I think it’s logical to start selling something you’re passionate about or maybe just really familiar with. We all wear clothing every day, so I think it’s fitting to get an eBay business started reselling something everyone on the planet needs- clothing.
Most clothing sellers get their start on eBay by selling the “shirt that you just had to have,” but never wore; or the dress that you thought looked good in the store but once home, decided it wasn’t for you. You know who you are.
Excess clothing lying around the house might get one started as a casual reseller on eBay, but if you truly want to start a clothing business you will have to look at buying wholesale or better yet, source clothing within the liquidation industry.
Liquidation clothing is clothing that is sold off in bulk quantities by large big box stores who either have excess stock that is no longer going to be sold or clothing that has been sold, but then returned to the store for exchange or credit; commonly referred to as customer returned clothing. This is a great opportunity for budding clothing sellers to cash in with the ability to buy in bulk, at rock-bottom pricing.
Within the liquidation industry, bulk buyers can purchase clothing that has either been returned to the store or deemed MOS- Marked Out of Stock. This MOS stock is referred to as shelf pull clothing. Which category should you buy if you intend to start an eBay clothing business? Well, it just depends.
Customer Returns – Defined
Customer return liquidation clothing will show signs of wear and damages. No two purchases of customer returned clothing will be similar in damage ratios; some may be heavily damaged, while other loads my show little to no damages at all. It really depends on several factors including what store the clothing originated from. Or in some cases, what catalog company the clothing was sold through.
Lower-end stores such as Shopko, Kmart, Walmart, etc. tend to have higher damage ratios with customer returned merchandise when compared to store such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Belk’s, and on. Clothing catalog companies usually have the best quality returns because catalog companies make it really easy for someone to return a purchase quickly if it’s the wrong size, color, etc. Apparel catalog companies receive an unusually high amount of returns simply because clothing cannot be tried on before buying.
Shelf Pull – Defined
Shelf Pull (MOS – Marked Out of Stock) clothing usually represents the best value for bulk buyers who need to rest easy knowing a purchase of customer returns can be a complete surprise, in terms of condition. If you’re not comfortable with the thought of risk, make sure to purchase MOS shelf pull clothing.
Even so, shelf pulled clothing can exhibit some minor damages just due to handling in the warehouse, items being tried on at the store level, or perhaps a mission button here and there. All in all, shelf pull items are considered clean with a minimal amount of prep work needed to resell.
Why is shelf pull clothing available? Big box chain stores constantly change clothing lines as new styles and season come and go. Also, if a store ordered too many of one particular item or clothing line, this is cause to liquidate in pallet and truckload quantities.
Our 2020 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