In one trade-back program, my vendor left the slower-selling goods on consignment after giving us the credit toward the new order. It was cheaper for them to have the goods in my basement than having to handle them again. Besides, if the goods were still in my possession, there was a better chance for me to sell some of them. Surprisingly, it didn't take very long for us to move the old goods between what we sold and then sending, at our supplier's instructions, the remainder to their other customers.
As a vendor, helping customers over the "hump" may be a way of increasing business not only during slow times but may have a very positive effect when times get better.
The answer may be as simple as creating new methods of advertising the product. All too often, "standard" goods are not looked upon as exciting. They were exciting when they were new, so why not look at them as if they were new? Maybe they haven't been advertised for a long time. An ad, a poster, a new display unit, new boxes or labels, ideas of new ways of use, are some of the methods that could be used to boost sales.
What is important is that you are willing to do something to get things moving. More important, any of these methods would be telling your staff and your customers that you are not sitting back and crying in your beer. Instead, you are ordering "beer on the house for everyone!"