How to market old inventory before the holidays

Stuck with hundreds of short-sleeved shirts in Chicago in September? Need to sell Thanksgiving gift baskets before Christmas? Here are 15 ways to move excess inventory quickly before the Holidays — while maintaining a profit.

1. Liquidate obsolete inventory.

If you have a large amount of inventory, consider selling it to a liquidator, who will buy in bulk, at discounted rates. While you won’t get full price, you will save time by selling all your excess merchandise at once. You may also be able to save on delivery costs.

2. Put it on E-Clearance.

If you don’t have a page on your site dedicated to discounted items, it’s time to create one. Consider this the “Sale” rack of your website—and get ready to see items go a lot faster. Make sure it’s easy to find your clearance page from anywhere on your website by adding it to your primary navigation.

3. Craigslist old inventory.

Many manufacturers and retailers use websites such as Craigslist, eBay and Overstock to sell excess merchandise, especially if you have just a few items that need to be sold.

4. Have a contest.

Advertise a competition, and award the items you need to sell as prizes. This is a fun way to bring attention to the items you wish to sell, making them more appealing to customers—and it will also make your loyal customers happy. Your contest can double up as a marketing campaign, increasing demand for slow-selling items. Post ads on social media, and email contest rules to your marketing contacts.

5. Reach out to influencers.

Influential bloggers and social media personalities that appeal to your target audience can be excellent spokes models for your brand. Identify one or more influencers in your market, and send them samples of the items you wish to sell, with a request that they review or mention it on their social sites.

6. Offer discounts for buying in bulk.

You have a lot of items to sell—so give discounts to customers who purchase more than one. BOGO offers and other discounts on bulk purchases are a great way to move more items, faster.

7. Reward your customers.

Loyalty programs can be highly effective in increasing sales and ensuring customers come back. To boost sales of items you need to move fast, offer double points for purchases of these items. Or, offer these items as “free gifts” with purchases that meet certain price thresholds.

8. Bundle old products up.

If items aren’t selling on their own, include them as part of “bundles” that give customers the perception of getting more value, for less.

9. Pop up where they least expect it.

Capitalize on the trend of “Pop-up stores” to boost your brand’s exposure and market your products in an unexpected place.

10. Give it away now.

Chances are, you won’t have to look far to find a nonprofit organization seeking donations for charity auctions, fundraiser “goody bags,” or people in your community in need of assistance. Donating to schools, libraries, community shelters and other organizations does good in two ways:

(1) It helps those in need, and (2) it raises your company’s community profile.

11. Take it away—and then give it back.

If a product is not selling, but has the potential to sell later, try removing it from your website and/or stores, and waiting several weeks later to bring it back. When you re-list the item, include a “Back in Stock” banner to create the perception of increased demand.

12) Put it next to something more popular.

Sometimes, just being close to a bestseller is enough to boost an item’s sales. Promote items you need to sell quickly alongside bestsellers, both online and in stores, if applicable. Hint: Customers are often most tempted at the checkout line.

13) Do a tradeout.

Maybe the merchandise you want to move isn’t selling at your store, but you know just the place where it might. Don’t be afraid to reach out to another retailer, and ask if you can trade some of your inventory with theirs. (After all, they may have old stock they wish to rotate, too—and a trade like this may be the fastest way to make both your old stock “new” again.)

14) Create a new ad.

Sure, it could be your product that isn’t selling—or, it could be the ad. Trade out an old image with a newer one, and update the marketing description to appeal to potential buyers.

15) Add keywords to products.

While you’re at it, take a look at the keyword strategy for the item you wish to sell. Identify the top keywords, and incorporate them into your website and product description, in order to sell the item faster.

Access Funding to Replenish Your Inventory

Can’t wait for last season’s merchandise to sell before you prepare for the next one? Good news: while clearing out your old inventory can be a lot of work, replenishing your business’s financing is much easier.

Fundomate makes it simple to access the funds your business needs. Just one quick application gives you access to more than 20 of the top lenders in the country, with funds available in as little as 24 hours after you’re approved.

Re-stock your working capital with Fundomate.