“Inventory is money sitting around in a different form,” writes Rhonda Abrams in, “The Rhonda Report,” and unless you can sell it, excess inventory can be a huge drain on profits. This includes the cost of storage, and the decreasing value of merchandise that’s perishable or becoming dated. The following are suggestions on how to make the most of your excess inventory.
Sell It To A Liquidator. An inventory liquidator will buy your excess merchandise and resell it, oftentimes at a discount, but there are several things to keep in mind if you decide to go with this option. First, make sure you know the value of your merchandise and how much you’re asking before entering into negotiations. If your inventory is particularly brand sensitive or includes other factors, then you need to establish that going into the deal. “Even if the buyer gives you the highest price upfront, if they put your brand in jeopardy or compromise your current sales channels, then you still end up losing,” warns InventoryBuyer.Net. Consider the cost of delivering inventory to the buyer as well. If you need cash quickly, inventory liquidators can be helpful, but be aware of the risks.
Sell It Online. If you don’t have enough to sell to a liquidator, try selling your excess merchandise through third party sites. For single items, try listing products on eBay and Craigslist. Another marketplace for slightly larger quantities is Overstock.com.
Give Bulk Purchase Discounts. Motivate customers to buy more than one product or service by offering, “two for one,” or, “buy one, get one free,” discounts for bulk purchases.
Start Bundling. Similar to the bulk purchase, gather several products or services and sell them for an overall discount. Buyers often perceive this as getting more value for their money, and it moves a lot of merchandise at once, notes Abrams.
Offer Extremely Steep Discounts. We saw a lot of these when the recession was at its peak. Products were put on sale for unbelievably high discounts, sometimes as high as 50 percent or more. Only offer this type of sale for a short period and avoid doing it regularly, otherwise you will find it difficult to sell anything at full price.
Use as Rewards for Customers. Repackage products that cannot be resold, such as flowers, fruit baskets or other perishable items, as rewards for your long time customers or new customers.
Turn Excess Inventory Into Gifts for References. Use your products or services as an incentive to get customers to bring their friends. Consider offers like, “Get one free bag with each new client you refer to us.”
Give a Donation for Marketing Purposes. If you absolutely cannot sell the products or services, donate them to organizations and turn it into a public relations event to raise your visibility. Some examples include donations to local community events, schools or libraries. The preceding was from American Express’ Open Forum.