Conquering the Chaos: Effective Strategies for Clearing Out Your US 3PL Warehouse


looking to offload excess inventory

Do you have excess inventory and closeouts piling up in your third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse? Do overstock blues have you singing the storage fee blues? Clearing out a warehouse in the United States filled with excess inventory can feel like a strategic nightmare, but with the right approach, you can transform abandoned inventory and unwanted stock into cash flow and free up valuable warehouse space. We will equip you with effective strategies for tackling your warehouse clearance in a US 3PL facility, and show you how offloading excess inventory and having an inventory liquidation sale can be the answer.

Step 1: Unveiling the Cause of Excess Inventory and Overstock Products – A Thorough Assessment

Before diving headfirst into selling strategies, take a deep breath and conduct a comprehensive inventory assessment. This information will be crucial for determining the best course of action for each category of overstock products and liquidation inventory you deem worthy of offloading. Here's what you need to uncover:

  • Categorize Your Inventory: Group similar products together (clothing, electronics, furniture) for easier management. Within these groups, you will have to review inventory levels to determine which products are closeouts, which ones are canceled orders versus abandoned inventory, and which ones are simply slow-selling inventory as opposed to excess inventory you don’t need anymore. When offloading excess inventory, there may be a different procedure and different closeout buyers for each instance.
  • Condition Check: Are they brand new, gently used, or headed for the "oops" pile (damaged goods)? Damaged items may require different disposal methods. Getting rid of closeouts that fall into the first two categories is a little easier and the liquidation process is pretty straightforward. Brand new closeouts are the easiest to sell, especially if they are name brand closeouts. Offloading overstock inventory of general non-branded closeouts can be a little trickier and may be a longer closeout process. If you are keen to clear stock from your U.S. 3PL warehouse, it is best to get started early with efforts to contact inventory liquidators and other companies that buy overstock products.
  • Quantity Counts: Knowing the exact number of each item is vital for determining pricing and selecting the most effective sales channels. Closeout buyers and overstock inventory buyers will need specific details about your abandoned inventory including what type of excess inventory you are selling, where the warehouse is located, what are the case packs, how much inventory is being liquidated, etc.
  • Age of Inventory: Is it last season's fashion or a tech gadget two generations behind? Older overstock items may need steeper discounts or alternative disposal methods because they are not in high demand. When liquidating inventory, it is easiest to offload name brand closeouts. Generic brands can be sold off to liquidators, but not in the same volume as name brand overstocked products. Some other good sellers are closeout pet products, overstock housewares inventory and excess lawn and garden inventory. Closeout pool products and closeout hardware and tool products can also be fast movers if you are looking to get rid of overstock inventory.
  • Overstock Blues Investigation: Identify the root cause of the excess inventory – was it overproduction, a miscalculation of seasonal demand, or an unexpected shift in consumer preferences? Understanding the "why" behind the overstock can help prevent similar excess inventory situations in the future. If you are looking to offload overstock inventory you want to understand how you got into this situation to begin with so it doesn’t happen again. Getting rid of closeouts and offloading merchandise you have left can be costly. You might be looking to get rid of excess inventory for many reasons including: shutting down operations, downsizing and moving to a smaller warehouse, having customers canceled orders sitting in the warehouse, getting rid of slow-selling products, going out of business and closing down, not having enough time to deal with day to day operations, etc.

Step 2: Your Clearance Options – Your Options for Getting Rid of Closeouts

There are several paths you can take to clear out your 3PL warehouse, each with its own advantages and considerations. Here's a breakdown of the most common liquidation options:

Turning Overstock into Cash:

