Marketing Closeouts, What Makes a Good Closeout?

Dec 1, 2008
by Rob Kole

"When written in Chinese, the word, 'crisis,' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity." - John F. Kennedy

In dangerous economic times, opportunities abound. You just have to know where to look. At Kole Imports, we've bought and sold thousands of closeout items this year, more than ever before. Companies in trouble are liquidating their inventory at rock bottom prices, and our customers are looking for great deals on unique items for their stores. This results in a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially store owners looking for new merchandise.

If you have new and different closeouts in your store every few weeks, and customers know the items will only be there for a limited time, they feel a sense of urgency about buying them and they will want to come back soon to see what's new.

As a retailer, you should carry closeouts, and you may want to let your customer know they are closeouts, by calling them Closeouts or Special Deals. A Closeout section in your store will keep customers coming back to look for bargains.

What constitutes a good closeout? It doesn't matter how low the price is, if it's something no one will want. What matters is making the customer happy by offering them something they want, even if they didn't know they wanted it until they saw it in your store. We look for items people will get excited about and buy.

Seasonal items are great if it's the right time of year. When you buy, make sure you order early and buy the right quantity. Seasonal closeouts need to be in a highly visible location in your store; preferably being the first thing a customer sees when he walks in the door.

Brand name closeouts are good sellers, too. Companies spend billions of dollars advertising their products, but more than any individual product, they advertise to build brand recognition. When the consumer sees an item with a brand they recognize, they are more likely to want to buy it because they trust the company and they believe the company makes good products. As a store owner, if you can offer the customer a brand they trust at a lower price than they expect to pay, you will have success.

Unique items sell well, if they're unique in a good way. People love gadgets and gimmicks and things they've never seen before. Make sure you include some of these items in your closeout section. Even people who don't buy the gadget will stop and take a look, and may end up buying the item next to it.

Location-specific closeouts sell well in the right store. Hats and sunglasses will sell well if your store is on the beach. Gloves do well in colder climates. And it's possible to find items branded with your local sports team at a low closeout price as well. You know where your store is and what your customers need. Keep this in mind when shopping for closeouts, and you'll find some great items.

Since we started actively buying closeouts, the response from our wholesale customers has been overwhelming. They love our closeouts, and so do their customers. Add more closeouts to your store and you'll be pleased with the results.

Rob Kole, President
Kole Imports
24600 South Main Street
Carson, CA 90745
Tel.: 800-874-7766 or 310-834-0004

Topic: Product Trends

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Article ID: 850

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