Just as consumer demand leads the course of product development, so too does it guide the course of product disposal. Today, consumers are likely to spend more money with their favorite retailers if those retailers sell secondhand apparel or have an environmentally conscious way of dealing with returned and excess stock. As it turns out, the practice of landfilling or destroying inventory in an attempt to protect brand integrity is actually detrimental to brand reputation by today’s standards. 

As a result, brands are starting to opt for more sustainable practices to handle their returned and excess stock—to increase positive brand recognition and loyalty—and they’re also implementing these processes to fit in with new legislation being introduced worldwide which bans retailers from sending overstock to waste. 

With consumer expectations of sustainability and new legislation worldwide, retailers globally are being pushed to become more environmentally friendly. This means they need to consider the avenues in place to reduce overstock inventory sustainably. The problem is, overstocked warehouses are not conducive for profits, and the landfill is not an option for reputation. So how can retailers sustainably offload excess inventory and maintain a strong brand presence—all while minimizing financial loss? If done right, a B2B private, online auction marketplace can be a viable sales channel.

Nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers are currently using branded, online auction B2B marketplaces to sell their excess and returned inventory. These marketplaces are customized, integrated, and scaled based on the retailer’s unique needs—think of it like your own storefront to sell returned, excess, or other b-stock inventory. They also allow total control over who is buying the inventory and how it enters the secondary market.

Here’s how and why it works:

Higher Pricing
If done right, a B2B offset substantial loss for returned or excess inventory, even comparable to reprocessing back on shelf or returning to vendor. By setting up an online auction dynamic where specifically targeted buyers compete to buy your merchandise, pricing goes up.

Channel Control
Exposure to the right buyers ensures there is no confusion between primary (a-stock) or secondary (b-stock) channels and that your brand remains secure. By marketing to a database of targeted, vetted secondary market buyers you can control who sees your merchandise and who is allowed to buy it.

With a larger buyer base made up of the right buyers you can move inventory as needed—regardless of volume, time of year, or product category.

By automating your liquidation process, you’ll improve the operational efficiency of your liquidation program. No more spreadsheets. No more faxing. No more negotiating over the phone.

Online Auction Dynamic
Increased competition through auctions means higher pricing; it also drives velocity, creates a sense of urgency and excitement. Auctions also mean no offline negotiating: you’ll be able to extract buyers’ highest willingness to pay and have real data on secondary market prices.

Bypass the landfill. A robust buyer base exists for just about every product regardless of condition, style, or brand. From salvage and discount store owners to online sellers to mom-and-pop shops, refurbishers and exporters, you’ll have direct access to a large buyer pool.

Highlights from 2019 B-Stock stats include: 

  • 400 million pounds of merchandise sold—the weight of 29 Eiffel towers 
  • 50 million units of apparel sold—more than enough to give every person in Spain an item of clothing 
  • 5 million+ items saved from the landfill—more than the population of Los Angeles 

To learn how you can join us in helping the planet one item at a time while offsetting loss, request a demo.

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