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    How much money do you have tied up right now in overstock inventory? Perhaps you overestimated demand and simply ordered too much. Or maybe you’ve been seeing a lot of returns because the quality of a product is not what it should be.

    It doesn’t particularly matter why you have overstock inventory. What matters is that you paid for it, and now it’s costing you more money because it’s taking up space you could otherwise use for new merchandise that would, one hopes, sell better.

    Here are a few proven strategies for how to sell overstock inventory, regardless of what types of products you offer—clothing, home goods, hardware, electronics, sporting goods, you name it.

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    In-Store Promotions

    Retailers with brick and mortar stores use a variety of promotional strategies for selling overstock inventory. Customers love a big blowout sale, and holding one from time to time, when overstock inventory builds up and you’re willing to slash prices to move it out, makes a lot of sense.

    Offer Bulk Discounts

    Grocery stores are well known for offering BOGO (Buy One Get One) sales to clear out overstock. Retailers of all sorts use this strategy by offering a discount on purchases of multiple units of the same overstock item, such as 15% off on two, or 30% off on four—the more items purchased, the higher the discount percentage.

    Product Bundling

    Try bundling overstocked items with related products to create appealing package deals. By itself, a slow-moving item that is receiving little attention, even at a discounted price, may be viewed in a completely different light when bundled with something that suggests a particular use. For example, an overstocked set of wine glasses tucked inside a picnic basket with a corkscrew becomes an interesting gift idea.


    Many people prefer to buy from businesses with a reputation for social responsibility, and donating overstock inventory to charitable organizations demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and to the community. The National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources accepts donations of overstock inventory and makes them available to schools, churches, and other nonprofit entities. In addition to clearing out overstock items, donors benefit from the resulting tax deductions.

    B2C Online Sales

    Many retailers also have an online store and/or social media account where they can run flash sales or other promotions to clear out overstock items. Those that don’t have an online store can sell directly to customers through online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Selling overstock inventory on social media also is a common strategy employed by retailers.

    B2B Online Sales

    Many retailers prefer to sell off their overstock inventory of a particular item in a single transaction to another business. This approach allows the seller to recapture cash much faster than would be possible selling the same items one at a time to individual buyers. Some large retailers maintain their own B2B websites for this purpose, but smaller ones may offer B2B sales through their social media pages or online marketplaces like eBay.