One Man’s Trash… 5 Smart Ways to Get Rid of Excess Stock


Find Subscription Boxes, a popular subscription box directory has just launched a new feature called The Aftermarket. Co-founders Carlos Underwood and Rachel Deonier started the company as a solution to a common issue with the subscription box business model – unwanted samples. Up until now, consumers had very limited recourse when it came to pesky samples that didn’t suit their particular needs. Products on The Aftermarket come from all types of boxes and sellers looking to get rid of unwanted samples need only to create their own online shops – similar to Amazon – and set their own listing and shipping prices.

While in the case above, excess stock is almost entirely left up to the consumer, this brought up a very good question for us at Hubba –  what’s a business owner to do with a backroom full of unsold merchandise? After all, getting rid of inventory is a very real issue not just for subscription box customers but for brands and retailers as well. Excess stock keeps shelf space (unnecessarily) occupied, capital tied up and cash flow stunted – all of which can be detrimental to a business.

Aside from posting them on an online marketplace, we’ve come up with 5 ways to get rid of your surplus wares.

Before getting ready to pack up and ship out, take a second look at your unsold product. The issue may not necessarily lie within the product but how it’s been marketed. Sometimes all you need is a bit of a refresh. If you’re in-store, try repositioning your items within the store, or setting them up differently. If you’re online, consider repackaging your products with brand new images or assigning them to a different section of your site.

We’ve already shared a few tips on what it takes to reduce your prices and even some great ways you can distribute coupons online, if that’s the route you’d like to take. But if the goal is to get rid of stock and get rid of it fast, consider holding more than just a sale, but a sale event – really make a day of it! Make sure it’s plastered all over your social media, offer tasty treats while customers browse in store or offer additional incentives such as free shipping for those shopping online.

One of the most common ways to reduce unwanted stock is to consolidate. After all, shoppers love getting more bang for their buck and bundling is a great way for them to do so. However, be sure to strategize! Sure, you can simply bundle up 3 of the same items together at a lower price and hope consumers are willing to buy it in bulk but that’s less than likely. Create thoughtful sets your shoppers will crave by bundling slow-moving stock with more popular items or combining extra stock with items that complement them.

Another smart trick that’ll get rid of stock you don’t need while driving sales is offering incentives. Shoppers love a gift with purchase. If you have a ton of low-cost, excess stock, throw them in for “free” for customers who reach a certain purchase threshold (i.e. free gift with purchases worth of $75). Much like loyalty or rewards programs, this is a fantastic way to up your items per order and average transaction value.

Ready to just give it all away? That works too! We should always strive to give back to our communities in some way, but as a business owner, there are additional perks too! Businesses who make charitable donations to qualified organizations can earn a federal income tax deduction.


Whatever you choose to do, don’t fret. While stockpiling old, unwanted merchandise is not ideal, it’s almost an inevitable part of the business. However you’ll find that there are several ways to turn unsold product into cold, hard cash and at the very least, seeing what sells and what definitely doesn’t is a great learning opportunity in and of itself.