Homepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals have “inventory” sitting around in basements, garages, storage rooms, etc. These may be related to intended future projects, a business that didn’t work out or simply unsold product.
What to do with the extra “stuff” gathering dust and annoying your spouse, partner, employees or friends? The following article by Judith Aquino provides valuable suggestions for eliminating this problem and maybe bringing in some extra income. I would add that recycling unused metal products – steel, aluminum, copper, brass, etc – can result in a nice bonus. Want to make an extra $10, $20 or more? Consider taking all empty soda cans from employees or family members to local recyclers instead of putting them in your weekly recycle bin. Clean out those storage areas by donating usable goods to charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army or AmVets. Keep track of donations and write it off next year’s taxes. Goodwill provides a fair value list recognized by the IRS.
“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 your profits. This includes the cost of storing the stuff and the decreasing value of merchandise that’s perishable or becoming dated.
Here’s how to make the most of your excess inventory.
Sell it to an inventory liquidator
An inventory liquidator will buy your excess merchandise and re-sell it, oftentimes at a discount. There are several things to keep in mind if you decide to go with this option. First, make sure you know what the value is of your merchandise and how much you are asking for before entering into any negotiations.
If your inventory is particularly brand sensitive or includes other factors, then you also 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 your 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.
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 last 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 re-sold, such as flowers, fruit baskets, or other perishable items as rewards for your long-time customers or new customers.
Turn your 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.