The general rule of thumb in this industry is that the more sales channels you have, the better your chances of recuperating the highest possible amount back from your investment.
For example.: If you sell your goods both on eBay and at a flea market, you can cherry pick the higher value items and sell them for a bigger profit on eBay, and sell the lower-value items at the flea market to maximize your returns on each item.
Here is some information about each of the sales channels you can look into when planning to begin selling liquidated merchandise. You can opt to sell in only one of these methods, or you can sell in more than one of these ways. Just remember that the more channels you have, the better you are likely to do.
Click HERE for a list of general selling tips, or read the information below for selling tips relevant to specific resale channels.
FLEA MARKETS, ETC
Because of the wide range and number of people who shop at flea markets, swap meets and yard sales (especially in this global economy), vendors at these locations benefit from the ability to sell a very wide range of goods.
The following are some tips for flea market and swap meet vendors, on things to look out for, types of products to purchase, and more.
- Before you rent a space, research the market you plan to set up your booth to see what other types of goods are being sold there. You do not want to offer goods that are too similar to what is currently being sold, but you do want to know what has a tendency to sell better than something else.
- Look at the price points of the items they are selling. Are they lower-end items? Higher-end items? Is there a good mix of low and high end items in the particular market? Is the market known more for vintage goods or antiques?
- Inquire about what goods you are allowed to sell there. Some flea markets set a threshold for how many vendors of a certain type of item are allowed to sell there (for example, limit 6 clothing vendors, 6 food vendors, etc). Make sure you are not planning to sell something that is already saturated.
- Make a point to purchase fast-selling items, but nothing that is too similar to what is being sold there currently. A little competition is good, but if you can offer some variety to your customers, you may have the upper hand.
- Know your customers. Know the types of people who go to this particular swap meet. Research what they typically buy—the brands they like, the types of clothing they wear, and cater to your demographic (ex: urban clothing, large sizes, petite clothing, juniors, etc).
- Don’t purchase or sell large items that are bulky, heavy, hard to set up and transport. Items like furniture and large hardware items can be too encumbering for a flea market setting.
Yard sales are a great way for you to get rid of some of your unwanted personal items, but also a great way to supplement your income by selling liquidated goods you purchase at a discount. Here are some tips for yard sellers:
- Make sure you get people to your yard sale!! Advertise it for a week or to before you plan to have it. Posters on trees and lamp posts, and flyers work well. Be sure to check up on local rules and regulations for posting signs and outdoor advertising.
- Partner with other yard vendors in your area to take advantage of their traffic and cut them in on a small commission of your sales. This is especially advantageous if you don’t have a large yard or if you have people in your area who have regular yard sale visitors that you can benefit from.
- Check the yard sale rules in your town or city. Some municipalities put restrictions on what days you can hold yard sales. There may be some permits to apply for so make sure you find out about those to avoid any unnecessary headaches down the line.
- Make sure you purchase a wide variety of goods and not too many repeats of one item. It will be much easier to sell 1 piece of 100 different items than 100 pieces of 1 single item.
Wholesalers can purchase and sell a wide variety of merchandise in different ways.
Take note of how you would like to display and sell the goods you are purchasing. You can:
- Sell the entire load as it is
- Sell pallets exactly the way they come in
- Process the load and make various categorized pallets or smaller case packs (ex: break down each pallet and make separate pallets or lots of clothing, toys, cosmetics, etc.), that you can then resell by the category and chargea premium to cover the work that was done to separate the items.
Wholesalers who do not have a large amount of space, packing supplies and/or staff should stay away from loads that need to be processed and worked.
Inquire with your vendor about what loads are more suitable for your business needs and capabilities.
Via Trading can supply you with loads like these such as our FM Loads, TGT loads, KL Loads, etc.
If you have the ability to process merchandise (manpower and warehouse space), some loads can be great for you like our SKO, WM, SHG and SHW loads. These can be remade into nice, even pallets for resale.
As a wholesaler, it is very important to: UNDERSTAND HOW TO WORK AND PROCESS LOADS.
