Even the best planned inventory can sometimes end up with an overstock of seasonal items and we present four ways you can solve your overstock issues.
If you run a business buying and selling goods you’ll know how difficult it is to accurately judge stock levels. For non-seasonal goods, you can keep a fairly level quantity of stock and top it up as it gets sold and your day to day sales will give you a pretty good idea of the future. Seasonal items are trickier to judge. At the start of the season you need to make sure you have plenty but by the end of the season you can often find you have too many.
Seasonal overstock happens to even the best run stockrooms from time to time. Customers can be fickle and it only takes one comment from a celebrity about how terrible they think tinsel or cardboard skeletons look to make those items unpopular. Here we suggest four things you can try to ease your overstock problem.
Keep It Until Next Year
Many seasonal items don’t go out of date and even if they didn’t sell well this year, may well sell better next. If you haven’t got enough room in your stockroom, cheap rents mean you could use a business self-storage to keep them in tip-top condition until market conditions are more favourable. Modern self-storage premises incorporate temperature and humidity controls and are secured to protect your items so you can pile them up and leave them until you need them.
Have an End of Season Sale
For items that date your best alternative is to put them on sale and try to shift as much as possible. Timing is crucial here as customers looking for a bargain still want to be able to get some use out of the item. Make sure you plan to discount date-sensitive items well before they become unusable.
Another option to sell directly, is to set up an online marketplace for your excess items. Plenty of online shoppers look for out of season bargains – buying Christmas decorations in February and skiwear in June – and if you have seasonal items you can tap into this market with very little extra overheads.
Offload It to An Overstock Procurement Agency
There are companies out there that specialise in buying your overstock and selling it on, either immediately or when the time is right. If storing is not cost effective, and even on sale they aren’t selling, this could be a way to recoup some of the capital tied up in the stock and free up space in your stockroom for goods you can sell. If you have plenty of stock they may even come and collect it from you. Just be careful not to contact too many agencies at once – they use shared databases to gauge how much interest and availability there is of various items and you could inadvertently drive the price down.
Sale or Return
Now is the time to get rereading the terms and conditions with your suppliers. You may find that you can return excess stock to them, although you will typically be charged a restocking fee of a certain percentage of the order value, and will probably have to arrange delivery.