Deadstock is a term used by businesses to describe products that haven’t sold and/or will no longer be sold to consumers.
These products are then removed from sale, either because they’re out of date or just not on-trend anymore. Some businesses store their dead stock and try and sell it again; for example, during sale periods. In this instance, deadstock will still have sales tags on them and be packaged as they would when they were first put out for sale.
The Disadvantages of Dead Stock
If you have dead stock, it’ll cost you money because these are products that you’ve purchased that won’t be sold. It’s also likely that these products are sitting in your warehouse/fulfillment center gathering dust and taking up important space. You can’t recover the cost of dead stock unless you try and sell it in some way or if you take measures to avoid accumulating dead stock in the first place.
How to Avoid Deadstock
To avoid masses of unused merchandise, try to keep on top of your customer segmentation. This should give you a better understanding of what your customers like and want to buy from you. Survey your customers regularly to find out what they like, so you can factor this into your inventory.
Also, instead of purchasing mega quantities of the same thing, go in a bit smaller to start with. Not only is this a way of keeping your website looking fresh with new products (which work wonders for enticing both existing and new customers), but it’s also great for testing how products fare with your customer base.
For example, if you buy a ton of just one style of dress and sales are low, what are you going to do with them all? Don’t just use your personal tastes to inform what you sell. You need to keep track of what your competitors are offering and what consumers like.
If you do have dead stock, there are things you can do to shift it. You can give some of it away as freebies, for example, on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or as gift-with-purchase offers. You can see if you can negotiate a return to your supplier. If you have an online store, how about shifting your unsold stock to an outlet or consignment store? Or you could donate it to charity. Take a look at what your competitors are doing during sale periods and what special offers they’re hosting both online and in-store. Chances are, they’re doing their best to shift dead stock, too!