If you don’t have the space, time or manpower to process loads, don’t purchase loads that are work-heavy and that come with very uneven pallets and/or on hand-loaded trucks. There ARE loads you can buy that are easier to deal with pallet–by-pallet. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!
As a wholesaler, you can also purchase a sample case-packed item from us (or several different case-packed items) and put those lots out for viewing in your warehouse or showroom. You can then take orders on these for future delivery, and we can either ship you the necessary quantity for you to give your customers, or we can blind drop-ship them for you.
The following are a few tips for discount stores and discount outlets.
- If you get stuck with excessive stock of one item, don’t just let it sit there or try to wholesale it somewhere—use it as a promotional product! Free giveaways can work very well as customer buying incentives. (For example: get a free lipstick for every $10 you spend! Or, buy 2 items worth $5 each or more and get 1 free T-shirt!)
- Make arrangements with third parties to offer warranties on electronic items. Selling warranties is also a great way to make extra money. They cost you very little if you buy them in bulk, and you can sell them for $100 a pop or more!
- There are various ways for you to “liquidate” older goods from your store so that your store(s) always give the impression of having fresh and newly received goods.
- There are often developed auction houses for consumer goods in or around most major cities. You can use these auctions to clear out unwanted or old goods from your store shelves without. Or you can expand your sales channels and clear those goods at a yard sale or flea market!
- Use eBay or similar sites to sell goods of which you have excess inventory.
- Make barter deals with local repair shops to fix defective items like vaccums, TVs, microwaves, etc. You can either pay them a small fee for every item, or give them some merchandise in exchange for services (a free TV for every 5-10 items they repair).
- Take into consideration the space you have before you purchase. Make sure you have enough shelf, floor or storage space to house the merchandise you buy.
Online vendors use channels such as eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, other online shopping carts or their own e-commerce websites. As an online vendor, here are some of the things you should look out for:
- Focus on products that are high-value and low bulk—items that you can resell for a good profit and that are small enough and easy/cheap enough to ship with UPS or USPS. Larger items are okay but will cost your customers a lot of money in shipping which can reduce your sales.
- Branded clothing, shoes, small consumer electronics, cosmetics and such items can make great online products.
- As a customer of Via Trading, you have the option of listing our wholesale lots on your eBay store or e-commerce website. We can either ship these to you and you ship them to your customers, or we can dropship them directly to your customers so you never have to touch or work the merchandise. Selling wholesale lots can also allow you to make a larger profit margin on an individual sale.
- You can also maximize your sales channels via online sales. For instance, items that are too big and expensive to ship on eBay (like appliances, furniture, tools, etc) can be sold with a “pick-up only” option or on Craigslist.
- Use eBay and similar sites as a research tool to figure out pricing for items before you purchase and/or list them. There are dozen of third party websites that offer research information like terapeack.com, vendio.com, etc.
- Try to find a particular niche and become an expert in it. Niche businesses develop loyal customers much faster than business who try to cater to a wide variety of customers.
To learn how to sell on eBay: http://www.officialebayguru.com/
To access your city’s listings: http://www.craigslist.org
To access Los Angeles listings: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/
As an auctioneer, you are likely to do better if you have a good mix of items as opposed to large quantities of the same or similar items.
Typically, the smaller the quantity available, the higher value you will be able to obtain for each item and the faster you will move the load.
Be prepared to repair defective items before you auction them off, or be prepared to auction your items “untested, as-is.”
Brokers typically do not have warehouses or storage areas, but can move as much merchandise if not more than brick & mortar or online stores. Brokers market other vendors’ merchandise through their own e-commerce websites or eBay.
When dealing with Via Trading on brokered orders, Via will always ship “blind,” meaning our company name will not appear on any packing lists or paperwork in order to preserve our anonymity and keep your customers loyal to you.
We have extensive information on our dropshipping program on our dropshipping page.
Unless you are VERY familiar with the salvage industry and the risks involved in purchasing such goods, it is a good idea to stick with NEW OVERSTOCK items rather than customer returns, in order to avoid customer complaints.