Why Should You Start Buying Liquidation Pallets from Stores and Retailers
You’re reading this because you have questions and more than a little curiosity about the liquidation industry. You have come to the right place. Selling liquidation inventory is a viable avenue in which you can build and grow a successful business while building relationships in and around your community that can last a lifetime. You can grow your profit margin, expand your customer base and build connections, all while being your own boss. I am so glad you have taken the time to read this article to learn more about all that the liquidation industry entails.
Retailers like Walmart, Target, Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot want the most profitable items on their shelves. The truth is, though, those items change with people's moods, the season and for many other reasons. As a result, stores find themselves with excess inventory that they need to get rid of. This may be frustrating for big retailers, but it can be your golden goose. Retailers want their excess inventory gone, and those in the liquidation industry can buy it and sell these liquidation truckloads to their customers.
Get your first pallet from popular retailers
Right now, you’re probably wondering how to buy liquidation directly from a store. While some stores have their own liquidation channels where you can sign up and buy directly, that doesn’t always mean that you’re getting the best deal. Most stores won’t work directly with people who are new in the business because of the lack of volume or lack of industry understanding. However, an option that is consistently beneficial to you and your new business is buying from a professional broker like BuyLow Warehouse.
If you buy liquidation pallets from stores, you will find that the retailers are looking out for their bottom line. Their best interest isn’t always the same as yours. When dealing with a professional broker, they buy in volume and have strong relationships in the industry. This helps them to get you better deals because of those relationships. They will also be in your corner should something go wrong. They always do better when you do better.
***This only applies to professional brokers. Fly-by-night brokers will charge you outrageous prices and leave you high and dry if there is a problem.
As much as you may want to know how to buy liquidation pallets from stores, it’s more feasible and profitable for you if you go through a professional broker like BuyLow Warehouse. Most people new to the liquidation industry won’t have the connections, the industry experience or volume to buy direct from a retailer. Fortunately, professional brokers are in the liquidation business to help find the right liquidation truckload for you at the best possible price.
You are interested in the liquidation industry, but you still have unanswered questions. Hopefully, we can help you answer them.
Is pallet liquidation and truckload liquidation legit?
Well, the answer to both questions is a resounding YES! There are people out there who want to scam you, but that is true for any industry and there are ways to weed them out. The liquidation industry has been a necessary and successful business for decades, and you, too, can be counted among the ranks of successful liquidators. But first, there are a few steps you need to take to make sure your new business runs smoothly.
Do your research before you start buying. Too many people get excited and rush into the business too fast. They think they have a business model complete with a specific product type and sales channel, but don’t take the time to understand their customer base, their competitors and what is driving the business in their area. Their excitement to dive in blindly ends up costing them dearly.
Knowing what type of product you want to sell is one of the key factors to your success. If you live in a town inundated with tool stores, it probably wouldn’t be wise to open up another tool store. You have to find the needs of your community whether locally or online, and find the best way in which you can meet them. In other words, which niche can you fill that is currently being under-served? Look around your local area and see what products the stores are offering. Is there a lack of home decor and garden products? Is there a need for a store that offers apparel and accessories at an affordable price? It will take research to discover your niche, but the effort will pay off when the customers start coming to your store.
Once you determine what product to buy, you will want to decide what stores to buy the liquidation pallets from.
Who Are the Most Popular Liquidation Retailers?
With so many retailers out there and so many products to choose from, you may wonder, “Who are the most popular liquidation retailers?” Let me give you a rundown of some of the most popular liquidation retailers below.
Each of these retailers provides different product types in what they call “programs.” A program simply means that one truckload out of that program will be similar to the next truckload out of that program. The programs help categorize the product in many different ways (product condition, product category, product size, product source, ect). It would be impossible to provide a summary of every program from every liquidation retailer, but we will provide a general overview of each of the most popular liquidation retailer’s common programs below.
- Amazon- Expect a wide variety of products to show up on Amazon liquidation truckloads. The person selling the truckload should be able to give you some guidance, such as if it will have minimal clothing vs. a lot of clothing, or minimal food vs. a lot of food. They also should be able to tell you if the truckload has more returns (LPN) vs. new products (FC).
At the end of the day, remember that this is Amazon. They sell everything and anything can end up in a liquidation truckload of Amazon irregardless of what guidance you are provided. However, the load should not vary substantially from the guidance provided for several truckloads (3-5 truckloads). If it does, then the seller may not understand the specific program enough for you to trust their guidance. Product conditions can vary based upon the program that you are purchasing.
