How Can a Business Manage Dead Stock?

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When it comes down to it, dead stock is money wasted. Holding stock is a huge financial investment, so if demand slows or even stops for particular items in your inventory, you risk making no return on that investment, which is very problematic for your bottom line.

Sometimes, your business will accumulate dead stock. In this case, you must find ways to make the most of your dead stock – in this article, we show you how.


The first method you should try for managing dead stock is to put the obsolete items on sale. Consider for instance putting dead stock in a “2-for-1” bundle deal, to encourage sales and at the same time push out larger amounts of the stock in question.

You can also consider a “flash sale” where you price the obsolete items at a heavily discounted rate for a short period of time. Ensure that you advertise and market your sale thoroughly and discount the items at a higher or more significant percentage than any other run-of-the-mill promotions you might run. This immediately attracts customer attention and is a reliable way to earn back some of the money that is currently sitting idle on your shelves.


Another great way to manage dead stock is to advertise your sales promotion regularly. If you don’t already have one, create a social media presence for your brand and communicate regularly with your audience about the sales and discounts you are having. This will bring more and more customers in to encourage sales and help you mitigate the problem and manage dead stock effectively.

Other businesses and suppliers

Another option is to sell the stock to other businesses at heavily discounted prices. Some businesses may be willing to buy outright if the discount is reasonable, and this is an excellent opportunity to get back a return on your investment.

If you have a good relationship with your suppliers, you may even consider selling back to them at a discounted rate. Suppliers may be willing to buy back stock from you which they can then resell or repurpose later on, so this is definitely something to consider.

While these methods will usually help relieve some of the strain that comes with managing dead stock, after exhausting these options you may still have excess stock sitting around. In these circumstances, consider donating the goods to a local charity, business or organisation – disposing of stock should always be a last resort. Donating goods is also a great way to improve your brand’s reputation in the local community as well, which can contribute to customer retention.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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