products to sell online - 5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing Liquidation
by Chris Malta
- • Research Your Sources in Advance
There are numerous quality sources for liquidated items – reclamation centers and surplus auction companies. Sometimes, you can even make arrangements with local retail stores to pick up their liquidation items for a percentage of the wholesale cost. But what you don't want to do is just buy from the first dealer that pops up in the search engine results. You need to first determine if a source is legitimate.
A liquidation company's website should provide you with all the necessary contact information. If a site has no phone number or email address, that should be a big red flag.
Before you use a company, test their customer service – call or email and ask questions. Find out how long they've been in business, and ask for customer references. If they're local, visit their facility in person.
The bottom line here is to use common sense. And remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it is.
• Understand Exactly What You're Getting
Gather as much info on your products as you can. What category are they in? What is their condition? For what percentage of wholesale cost are you buying them?
Your supplier should provide you with a manifest – an itemized list of the goods on the pallet you'll be receiving. It should include both the piece count and the associated wholesale cost for each product listed. By understanding what you're getting, you're able to identify if a purchase will be profitable for you.
• Determine Your True Product Costs
You're not just looking at the price of a pallet; you're considering all the factors involved in making the products saleable. Repairs, time, packaging materials – account for everything that contributes to the total cost of getting your goods market-ready. Figuring out your Cost of Goods Sold allows you to pinpoint your actual profit margin.
• Know Your Product Market
Learn as much as you can about the market you're selling into. Establish what these types of products are selling for there, remembering to factor in their condition. Look at the demand among your target audience, as well as the level of competition you'll be up against. If there's not enough demand or the market is crowded, it will be hard for you to move those products out the door quickly.
• Have a Game Plan
It's important that you know, ahead of time, the sort of products and the category of products you're looking for. Most liquidation pallets are sorted by category and include a wide assortment of items within a category.
Some of these items are faster-moving; others tend to be slow movers.
You may choose to bundle those slower-moving goods, or to use them as loss leaders, up-sellers, or cross-sellers. But however you choose to package them, it's imperative that you have a plan for moving them out speedily. In liquidation, turning items over quickly is a major key to profitability.