Walmart - Liquidation truckloads from Walmart generally skew toward items that are medium to bulk in size. You don’t get a large amount of small items. If you want to know what type of products to expect on the truckload, simply walk into any Walmart store and start looking around. Rarely does food or substantial amounts of clothing show up on these liquidation truckloads. Product condition is generally higher in returned condition on Walmart liquidation truckloads as compared to some other retailers.
Target - Target liquidation truckloads are known for being one of the cleanest retailer’s customer returns loads in the liquidation industry. Guidance is generally provided that approximately 85% of everything in the liquidation truckload will be some form of “new” condition. This could include opened-box, overstock, shelf-pull, returned but unopened, ect. The size of items on these truckloads vary from small to large, and they contain almost every product category that you can think of. If you need more clarity, head to a Target store and look around at the merchandise Target has on the shelves. That is a great representation of what you will receive in the liquidation truckloads from Target.
Liquidation truckloads from Target are going to have a higher percentage of softlines (apparel, bedding, bath towels, ect). For a new buyer, the volume of softlines can sometimes cause a few issues, but the good news is that if you can accumulate the apparel until you have at least ½ a truckload-worth, professional brokers like BuyLow Warehouse can help you sell the merchandise to a clothing buyer. All you have to do is ask!
- Home Depot - Home Depot liquidation truckloads come in a couple different forms. There are specific programs that represent a specific build type (Ex. “Turbo” or “OPE”), but there are also manifested lots that contain all 1 type of product category and can be any number of pallets-worth of merchandise (Small Appliances, Tool & Hardware, Outdoor Seasonal, ect). The buyer can purchase one lot at a time, or combine several lots to build a full truckload. The product condition is generally cleaner than other home improvement liquidation options.
CAUTION! If you purchase a manifested liquidation truckload from Home Depot, understand that the accuracy of their manifests are sub-par, and you could find yourself missing some of the items on the truckload that you were wanting. Discuss with your seller if there is any type of recourse for this BEFORE you purchase the truckload. You want to know exactly what to do if you receive a truckload like this so that you do not proceed with processing the truckload and doing something that causes you to not be able to submit a claim.
Lowes - Lowes liquidation truckloads are not categorized. They are mixed with every category that comes from Lowes. The product condition is known for being worse than other retailers’ liquidation truckloads, but the lower price point that the liquidation truckloads sell for helps account for the condition. The purchaser of the liquidation truckloads can still make a profit from the truckloads, although it may take a little more “elbow grease” to do it.
Kohls - Kohls liquidation truckloads have two primary programs, a housewares/general merchandise and a domestics (softlines such as bedding, towels, shower curtains, ect). The loads are generally going to be manifested and sold at a percentage of the retail value of the load. The condition can be spotty with some liquidation truckloads from Kohls being home runs with limited damaged merchandise, while others contain items with much heavier use.
Dollar General - Dollar General liquidation truckloads contain products that are generally all new in condition with product tags. They rarely contain customer returns. These loads also generally have a higher piece count. The pallets are also generally tall. These are unmanifested and ship from origins all over the United States.
CVS - Liquidation truckloads from CVS contain items that are generally all new in condition. There are two primary different types of liquidation truckloads that CVS produces. These are a GM load that does not contain as high of a piece count as compared to the other program that contains very high piece counts (20,000-30,000+) with items such as lip balm, OTC medicine, ect. This description could be applied to most other local pharmacy stores such as Walgreens liquidation truckloads also.
What are the Different Types of Product Categories?
Every product category is represented in the liquidation industry. Some of the different types of product categories that are regularly available are described below.
Home, Garden, and Tool Liquidation
The home, garden and tool liquidation truckloads focus on the maintenance and beautification of your lawn and home, both inside and outside. Products can include anything from home decor items to products that help your lawn and garden to grow as well as all the tools needed to maintain your property. Some of the liquidation retailers that specialize in this product are Lowes, Home Depot, Ace’s Hardware, Walmart and Target.
Apparel and Accessories Liquidation
The apparel liquidation category is what you would think: liquidation clothes for men, women, and children as well as accessories such as jewelry, hats, shoes and scarves. Some of the liquidation retailers that create liquidation truckloads of this product category include Amazon, Walmart, Target and JCPenney.
