Warning: The subject of overstocks is not sexy, but the nightmare of many online store owners.

How the fudge did I end up with all this stock?

Ok…the sales did not go as well as I thought…

Why the heck has it been raining all summer?

This is for you if you’re sitting on a pile of stock you want shifting, fast to make room for a new product launch, exit out of lines or just want a quick cash injection.

For some reason, some e-commerce store owners shy away from telling their audience or community when their products have low stock or lines on their way out.

This is a big mistake because scarcity sells!

People hate losing out on things and nothing makes them move faster than a bit of urgency.

With a few of my clients, clearing overstocks are just part and parcel of the product lifecycle. I’ve helped them to implement this simple strategy with great success!


  • You need end of line products, overstocks or slow moving lines. For the sake of all things holy, please do not include your current key lines!
  • Strategically discount the lines as “end of season/end of line” and be mindful of your margins. If you cannot afford to mark those lines down, ignore it or look for another suitable one.
  • Pro tip: As we are all about keeping average order values high, look for lines which could be sold as a bundle and discounted at a slightly lower price
  • In order to get as many interested people seeing these products, you will have to invest in paid traffic by using Facebook Ads.

With the selected items you want to clear, indicate to customers the number you have left in stock. What we have found most effective is on the product page, showing the line is low stock or at least have less than 5 left, but this is optional.

Note: This can be a fairly high maintenance strategy as you have to keep an eye on stocks and switch off ads as soon as they are out of stock unless you set up a dynamic product carousel (DPA) which updates the selection of items on its own.

Now we have the quick methodology, here’s what you need to include in the ads to make it work.

Great Copy – Being pushy, spelling errors, bad grammar, not connecting with your audience in the copy and being long winded will make your audience turn cold. People don’t like being sold to, but they LOVE to buy. Make it a great experience for them with the copy

Great Imagery – This will not work if you don’t have high-quality images of your product. Impressions count and bright, eye-catching, colourful imagery works best. You want to grab their attention and draw them in.

Clear Call-To-Action – Never assume because you’ve put money behind an ad, your audience will automatically know what the next step is. It might sound obvious, but sometimes this is overlooked over and over again. If this is a sale item or discontinued stock, let your audience know. If they don’t buy now, it could be too late.

Retargeting – I attribute the success of these campaign to ad retargeting. If the product is under £30, then it may convert with cold traffic. We retargeted to people who have already bought the product in the past and then created a lookalike audience. This was to ensure the products sold faster and kept down the cost of ads.

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