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Sourcing Products to Sell at Flea Markets

While some look to make huge profits running large wholesale operations or engaging in buying merchandise by the pallet and reselling in online, others take a simpler approach and sell their old, used merchandise at flea markets. For some, it is a trip down memory lane going through all the VHS tapes sold at one stall, or the Walkmans they used to have as kids at another.

Some indulge in buying products from their past while a group of small entrepreneurs find satisfaction and profit in selling such items. But there is only a limited amount of this merchandise and when you’re done selling your stash, where do you go from there? There are many sources but one will provide you the possibility to buy merchandise for pennies on the dollar, which is exactly what you need. We are talking about liquidated stock.

Why would this be interesting for the flea market seller? There are three main reasons: the price, the ability to purchase in bulk and quite often the quality. So let’s go into more detail with these three aspects.

Low Price Liquidated Stock

For many this is the biggest ‘selling point’ for liquidation merchandise. When selling at flea markets you want your merchandise to be cheap and the condition is very often put in the background. Through the liquidation business you can purchase merchandise at such low prices that even at flea markets your profit margin can be significant. To understand why prices of liquidated merchandise are lower than cheap wholesale merchandise, you need to understand that particular supply chain.

The large majority of merchandise sold through liquidation are customer returns. This merchandise has previously been sold by manufacturers or retailers and for whatever reason it got returned. Since neither manufacturers or retailers can put these products up for sale in their stores, they tend to pack everything up and liquidate them. You will often see large retail chains, such as Walmart liquidations, taking this path, looking to reach a wider audience faster by going through certain platforms. This means that the manufacturers and retailers are still reaching you directly and selling their merchandise without any mediators.

Mediators in this case would be various wholesalers, whether online wholesale suppliers or your local wholesale supplier. Avoiding them is important for one simple reason: the price. They will buy from the same source you are buying, the manufacturers and retailers. However, their purchasing power is significantly bigger than that of an individual who buys one pallet of merchandise at a time. This is why they go on purchasing merchandise by the truckload. This allows them to drive the price per unit even lower and often leaves them a lot of space to mark up the products up to what we know as wholesale prices. Very often, a ‘small’ buyer doesn’t get the chance to purchase any of that merchandise because the wholesalers book it as soon as it appears.

Liquidation companies solve this issue. Now that you have manufacturers and liquidators using them as a platform to directly reach out to their customers, you don’t have to worry about the wholesale markup.

Buying Merchandise in Bulk

The next important thing for people who sell merchandise at flea markets is the option of buying smaller loads of merchandise and still getting it on the cheap. A vast number of sellers like to have the option of packing everything they purchase in a car and driving to the flea market. Avoiding the shipping costs can bring significant gains on resale. Buying in bulk, regardless of the size of the load still brings a reduction to the price of each individual unit.

Now let’s turn our attention to the source that enables flea market sellers to purchase merchandise at very low prices. This source is attractive for a number of reasons. We’ve already mentioned the price and the load size, but we also have to add the type of merchandise being liquidated. Very often these are customer return pallets of merchandise that has either been tested and is not working or maybe hasn’t even been tested. These fall into the category of unsorted customer returns that are an even more attractive option as they will be at the lowest price point.

This leads us to the third aspect of purchasing merchandise to sell at flea markets through liquidation companies: the quality.

What is the Quality of Liquidated Stock?

For many, this is very important as they would like to build their reputation on the quality of merchandise they sell, despite the fact they are doing it at a flea market. This is where your research skills come into play. Finding a reputable liquidation company is essential. While this might not guarantee you brand new merchandise at dirt cheap prices, it will guarantee you are purchasing stock from reputable retailers and manufacturers.

wholesale pallets

Top-tier liquidators will often tie up with top manufacturers and retailers, and as mentioned above, this will at least guarantee you are purchasing higher quality brands. But merchandise is returned for various reasons and sometimes the products on offer might actually not be working. However, if you possess any technical knowledge and don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, you can still salvage components from various non-functioning products and use them to fix another one. That practice is quite common among flea market sellers as broken merchandise is the cheapest and selling one functional item usually covers the costs of the whole lot.

But how do you know what you are getting in a pallet? Well if you are, for example, looking to buy pallets of electronics, be it laptops or smartphones, all you have to look for is a manifest. Each top liquidation company will provide you a list that contains information on the type, the quantity and the state of merchandise within a lot or pallet. You not only know what you are dealing with but this allows you to buy only the items you need.

So if you require a certain make of a smartphone because you already have a few with damaged screens, and you know that all other components are intact, you will look for a pallet of that exact smartphone model that may have damaged batteries but the screens are intact. Combining the two to refurbish and fix your broken smartphones can bring you a profit that is significantly bigger than the total investment into the two pallets of broken smartphones.

So if you are running out of stock to sell at the flea market, liquidation companies could be the perfect source of very cheap merchandise. This could secure you significant profit even at the flea market prices.

Direct Liquidation is a goTRG company.

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