How to Run a Successful Clearance Sale on a Shoestring Budget

[This article was written by Michelle Deery.]

There are many reasons for wanting to hold a clearance sale. Maybe you have too much unsold merchandise that’s taking up space, and not making you any profits. Or maybe you’re just looking to attract new customers.

Whatever the reason, clearance sales can bring numerous benefits to your business. Some of these include:

  • Clearing lines or individual products that aren’t selling that well
  • Attracting new customers by enticing them with discounts or special offers
  • Re-engaging existing customers who haven’t visited your store in a while

The benefits of clearance sales are clear. But, can they be run on a tight budget? And can you achieve the results you want without spending loads of money?

The answer is yes. By following these tips, you can make your sale a success without breaking the bank.

What are your objectives?

 Once you’ve decided to run a clearance sale, the first thing you need to do is think about your objectives. You need to be clear about what you actually want to get out of the sale. For example, are you trying to clear out old stock? Or are you trying to build brand awareness or showcase a particular product? Setting your objectives are so important as they will affect the way you should go about promoting your sale, as well as the prices you set.

Choosing the right discount

The vast majority of businesses use, or have used, discounts, special offers, or promotions to boost sales. Most consumers are used to being offered some type of discount when they shop. In fact, one survey has shown that 93% of consumers have used a buy one get one free discount before, and just 4% have never taken advantage of any type of money off deal or discount.

Some of the most popular options for discounts include free shipping, discount on clearance items, storewide discounts, buy one get one free and coupons. When choosing the right type of discount for your sale, you need to take into account what you’re trying to achieve. Certain types of deals are better suited for different goals. For instance, if you want to clear out stock, you should offer a discount on clearance items. Or, if you want to attract new customers, a flat coupon can work better.

Get the timing right

The frequency and timing of your clearance sales are essential to their success. One of the most common mistakes companies make is that they run sales too frequently. This can lower profits, and can also attract customers who are looking for a one-off deal and might not purchase from you again.

However, if you get the timing right, clearance sales can be a very effective way of building your customer base and driving your sales. If you’re running an end of season clearance, make sure that you do it at a time when the product will still be attractive and useful to your customers. Make sure that you don’t leave it too late. If your product isn’t seasonal, then you can run your sale at a quiet point in the year.

Promoting your sale

When it comes to launching your sale, making sure as many people hear about it as possible is key. And whilst larger companies spend millions on advertising their special offers, there’s no reason why you can’t do it on a budget. The first step is to make sure that your clearance is clearly displayed. Your customers need to be aware of your discount straight away. This could be displayed on your website using a banner, or on your social media pages or newsletter. If you’re targeting existing customers, using email marketing to reach them can be very effective in promoting your clearance sale.

Use social media

Social media can be a very effective way of reaching out to millions of potential customers, and can very often be done on a low budget. Data shows that 81% of people in the US now have an active social media profile. And the number of users is continuing to grow. It’s estimated that by 2021, there will be around 3 billion active users around the world. This makes it one of the best resources for selling to both existing customers, and targeting individuals who could become customers in the future. Some of the best sites to use are:

  • LinkedIn – Very often, people use LinkedIn as an online resume. However, it can also be used to find new customers, connect with other businesses and leave recommendations. You can also use to it get referrals, which can lead to more sales.
  • Facebook – Facebook is one of the most widely used social media platforms, making it ideal for reaching out to customers. It’s also very cost effective to advertise on, and, once you have determined your audience, you can target adverts and posts for them.
  • Twitter – Normally used as a customer service platform, Twitter is great for connecting with your customers and informing them of your upcoming offers. It can also be used to engage with influencers and other businesses.
  • Pinterest – Pinterest is one of the best places online for sharing pictures of products. This can drive more traffic to your site, increase sales and help you to reach a wider audience.


Running a clearance sale on a budget can be tough. But, by following these steps, you can achieve your goals and make it a success.

Author Bio:

Michelle Deery is a freelance writer for Heroic Search in Tulsa. She has a passion for writing about eCommerce and current marketing trends. Follow her @MichWriting to keep up with her latest work

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