Buying liquidation merchandise is much like standing in line waiting to go on an exciting ride at your favorite theme park. Those that are new to the liquidation industry experience some of the same emotions as one would standing in line waiting to ride a large roller coaster… excitement and fear.
Go ahead and be excited, but make sure you understand the following before making a purchase:
Point 1: Customer return loads vary in merchandise damage ratios. No two pallets or truckloads will be similar in the condition of goods. Never believe a sales person who tells you to expect a specific percentage of damages. How do they know? They don’t!
Point 2: It’s common to purchase loads with a manifest only to find out some line items are missing. If the manifest says 1,645 items and after processing the load you count 1634! Bingo, welcome to the world of liquidations. I am speaking from experience; I am someone who has purchase countless truckloads and found some shortage on each load. In my example, missing 11 items is not too bad if they are low end/priced items. If your missing 11 DVD players or home theaters…you’ve got a bit of an issue. Again, this is common. If you find a substantial variance, I would try to resolve with the seller.
Point 3: Small loads of customer returns are difficult to work with. Single pallet purchases often do not have enough items to piece together merchandise that is compromised in some way. Multiple pallets and truckload quantities are your best bet. Larger purchases also make sense in terms of overall shipping cost.
Point 4: You need to be creative with damaged items! Just because a dish set is missing two saucers, you can still claim value and sell “as is” for the right price. People buy all kinds of damaged items. Just make sure your customer knows about the damage and give them a great deal!
Here’s what I have to say:
Our 2018 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