The quality of the liquidation products you purchase has a big impact on the success of your business. Many people get stuck on the question, "Where do I find people who are selling pallets near me?" To help you answer that question and more about how to find the right liquidation merchandise, learn some tips on how to find quality products and vet the merchandise liquidators selling them.
How To Find Quality Truckloads of Wholesale Merchandise
Before we get into how to vet a supplier to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy, let’s review some methods to help you find quality merchandise and pallet sellers first.
Join Facebook Groups
There are plenty of Facebook groups that are focused on connecting suppliers with resellers. Search for them, join them, and become an active member. These groups are a good source of information on who is selling quality pallets and who isn’t.
Ask Other Sellers
Find people experienced in buying returned merchandise pallets and see if they have any tips on where to buy from.
Some places to find other sellers include Facebook groups, flea markets, and retail bin stores. Strike up a conversation, build some rapport, and then ask if they would be willing to tell you about any possible merchandise sources they’ve used and trust.
Connect with People in the Industry
Even if they aren’t sellers, people who engage with Facebook groups or frequent flea markets may have some tips on who to buy from and what sells best. Sign up for email lists, ask influencers, or go to trade shows to talk to people in the industry.
You could skip the supplier hunt altogether and put in some good old elbow grease by using one of the following methods to find merchandise:
- Online arbitrage from sellers on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace
- Local arbitrage from retail store sales, bin stores, flea markets, garage sales, estate sales, etc.
How To Vet Pallet Sellers Near Me
It’s very important to choose the right supplier. They can make or break the development of your business. Think of your conversations as a series of informal interviews in which you learn qualities about the supplier and how they operate.
Everything you are expecting from your supplier is also expected from you as a customer! If you are not willing to operate in this way, a quality supplier will find another customer that is. They do not have to do business with you just as you don’t have to do business with them. Below are some characteristics you should look for in a quality supplier before you decide to buy.
Are They Trustworthy?
The absolute most important characteristic for you to find in a supplier is trustworthiness. You must believe that you are part of a win-win relationship with your supplier. If you have heard negative reviews about the supplier or have received several dud pallets that were not as promised, you may need to find another source for products.
Sure, you are in the liquidation business, and you will inevitably receive some poor pallets every now and then. In the event this issue does occur, take notice of how the supplier responds. Do they offer credit or make it right in some other way? Do they have empathy or provide education to help you learn from the experience? These are qualities your supplier should have if they are interested in a long-term relationship.
Additionally, the supplier should follow through on their word, whether that involves providing the merchandise promised, keeping on top of timelines, helping with returns and credits, being transparent about costs, etc.
Some other traits that may hint that a supplier is not trustworthy include:
- A supplier who does not try to understand your unique merchandise needs If they do understand your needs and are continuously trying to upsell you truckloads of wholesale merchandise that do not fit your needs, this may indicate they do not care about your success.
- A supplier who does not tell you the full journey of the merchandise If the supplier sorted the items, repackaged the items into smaller quantities, or performed another form of action on the product, they should tell you what action was taken so that you can make an informed decision on if it is the right product for your needs.
Are They Willing To Educate You?
Your supplier should be willing to spend some time with you to help educate you on the merchandise, industry, and avenues to grow your business. If you are successful, your supplier will be successful because chances are you will be back for future purchases.
This is the foundation of a win-win, long-term relationship. If a supplier is unwilling to do fair business, it may indicate that they are not planning for a long-term relationship or do not work with an abundance mindset. This is a red flag!
Are They Responsive?
Finding a supplier that is responsive to your emails and phone calls is a clear sign that they care about their business and their clients. Pallet selling is a business where time is valuable. It is crucial that your supplier is willing to respond within a reasonable time frame, so you are not missing opportunities.
If you see a good deal, chances are a competitor is also trying to buy the product. You need a responsive supplier in order to grab these deals before another person has a chance!
Is the Product Source Location Close By?
A very important requirement to consider is the merchandise source’s proximity to you. Freight costs can eat up a large amount of your profit. Sometimes, suppliers will dropship your merchandise. This helps save on freight costs and, as a result, keeps your costs down.
For example, if you live in Utah and are buying merchandise from a supplier who is located in Georgia, they may be representing merchandise that is shipping out of Las Vegas. In this scenario, if the merchandise is shipped from Georgia, the freight could have rendered the landed cost of your merchandise to be too expensive.
If the merchandise is shipping out of Las Vegas, your landed cost would be much lower. Along the same lines, if you are shipping merchandise by the pallet, it is generally better to buy a minimum of three pallets so that the cost of freight is spread over more pallets.
What Questions Should I Ask Someone Who Sells Pallets?
The following are questions to ask when selecting merchandise liquidators that meet the requirements outlined in the previous section.
Does the Supplier Offer a Variety of Product Types or Quantities?
It helps to have a single supplier that you are able to get four or more types of merchandise from. That will allow you to build up your buying volume with the supplier and become an important customer.
Along the same lines, having the option to buy a new merchandise type by pallet offers flexibility to test new types of merchandise and grow your buyer base before having to purchase a full truck.
Does the Supplier Sell on Other Channels?
This is not a positive, negative, or a tell-tale sign, but again, it is something to be aware of and ask questions about. If the supplier does sell on other sales channels, how do they get their inventory for those other channels?
Do they cherry-pick the pallets they are selling to buyers like you? Make sure to ask the question and listen to how the supplier answers it.
Keep an eye out for these signs in a supplier’s answer:
- Does he stumble while answering the question?
- Does her answer make sense from a logistics and business perspective?
- Does he try to hide the fact that he sells in multiple ways?
There is a benefit of the supplier selling on other channels: they may be knowledgeable about how to sell on those channels and can be a better guide and teacher for you. This can help you avoid mistakes in your own business if they are willing to educate you.
Is the Supplier Willing To Send Photos Upon Request?
This is not something that can be done for every truckload, but most of the time, this is a reasonable request for anything that is not directly shipped. If a supplier is not willing to provide pictures, it could be a sign that they are not willing to develop a relationship with the buyer. That is not someone whom you may want to do long-term business with.
Does the Supplier Offer Any Form of Guarantee?
A given of the liquidation business is that you will get broken items, missing pieces, used items, etc. Sometimes, a supplier will offer forms of guarantees for new customers or for customers buying higher risk merchandise.
If the supplier follows through on the guarantee when needed, it is a good indication that you are working with a supplier who wants to harness a long-term relationship. For example, BuyLow Warehouse offers a “Make It Right Guarantee” for situations where the merchandise delivered does not meet the description provided prior to purchase.
Understand the Liquidation Business Better
Are you looking to learn more about finding the right liquidation merchandise? For those who are experienced or just getting started, our eBook will prepare you to make better decisions for your liquidation business. Download your free copy today.