A Better Future for Surplus

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News & Expert Commentary on Surplus Management

How Effective Marketing and Sales Drive Recovery on Surplus Assets and Inventory

Judy O'Connor- September 29, 2015

Some businesses take a "Field of Dreams" approach to their reverse supply chains, thinking that if they put their surplus assets or inventory up for sale, buyers will somehow find them and be willing to pay maximum value. But this approach rarely results in optimal recovery.

When surplus assets and inventory make their way back into your supply chain, they often take up valuable storage space or go straight to a landfill. A reverse supply chain partner leverages a multichannel marketing and sales approach as well as asset and market expertise to ensure maximum recovery for your surplus.

A Multichannel Marketing Approach Maximizes Return

Your potential buyers are using different channels to receive marketing messages, so a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy isn’t optimal. A multichannel approach to marketing your goods online will expose your surplus to the greatest possible number of buyers and ensure you achieve desired recovery.

Liquidity Services' recent survey research found that search engine optimization (SEO), online advertising, and email marketing are the most effective ways to drive buyers to your surplus. We work with you to develop strategies for each of these channels.

  • SEO – A robust SEO strategy helps ensure that buyers searching for keywords related to your surplus find your auction in their internet search results.
  • Online advertising – This includes paid search engine marketing and inventory listing services. Paid ads can be targeted to highly specific groups, giving you a lot of visibility with searchers who are most primed to buy what you're selling.
  • Email marketing – Promotional emails, targeted by industry and asset category, grab buyers' interest and convince them to place bids. Research from McKinsey & Company showed that email marketing is about 40 times more effective for acquiring customers than social media.1

More Sales Methods = Higher Recovery

Surplus can be sold through many sales channels. Which one you'll use depends on your goals and the type of surplus you have. Here are the three most common channels:

  • Online auction – According to our survey research, online auctions are the most common platform for buyers to purchase surplus. Online auctions – which include both ongoing and event-based auctions – are highly targeted based on industry and asset category to maximize bids and recovery. This is the ideal sales method for high-demand assets, as it exposes the surplus to the largest possible buyer base to drive up recovery through competitive bidding.
  • Private treaty or direct sales  This is the preferred sales method for rare or specialized assets. The method focuses on a select group of prospective buyers with the highest levels of interest in your surplus. Direct sales lets your organization negotiate directly with buyers and gives buyers a way to see the asset in person before they make a decision.
  • "Buy it now" sale  This method is ideal if your organization simply wants to sell assets or inventory quickly. Through this method, buyers can immediately purchase your assets online, eliminating the need for an auction and securing capital for your business faster.

You can maximize buyer interest by including certain information in your asset listings on these channels. Our survey research found that 95 percent of buyers want to see accurate, detailed descriptions of assets for sale, while 94 and 65 percent, respectively, want to see high-quality photos and videos.

Our Marketing Expertise Ensures Maximum Recovery

Every year, Liquidity Services' online marketplaces for surplus bring in an average of 23 million unique visitors and nearly 800 million page views. Our marketplaces have nearly 3 million registered buyers in almost 200 countries and territories. With so much traffic coming in from all corners of the world, you're sure to find the best buyer for your surplus.

The user experience on our marketplaces ranks alongside other e-commerce leaders. Liquidity Services is ranked by our surplus buyers as a top three e-commerce experience alongside Amazon and eBay, with 89 percent of our buyers saying they would use our marketplaces again.

Our marketing expertise, scale, and user experience make us a powerful partner in your efforts to recover the best possible value for your surplus assets and inventory.


1 From McKinsey & Company, "Why marketers should keep sending you emails" http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/why_marketers_should_keep_sending_you_emails