Readers of our blog often submit questions relating to wholesale liquidation merchandise. Last week we received this email:
“I am currently buying cosmetics from a Liquidator locally and he has a good supply of brands and lets me buy by minimum quantities of 500 units. I am exporting these cosmetics to Central America, I want to know if these cosmetics that we buy around $.95 to $1.50 per unit are expired or if there is something wrong with them, why do CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have to liquidate these products? Is it normally the process to re-stock new products or is is something wrong with the cosmetics like they are about to expire, etc?”
You’ve basically answered half of your question already; you are correct in your assumption that cosmetic distributors “pull” makeup items that are nearing freshness dating. Unlike milk that goes sour a few days past the branded expiration date, cosmetics still have usability after a manufacturers branded sell by date. Having said that, to maintain brand value and perceived value, makeup merchandisers pull and reset beauty items on a regular basis. This is good news for you, a makeup exporter, and hundreds of thousands of others who wish to buy name brand makeup in bulk, wholesale quantities.
In addition to expiration dates, manufacturers constantly change packaging and come up with new versions/colors of sought after makeup items.
For the small eBay, Amazon, and off-line sellers, buying from a wholesale liquidator represents a great way to break into the secondary retail world of selling name brand lipstick, eye shadow, foundation, etc.. Larger buyers, such as yourself, should target large distributors of cosmetics and bid to purchase large quantities of shelf resets, overstock, and pulls. I can tell you the market is cornered for such acquisitions by some large players within the salvage industry. Often, a purchase of 500,000 to 1,000,000 units would be necessary. Small fish are not given the time of day.