  • Liquidation Companies: Partner with a liquidation company specializing in moving overstock abandoned inventory and closeouts. They buy in bulk at discounted rates, handling the marketing, sales, and logistics. This is a fast and efficient way to clear out large quantities, but expect lower profit margins. If you are looking to offload overstocked products in large quantities this may be the fastest closeout opportunity. If you are looking for an inventory liquidator, consider a Google search using the following search terms: closing down all operations, keen to offload stock from U.S. warehouse, shutting down operations, downsizing moving to smaller warehouse, looking to get rid of closeouts, looking to offload bulk inventory, closeouts, closeout buyers, selling overstock products, discontinued products need room in the warehouse, inventory liquidators, selling dead stock.
  • The Online Marketplace Bazaar: Platforms like eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or Overstock.com offer a vast audience but require individual product listing creation, managing shipping logistics, and providing customer service. Offloading inventory this way definitely takes more effort and time because you have to individually list all closeout products and abandoned inventory for sale. For example, if you have 10 kinds of closeout fry pans, you will have to list them all. If you have overstock inventory of lawn and garden products or you are liquidating overstock pet products, you may have to list every style independently. This approach offers potentially higher profits but requires more time and effort.
  • Discount Retailer Rendezvous: Big-box discount stores or online discount retailers might be interested in buying closeouts in large quantities of offloading bulk inventory at a discounted rate. This can be a good option for certain types of overstock that align with their customer base. Bargain shoppers are always looking for great deals on excess inventory, overstock buyouts and abandoned inventory being offloaded at discounted prices.
  • Wholesale Closeout Buyers: These companies specialize in acquiring closeout merchandise, excess merchandise and abandoned inventory, and reselling it to discount retailers. If you are keen to clear stock from your U.S. 3PL warehouse, this may be a very good option for you. Research reputable closeout and overstock buyers in your industry to find the best fit for your products. Do your best to work only with reliable closeout companies and inventory liquidators that have been in business for many years.
  • Direct Sales Events: Consider hosting a liquidation warehouse sale, flash sale, or online auction to clear out inventory directly to consumers. This approach can generate excitement and potentially higher profits, but requires significant marketing and event logistics planning. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, because consumers will respond to liquidation prices, regardless of the categories. You can be selling closeout toys and games, overstock inventory of housewares and sporting goods, or name brand closeouts of lawn and garden products. It really doesn’t matter what the line is as long as you are looking to offload bulk inventory at deep discounts.

Charitable Donations:

  • Charitable Organization Champions: Donating excess inventory to charities aligned with your brand or product type can generate positive publicity and potentially offer tax benefits, while clearing stock from the warehouse and making room for new products arriving. However, research the charity's donation guidelines beforehand, as they may have restrictions on what they can accept. You will get a tax write-off for offloading excess stock, but donations of this nature won’t help cash flow. At least if you work with inventory liquidators, they will buy your entire inventory in one fell swoop, pick up stock from your warehouse and pay you immediately. You can make room in your warehouse, get rid of closeouts and old stock, and recover a portion of your original cost.
  • Non-Profit Pals: Local shelters or non-profit organizations may be able to utilize your overstock, especially for essential items. This is a socially responsible way to clear out unwanted inventory and offload products in bulk while giving back to the community.

Disposal of Unsalvageable Inventory: Sometimes, letting go is the best option. Here are your disposal choices:

  • Recycling Dead Inventory: Explore recycling options for materials like paper, plastic, or electronics. This is an Eco-friendly way to dispose of unusable items that you are unable to sell.
  • Waste Disposal Specialists: Partner with a licensed waste disposal company for items beyond salvaging or recycling. Be aware of potential disposal fees associated with this option.

Step 3: Choosing Your Clearance Options – Aligning Your Needs

The best clearance method for you depends on several factors. Here's a road map to navigate and choose the right channel:

  • Volume of Inventory: Large quantities might be better suited for liquidation companies, closeout buyers or inventory liquidators. Smaller amounts of overstock products and closeouts could be tackled through online marketplaces or direct sales events.
  • Product Type: Perishable or time-sensitive items may require quicker liquidation methods like flash sales or partnerships with discount retailers. Sometimes, getting rid of closeouts quickly can be just as important as the amount of money you are able to recover. Remember – space is money. In other words, dead inventory sitting in the warehouse is costing you money everyday, especially if it prevents you from bringing in new products.
  • Profitability Goals: While liquidation companies offer speed and convenience, online sales or direct sales events may yield higher returns with more effort on your part.
  • Brand Image Considerations: Selling through reputable closeout companies is the best way to offload name brand closeouts. It is important to know that your closeouts will not be re-sold right back into your regular distribution channel at discounted prices. When getting rid of overstock brand name inventory you must first know where the seller plans to liquidate your inventory.

Merchandise USA is a reliable and experienced inventory liquidator in business almost 40 years. We specialize in buying closeouts and excess inventory of all kinds of pet products, overstock housewares inventory, abandoned lawn and garden inventory, discontinued and abandoned inventory of children's games and toys, overstock plush and novelties and closeout tools and hardware. If you are shutting your business down, looking to offload excess inventory, moving warehouses or shutting down your 3PL warehouse, we will help you with the closeout process. If you have abandoned inventory and are keen to clear stock from the warehouse, we can be a good closeout partner for you. If you are looking to offload bulk inventory of closeouts, overstock products and excess inventory we can help. Liquidate inventory and clear out warehouse space for new projects and sell the entire inventory at one time.