Not all business ventures have a happy, successful ending. When the best thing to do is to just close up shop, what do you do with all of your business' physical assets? Getting rid of inventory after a business closure- things like left over products, equipment, and materials- should to be dealt with thoughtfully.
Closing a business is a lot like moving: you don't realize how much stuff you own until you have to pack it all up. As you go through the process of winding down your operations and closing any loose ends, you should take stock of any valuable business assets that will need to be liquidated. Some commom items include:
- Products for sale
- Raw goods used for product production or the delivery of a service
- Tools, equipment, and appliances
- Office furniture
- Office supplies
- Computers and other electronic devices
- Company Vehicles
How to Get Rid of Unused Inventory When a Small Business Closes
You have several options when it comes to liquidating your company's physical assets:
Hold a “Going Out of Business” sale. Also called a “liquidation sale,” this is one of the most commonly used methods among retail operations for getting rid of unsold products. Typically, these sales are advertised several days in advance and heavy discounts are placed on all remaining items.
Hire a Liquidation Company. These companies, called “inventory liquidators,” will buy up unused inventory for resale. This method promises quick access to capital should it be needed. But, expect that your products will be purchased well below the sale price.
Sell the Items Online. If you want to auction off your inventory and equipment online, you can either do it yourself via sites such as Ebay or any of its alternatives, or you can use the services of an inventory auctioning company.
Return Unused Inventory to Vendors. You may also in some cases be able to return unused inventory to the vender who supplied it to your business.
Sell Inventory to the New Owner. If you are not really closing down the business, but are instead selling it to another individual, company, or organization, then you should consider including excess inventory and assets as part of the sale. Of course, make sure to check in with a qualified professional, such as a lawyer or accountant for advice on how to do this properly.
Give Inventory to Charity. Your last option may not help you to recover some of your losses, but it could leave you with a warm feeling in your heart. Some or all of your assets could be donated to a charity to either distribute among those in need, or to resell for money.
Which ever option you choose, with a little forethought those unwanted items can give you some much wanted value.