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Boost Sales With Old Inventory

Posted by Liz Schulte on 3/16/17 5:30 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, college retail, inventory management

Old inventory is costing your college store money. Every day merchandise sits unseen on shelves, it becomes dated. The longer it stays there, the less likely it will sell. You can either continue to let it take up valuable space, or you can form a plan to move the unwanted stock. Below are four ways you can use your unsold products to generate more sales.

Boost Sales With Old Inventory

  1. Sales
    Marking down the merchandise you would like to move is a great idea, but don’t be afraid to go even further. Consider bundling related merchandise to sell as a pack that will give the customer a sense of getting more for their money. Aim to move multiple products at once while increasing the perceived value of the products by having a buy two-get-one sale. Have a little fun and put together mystery grab bags that are sold for one set price in celebration of National Take a Chance Day (April 23). Come up with fun and creative ways to offer your customers great deals. When Dakota State University Bookstore wanted to clear out their inventory, they took a creative approach. Hosting a Pawn Star Sale, they manage to triple sales and moved a lot of their old stock out of their store.
  2. Rewards
    “Buy $50 worth of merchandise and get a free t-shirt, while supplies last.” Consider using old merchandise as an incentive for sales. Not only will the customer be happy because they are buying the newer merchandise that they want, but there is added value to the purchase because they received something for free. This goodwill will translate into more loyal customers who will want to come back to your store time and again. Also, the phrase “while supplies last” creates a sense of urgency to make immediate purchases.
  3. Sell online
    Textbook Trader is a valuable free resource for selling the non-returnable books you thought had no value. When you find a match, secure your online quote and ship your books. Other e-tailers charge a fee for this service, but many colleges have received a great return on their investment. The practice also increases your visibility beyond your own website and college store.
  4. Donations
    If all else fails, think about your old stock when people ask your store to donate to their event. Colleges are never in short supply of events that are looking for donations. Create good will with campus organizations by donating to their fundraising events. This might not bring extra money into the store directly, but it can be great publicity for your business and you will have gained the students’ appreciation.

 Don’t continue to let old stock weigh you down. With a little research, you could turn your profit-draining merchandise into a new revenue stream for your store.

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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