Sometimes buying closeouts is a bit of a crapshoot. You’re gambling that you will get great merchandise at discount prices and hope that the items are all saleable with little or no throwaways. You can increase your chances of winning the gamble with liquidation and merchandise if you follow a few tips before you buy. The first is the easiest to remember, since you only use it once. If this is your first time buying closeouts, buy only a small quantity to test the waters. Of course, you can use the same principal if you’re testing a new wholesaler, too.
Finding a reputable wholesaler to deal with is important. When you start with a new wholesaler, before you even look at any offers, ask for references. If they refuse to supply them, go elsewhere. You can also check out online wholesalers by Googling them or checking them out at TrustE.com or SquareTrade. It’s always nice, but not always possible, to find a local closeout supplier within driving distance. If you have access to a truck, that’s even nicer. You can view the items or get a feel for the business up close and personal and if you decide to make a purchase, can take it home with you that day and avoid transportation cost.
Shipping cost is another important item to explore when buying liquidation and merchandise. Even if you get a super discount on a pallet, you’ll save nothing if the price per item to ship adds to the cost too much to allow a profit. Some wholesalers offer lower shipping costs as one of their techniques to get more customers. If they’re reputable and have great items at huge discounts, you’ve found the perfect supplier.
Know the terminology of closeouts. If it’s truly closeout items or factory overruns and discontinued items or new ones, it’s a good buy. Salvage, shelf pulls and return items are not necessarily bargains. Salvage is just that. You often can only use these items for parts. Dealing in shelf pulls can be tricky. Retailers or factories may have pulled them because they were defective or broke immediately upon use. Some of these items have had many hands touch them and aren’t in their original packaging. Store returns are the same. Very often, there are parts missing or damaged in some other way. Every item you have to throw away drives the price of the others upward and makes your task of sorting through your find even more difficult.
Finally, get everything in writing before you pay or finalize your order. You’ll save a lot of headaches and avoid misunderstandings if you make sure to follow this step with every purchase.