If you are in the business of buying and selling wholesale merchandise, you will be familiar with the process of dealing with wholesale suppliers and buying merchandise by the pallet. This not only allows you to purchase merchandise in bulk but it also reduces the price per unit, thereby giving you some more room for profit on resale.
However, buying wholesale pallets, either from warehouse liquidators or online liquidators can be tricky if you are working with less established companies. There are many pitfalls to buying wholesale pallets, especially pallets of mixed liquidated merchandise. The possibility of receiving a “bad batch” of products increases the further away you go from a reputable and trusted supplier, especially if you are buying online.
To avoid such pitfalls, this guide will take you through the process of purchasing mixed pallets, step-by-step. It might not be 100% foolproof, but it will lead you in the right direction and make sure you start on the right foot.
Finding a Liquidation Supplier
If you already made up your mind about buying mixed wholesale pallets to have a certain variety on your sales profile, whether you intend to set it up on eBay or Amazon, you must know that this option is not without its problems. Also known as “rainbow pallets”, these pallets will have a number of uniform products, on top of each other in layers, hence the rainbow impression. What this means is that you can get a batch of smartphones, laptops, running shoes, and makeup accessories, all within that one pallet. To avoid the element of surprise, you must buy from a reputable wholesale supplier.
To better understand the importance of buying from a reputable source, here is an example. You would like to buy a mix of wholesale electronics, but you don’t want any surprises and you would like to know exactly what is in the pallet before you buy it and have it delivered to your address. If you buy from a reputable source, every mixed pallet will have a manifest, a list of products contained in that wholesale pallet, meaning you can pick the one that has the most items in it that are interested in.
On the other hand, if you buy a mixed pallet that does not have a manifest, you might end up receiving a batch of malfunctioning products that are good for spare parts only, mixed with a batch of old CD players no one wants to buy anymore, topped with old VHS cassettes that only collectors might be interested in, but are very hard to sell. So, the rule number one is to always buy from a reputable source, and always buy mixed pallets with manifests, which will allow you to know what you are buying.
Buying Liquidated Products the Right Way
This mean, don’t overpay for merchandise. The market is very tight, and the competition is fierce, with prices of single items online going very close to wholesale. To ensure competitiveness in the market you have to buy smart. Whether you are bidding in an online liquidation auction or you are attending a warehouse liquidation, go over the manifest, calculate all the retail prices of each unit within the mixed pallet, the shipping costs and your profit margin. This will give you a purchase limit, or a bidding limit you should never go over if you would like to make a profit from that mixed pallet.
Sorting Your Liquidation Merchandise Pallets
Once you receive your merchandise, it is time to sort everything out, take pictures of every single product and have it ready for resale. Once that is sorted, it is time to consider pricing the products.
Competitive pricing is something most sellers use, which is why we advised you to know the retail prices of every product in a certain pallet before purchasing it. You should also browse your possible competitors and see what prices they are offering. Once you know these prices, and once you have based your purchase on them, you can adjust your profit margin and set your price slightly lower than your competition.
If you played your cards right when purchasing your merchandise, you will have got your products below the wholesale price. You can then use a tactic named keystone pricing. This means that you are looking to double your investment. So if you received a batch of headphones that are priced at $25 by your competitors and you calculated that your purchase price was only $8 per unit, you can easily double the price and make a great profit while the buyers are still getting a great deal.
Generally, the goal is not to make one huge sale and recover your expenses, but to make a series of sales that will individually bring a smaller profit but end in a big cumulative gain.
Avoiding Scam Liquidation Companies
It has to be stressed that scams with mixed merchandise pallets are possible and can be difficult to detect. This is why we advise you again to only work with reputable wholesalers and liquidators. There are sources online where you can look up liquidation companies and suppliers. It is a good idea to consult industry forums and especially browse previous customer experiences. Previous customers will give you the best idea of how a company operates and will show you whether they were satisfied with the merchandise they purchased or whether there were any irregularities with the manifests.
Another risk is that you go through a mixed pallet’s manifest but it is either incomplete or not correct at all, and you end up purchasing products that are not usable and can’t be sold at all.
Also, if you are buying online, make sure the website and the company you are buying from has good reviews and has been around for a while. A number of sites pop up overnight, make a short sale, and close the next morning, leaving buyers without purchased products and without the money.
So, have all these pointers in mind next time you go in a search of a mixed pallet. If you’re careful and do your homework, you will be able to make a nice profit and avoid most of these risks.