When your warehouse facility has finite shelf space, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Surplus inventory can occupy valuable storage space while tying up capital that warehouse staff could allocate to other purposes, such as updating equipment or logistics software. Fortunately, they can handle surplus inventory without throwing it away. Let’s explore some of the most effective solutions that warehouse managers can implement to take control of their inventory.
Cut Out the Intermediaries: Sell Surplus Inventory Online
E-commerce and closeouts are the perfect match. One way to deal with surplus inventory is to sell it online. Online marketplaces and auction sites allow you to list products for sale. This can be especially beneficial if you have seasonal or discontinued products that may be in demand outside of your usual customer base.
Alternatively, you can set up an online store and sell your surplus inventory directly to customers. If you have a loyal customer base or a niche market, they’ll really appreciate the deep discounts.
Have a Heart: Donate Surplus Inventory to Charity
Another option is to donate your surplus inventory to charity. Many non-profit organizations accept donations of new or unused items and distribute them to those in need. This approach can be an excellent way to dispose of your surplus, help the community, and gain positive publicity for your company. You might be able to take a tax deduction for your donations!
But Wait, There’s More: Offer Surplus Inventory as Incentives
You can also use your surplus inventory as incentives to encourage customers to make purchases. This can be particularly effective for slow-moving inventory, as it can generate sales and free up storage space. Consider offering free gifts with purchases or discounts for bulk orders. This approach can be especially useful for seasonal items or things nearing their expiration dates.
Save It for a Rainy Day: Temporarily Expand Your Storage Capacity
Not ready to part with inventory permanently? Think outside the warehouse. Creative solutions to expand your capacity allow you to keep goods on hand without selling them at a deep discount or giving them away altogether. For instance, a commercial storage tent can mitigate production issues and handle overstock if you have the outdoor space to spare.
Everything Must Go: Liquidation Specialists
Another way to handle surplus inventory without throwing it away involves working with a third-party liquidator to dispose of your surplus. These companies specialize in buying or selling surplus or overstocked products. They will typically purchase your inventory at a lower cost and resell it to retailers or other distributors. While this approach may not generate the highest profit margins, it can be an effective way to quickly dispose of unwanted inventory—and in the warehouse industry, storage space is money.