Now Liquidating Excess Inventory CAN Contribute to a Sustainable Circular Economy
Updated: Mar 30
Sustainability and circular economy are big buzzwords – but they have real meaning. This blog explains how you can now achieve both by using your obsolete and unwanted inventory.
But first, let’s explain what these terms mean before we explain how to do it.
What Does Circular Economy Mean?
I think of the term Circular Economy as a new ‘hip’ way of talking about the ‘old school’ term reusing, repairing, and recycling with the purpose of keeping goods out of the landfill and preventing further damage to our environment.
This was a way of living for my parents and my grandparents. Quilts were made from old clothes and blankets, empty glass jars were re-used repeatedly, and rarely were things tossed in the garbage just because ‘they weren’t pretty.’
In my humble opinion, The Ellen Macarthur Foundation describes Circular Economy perfectly...
In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear.
In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place.
For some, reusing, repairing, and recycling has become a thing of the past with fast fashion and the disposable mindset... but our environment is screaming at us, and we need to bring this thinking back. If the ‘hip’ new term Circular Economy breathes new life into this mindset, I’m all for it!
What does Sustainability Mean?
The meaning of sustainability and its three fundamental principles is the ideal balance of:
Economic growth (Profit)
Environmental care (Planet), and
Social well-being (People).
Ideally, these three things should always be considered in business and in life because when you focus just on one, we experience imbalance. BUT, when you combine circular economy (environmental) and consider profit and people, you can achieve sustainability and, in my opinion, a MAGICAL sustainable circular economy. Too idealistic? Stay with me and I’ll explain.
Now that we understand what circular economy and sustainability is, I’ll explain how you can use deadstock to contribute to a sustainable circular economy. Say what?
It’s important to know that not all liquidation solutions do both.
If you’re in the consumer products business, there’s a good chance you’ve worked with a liquidator and/or liquidation broker. It's often the 'go-to solution' when your warehouse is overflowing with off-season or excess products, customer-returns, or goods that have hit the end of its product lifecycle (like aging technology), making them obsolete. To make matters worse, customer returns is an ongoing problem that results in about 6 billion pounds of goods ending up in the landfill each year (source Optoro).
When excess happens, so do clearance sales, donations and liquidations.
You may already have one or several liquidators on speed-dial, but do you really know what types of stock liquidators want and what happens once it’s left your warehouse? Many companies don’t really think that far – you're just happy you no longer need to pay to store it – out of sight, out of mind! Some liquidators will buy shipping containers of mixed products but then just pick and choose the sellable goods and then send the rest to the landfill. Say what?! As a socially responsible organization, how do you avoid this?
Looking for a Liquidator? Read: 14 Questions to Ask Your Liquidator and Wholesale Liquidation Broker.
Liquidation can be a lucrative business when you’re buying products for pennies of the MSRP PLUS there’s always excess! With your current liquidator, you know what you sold your product to them for, but do you know what they sold it for? Are you financing their Ferrari? creating cash for charity? Don’t know?
So, what’s a company to do with unwanted products?
New Solution for a Sustainable Circular Economy
Almost a year ago, I first met Dave Rolleston on a plane travelling back from vacation and we started talking. He told me about being in the closeout/liquidation business for 20+ years, hitting burnout in the business, and the financial struggles of non-profits during COVID with the need for services increasing but revenue decreasing (no more events, lower donations, etc.) According to Imagine Canada, over half of charities saw an average revenue decline of 43%. Once again, out of sight, out of mind.
So, Dave did something about it in 2021 and started The Charity Hub – a Liquidator for Good that helps companies responsibly liquidate their excess inventory, divert product from the landfill AND create charitable donations for their favorite charity or Foundation. I was immediately interested, saw the potential, and ultimately joined The Charity Hub.
Starting out, Dave set himself a goal to raise $100,000 in charitable donations by liquidating inventory. He successfully hit that goal in only 65 days! Two years later, The Charity Hub has donated $400,000 to a variety of charities and we’re just getting started!
Liquidate for a Cause
The Charity Hub will BUY your excess, obsolete, refurbished & customer-returned inventory and responsibly liquidate it WITHOUT impacting your regular distribution channels or dumping it in the landfill. We then donate 50% of OUR net profits from the sale creating CHARITABLE DONATIONS for YOUR company’s favorite non-profit or Foundation. YOU Choose the Cause - whatever is near and dear to YOUR heart!
