Even with the best supply chain management or inventory tracking software, most businesses, at some point or another, have excess, old or \n\nundesirable inventory they want or need to get rid of. While companies can use a liquidator to dispose of unwanted inventory, that method \n\ntypically only nets pennies on the dollar. \nSo how can merchants dispose of unwanted goods and still make a small profit, or at least break even? Here are the top six strategies for \n\ndisposing of last season's or excess inventory that can provide a return on the original investment, or at least a tax write-off.\n1. Discount the merchandise -- and advertise the sale. Whether you are an ecommerce or brick-and-mortar business, your \n\nfirst step to disposing of, or trying to move, old or excess merchandise should be to offer it at a discount -- i.e., put it on sale. This is the simplest \n\nand typically the most cost effective method of disposing of old or unwanted inventory as chances are you will still make a profit on the item (the \n\noriginal price having been marked up from your cost), break even or just take a small loss. \nTo alert customers you are having a sale or are running a "special promotion," advertise it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, your company \n\nblog) and via your company newsletter, offering loyal customers special discounts or coupons. \n2. Try Craigslist. "Businesses often neglect to utilize, at their loss, the free Classifieds website, Craigslist.org," says JR Rodrigues, CEO of online network cable and IT supplies supplier NetCablesPlus.com. Among the many advantages of selling via Craigslist (according \n\nto Rodrigues): \n1. All listings for the sales of equipment, new or used, are free to post, whereas eBay and Amazon charge per posting.\n2. Craigslist also does not charge a commission on sales you make, whereas eBay and Amazon take a commission on every sale.\n3. A Craigslist classified ad can be set up and published in 5 minutes. \n4. Craigslist is great for attracting local buyers -- and not having to worry about shipping.\n5. You can insist on a cash-and-carry transaction. So you don't have to worry about credit card or check fraud.\n3. Partner with a daily deal site. "If you have consumer goods to liquidate, you might consider a daily deal site, such as Tanga.com, to move excess inventory," says Jeremy Young, CEO, Tanga.com. "Sites like Tanga \n\nhave access to large mailing lists of budget-minded consumers that shop with them. As such they can move volume of products in virtually any \n\nconsumer category in larger batches," he explains. "Also, by selling through closeout channels, you can protect the price point on your most \n\ncurrent offerings."\nOther daily deal sites to consider: Woot, Groupon and LivingSocial.\n4. Set up a secondary shop on a marketplace, such as Amazon, eBay or Proxibid. Another way to dispose of excess \n\ninventory is to "work with a reliable online marketplace, like Proxibid, which connects \n\nbuyers and sellers of highly valued items," suggests Ryan Downs, president and CEO of Proxibid. "Proxibid sells across every major inventory \n\nclass, providing asset disposition strategies (advertising, private-party sales, timed auction, live auction, direct purchase) to businesses across \n\nthe globe from a single source." The advantage of selling in a marketplace: you get "back-end marketing and technology support and access to \n\nan active buyer base."\n"We've struggled with [this issue] in the past -- making almost nothing selling to discount chains," says Christina diPierro, founder and co-\n\nowner of Adea, which sells luxury layering tops, camisoles and lingerie for women. "So \n\nwe tried Amazon early this year and have found it to be very effective. Selling discontinued\/irregular merchandise through Amazon moves goods \n\nthat we wouldn't be able to easily sell on our own site," she explains. While "it is time consuming to set up," she acknowledges (and you don't \n\nget paid right away), "the pros outweigh the cons in our case." An added bonus of selling on Amazon: "Customers that found us on Amazon often \n\nvisit our website and purchase there as well after they became familiar with our merchandise."\nEbay is another good option for those looking to sell older or gently used items.\n5. Use a remarketer. When trying to dispose of excess inventory, "you can [try] traditional liquidation, [i.e., sell stuff] at \n\ncents on the dollar to some liquidator, who then sells it to someone else, who then sells it to someone else. Or you can work with a [remarketer] \n\nlike Optoro," says Sylvie Thompson, vice president, solution strategy, Optoro.\n"Optoro [using its proprietary cloud-based software and marketing platform, OptiTurn] allows retailers to connect directly with popular \n\nsecondary marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, while maintaining their anonymity," says J Rollins, executive vice president, Field \n\nOperations, Optoro. Moreover, Optoro handles the entire remarketing process, from merchandising and channel management, to direct \n\nmarketing and email campaigns, to customer service and returns processing.\n6. Donate the merchandise. "There's a way to eliminate inventory headaches and it's a solution that turns a problem like \n\nexcess inventory into a positive for the company's reputation and bottom line," says Gary C. Smith, president, National Association for the \n\nExchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR), a gifts-in-kind organization. "IRC Section 170(e)\n\n(3), a little-known section of the tax code, allows C Corporations to donate excess inventory and receive an up to twice-cost federal tax \n\ndeduction," he explains. "Donating your excess inventory to a gifts-in-kind organization not only will significantly reduce your tax obligation, it \n\nwill get your excess, non-selling products into the hands of qualified, deserving nonprofits across the country." \nMoreover, "the donation process is easy, secure and flexible," he says. Gifts-in-kind organizations "can accept shipments of supplies ranging \n\nfrom one box to dozens of truckloads, and in many cases, the freight charges to ship a donation to a gifts-in-kind program also are tax \n\ndeductible."\nYou can find out more about gifts-in-kind giving and how to participate on the NAEIR site as well as at Good360, a nonprofit international organization specializing in product philanthropy.