How to Buy Liquidation Closeouts

by Susan S. Davis; Updated September 26, 2017
Going Out of Business

Many dealers and sellers of merchandise find that they become overstocked for various reasons. When retailers are not able to sell overstock through regular sales to customers, the overstock often becomes part of a liquidation or closeout sale. Because the goods need to be offloaded quickly, they are offered at heavily discounted rates to attract buyers to purchase in bulk. Generally, you can find a great deal of high-quality merchandise for sale at much lower prices than at the usual wholesale suppliers. With careful purchase of overstocked and closeout liquidation merchandise for resale purposes, you can enjoy large profits.

Step 1

Look into finding closeout or liquidation dealers to find resale merchandise. Usually, there are customer returns after the holidays, and this type of merchandise tends to be in new condition, in its original packaging, and it sells well. Conduct an online search to find closeouts, liquidation sales and auctions (see Resources). Look in your local newspaper for liquidation and store-closing sales, where it is sometimes possible to make special deals if you offer to purchase in bulk. Ensure that the lot of merchandise available does not include obsolete or seasonal goods, as they could be much harder to sell.

Step 2

Find brand-new wholesale merchandise from wholesalers. Search online for wholesalers that are listed on specialty websites (see Resources). These merchants can deal directly with brand-new merchandise such as that obtained through overstock situations. You might also consider purchasing return merchandise from these vendors. You should also think about purchasing from vendors of merchandise closeouts, which handle used goods, as much of it can be in perfect or nearly new condition (see Resources).

Step 3

Do some research and price checking to ensure that any closeout merchandise you are considering is inexpensive enough for you to make a profit easily. Closeout vendors generally offer products for much lower prices than other vendors do. While non-closeout merchandise can be of a higher quality, the price often is not marked down sufficiently to consider it for the purpose of resale.

Step 4

Use a search engine to find the best closeout and liquidation deals on products. Websites such as Liquidation.com offer specific search-engine tools designed to find closeout merchandise. Consider using other wholesale-lot auction websites, which can have some excellent deals on merchandise.

Step 5

Check the reputation of any wholesale, closeout or liquidation vendor with whom you are considering doing business. Look at the Better Business Bureau website to find the company's rating. Use major search engines to look for information on businesses and companies. Use search terms with names and types of merchandise. Find forums that discuss closeout dealers, wholesalers and liquidators to learn about each sales process, which can be different. Ask questions in the forums to determine which companies are best to do business with.

Step 6

Check over merchandise in person or have a representative do a random selection to check merchandise quality prior to closing a deal, if possible. Closeout wares that are damaged or irregular may also have a low resale value as a result. Be especially careful when you consider buying return merchandise. Unless it is holiday return product, it could have a high level of damage or defect.

Tips

  • Try to buy only highly desirable merchandise that you know will sell easily and well.

Warnings

  • Ensure that you know the source of all merchandise to avoid warranty or defect return merchandise.

    Sometimes merchandise becomes available through closeout and liquidation dealers because it didn't sell in a store, often a chain vendor. But unless that merchandise had been selling well, it is usually best to avoid buying the products, especially if there was an economic reason why it didn't sell.

About the Author

Susan S. Davis is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the L.A. Press Club. She was managing editor of "The Hosting News" and a columnist at Online Dating Magazine. Davis attended Chicago's Medill School of Journalism, and holds an A.A.S. in radio broadcasting from Minnesota Business College and a certificate in paralegal studies from University of California, Los Angeles.

Photo Credits

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