Back in the “good ole days” of sourcing wholesale liquidation merchandise, a reseller almost had what I would call a sure thing in terms of an exclusive supply of stock. I’m talking about the liquidation industry back in 2000, 2001, and 2002, where someone had to spend between $10,000 – $15,000.00 to get their hands on a Job Out pallet lot from Macys. If you had that kind of money to spend for inventory, you could turn around and dictate secondary pricing to those who could not afford to make such a large inventory investment. This was an era where Macys shelf pulls where being re-wholesaled on the secondary market for somewhere between $7 and $8 per unit!.
Life was good if you resold this stock piece by piece on eBay, as the market was not flooded- yet. On or about the year 2004, those within the buy and resell industry started to see a flood of kitchen table brokers appear on the scene.
Almost overnight it seemed as though anyone with an internet connection, and a desire to make a small commission, was reselling small lots of department store self pull clothing. The IMASD (theimasd.com) was Surplus.net back then, and you could search through this directory and find hundreds of brokers reselling 50 and 100 count lots of high end shelf pull apparel. Pricing became very competitive, and wholesalers [liquidators] who were once making a good living with an almost exclusive supply, stopped buying large loads due to market saturation. The bubble started to burst as demand slowed.
Large department stores, now with an abundance of stock to liquidate, began to sell smaller pallet loads of clothing and general merchandise. This opened up the market to eBay sellers who could now buy direct, skipping the middleman, or Broker, all together.
Fast forward to 2012, virtually anyone with a few hundred dollars to invest can buy a small wholesale lot of department store shelf pulls and start an eBay business or set up a table at the local flea market. The liquidation industry “ain’t what she used to be!”