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A how-to guide for clearance sales

· Blog

Sometimes, stock does not perform as well as anticipated or hoped, this can leave items that are not moving.

Clearing underperforming stock is a key part of keeping a healthy flow of money coming into your business.

The best way to clear this stock is to have a sale, this motivates people to purchase your stock as well as bringing money into your business; but you have to be careful when planning these sales to avoid potential issues such as damaging your brand.

Here are some basic rules to abide by when planning clearance sales:


Only run the sales a couple of times a year at most. Having sales too often makes your customers get used to your items being on sale and may encourage them not to buy full price items.


Do not run the sales for too long, keeping them short creates a deadline that can encourage people to purchase these items. A general rule is to keep them under two weeks in length.


It may be frustrating if not all items get sold out, but there is an important trade off between getting rid of this underperforming stock and maintaining a strong brand, otherwise it again becomes the issue of customers becoming used to these sales.

Change it up

If you decide to run your sale for longer than two weeks due to items still not moving, consider changing up the message displayed alongside the sale.

Include things like: "new lines added", "further reductions", "last few days remaining" to avoid repeating yourself too many times.

Selective stock

When running clearance sales you should only target your underperforming lines.

Often, the traffic that you generate from the sale may lead your customers buying non-sale items as well.

The main target of the clearance is still to drive underperforming items out so ensure that the clearance is highlighted effectively on your site and draws the attention of your customers.

Deep Discounts

Having sales so rarely and briefly ensures protection over your brand image, and if those rules are adhered to you can go very steep with your discounts while not damaging your image.

Consider 50% off as a starting point. This will help drive sales in the short window of time you have to get rid of stock.

Adjust as needed

During your sale, watch how well your items are performing. If there is a certain item that is not moving don’t be afraid to further reduce its price.

While you are still trying to maintain a good brand image, your goal is still clearing your items. Again, the scarcity and brevity rules ensure that taking actions like these is acceptable as it is done in moderation.

Not for profit

Clearance sales are not for profiting on the items on sale. When stock is dead or underperforming it is just a drain on your cash flow.

Selling these items at a reduced price though may not yield profit is ensuring you get more money back into your business and open up doors for other items or ideas you may have moving forward and release the burden of the stock.

Sometimes clearance sales are necessary, however doing them in a way that is conscious of your brand and strategic ensures that it does not carry any negative impact on your business in the process.

Sticking to these basic rules you can conduct an effective clearance and get rid of the burden of all your dead and under performing stock items.

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