Make the Calendar Your New BFF
This is the time of year when businesses should be getting rid of as much inventory as possible. Instead, many will be focused on moving their current, trendy inventory, while other stuff in the back of the store or in the warehouse gets stale, losing value hand over fist.
The margins might be better on newer, cooler products, but the longer you wait, the more quickly the value diminishes on some of your slow-moving product.
You know who know this very well?
It’s the busiest time of the year for shopping, yet car companies are still able to get people to buy a CAR.
Vehicles are clearly one of the most costly expenses consumers take on, and yet the commercials blast on and entice consumers to spend baby, spend. Maybe that’s okay, as there are some times when a good deal can be found, so certainly, times of year the folks at USAA say that ginormous purchase should be avoided.
This post is not a discussion on how you can get the most return on your inventory.
This post IS about moving inventory that has stalled out and is not adding to your bottomline at this very moment.
It’s about selling off products you don’t want to have lingering around any more, while getting some return on them at the same time.
The inspiration for this post came when I was watching The Profit (Marcus Leonis), the Blues Jean Bar episode that aired in Nov. 2015. I’ll tell you now, if you don’t watch this, but consider yourself an entrepreneur, do yourself a favor and queue it up. Every episode is packed with wisdom.
In this particular episode, Marcus noticed his new business partner had a giant stash of dead product.
It was taking up shelf space in the storage area and it’s value was going down quickly because it was product that hadn’t appealed to the store’s customers previously. Forget about the poor choice of this inventory in the first place; the issue at hand is inventory that has no value until it is actually sold.
And that’s what happened.
Marcus had a big sale, with something crazy like $5 jeans. What happened?
All the old stock was sold off and the shelves and resources were freed up for better quality inventory to take its place.
Tip 1: Sell your stale inventory off for cheap. The point and goal is to move it out and get that income on your books so you generate some income to include in your operating capital.
I liken this scenario to my love, but pathetic use of avocados.
I LOVE me some avocados.
The problem is that where I live, they often times arrive at my grocer way too firm, so I can’t put them in a dish right away.
I’ve got to wait a few days until they ripen.
So they sit.
And they sit some more.
And I’ve cooked 6 or so meals since the sitting began, and well, forgot about that avocado sitting in the bowl on my table.
Uh oh, what the hell?!
This avocado is shot; I can’t eat it now.
Your inventory is the same, so keep the stuff rotating and moving all year long, so it doesn’t go so stale you can’t get anything out of it.
Is There Power in This Outlet?
Now you might have had your own deal online, and that’s great, but many small businesses get pretty anxious about cutting their prices too much during those days. Some will say their competition will beat them out or Amazon is too powerful.
Some will only make a slight change in their pricing, stating their margins aren’t large enough.
Make any excuse you want, but the truth is people DO shop online, and they do it YEAR ROUND.
So here’s what you can do. Sell your stale inventory at a greatly reduced price on your website.
Tip 2: Set up an Outlet Section on your website, with steep discounts. Kick in some free or discount shipping to sweeten the deal.
This might be the time you both MOVE product AND get a new customer for life!
What is that worth?
A bit of lost margins?
How many more times will this customer convert for you?
Who knows, but if you move this stale inventory, you win regardless if you got to keep them long term.
Grab Your Partner, Do-Si-Do
Think of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: luscious chocolate and peanut butter collide, and you’d not even think twice about how wonderfully they are paired together, only that it’s perfect and meant to be.
You might have products like this, and bringing them together can maybe even create a pairing your customer might need or never considered.
Here’s an example, and it’s actually real-life.
I recently bought a new laptop and needed a docking station to go with it.
I would have appreciated if the merchant had a docking station right alongside this beauty, but instead, I had to search a bit, and get one delivered…separately…from a different vendor. Get it?
It’s a lot more work for me, the consumer, to put this stuff altogether, but for the people with the goods, you already know what goes with what.
And using this scenario, you could…
Tip 3: Bundle slow-moving or stale complementary products for sale at a great price.
Oh, I just thought of another example!
Near me is a place called Indulge Bakery, and they have *amazing* pastries, cakes and croissants.
They conduct a sale they call “Day Old Surprise”, where they bundle usually 12 items and charge $4-5/box. Each of the items, when uber fresh, easily cost $1.50-3.50 a piece, and I’m not wearing my math hat at that moment, but that’s some steep savings.
Note: Cool photos for this piece attributed to the following: