Do you have extra stock you have to get rid of? Are you watching the days tick by with dread until the next Amazon inventory bill arrives? Do you need ideas to help you get rid of as much stock as possible ASAP? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will help you get rid of excess stock if you’re selling on Amazon FBA.
Amazon warehousing isn’t for free, and if you have stock that you are struggling to sell, you could incur extra monthly costs that are possible to avoid. If you are just starting to sell on Amazon, the margins are everything, and we will show you the most effective, easiest, and most economical ways to free yourself from inventory that’s dragging you down.
Drop the price
This method is by far the most obvious and chances are you may have already tried it. However, we want to provide you with a few tips on how to do this in the easiest and smartest way.
We recommend that you invest in a repricing tool as it will be the easiest way for you to determine prices within your niche. It’s not necessarily the case that you have to low ball all your competitors and sell at a considerable loss. A repricer tool will give you deeper insight into where the median price is and what range of prices will make you stand out. RepricerExpress is one such tool.
Lowering your prices help you compete for the BuyBox (if you are eligible) and helps your product rank better in search results. So, it has benefits beyond just enticing buyers with a bargain.
If you just want to clear off stock because you are struggling to make a profit, you will have a tough decision to make. Depending on how slowly your stock is currently selling, how much is left, and what your FBA warehousing fees are, you will need to make a call on how low to go.
Make your products eligible for lightning deals
Lightning deals is a market-wide type of promotion run by Amazon. Products are sold at discounted prices for a specified period that’s determined by Amazon. The reason why this is such an effective driver of sales is that people looking at lightning deals are there because they are in a mood to buy.
It also adds a sense of urgency and scarcity that make peoples fingers itch. To keep it an exciting and anticipated promotion, Amazon enforces certain conditions that the ASIN and the seller must meet to be eligible.
For example, the same ASIN can’t run 7 days consecutively, the seller must offer prime shipping in all states, the product must be listed as “new condition”, and the listing must meet specific criteria. There might also be slightly higher selling fees than usual.We recommend that you read the “Create a lightning deal“ page for more information.
Send products to influencers
Influencers are a great way to market your Amazon products. Influencers are people with many followers on their blogs or social media and use these platforms to share product information or encourage their followers to buy certain products. They are such a good way to market products because they combine a big audience with a level of trust and a perceived unbiased opinion.
Furthermore, it’s not against Amazon’s policies as you won’t be asking them for reviews on Amazon in exchange for the products you send them.
It will work like this:
- You identify potentially suitable influencers. You can do this on sites like Tomoson where you can create campaigns and find influencers.
- From the Manage Promotions page in your seller central dashboard, you can create a promotion with coupon codes. You can set these coupons to be worth the total price of the items.
- If you don’t want to do this through a promotion, you can also buy gift cards on Amazon.
- You then send these coupons or gift cards to the influencers who can then technically buy your products for free.
- Depending on the situation, you could also create an MCF (Multi-channel fulfillment) order and ship it to the influencers.
As you might’ve already guessed, this method will come at some expense to you. This approach is only worth it if you still believe in your product and you are just looking for a way to quickly drive sales and interest. You also need either an individual pro merchant or professional seller account to be able to create promotions.
Bundle with other items
This is another good way to clear of excess product listings. Depending on how you adjust the price and package your bundles, you might even be able to turn a profit still. If nothing else, you will definitely peak the interest of some potential customers with a generous offering.
It will up to you to decide whether you add them to your existing product for free or at an adjusted price. Of course, if they are free, you might be able to significantly drive sales to the other product and gain a lot of good name on Amazon.
As a side effect, you will also give more people a taste of the product that’s selling slowly or in excess. If it’s a good product that you believe in, it would be an excellent strategy to potentially increase its sales.
There are certain bundling policies on Amazon that stipulate what type of products you can bundle and how you can price them. They mostly exclude and place restrictions on media items so you should be OK with most physical products.
Approach your competitors
If you are selling in a niche which has become too competitive and is the reason for you not being able to sell off your inventory, another option might be to approach your competitors. You could possibly work out a deal where you sell them all your items in bulk.
The way you go about this would be much the same as sending products to influencers. You could either send them gift cards or coupons or just create an MCF order and send them the merchandise.
Beware of Amazon policy against using a Prime account to buy items and then sell them on. It could have nasty consequences for your partner.
The obvious upside to this method is that you will be able to sell off the items in large quantities. The obvious downside is that you will need to offer them at a price that matches or improves on the competitor’s current cost of acquisition. Once again, it comes down to how desperate you are to get rid of the excess stock quickly.
Run promotional giveaways or competitions
We actually covered a few types of promotions already. Bundling items and lightning deals are only two ways that you can run successful promotions or competitions. Using coupon codes and gift cards, your possibilities are almost endless.
If you have a professional seller account, Amazon provides a variety of ways you can create and run promotions. These include marked down prices for bulk purchases, discount prices, discounted bundles, etc.
You can also run promotions or competitions outside of Amazon and award people with discount codes or coupons. For example, you could use a personal or business Facebook or Instagram page to promote the competition and get participants. It then becomes as easy as choosing a winner and sending the codes.
Everyone loves a competition, and it’s a very effective marketing strategy that serves the dual purpose of quickly getting rid of stock.
Offer free shipping
This is a type of promotion that you can set up from your Manage Promotions dashboard that also deserves a special mention because it’s so popular. We all know how annoying shipping fees are that hike up the price of the item we want to buy. Offering free shipping is a very enticing promotion to lure new customers.
Instead of charging the buyer for extra shipping and crediting your account with “shipping credits”, Amazon will directly charge the shipping fees to your account. Remember to review Amazon’s shipping fees and reckon this extra cost into your profit calculations.
Ramp up your marketing
One reason why that could be behind the fact that you are left with excess stock might be that you lack some marketing drive. Don’t worry; this is an area where most new Amazon sellers struggle and is one of the biggest impediments to growth and higher sales numbers.
Promotions, bundles, influencers, and competitions are already highly effective ways to market a product. Other smaller things you could do is to make the language you use in your product listings and advertisement more pertinent. Creating a sense of scarcity and limited availability triggers FOMO in customers and will help your sales, at least in the short-term.
Let Amazon take care of it
Amazon does provide removal services if you find yourself in the position where you need to let go of excess stock. To avoid warehousing fees for the current month, you only need to make sure that you submit your removal requests before stocktaking that takes place on the 13th of each month.
You have 3 options:
- Return: Amazon will return your remaining items to you and charge you a $0.50 fee per standard-sized and $0.60 fee per oversized item.
- Disposal: Amazon will dispose of your merchandise and charge you $0.15 per standard-sized item and $0.30 per oversized item.
- Liquidation: Amazon will try to sell your leftover stock to liquidators. You will receive 10% of the proceeds.
Amazon provides all the tools to submit requests for removal of the Manage Inventory dashboard. You can specify precisely what products and how many of them should be removed. Bulk removal requests can be made if you have a large number of items that need to be removed.
We mentioned this option last as it should be your last resort. Except for liquidation, you will pay for having your items removed on top of not getting anything for them. However, remember that inventory fees are between $0.43 and $2.35 per cubic foot. This means that one removal order should in most cases amount to less than one month of inventory storage charges.
Amazon FBA selling lessons for the future
Although everyone has their own unique situation, there are a few reasons why most people have “excess stock.” We will list preventative measures for these issues which may help you avoid this situation in the future.
- Account for seasonality – Some products only sell during certain times of the year. Snow jackets won’t sell in May as it did October and swimwear won’t sell in October as it does in May. You should stock up before these high seasons but remember that there will be a dip afterward and try to account for it.
- Understand warehousing fees – Many people aren’t even aware of warehousing fees when they first sign up for Amazon FBA. You are already one step ahead just because you know they exist. You should factor their influence on your bottom line in from the beginning.
- Make inventory management a habit – Understand and come to terms with the fact that you need to be proactive when it comes to inventory. Just stocking up and leaving things to take care of themselves is asking for unnecessary and avoidable extra charges that eat away at your margins.
- Resist the temptation to be over eager – Few people hit the jackpot with their first foray into Amazon FBA. Even if you think you have a winning strategy, hold off on investing too heavily before you have tried it out in the real world. You can afford to run out of stock once or twice at the start of your journey.
As you probably realized, the most effective approach would be to combine and utilize a number of these tips. Marketing and promotions, for example, go hand in hand. You should also try easier and more profitable techniques before heading to less positive alternatives.
Now you know!
We hope that these Amazon FBA selling tips help you get rid of excess stock and help manage the situation better going forward. Be proactive about how you manage your inventory, and you will be rewarded with less overhead and higher profits. Good luck and happy selling!