What does dead stock mean?

8 min read

What does deadstock mean? Dead stock is a very important term in retailing. It refers to products that never get sold. Every retailer has the risk of having dead stock in some period. Dead stock as a rule always harms the whole supply chain and costs businesses money. 

dead stock meaning


First of all, dead stock inventory causes rental costs. Secondly, keeping dead stock deprives you of the opportunity to fill these shelves with new and well-sold products. Consequently, you spend a part of your revenue gotten from selling the other products on these useless products. Besides these material problems, it brings itself depression and hopelessness at the same time.


Positive impacts of decreasing dead stock


  • More free storage space
  • Increased cash inflow
  • Reduce costs
  • Healthy inventory cycle



Most common reasons for dead stock


  • Lack of demand
  • Low quality
  • Incorrect prediction
  • Miscommunication


Lack of Demand


Lack of demand is a nightmare for retailers. You store so many products, but customers simply don’t buy it. The reasons can be different. For example, the popularity of a certain product, better price in the market, changed preferences, powerful competitor. No matter what the reason is, it will end up as a dead stock inventory.


Low quality


Your customers will stop buying from you if they don’t feel satisfied with the quality anymore. So always focus your attention on the quality of your products. We do know that the market is filled with many choices and it’s a bit difficult to serve your fastidious customers. Another problem it may cause is the huge number of returned products.


Incorrect prediction


Nowadays people’s demand changes quicker than ever. It’s the impact of a wide choice of products and services and seasonal trends too. Stocking products in bulk will be the wrong decision for you because the accurate prediction of customer’s behavior will be almost impossible.

Never give in impulsive decisions. They will destroy you.





Communication is something that many retailers don’t consider as needed. Try to keep contact and get acquainted with their needs to store up-to-dated and high-demand products. It will also allow you to have smooth commodity-flow in your inventory and make the right decisions.


Short To-do tips


  • Offer discounts, giveaways, and daily deals
  • Use different sales channels
  • Ship your orders fast and for free
  • Return them to your suppliers
  • Accurate inventory management


Offer discounts, giveaways, and daily deals


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Inventory, Order & Shipping Management Software


Another way to avoid the possibility of dead stock , you can and should always offer daily deals and discounts on your low demand stocks. Focusing on those products helps you to get rid of them quicker and easier. In such a way you will limit the possible range of goods, so you will unconsciously make them choose and buy a certain product. You can create ads like buy it just now or buy it today with special prices or buy two products for the price of one. Another variant is offering discount coupons. In this way, you will attract your customers and increase their wish to make a purchase. And finally, it is a fantastic method to take your excess products from the shelves and send as a gift or even as a gift bag with high demand products. Every customer will appreciate you for this unexpected gift. Thus you will kill two birds with one stone.  

Always remember it’s better to sell more products at a lower price than later to struggle with dead stocks.


Use different sales channels


Try to list your inventory as more sales channels as you can. So you have a great opportunity to get more viewers and potential customers. Having accounts in huge marketplaces like Amazon, Shopify, or eBay allows you to sell your products quicker than ever. Another way is to list your products for price comparison to websites like Google Shopping. 


Ship your orders fast and for free


Offering free and fast shipping will increase your customers’ motivation to buy just from you. Now it is common for many retailers to make deliveries for free. Use this method especially when it refers to products with a high risk of becoming dead stock. Make your customers satisfied and make yourself happy too.


Return them to your suppliers


Let’s imagine you have tried all the methods listed above, but unfortunately, you have now good results. Your dead stock continues to lie on your shelves. It’s time to think about selling them back to your suppliers, if only you have this point in your contract. Be ready to be charged for these returned products as a matter of mutual damage.

Surely it is an undesirable method, however, you will forget about this problem anymore.


Accurate inventory management


And finally, for reducing the risk of having dead stock, you should have an accurate inventory management system. It allows you to manage and control your stocks and eliminate the possibility of dead stocks. Due to real-time updated reports and analytics, you will be able to get the real view of your inventory levels and find out those goods that are in low demand. 

Today’s inventory management systems help you to collect all your inventory from your different stores and warehouses into a single platform and manage them with high efficiency. A powerful cloud-based inventory management software like our eSwap will help you get rid of many boring and hard business processes. You can try it and forget about dead stock anymore. 


Now that you know the answers on “What is dead stock?”; “What are the impacts of dead stock?” and “How to reduce dead stock?”. So you can easily get rid of it.