The electronics liquidation category includes everything from computers to gaming consoles, radios and small appliances. Be careful when you buy an electronics liquidation truckload to ensure that you’re getting what you are paying for! There are many scammers that try to scam people into buying electronics loads. Don’t become a victim! Some of the liquidation retailers that create electronics liquidation truckloads are Amazon, Walmart, Gamestop and BestBuy.
The appliance liquidation category can be divided into two very distinct categories: small appliances, which are included in many retailers’ regular general merchandise liquidation truckloads, and large appliances that are generally liquidated in their own program. Small appliances include toasters, microwaves, blenders, air fryers, ect. Some retailers that include small appliances in their liquidation truckloads are Amazon, Target, Kohls, Walmart and Best Buy. Large appliance liquidation loads include washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, etc. Some of the liquidation retailers that generate large appliance truckloads are Lowes and Home Depot.
General Merchandise Liquidation
General merchandise liquidation truckloads are produced by most retailers that are large enough to have a liquidation program. These truckloads contain a little something from most all categories. They may contain apparel, food, books or none of that. Stores like Amazon are a catch-all of many general merchandise liquidation truckloads. They have so much general merchandise that they classify their liquidation truckloads into the size of the item in the truckload (small or high piece count, mediums, bulk or mech lift).
You may be asking how to buy Amazon pallets or even where can I buy an Amazon truckload of liquidation? Unfortunately, with Amazon being such a large company, it’s virtually impossible for someone new to the industry to buy directly from them. Never fear, though; brokers like BuyLow Warehouse have spent years building up relationships with them, so they can offer you great deals on truckloads that are right for you.
Finding a Liquidation Seller
In this industry, like many others, there are people only looking out for themselves. It’s a sad truth that the goal of some people in the world is to scam you out of your money. Therefore, it’s vitally important that you learn who the reputable sellers of liquidation products are. There are a few ways in which you can do this:
- Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) - Businesses that have taken the time to be vetted by the BBB are more likely to be legitimate and honest. The BBB has a reputation to uphold, and they don’t put their stamp of approval on just any business.
- Industry or Business Awards - If a business has earned a prominent award from a legitimate organization, chances are they have been vetted and that is also a good sign that they are probably legitimate. However, do not base your decision fully on this. The vetting may only ensure they are a legitimate company, not that they use customer-friendly business practices.
- Check Google Reviews - Companies that have been around and that have been running legitimate businesses generally will have accumulated a plethora of Google Reviews about their company.
- Check on Social Media - Social Media Groups are a good source of information and connections for vetting sellers. Get to know the people in these groups and ask questions. If multiple people are vouching for a seller, you may be onto something. If only a few of the same people are singing their praises while others are weary, then you may want to proceed with caution. Start slow, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do not rush into anything too fast! Also, be very careful if the group/profile that you are communicating with is a small group/profile. Scammers can easily set up a group/profile to appear legitimate. Make sure to vet each group/profile, not just the members in it.
How Can BuyLow Warehouse Make Buying Store Liquidation Easy?
There are a lot of details that go into running your business. To maintain focus on all of these details, you need to find ways to free up your time and dependable partners that you can trust to work with. BuyLow Warehouse is one of those partners. BuyLow not only offers their customers unique insights into the liquidation industry, but they can be relied upon to have fair pricing, give honest advice and provide quality products. BuyLow is committed to making sure your experience in the liquidation industry is as easy and stress free as possible.
BuyLow Warehouse vets the programs on your behalf to curate and only offer the programs that give you the best chance for success. BuyLow also can discuss your chosen business model and recommend programs of liquidation product that fit the sales model you have chosen. This will not only help set you up for success, but will also help set the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the liquidation industry as a whole. BuyLow also stands behind their sales. If something is grossly different from the description, BuyLow Warehouse offers a “Make It right Guarantee.”
Check out our Beginners Guide to Selling Liquidation Merchandise for more helpful tips.
Meet the Author
Matt Leavell is the founder and CEO of BuyLow Warehouse. As a passionate business executive with over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and more than 13 years of operations management experience, Matt's goal is to empower sellers to start and grow their own liquidation businesses the smart way. Matt uses his expertise in business growth, improving efficiency and liquidation selling to partner with sellers big and small, so they can reach their full potential.
Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.