4 ways to clear slow-moving consignment inventory
March 21, 2018
Slow-moving consignment inventory hurts more than your bottom line
Like all of us, I love to trek through antique malls, thrift shops and consignment stores. It’s all about the hunt for hidden treasure, right? But when I enter a store numerous times and see the same merchandise at the door, I question whether there’s any treasure left. After all, if the same items sit week after week or even month after month in the same spot, no one must be shopping there anymore. Slow-moving consignment inventory hurts more than your sales numbers. If you want your shop to look fresh, busy and popular, you have to keep your merchandise moving. Here are 4 ways to clear it out.
If it won’t move out the door, move it around the room
Inventory can become stale if it sits in one place too long. Sometimes, all it takes is moving merchandise to another location for it to even be noticed. If you must keep it in the same place due to size, weight, etc., create new signage, lighting or redesign a backdrop. Anything that brings new attention to old inventory is a must. If possible, shift slow-moving consignment inventory closer to the door for maximum exposure.
Everybody loves a “freebie”
No store wants to purposely give product away. However, if you have merchandise that simply isn’t moving, it’s time to pair it with other items. By offering a “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” deal, your sales margins will be lower, but you’ll be moving inventory. Shoppers love the idea of getting something “free” too. Bundle an older item with new merchandise to give it a fresh look. Plus, reduce the price for the package and customers will love you for the deal you gave.
It may be time for a special sale
Traditionally, most consignment stores work on a 30, 60 or 90-day pricing period. By the end of a designated time, merchandise is automatically reduced. Sometimes, particularly slow-moving consignment inventory needs special sales incentives. Be sure to randomly schedule special sales so your customers aren’t waiting to make a purchase. Read 17 brilliant ideas for inventory reduction for some fun quick sale ideas. A pop-up or flash sale is exciting, but if you don’t have a strong social media following, it will flop. Be sure you’re prepared with outdoor signage (read Consignment marketing on a tight budget for some guerrilla marketing tactics), social media posts and an email blast when the need for a special sale arises.
Let the IRS take care of you
When all else fails, it may be necessary to donate slow-moving consignment inventory. If you’ve already marked items down through your existing discount schedule and they still haven’t sold, it’s time to hand it over to a charity. By donating, you’ll not only clear your sales floor, but you’ll receive a tax deduction as well. Be sure you choose an IRS-qualified charity. The amount you can deduct can change according to how you’ve set up your business, so check with your accountant to find out what is available to you. Make sure your rules for donating are clearly stated in your consignment contract.
I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.
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