Knowing how to move discontinued products is essential to making the best use of your business's real estate. Generally speaking, most companies discontinue products because of poor sales or dwindling popularity, so getting your customers excited about buying your old inventory can be a challenge. If your primary goal is to sell off your inventory, you can use several methods -- or a combination of methods -- to generate renewed excitement for the products.
Consumers are attracted to the sense of urgency that comes with sample or blowout sales. You can often get rid of all your discontinued inventory in one event, and it doesn’t require the overhead of actually holding a sale at a physical venue. With the growing popularity of online sample sales, you can use ecommerce to your advantage and hold the sale on your website. If you have a customer relationship management system or other customer distribution list, you can create promotional emails to send out in advance. This is where you can “promote” the discontinued product again, touting its benefits and offering a discounted “last chance” price.
Consumers often look to eBay when they would like a discounted price on a product or want discontinued products. Open an eBay store that sells only your discontinued items. You can offer discounts, too, but if you have loyal customers of a particular product, its availability for purchase may be enough to trigger a sale. Using the eBay store feature, you can offer free or discounted shipping and other promotions to motivate buyers to purchase more than one item. For example, offer a 25 percent discount to buyers of three or more products, or offer to combine shipping on all products for a discounted rate.
If you own a small local business, you can attend community street fairs or flea markets to move your discontinued items. The only cost for this promotion would be the rental price of the booth, the necessary promotional signage and the wages of a salesperson to work the event. Be sure your salesperson is knowledgeable about the discontinued products so he can properly sell potential buyers on the benefits associated with each.
Whether you’re an online-only retailer or have one or more physical retail locations, using social media to promote a discontinued product is sales effective and cost effective. Use your established fan base to share photos and information on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram. You can even offer your fans and followers special discount prices not available to your customers who don't use social media.