Five things you didn’t know about liquidation sales


We’ve all seen those closed big box stores with the empty parking lots. While it’s appropriate to feel sorry for those affected by the closure, and perhaps even nostalgia about the closure of a long-time favorite, these closures open up new opportunities for liquidation sales.

Liquidation sales can be a great way to stock your own shelves or pick up inventory for an ecommerce business. Here are five things you may not know about how they work.

It’s not all trinkets and trash

If you’ve been burned in the past by liquidation sales that were largely just companies offloading damaged or useless goods, it’s time to look again. Today, it’s possible to get high-quality, popular goods at prices far below wholesale.

Online sellers on Amazon and eBay use liquidation sales to obtain products, and this is part of the secret to their success. There’s no reason you can’t use the same tactic to stock your own inventory and increase your profit margin.

Online liquidation wholesalers are increasingly useful

In the past, when a retailer or a manufacturer was stuck with a lot of goods they needed to offload, there was no good way to get rid of it. When a retailer went under, they could only sell goods directly to the public at the store and hope to get rid of most of it.

Returns and lightly damaged or refurbished goods can sometimes be sent to secondary retailers who then sell them at a discount, but still at higher costs than wholesale. Today, distribution warehouses exist that can buy up goods in bulk and turn them around in liquidation sales without enormous overhead.

Sales in stores are often not bargains

When you see that sign saying “everything must go”, it’s natural to assume that the store must be packed with bargains. The trouble is that these sorts of on-site sales are usually run by liquidation specialists. These are agents who are tasked with helping the company get as much profit as it possibly can from the inventory it still has.

This profit goes towards paying creditors and even trying to make a little profit for the insolvent company if possible. While that’s not a bad thing, it’s not the way for you to get the best deal. On the other hand, buying from a liquidation warehouse distributor ensures you’re buying the goods after all those sales are done, and at the lowest possible prices.

Liquidation goods can be damaged or expired

If you’re not buying from a reputable online marketplace, you don’t have any idea what you’re getting in some cases. It’s not at all uncommon to order a pallet worth of goods only to find that the expiration date is only a week away or that the items are damaged. If things arrived damaged, there’s little you can do about it when the seller has gone out of business.

Buying directly from companies that are going out of business is a little like playing Russian roulette sometimes. So always go with an online liquidation warehouse that checks their goods and lets you know the condition before you buy. If something goes wrong, you also have someone to talk to to work it out.

You can save time shopping online

While liquidation sales are great for getting a bargain, they aren’t great for making efficient use of your time. You may have to hunt in a dozen different places to find enough of the items you need, and once you get a pallet, you may find that you have to sort it all by hand.

By using an online marketplace to buy liquidation sale goods, you can be sure that you’re sourcing everything you need, retaining access to a steady supply, and getting everything sorted so you can get down to the business of selling.