Running a fulfillment center with a myriad of products from multiple clients leads us to the problem of how to dispose of discontinued stock when new merchandise is brought in. If it cannot be sold through normal channels, what to do?
The easy answer is to discard the merchandise.
But it pains us to just throw items in our dumpsters when there are so many people in our local communities that could benefit tremendously from the fulfillment throwaways.
Clothing distributors are famous for throwing away thousands of pieces of apparel for just one design snag.
But local homeless shelters count on donations of this kind to help them distribute much-needed clothing to those they serve.
This has always been a complimentary part of our fee structure to our clients to transport, at our own expense, any items their company is willing to donate.
The local schools (as well as nursing homes and local shelters), can sometimes use discontinued merchandise to assist them in their fundraising efforts.
One of our clients generously donated over 3000 ready-made photo frames to our local school to make room for new stock coming in. The school then used the frames in their fundraising efforts by putting their school logo in the frames and giving them away at their open houses. The school was thrilled, the client had a tax write off, and everyone was happy.
Another client sold CDs to nursing homes from the Glen Miller era and wanted thousands of these discarded for a more recently published version. Imagine the smiles on the nursing home residents’ faces when they were presented with music that brings back such memories from days gone by free of charge.
No matter what the items are, there certainly seems to be a use for most merchandise that’s discarded if we look hard enough. In a world of excess production and excess refuse let’s be mindful of what we’re throwing away and take just a few moments to plan on a new life for old products.