Learn more about What We Do or check out these resources:
Partnering with The Charity Hub
So how does partnering with The Charity Hub contribute to a sustainable circular economy? Keep reading...
The Charity Hub diverts goods from the landfill by finding buyers that WANT your product - without diluting your brand. You, the supplier, simply tell us which stores and/or geographies you want us to avoid, and we’ll find a compliant buyer that won't negatively affect existing channels.
Liquidating responsibly helps extend the life of the product – most excess inventory is still useful and appreciated by different demographics and geographies.
The Charity Hub can also receive, re-package and sell customer-returned products. Unfortunately, it's often customer returns that have been unpackaged, tried/worn, and returned that end up in the dump. But they don't have to!
If the product can’t be liquidated, The Charity Hub works with its network of recyclers, third-party partners, and charities to find a home. And, if we can’t a solution, we’ll tell you so.
Economic growth (Profit)
Suppliers see these economic benefits:
Recoveries - The Charity Hub’s mandate is to donate as much cash to charity as possible so free/extremely low-cost products are preferred but The Charity Hub WILL buy some products providing suppliers with some financial recoveries.
Positive PR – many organizations have big marketing budgets to promote their products; however, sharing a good news story about turning excess into impact proves to investors, employees, and stakeholders that sustainability and corporate social responsibility are a priority for your company. It provides a window into your corporate culture and values and is great PR!
Tax Benefit – Since The Charity Hub facilitates the liquidation and makes the donation to the charity on behalf of the supplier, we’re the recipient of the charitable tax receipt; however, talk to your CFO and you’ll likely learn that the product write-down or write-off is about the same at tax-time with get more flexibility as to how and where it’s applied.
Employee Attraction & Productivity – According to the World Economic Forum, in a Deloitte survey, 49% of Gen-Zs and 44% of millennials said that they had made career choices based on their personal ethics. Being sustainable helps employee motivation to perform better. Do the right thing and you’ll attract the right people.
Transparency – With traditional liquidators, you don’t know how much profit they made from the sale of your product; however, with The Charity Hub, you know the amount by the donations made on your behalf. We give 50% of our net profits to the charity of YOUR choice. With us, there is transparency that you wouldn’t otherwise get. See an example Cash Flow of our How Donations Work with us.
Environmental Care (Planet)
The Charity Hub responsibly liquidates product that would oftentimes be slated for disposal or donation. Less garbage is a good thing for our environment!
Donating to charities is great in theory; however, we know most charities don’t have the bandwidth, know-how or warehouse space to store and sell physical products to create the cash they need. Charities really want cash which is why more non-profits contact The Charity Hub to handle the product transaction to raise funds for their cause. Read: 4 Ways Your Charity Can Deal with Large Product Donations.
Similarly, to the economic benefits noted above, a recent survey shows that 51% of US business students would take lower pay if the company is environmentally responsible. Partnering with The Charity Hub helps show employees that doing good for the planet and people is an important corporate value.
Social Well-Being (People)
The Charity Hub uses YOUR excess inventory as a vehicle to create cash donations for YOUR favorite charity (or company Foundation) supporting PEOPLE that access these important community services.
Your employees can feel good knowing that their employer gives even MORE to community programs - some of which their own families may even access!
I don’t know about you but when I’m having a difficult time and get the support I need, my heart grows, and I want to pay it forward to those around me. Doing good for others is contagious and fills your bucket while helping to make a better community, country, and world!
More donations = More support + Better community.
Stop disposing dead stock in the landfill and create cash for charity instead. The Charity Hub may not be the right fit for every company and every product may not be the right fit for us but let’s have a conversation to see if there’s a mutual fit to do some good for your people, profits, and the planet.
About The Charity Hub
The Charity Hub (TCH) offers a unique triple-impact liquidation solution that helps companies support their corporate social responsibility and raise their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) profile by buying excess, refurbished, and customer-returned inventory and turning it into charitable donations. As a Liquidator for Good, TCH makes it easy for global manufacturers, distributors, retailers, warehouses, and insurers to responsibly liquidate inventory by coordinating all logistics and sales, and then donating 50% of TCH’s net profits to the suppliers’ preferred charity. Our expertise is liquidating inventory, our power is giving back. To learn more about turning excess into impact, contact The Charity Hub.