Every distributor has been bogged down with slow-moving merchandise at one time or another. Remember when you purchased 10,000 pieces of that part you liked because of the special manufacturer’s deal you got, only to find the parts gathered dust in your warehouse for the next 3 years? Don’t worry: there are innovative ways to liquidate slow moving inventory, and if you need some guidance, your wholesale inventory management software can help you identify the items which move the slowest yet have the highest carrying costs.To begin with, break down your inventory according to typical ABC Inventory Stratification methodologies, or use another framework discussed in our inventory reduction article, which provides step-by-step advice about determining which items to target. 

Then, let go of your guilt, and recognize that you took a calculated risk which didn’t work and now the job at hand is to move these goods. Just follow these 4 liquidation tips to move your slow-moving merchandise out of your closets and into the hands of your customers:

  1. Give your customers a deal on the products you want to move. Depending on your margins, you can give your customers a percentage off, create a buy-one (case) get-one deal, or present added savings if they buy in higher quantities than their previous order. Price reduction is the best motivator for customers, so try to entice them with a sale. Even if your margins are slim on some of these products, it may be worth your while to discount them to clear room on your shelves for higher-margin, more popular items. Keep your warehouse staff informed so they are prepared to pack and ship those targeted items.
  2. Next to a great price, today’s customer can be tempted with breaks on shipping. For a limited time, take a page out of your retailer’s book and try getting creative with your shipping policies.For example, if you already offer two-day shipping, you could give them free next-day shipping on select items. Be certain to clarify that the shipping deal you decide upon as an exclusive offer is available only with the specific products you are targeting. As long as you clearly specify which items receive free shipping, there’s no reason why you have to offer it on other items. Alert your shipping staff about the shipping deal so they know what to expect. There’s nothing that will frustrate a customer more than being charged for something they were told they would get for free.
  3. Pair the ‘snails’ with some of your faster moving products. But before you decide which items to pair, think about how your retailer will be able to market and eventually sell these bundled items. If you have an idea, take the thinking our of their decision and suggest it to them. Your customers love ideas! Create a “hook” and be mindful to make the combination relevant. If you have an abundance of cheese graters, for instance, you could couple them with the cheese plates that are hot sellers. Your packing department will need a heads-up that these two items are being promoted together, so they can prepare the necessary packaging beforehand.
  4. If all else fails, sell your ‘sleepers’ via an online liquidation site. You can even create your company’s own liquidation site, either as a subdomain under your distribution company’s URL or a new one you create just for your liquidation items.

With just a little creative sales and marketing, you will be able to clear your shelves of those pesky, slower-moving items, and free-up cash you need for other, more important things in your business. For 3 decades, ADS Solutions has been the information technology backbone for growing wholesale distributors, providing powerful wholesale inventory management software, medical purchasing inventory software, irrigation supply software, restaurant equipment supply software, janitorial, paper & chemical supply ordering software, and accounting software for wholesale distribution.