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How to Sell Excess Inventory: 10 Strategies That Work

If you end up with more products than you can sell, it can be very frustrating. Perhaps your products are seasonally dependent and your sales don’t match your projections, or maybe you miscalculated your production and ended up with more materials than you needed. In any case, you need to know how to sell excess inventory quickly to unload them.

There are a few different strategies that can help you sell off excess inventory quickly. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 of the most effective tips on how to sell excess inventory, clear out your shelves and free up cash flow for other areas of your business.

What is excess inventory?

Excess inventory is the number of items that a company has on hand that exceed the number of items that it needs to meet customer demand. Excess inventory is the number of items that a company has on hand that it doesn’t need to meet customer demand.

If unsold stock is not moved, it will lose value and eventually become worthless.

It hasn’t sold for a long time, and it’s time to get rid of it. It’s referred to as “deadstock” and is removed from a company’s account.

The main problem that comes with excess inventory is that it’s usually not in demand anymore. So you’re stuck with a bunch of products that you already bought, but no one wants to buy them.

And you have to pay to store it, which limits your ability to replace it with new, more in-demand products.

Having too much stock on hand can cut your profits.

When you have a surplus of a product, you probably won’t want to sell it. But when you have inventory that you can’t sell, you’re probably going to want to get rid of that product.

Inventory management is one of the most difficult aspects of running a small business. It’s tricky because you don’t want to run out of stock, but you also don’t want to overstock items.

You want to have just the right amount of inventory, so that you can fulfill all your orders, without having too much leftover.

Data science can help small businesses save 10-20% on their annual inventories. Even if your business operates on a pure made-to-order basis, you can still benefit from using data analysis. Proper inventory management is vital to the success of a small business, and data scientists can play a big part in that.

Inventory management is key to the success of small businesses, as companies with low levels and high levels of stock perform better than those with high levels of both.

How To Sell Excess Inventory

When you see a sign in a window advertising a sale, are you more likely to go in or stay away? 

how to sell excess inventoryHere are 10 strategies that you can use to sell your excess inventory…

1. Sell online

You can create an e-commerce website or use a marketplace like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.

2. Offer sales

Your slimmer profit margins are still better than having unsold items just sitting around.

When planning your sales you need to be smart. Don’t just have a promotion to sell off old inventory. Be creative with your promotions. Some of the most successful kinds of sales are:

Clearance sales: is when you offer discounts to customers on items that have been sitting in your inventory for a while.

A seasonal or holiday promotion: is when you discount products around a specific time of year.

A flash or one-day-only deal: is when you advertise a sale that is only good for one day.

3. Bulk discounts

If you purchase products in bulk, you are eligible for a volume discount. The same goes for our customers!

If you have a significant excess inventory problem, offer customers a discount for buying multiple units.

A BOGO sale is great, but consider getting even more bang for your buck by progressive discounts! For instance, if a customer buys three units they get 30% off, four units get them 40% off, and 50% off if they buy five or more units. So take advantage of those big sales and stock up!

Bulk discounts are a great way to move extra stock and entice your customers into buying more than they originally intended.

4. Give products extra exposure

This strategy is mostly for retail businesses but you might be able to adapt it to your own situation.

Retailer and merchandising consultant, Christine Guillot, has some great advice for moving your stock. She recommends putting the same item in multiple locations in your store, as this will expose it to more people. So, if you have a great new product, don’t be shy about putting it out there!

Making sure something can’t be overlooked is sometimes all it takes to sell more of it.

5. Product bundling

If you have products that complement each other, consider bundling them together and offering them at a slightly lower price than if they were purchased separately. This can help you sell slow-moving products without taking a hit on the profits.

You don’t have to bundle your excess stock with complimentary items, though. Often, just seeing a low price is enough to make someone buy.

You may be able to increase your sales by offering a slow-moving product as a discounted upsell to anyone who is already making a purchase.

6. Remarketing

If you’re finding your marketing strategy isn’t working, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. If you sell your products both online and offline, try the following:

Add new products that compliment your existing ones. Re-evaluate your target market and make sure you’re reaching them where they are. If you’re not seeing the results you want from your marketing efforts, it may be time to try something new.

Review your strategy and consider making some changes, such as using different keywords, updating product photos or descriptions, changing the placement of items in your store, or adding new complementary products. It’s also important to make sure you’re targeting the right audience and reaching them where they are.

7. Inventory liquidation

When you have too many products that aren’t moving, consider liquidating them. This process involves selling them at a steep discount. You can do this online, or you could set up a store to sell them.

Sites such as liquidation.com or boxfox are online marketplaces for buying and selling surplus or overstock items. These sites allow businesses to sell everything from clothes to cleaning products.

8. Donate for a tax write-off

Donating your excess inventory is a great way to get rid of it, while also getting a tax write-off. This is a win-win situation for you and the charity you donate to.

Donating your overstock inventory to a nonprofit can help you earn tax deductions, clear up some space, and help out your community.

9. Run giveaways

A great way to show customers that you value them is by hosting giveaways. By offering your products for free, you can entice customers to keep coming back.

You can offer customers a freebie for every 15th purchase they make.

For more expensive items, consider running a contest. This is a good way to build a marketing list and clean out some excess stock. All you need are their email addresses or phone numbers.

10. Repackage as rewards or incentives

Some rewards have a short shelf life, like flowers and gift baskets. Other things, such as coupons, are longer lasting.

Using these products as rewards for long-time customers is a great way to keep them loyal and coming back to the store.


One way to incentivize new customers is by offering a gift when they bring in a new client or customer. This is an effective way to turn your excess inventory into something of value.


If you have excess inventory that you need to get rid of, try one of these 10 tips on how to sell excess inventory. From remarketing to repackaging, there’s a method here that will work for you.