Excess Inventory: Tips for Hosting an Online Inventory Liquidation

 Any business that is focused on selling products will eventually find themselves with too many inventory items that failed to sell — and in some cases, the items look as though they’ll never sell. Whether it’s because they’re an outdated model, old fashion or they’re not a popular ticket item, these excess inventory items are costing your business big in many ways.

 You pay to keep those items on-hand and naturally you paid to put them into your inventory; therefore, you need to get a return on that investment and that means hosting an online inventory liquidation. You already know the challenges of selling items that obviously didn’t sell before, but one of the best ways to make those outdated items appealing to buyers is through discounting. No matter what you do, don’t just toss that inventory away — find a way to maximize your return and minimize your losses.

Review Your Excess

There are some parts of your excess inventory that will be easier to sell than others. To make selling a little easier, break down your inventory into three or four categories, such as:

  • Sellable
  • Possible Sellers
  • Donation Pile

Items that are sellable are those that are likely to sell and are likely to encourage more customers. These are also items that you can maximize your advertising on, because you can offer a reduced price while showcasing the original price. Also, these items might be ones that outlet stores or even the manufacturer are willing to buy back from you.

Possible sellers are those that could potentially sell — if you reduce the price — or might be taken by an outlet or manufacturer.

The donation pile is for items that are unlikely to sell. While you might be able to sell off one or two of these items, it’s unlikely you’ll get much money for them (often less than a penny on the dollar). These might be better to donate to charities or thrift shops and you can use that donation on your taxes.

 Discount Slowly

While a heavy discount is standard in an online inventory liquidation, you need to discount slowly. Remember you’re trying to minimize your losses on this merchandise. Start by discounting your “sellable” items at 25 to 30 percent off and see if you get any bites. If you do, leave that discounted price in place. For your “possible sellers” you’ll want to start with a heavier discount, such as 50 to 70 percent just to get some traffic.

Wait and see if you get any attention or sales on your discounted prices. If items are selling, leave them priced as-is until the sales begin to drop off. Then, slowly discount your items more until selling picks back up and your inventory is cleared.

Advertise Aggressively

An online inventory liquidation should be considered a prime opportunity for aggressive advertising. You can get a lot of attention with liquidation prices and the more attention your site gets, the more potential return customers you can get too. Put some effort into marketing your sale and use words that attract money-conscious consumers, such as “liquidation sale”, “heavily reduced prices”, etc.

 Determine What Happened

If you’ve noticed you have an excess inventory or a large volume of products you’re including in your online inventory liquidation, you need to assess where you went wrong and why you didn’t sell those products from the start. Was it poor advertising? Were your products heavily marked up? Or perhaps you just purchased too many?

Find ways to avoid excess inventory in the future. While you can always use an online inventory liquidation to clear out old stock, it is best to sell your stock the first go around — and without heavy discount.

 

 

 

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