When running a business from home, there needs to be methods in place that allow you to save money and buying products from liquidators is certainly an option. However, it can also be a terrible move if you make mistakes because they are very different to wholesalers. With this in mind, you should be aware of their terms as well as what you need to expect.
Although they sometimes buy from manufacturers, the majority of liquidators will buy from retail store chains. As well as Burlington, Big Lots and Coat Factory are two other well-known companies that look to sell liquidated items. Since they are capitalized and know exactly what is required, these three companies see success and you will need to apply the exact same principles if you are to see success in your eBay business.
In truth, there isn’t just one source that liquidators use to buy products so we are going to take you through them all so you have some expectations moving forward.
Returns – As the name suggests, these are products that customers have returned to the store which means that packages will be opened, some parts will be missing, and there may even be parts that don’t work at all. When dealing with electronics, you have to expect that they have been returned for good reason which is why some units will be dead on arrival (DOA). As long as you buy in large quantities, there should be enough good stock to offset all those that cannot be sold.
Odd Lots – Normally, these will come from manufacturers either as test runs that have now finished or if the quantities were simply too small to sell through their regular sources. Since they are in perfect condition, these are the most desired products of all.
Large Inventory – Sometimes, companies order far too many items that cannot be sold or were part of a prior trend. For example, many stores have to place orders for movie merchandise before the movie is even released which means that they have to estimate its popularity. If the merchandise doesn’t sell, they are snapped up by liquidators.
Shelf Pulls – Since these regard products that are left over at the end of a particular season, they provide a little bit of risk because they would have been sitting on the clearance shelves or racks for some time. With this in mind, electronics may not work, clothes may be damaged, and boxes could be open. Included in this list, you will also find display items so you need to know exactly what you are buying. Again, the advice is to buy in large quantities.
Imperfect Items – In comparison to the others we have seen, these present a huge risk because they are imperfect in some way and may not sell as a result. In this category, the item will normally be fully-functional with something wrong with the aesthetics. For example, it could be a quilt cover printed upside-down or a shower curtain with wonky printing. Although they still do their job, they aren’t as the manufacturer desired which is why, by law, you have to state the imperfection whilst selling.
Store Closings – If a store is closing due to bankruptcy or any other reason, you may be able to get your hands on the remaining stock. In this category, there are normally some good deals to be had and the quality of items will generally vary. On the whole, you can do well from this as long as you know what you are buying.
If you are looking to boost your inventory, buying from liquidators can be a great way to do so. As long as you manage your expectations and be sensible with all purchases, you will be able to make money from an eBay business of this type.