Posted on 23rd May 2012 @ 5:13 AM
The biker gear business can be a money-losing proposition if you don't know how to control inventory. In fact, the most profitable outfits have perfected inventory control to the extent that they have very little stock left over when new deliveries begin to arrive. But the opposite is also true. The least profitable businesses have excess inventory they never seem to be able to deal with. Unfortunately, a lot of their difficulties are the result of distributors pushing excess products on retail outlets without any concern of the results.
As an example, I have a friend who also happens to be in the business of selling biker gear. I was at his office one day when I noticed a stack of boxes sitting in the corner unopened. When I inquired as to what they were, he told me they were wholesale motorcycle glasses -- 500 pairs to be exact.
Having been in retail for quite a number of years I asked why he bought some money. His response was something along the lines of: "The distributor offered me a price discount if I purchased 500 pairs or more, so I ordered 500. I'll eventually sell them all."
My friend's answer was typical of a new businessman. He has yet to fully grasp the seasonal nature of biker gear or that he has a very short window of time to sell those glasses. And though he thinks he'll be able to sell what's left over next season, he's going to be sadly disappointed. Next year's styles are going to be what bikers are buying next year. He'll have to sell his excess at deeply discounted prices and take a loss.
Whether your business is wholesale motorcycle glasses or wholesale office products, the key to good inventory control is knowing your customer. Find out who it is that's predominantly buying your merchandise, then study that customer like a championship athlete studies an opponent. The more you know about him and his buying habits the more likely you'll be able to make good inventory decisions.