December 31, 2019 by Ben Chafetz

How to Get Rid of Dead Stock

Out with old, in with new…stock, that is.

As 2020 gets underway, you need to make sure that you’ve got space for all the items that you plan to sell this year.

So, what should you do if your store has some items that aren’t selling well?

Here are seven easy-to-implement ideas on what to do with your dead stock and poorly-selling items.

1. Create Bundle or “Grab Bag” Deals

This is a fun and clever way to sell a high volume of items from your Magento store without taking too much of a hit on profits. With a “Grab Bag” deal, you can put together a bundle of items that aren’t selling well, and sell it for a low percentage of the value of its contents. 

For example, if you run a fitness web store, and you have some water bottles, jump rope, exercise bands and other equipment that’s not selling well, you can bundle it all together and sell it for a big discount as an “exercise bundle.” 

This is similar to the Japanese tradition of “Fukubukuro” or “Lucky Bags.” These bags are sold by merchants at Japanese New Year and are filled with a wide variety of items. They usually go for at least 50% off MSRP. Customers who are looking for a great deal are happy to buy them, even though they have no idea what they’re going to get.

You get to clear out some of your old stock, and your customers will get a great deal on their purchase – it’s a win-win. And though your profit margins may take a hit, it’s better than paying high warehouse fees to store items that aren’t selling. 

2. Add Your Items As Up-Sells, Cross-Sells Or Related Products On Magento

One of the best ways to help promote items that aren’t selling well on Magento is by adding them as up-sells, cross-sells, or related products. This helps promote the item more effectively – particularly if you attach it to your store’s most popular products.

3. Send Free Gifts to Encourage Customer Loyalty

This is a super-easy way to build customer loyalty and delight your customers. This strategy works best with items that are small, inexpensive, and relatively cheap to ship.

Whenever a customer places an order, you can simply include one of your unwanted items in the package – at no extra charge! You could even add a slip of paper or note thanking them for shopping at your store, and explaining that they’re getting a free gift as a “thank you!” 

Even if the item you send is inexpensive, didn’t sell well, or is not the best quality, your customers will still be appreciative – after all, everybody loves free stuff.

Not only that, but free gifts are one of the top ways to encourage customer loyalty. Statistics from Access Development found that 61% of customers were much more likely to engage with a particular brand or store after getting a free gift.

4. Have a Blowout Sale (and Don’t Allow Returns for Clearance Items)

If some of your items haven’t been selling well, it may be time to give them a hefty discount for blowout sale. We recommend setting up a separate “clearance” or “final sale” section for these items, and discounting them heavily – 70% or more may be a good choice, depending on how much you paid for them.

These kinds of deep discounts may be just what you need to build buzz among customers and sell more of these products. Even if you don’t make money or take a small loss on the sale, you can get rid of your unwanted items and make room for more stock.

Also, make sure you change your return policy to disallow returns for clearance and “final sale” items. Doing so will help you avoid logistical difficulties, particularly if you will be discontinuing the item once it’s sold out.

5. Consider Running Product Giveaways on Social Media

This is another good way to build buzz among your customers. You could run a product giveaway on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – such as a costume contest – and give away prizes to the winner, or to all of the participants. This helps you get rid of deadstock goods quickly, and also attracts new customers to your store – another win-win. 

6. Return Unwanted Stock to Your Supplier 

Obviously, this may not be realistic in some cases. But if your products are defective, or they simply are not selling well and you purchased them relatively recently, it may be possible to return them to a supplier for a refund.

This depends on your manufacturer’s RMA policy, of course – but it doesn’t hurt to check. Even if you can only return some of the items that aren’t selling well, that’s a good thing. You’ll free up inventory space, and you won’t take a loss on the item.

7. Donate Your Unwanted Items For a Tax Break (and Good PR)

If none of the other options we mentioned worked, or you just feel like doing some good, you can donate your unwanted items. For example, if you run an online clothing shop, you could take all of the items that are not selling well, and donate them to a local charity.

If you record this donation, you may be able to get a tax break. You can also use this as an opportunity to get some good PR for your store – you can write some posts on your blog and social media about your donation, and how much good it will do in the local community. You might even want to contact your local news station to run a story. 

A donation is a much better option than simply throwing your items away. You’ll build goodwill among your customers, get a tax break, and know that your deadstock items are being put to good use. 

Follow These Tips – And Make More Room For New Items In Your Magento Store!

It’s never a good thing to have deadstock items that aren’t selling well – but with these tips, you can still make the most out of unwanted items from your Magento store, and prepare for 2020.

Looking for more Magento and eCommerce tips and tricks? Check out the 121eCommerce blog – you’re sure to find more helpful info you can use to boost sales.

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