. An employee I spoke with said they won’t be getting more in stores. I can’t believe Aldi would just stop selling something that seemed to be so popular and profitable for them.
- “I want to buy some throw pillows for my mom’s birthday, but they are no longer available at my Aldi store. Help!”
First of all, we here at Aldi Reviewer are not Aldi. So don’t ask us to bring something back in stock or to ship you an order of tea. We can’t do it.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, hopefully we can clarify matters for a lot of people who are urgently seeking desks, tea, frozen novelties, lotion, and more. I have seen people get mad to the point of going on cussing rants on Facebook about how they believe Aldi doesn’t listen to customers, but life is too short for that kind of negativity, and there is an explanation for how Aldi operates. So keep calm and read on.
The first thing to understand is that Aldi is a low-inventory store that sells a limited number of basic grocery and household items. It’s a great place to buy staples like bread, eggs, cheese, and butter. It’s also a good stop for toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels, and laundry detergent. Aldi stocks these basics in all of its stores all of the time, and they are called Regular Buys.
The second thing to understand is that Aldi brings in a limited supply of new and unique merchandise every week. These are called Special Buys or ALDI Finds, depending on where you live. These products are different each week and range from furniture to kitchen gadgets to camping gear to specialty foods like ice cream bars, tea, cheese, fresh meat, convenience foods, and more. It’s a good idea to check Aldi’s ad each week to see what limited-time merchandise will be in stores.
Another important piece of info: Special Buy items are usually (but not always) house brands that are specific only to Aldi, so you cannot buy them at any other retailer.
Here’s the key to understanding why all merchandise is not available all the time at all Aldi stores: each store gets a limited number of each week’s Special Buy items, and once they are gone, they are gone. Sometimes Special Buys sell out in a day, or a week, or they may linger in stores for a month or two. It depends on how many were originally stocked and how popular the item is.
So, if you didn’t buy that SOHL Furniture Writing Desk when you saw it in the ad or in the store, chances are slim to none that you will find it at Aldi six months later. The same is true for gourmet chocolate, deep fryers, steam mops, and all the other Special Buy goodies Aldi rotates through its shelves.
Also, you cannot order Aldi’s Special Buy (ALDI Find) or Seasonal Buy products online in the U.S. Your local store also will not take orders for you. You cannot get your hands on a Special Buy you missed this way. (You can now order Aldi’s Regular Buys through Instacart, though.)
While it may not seem fair or may not make sense initially, Aldi explains in this link that it has to sell special inventory quickly to make room for the next set of new offers. Aldi’s policy of offering certain items for a limited time helps it keep costs down while maximizing profits. It remains a low-inventory store that is great for purchasing staples and basics, but if you are patient and keep an eye on the ads, you can buy many of the same items you might purchase in a big box store. This way, Aldi is able to maintain its small footprint with lower-square-footage stores and small staffs but still offer a variety of merchandise.
The good news is that Special Buys often operate on a repeating cycle. Aldi tends to sell camping gear and garden products and grills in the spring and summer, bedding and furniture and laundry organizers (for dorm rooms, but also for the average house) in the late summer and fall, and exercise gear around the New Year. Kitchen items like cookware, utensils, stand mixers, and waffle makers tend to come back around over time as well. In addition, you’ll find holiday-related Special Buys right at the time you need them – gift wrap and Christmas tree storage bins during December, egg cookers near Easter, and pumpkin-flavored everything in the fall. So if you have missed a must-have Special Buy, just wait a few months or a year. Chances are good you’ll find it – or something very similar – in stores again.
Another observation is that sometimes Special Buy food items that sell well become Regular Buys that are in stock all the time. We saw this happen with some of Aldi’s Indian food, for instance. Just don’t count on it happening frequently.
Ultimately, the moral of the story is that if you really want a Special Buy item from Aldi, buy it right away when you see it in the store because it won’t last. Sure, it might get discounted if you wait a while and you’ll get an even better deal, but once it’s gone, that’s it. (And if it’s a food item with a long shelf life, buy multiples so you’ll have enough to last until the next time it appears in stores.)