As a fashion designer, having excess inventory from time to time is inevitable. Whether you are a ready-to-wear designer, fashion retailers, shoemaker, bag maker, or the likes, you are bound to sometimes end up with merchandise you cannot sell.
Yes, you might have done your research and tried not to produce in excess. You might also have felt all your products will become bestsellers, only to end up with one that no one is buying. What do you do with all this excess?
It might be tempting to just leave them and hope they will sell off eventually or to store them away somewhere, but you need to file your tax returns and the money you’ll make from them is important. Here are 7 ways to manage excess inventory from your fashion business;
7 Ways to Manage Excess Inventory in Your Fashion Brand
1. Put them on Sale
Many fashion entrepreneurs hate the very thought of sales, but sometimes they are needed. You can do either a flash sale or regular sale to sell off your merchandise.
Before a flash sale, you should create anticipation on your social media platforms, telling people about the limited edition pieces you have. You can drop the price to a very low price and make them available for only 24 hours.
When customers see that you are offering a limited edition piece for only 24 hours, they will be ready to buy as fast as possible.
You can also choose to offer a regular sale with substantial discounts or one that stretches over a long window of time offering increasing discounts with time. Consider which will work best for you and go with it.
2. Make them into a Special Offer Product
Instead of putting the items up for sale, you can bundle them up with other products as a special offer. This way, you can use better-performing products to drive the sale of underperforming products.
One way to do this is to offer a discount as a special offer on the slow-moving product when a customer buys two of another product. This way, you can lump your excess merchandise with fast-moving products to help them sell out.
3. Give them as Gifts to Influencers
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool for fashion businesses. One picture can take your business from zero to a hundred real quick. Send your excess inventory as gifts to influencers you want to target for your brand.
In doing this though, you need to keep track of and explain to them how you want them to use your products and represent your brand.
4. Sell to Resellers
Selling your excess inventory off to resellers is another great way to manage excess inventory. This will most likely involve selling your products to them at a discounted rate. These resellers should be those that sell inventory similar to yours.
Another way is to sell them via an online auction on platforms like eBay where other retailers and consumers browse for products at discounted rates.
5. Rework Them
If your excess merchandises are products that can be reworked by changing some components of them, then do it. This way, you can be innovative and create new products from old products, adding to your assortment of pieces without buying new fabric or materials.
You can even take them apart and use them as components on other products. This is a great way to upcycle in your fashion brand.
6. Host a Contest
Hosting a contest on social media can also help you sell off excess merchandise in your brand. You can host a contest amongst your followers and give this excess merchandise as the prize.
Another contest idea can invite new designers to take your merchandise and rework them into something new.
7. Donate to a Good Cause
Donating to a good cause is a great way to get excess inventory off your hands. This could even be a part of your corporate social responsibility (CSR) and even a marketing event.
It could also prove to be a great networking opportunity for your brand. Liaise with the organisation and ensure it is okay to tag them in social media posts and share photos of the donation.
Excess merchandise is something that can be dealt with the right way with you still gaining from it. Apart from these ways, there are other creative ways you can handle excess merchandise. Just find the one that works for you!
Also, study the pattern of what your customers like and what they don’t like to reduce such occurrences in future.