If you’re a manufacturer or retailer of consumer goods—be it anything from tote bags to toaster ovens—you do your best to keep popular items available to your distributors and customers. Perhaps even tougher than picking the hot sellers? Knowing when to liquidate inventory that didn’t sell—and how to do so when the time comes. And as daunting as it might seem, it doesn’t have to be a painful process.

If you’re experiencing certain issues as a retailer or manufacturer, it may be time to liquidate or readdress how you manage all that excess inventory. In this article we’ll break down:

  • Struggles with warehousing and storing goods
  • Why outlets might not be a solution
  • The opportunity cost of inventory
  • The environmental effect of unsold merchandise
  • How B-Stock can relieve your inventory troubles

Liquidate Inventory If You’re Out of Space

One of the biggest problems with unsold inventory is that it takes up valuable space. Shuffling returns and overstock around from warehouse to warehouse is hardly sustainable for your business considering that you need to pay drivers or shipping services, maintain storage space, and make room for new merchandise.

And if large multi-location businesses feel the strain of these practices, small businesses feel it doubly. Even if a more established operation doesn’t have warehouses, they may at least have a back corner free where they can sell discounted scratch-and-dent inventory. A local mom-and-pop shop may not have this luxury. When space is short, businesses need to be all the more careful with how they use it and hang onto only those items that they can quickly sell at full price.

Outlet Stores a Drain on Business? Change It Up

If you’re a manufacturer, you’ve probably explored the idea of opening outlets—that is, if you don’t have them already. These brick-and-mortar stores can be an effective way to move deeply discounted excess inventory. Additionally, shoppers are often brand fans that love a bargain.

Even so, this model doesn’t make your stock accessible to nearly as many people as it could with, say, an online auction. You still need to buy or rent a space of some kind, track inventory, set up a payment system, and hire and retain employees to run it all.

If you do have this sort of operation, make a habit of regularly reevaluating. It’s ultimately a distraction from your core business and even if your outlets do keep inventory moving at a decent pace, it may not be quite fast enough or bring in enough cash to warrant keeping such a place open.

If You’re Eating Opportunity Costs, Recover and Move On

When thinking about the inventory you sell–or don’t sell—it’s important to consider not just what you spend to hang onto it, but also the opportunity cost of keeping it all around. That means asking yourself the questions, “Is all the space and money that I have tied up in this inventory worth it? Could we be turning these resources into an opportunity for my company?

If you could recoup a portion of inventory’s value while eliminating logistical burdens you’d be able to house more of the products that consumers love. And once you have a solid plan on how to move and liquidate inventory, you’ll feel empowered to make bolder buying decisions that could pay off in a big way.

When in Doubt, Liquidate. Inventory Is an Environmental Concern

According to the latest EPA data, 17 million tons of textiles went into landfills? Much of this was simply unsold merchandise that brands and retailers could not move out.

When you cut your losses and trash such inventory, your business isn’t the only thing affected. In doing so, you are actively harming the environment. Many types of apparel, for just one example, won’t degrade for hundreds of years and fill the earth and oceans with microplastics in the meantime.

To make a business case for a greener approach, retailers and manufacturers should know that consumers care about your practices. They are really quite wary of companies that don’t make an environmental effort. One recent worldwide study shows that 70% of consumers in the US and Canada believe it is important that a brand is eco-friendly. Nearly 80% want to know the origin of the products they buy, and a majority of those would be willing to pay a premium for brands that were transparent.

Although these figures might not be directly applicable to your company, they should illustrate where customers’ heads are these days. How would they feel if they knew you had sent perfectly good merchandise to a landfill?

Frustrated With Traditional Liquidators? Take it Online

Perhaps you’ve tried to address the inventory management problems you’ve experienced in the past, including those listed above. While you’re right that liquidation is the way to go, you may feel burned by your past or current partners.

Traditional liquidators make low offers on your excess inventory and then sell it at a markup. They may even be the first in a chain of middlemen each taking their cut of your products’ value. Further, they often don’t care to negotiate on price, leaving you to seek other liquidators if you want better deals. Then it’s on you to maintain those relationships in case your primary buyer closes down their operation. Finally, these partners rarely give you any control over what happens to your goods after they take them, potentially harming your brand reputation.

B-Stock online auctions just might be your solution to each of these issues and more.

Capitalize on the Huge Appetite for Excess Goods

Not sure of the demand for your excess stock? Have no fear. The secondary market continues to grow year over year. In 2021, B-Stock’s network of hundreds of thousands of buyers is hungrier than ever for your inventory.

In fact, a majority of B-Stock buyers surveyed believe that purchasing is the best way to grow their businesses. More than 80% expect higher revenues in 2022, and 70% of those buyers said they plan to increase the amount of inventory they purchase.

Turn to B-Stock When You Liquidate Inventory

With B-Stock’s online auctions, thousands of vetted buyers can compete over your listing whether it’s a single pallet or a truckload of excess inventory. Instead of settling for the most a liquidator will pay, you’re assured the highest price the market will deliver. In fact, sellers can recover an additional 30% or more value compared to traditional liquidation channels.

Whether you’re looking to clear space, reclaim some cash, or go greener, B-Stock is your best bet. To learn more, connect with us today.


Editorial Team


B-Stock Editorial Team

More from the B-Stock Blog

Podcast: Addressing Excess Inventory With B-Stock Solutions
Podcast: Addressing Excess Inventory With B-Stock Solutions

While the matter of what to do with slow-moving and unsold consumer goods is a constant challenge for brands and retailers, it’s also a very common one. That’s why leaders from recommerce organizations like B-Stock are working to develop smart,…

May 15 2024 · 1 min read

Name Brand Liquidations Are Happening Every Day
Name Brand Liquidations Are Happening Every Day

Name brand liquidations – it sounds exciting, and it is. It refers to the process where well-known brands sell their unsold, overstocked, or returned products at significantly reduced prices. Most of the world’s largest retailers all liquidate. That’s right –…

May 08 2024 · 4 min read

Solving the Sustainability Problem
Solving the Sustainability Problem

Apr 17 2024 · 0 min read

Like what you see?

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news from B-Stock.