Walmart Out Of Stock: Meaning, Factors Responsible, What To Do & Restocking Schedule

The Walmart marketplace sells its products and items owned by third-party retailers. For some reason, any of these item categories may be out of stock before or after you place an order. What does it mean, and how can it be resolved? 

When an item features the ”out of stock” label, it means it is currently unavailable. In most cases, customers see this status before placing their order. 

However, if a product becomes unavailable after you have placed an order, it means the item ran out of stock before it could be processed. 

This guide explains what it means for an item to be out of stock at Walmart, the factors usually responsible, and how to proceed with such a situation. You will also discover how long it takes Walmart to restock unavailable products. 

What Does Out of Stock Mean at Walmart? 


When an item is out of stock at Walmart, it means it is currently unavailable at the Walmart or third-party warehouse. Unlike other popular retailers, you cannot purchase an out-of-stock item at Walmart. 

If the item becomes out of stock after you have placed an order, Walmart will send an order cancellation email and process your refund. To stay informed about the package’s status, you need to click the “Notify Me” box. 

By subscribing (freely) to this service, you will receive an alert from Walmart immediately after the product is available. 

Why Do Items Go Out of Stock at Walmart? 

Items go out of stock at Walmart for different reasons. Below are common factors that may be responsible: 

1. High demand for the product 

One of the primary reasons items get out of stock at Walmart is when there is an increase in demand for a product or a group of products. This quick stock depletion may be due to a discount or promotion linked to the product. 

2. Supplier issues 

Ideally, Walmart tries to restock items before they get out of stock. However, the process may be sluggish due to industrial actions, transportation delays, or lack of raw materials from the supplier’s end.

Suppliers also face financial difficulties and quality concerns and may need to recall their products from major stores like Walmart and Amazon. 

3. Seasonal products 

If you are targeting a seasonal product, there is always a chance that such a product will be out of stock sooner than you think. Hence, it is advisable to decide fast when buying seasonal items. 

4. Discontinuation 

Walmart also reserves the right to discontinue any product they find unsatisfactory. This may be because the item receives too many complaints or there is not enough sales. Discontinuation may also be due to a strategy modification from Walmart or the seller. 

5. Non-compliance 

Walmart prioritizes compliance. A product may be temporarily unavailable if it does not meet the regulatory standards or needs to be adjusted. This is one of the reasons a package may be out of stock and restocked the same day. 

What to Do When an Item is Out of Stock at Walmart  

1. Be patient and keep an eye on the listing 

Walmart expects you to be patient and keep an eye on a product that is out of stock. This is because such listings will be restocked within hours or days. You should consider this option if you are interested in a discounted or promotional sale. 

2. Check out other retailers 

If you need the item or product urgently, patience may not be the ideal option. Instead, you should check other online retailers or e-commerce stores like Amazon and Kroger. In addition, you can visit local stores near you to look for the item. 

3. Use the Notify Me option 

Another option is to use the Walmart “Notify Me” option to join a waitlist of buyers. This option is always located near the product’s page. You only need to tick the box and enter your email to be alerted by Walmart once the product is available. 

4. Buy an alternative 

Buying an alternative or the same product from another brand is another option if it will not disrupt your aim. However, before buying a different brand, ensure you verify their quality via general ratings and reviews. 

5. Contact customer service 

This can be handy if you wish to know when the package will be restocked or why it is generally currently out of stock at Walmart. In other words, this can serve as an alternative to the “Notify Me” option for those who habitually neglect emails. 

How Long Does It Take Walmart to Restock? 


Restocking speed at Walmart varies depending on the location, product demand, and supply chain efficiency. Nevertheless, you can expect an item to be restocked within 2 days or a week if there are no issues. 

You should also note that Walmart executes most of its restocking activities overnight and completes them before 7 am. Hence, shopping in the morning is a practice that guarantees that you will find the items you need before they become unavailable. 


Does Walmart restock every day?

Walmart restocks groceries and other perishable items daily. On the other hand, general merchandise like clothing, electronics, and home appliances get restocked based on availability on weekdays and overnight. 

Why are Walmart shoppers finding more items out of stock?

This is becoming common because retailers can now tweak their inventory page settings to avoid orders considered too expensive to ship. By claiming the item is “out of stock”, they get to avoid incurring losses or forcing buyers to adjust their orders. 

How does Walmart keep inventory?

Walmart uses an inventory management system called RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification.) This system keeps track of inventory (via radio waves) thanks to the RFID tag attached to a product. 

In a Nutshell

When an item is out of stock at Walmart, you cannot place an order until it is restocked. This is the major difference between how it works at Walmart and other popular stores like Amazon. 

However, there is the “Notify Me” option that will alert you once the item is available. In addition, you can buy from other stores or get a replacement if you need the item urgently or it has been recalled for quality assessment by the manufacturer.

I hope you found this guide helpful. For further reading, here are 13 ways to get free products at Walmart

Thanks for reading.