What is Dead Stock?

True Tamplin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
Updated on January 11, 2021

Dead stock Definition

Dead stock is a term used to describe a product held in inventory that was never used or purchased by consumers before it was removed from sale. 

Dead stock is often warehoused and can be a common issue in companies that do not use modern inventory management software. 

Dead stock costs money not only because the company cannot recoup the cost of the goods, but also because it takes up storage space in a warehouse that could be used for more in demand products. 

Simply put, dead stock is inventory that did not sell, and now the company is stuck with the price of the product and the carrying costs of holding onto it longer than planned.

How to Avoid Dead Stock

How to avoid dead stock:

  • Use inventory management software – this helps keep track of inventory and alerts a business to potential issues so they can be addressed appropriately. This can also alert a business to when an item is ‘dying,’ so that a plan can be made for the item to be phased out.
  • Ordering smaller quantities – smaller quantities of a newer product offer protection for a business until they know how well the product will perform.
  • Survey the market – ask consumers and perform market research in order to learn what products are in demand.

What to do with Dead Stock

What to do with dead stock:

  • Bundle it – another option is to bundle your dead stock with existing products that are performing better, and offer both items at a discount. While profit margins may take a hit with this strategy, businesses often are able to recoup their initial cost price of the dead stock.
  • Return it to the supplier – if the product is current enough, there is a small chance of selling back your dead stock to the supplier and potentially recouping some of your initial investment.

What is Dead Stock FAQs

Dead stock is a term used to describe a product held in inventory that was never used or purchased by consumers before it was removed from sale.
One way to avoid dead stock is to survey the market – ask consumers and perform market research in order to learn what products are in demand.
Two good ways to dispose of dead stock without waste is to bundle it with existing, sellable merchadise, or if the quality is still high, returning it to the supplier.
Dead stock costs money not only because the company cannot recoup the cost of the goods, but also because it takes up storage space in a warehouse that could be used for more in demand products.