When sales drop or product returns increase, you may find your warehouse filling up with excess inventory. Excess inventory occupies warehouse space, ties up your working capital (especially if you need to lease additional space just for overstock), and in some cases, continues to lose value. For example, if you start selling a new & improved version of an old product, demand for the previous version may drop so low that even big discounts aren't good enough incentives for customers.
Liquidations and auctions are common solutions for dealing with overstock. However, the time it takes for them to start showing ROI and the labor of coordinating them are not conducive to every situation. Conversely, making in-kind donations of overstock can be easier (i.e. no negotiating with liquidators, no creating online auctions), faster, and better for your bottom line. Not many companies realize it, but simply giving away your unprofitable inventory can yield a number of business benefits, such as:
Inventory donations are tax deductible in the US. If your business is eligible for them, the federal tax deductions you receive may even be better than what you’d get from liquidation.
Unless you're in the business of rare collectibles, the total costs of storing outdated inventory can quickly exceed its value. By donating overstock, you free up valuable warehouse space to make room for more profitable products. On top of that, you save on transportation and disposal costs while helping communities in need.
Retain Brand Value
Repeatedly discounting and liquidating your products lessens their value and detracts from your brand. By partnering with a gifts-in-kind organization, you can avoid this scenario. These groups are licensed 501(c)(3) nonprofits that collect all types of unwanted merchandise from member businesses, then redistribute it across a tightly-closed "market" of member-NPOs like small charities, churches and schools.
In-kind giving is ideal for offloading overstocks, obsolete merchandise, discontinued products and returns. Even though unwanted inventory no longer benefits your business, don't forget that it can still be very useful to those in need.
As part of events honoring Women Entrepreneurship Week, Fulfillment Works’ Co-Founder and CEO, Amy Cooper, led a roundtable discussion with aspiring students at Quinnipiac University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Speaking to a full house, Cooper recounted the initial founding, early history, and rapid growth of Fulfillment Works. She also spoke on her responsibilities as CEO, such as dealing with the challenges of client management, lead generation, and corporate marketing on a daily basis. During the discussion, students asked plenty of questions about work/life balance, tips for starting a successful business, and the accumulated wisdom from running a nationwide business for 18 years.
To this day, Fulfillment Works continues to grow and innovate thanks to Cooper’s diligence and expertise! Full coverage of the event can be read on Quinnipiac University's website.
In the past year, those of us living in the Northeast have lived through Hurricane Sandy, the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and the Boston Bombing. The entire country showed us their support during our tough times and now it’s time to pay it back. More...