Here at the Liquidators Guide, I receive countless emails asking all kinds of questions. From time to time I like to publish my responses online. I do this because I know that if one person asks, I know there are a multitude of you out there who have the same (or very similar) question. The following question is hot off the press:

Hi Rob, My name is Al, I love the idea of selling liquidation and wholesale for many years I sold dreams for a living, now I think it is time for me to sell something else- lol. I am the kind of guy that takes the money now and ask questions later for many years I worked on radio sales I was taught to take the cash fast from customers…. and, I am a hang glider pilot that should tell you a little about me… Do I take risk? Yes and no “If the risk is secure then Yes” … It is like launching off a 5000 foot mountain with a hang glider… Am I hooked in? Yes Do I know if the glider is going to fly? (Yes) then the question is do I know how to read the wind and then it is up to me and how good I can fly it.

Now here is this new liquidation business opportunity waiting for me, it is a new type of Hang Glider and I don’t know how to fly it… I may think I can figure it out on the way down but it will cost me to do so… What are the chances of me crashing it if I don’t know how to fly it?

I have been waiting for the right opportunity to get in to selling wholesale…. I understand that there is a lot of junk out there and I don’t want to be stuck with it for the rest of my life. So I have to be-careful of what I buy… I see some pallet re-sellers that buy auction or heavens knows where them call themselves liquidators that are just scalping pallets and reselling them to the general public for a higher price those are the guys I want to stay away from, I understand that everyone has to make some cash but give me room to make some too lol. hope to hear from you

Hey Al, great to hear from you. Wow! Hang gliding…no thanks. Here’s the good news though: If something goes wrong buying a pallet of customer returns, you’re only out your investment; not your life, as in hang gliding.

When I talk to someone new about customer returns and shelf pulled items, I always ask a few questions. Here they are:

What type of merchandise are you interested in?
Al replied all types of merchandise.
How will you resell this merchandise?Al replied: Flea Market
How much do you have to safely invest to get started?Al replied $5,000 – $10,000
What State do you live in? – Al replied San Antonio, Texas. He also stated he has the ability to pick up at least 15 pallets himself

Since Al was gracious enough to email and ask questions, I’m happy to help with a few steps I believe he should take. Let’s jump right into my advice for Al:

Investigating
– OK Al, it’s time to do some research. You want to be as successful as you can be, correct? Alright, class starts right now:

  • Choosing a flea market – You may have a few different flea markets within your area, but which one is right for you? You want to review (1) average attendance, (2) days and hours of operation, and (3) booth costs
  • Product Selection – I know sometimes a new liquidation buyer has no clue as to what is available in the secondary market, but you should spend some time at least thinking about what type of inventories might be of interest to you. Once you have narrowed the field down, you can then check out competition at the market you’ve chosen to sell at. Too many competitors? Maybe it’s time to rethink the market you’ve chosen.

Types of Inventory – With secondary market goods, i.e. customer returns and shelf pull items, there is a bit of a learning curve. Al, you should take a hard look at our Liquidators Guide for in depth information about working with liquidated goods. Bottom line: customer returns are not easy to work with; you must be creative when it comes to damaged items. Shelf pulled items are a safer bet for new liquidation buyers because this category of liquidated items tends to be almost damage free.

Visit Before Buying – New liquidation buyers should not worry about buying pallets and truckloads of merchandise direct from the original source. Newbies should concentrate on purchase smaller “bite size” loads when getting started to test the waters and find out what working with customer returns and shelf pulled items are all about. There is plenty of time to buy direct, paying a lower price- trust me.

A new liquidation buyer should make a small 1-4 pallet when getting started. To do this, look for a wholesale liquidation company that buys direct and then sells in smaller quantities. This is the best advice I can give….start small!

Al…you said you live in Texas and you have the ability to pick up your own pallets. I would definitely recommend visiting a few wholesale liquidation companies to: (1) inspect merchandise, (2) decide what type of merchandise you would like to resell, and (3) make your first foray into liquidation purchasing. Who should you check out? I’ll list a few wholesale liquidators at the end of this post.

I want to reiterate the importance of reviewing suppliers before you make a purchase. Take some of the money you have earmarked ($5-$10,000) and use it for gas money, food, and lodging if necessary. Even if you had to venture out of state, its well worth the time and energy spent.

Al, are you still with me? Good, I want to plug our new training course, Flea Market Liquidator. Before you run off, you need to know its totally FREE training for new flea market vendors. Al, I don’t want you to be upset, but this FREE training course is not just for you…it’s for anyone who would like to learn how to set up a business at the flea market. Check it out!

Thanks again for the email Al; I really hope I was able to help a bit. Will you please keep in touch with us? I would love to hear your about your future success story.

Here are a few wholesale liquidators in Texas to research further. Google the following for more information. (remember… visit in person!)

Erica’s Bargains (per Google Maps – 2.95 hours from Al)
8685 Scranton St.
Houston, Texas 77075
713-910-5414

International Liquidation, Inc (per Google Maps – 22 minutes from Al)
2251 Piccadilly Dr., Building C330
Round Rock, Texas 78664
512-990-9950

The Liquidation Location (per Google Maps – 3.24 hours from Al)
200 Hughes Rd.
Dickerson, Texas 77539
713-336-3600

AML, Inc (per Google Maps – 10 hours from Al)
15810-A Highway 59
Foley, AL 36535
251-970-1100

 

Our 2017 Liquidators Guide chronicles 12 years of wholesale product sourcing experience and includes my personal black book of direct source contacts! As an industry expert, I'll share the success I've enjoyed along with the mistakes I've made buying and reselling liquidation merchandise.

If you are thinking about buying pallets of liquidation merchandise from a liquidator, broker, or direct from department stores, you need to check out The Liquidators Guide